I Recently came across this article, as I’m sure many of my fellow Phish junkies did, and was fairly annoyed, albeit entertained.
While I suppose this lady’s heart is in the right place, she is hilariously pompous and insanely patronizing, which in my eyes negates any argument she was trying to make. Yes, Lauren Ober, you’re totally cool for buying into negative and outdated stereotypes, and attacking a group of people who are doing more to help Vermont simply by spending the money to see this show, than most others are at all. Your assertions that you base the whole theme of your article on are comically off base; it’s pretty obvious (to anyone the slightest bit informed about the situation) that the vast majority of Phish fans do indeed have jobs, and aren’t just loitering in Vermont like bums for days before the show, like your bellyaching claims that they are.
Now, if you made it a little clearer that you were, in fact, joking in a well-meaning fashion, this wouldn’t be a problem, but I find it hard to see your arrogant statements as anything other than a hateful display of pessimism. Of course it’s awesome to volunteer, but why pick on people who are already doing something to assist Vermont’s attempt to rebuild? What about all the people who haven’t contributed to the relief efforts at all? Why don’t you aim your snarky, condescending preaching at them. Here’s an idea: try being grateful that these fans (who you are so kindly berating) are literally pouring money into your state’s economy, which will go miles in the recovery process, rather than moaning that it “isn’t enough”, or isn’t the “right kind” of help. Big Picture here, honey.
And yes, I understand that this cold-blooded approach was also partly your attempt to get a laugh, but you truly failed by turning the article into a self righteous complaint-fest that mistakes maliciousness for humor. It comes off as rude, bitter, illogical, and uninformed, to say the least. Plus, didn’t the whole “hippie mocking” thing go out of style, like, twenty years ago? Hate to burst your bubble, Lauren Ober, but all of your stilted “hey mannnnn lemme get a hit of that joint brahhh” jokes are contrived to the point of self-consciousness. It’s fine with me though, because we’re the ones laughing at you by the end of the article.