Assignment: Ukiah - From helping hands
by Tommy-Wayne Kraemer, ukiahdailyjournal.com
April 19th 2011 9:08 AM to helping themselves
You can't read the Daily Journal for more than a few days and not see a bunch of stories about a bunch of local organizations doing nice things for worthy causes. I see these kinds of articles all the time and in almost every instance the people doing the nice things are older folks who are members of antiquated organizations.
There's just no end to the good deeds being done around here by groups with old-fashioned names like Elks and Moose and Masons and Soroptimists and Rotary and Lions. They pitch in every chance they get to help kids with scholarships or help build a new playground or arrange for medical services for someone in need.
Most of these organizations go back a long, long time. I would guess that here in Ukiah their membership is composed almost exclusively of older folks. Maybe the average age is 70 or so. These are our neighbors who go about the quiet work of helping others without any need to call much attention to themselves as individuals.
Self promotion isn't the point. There might indeed be a story in the newspaper about how the Rotary Club is donating some new benches for a park, or how the Lions Club is going to help fix up the old Rocket Ship at Todd Grove Park, but rarely will you find anyone jumping up to take credit.
That's typical from the older generation that volunteers. These are the same folks who have sacrificed for their country and their community and their family so that the world they leave
behind will be a better one.
Contrast their motives and behavior with that of the follow-up generation right here in Ukiah or all across the country. Members of the '60s generation have never given up anything unless they were getting paid for it, and preferably in advance. It's a generation that has taken far, far more than it has given, and it ain't done yet.
In the early years, the baby boomers took foodstamps and free college tuition and unemployment benefits. This wasn't enough. Not even close. The world was put on notice that the new generation was insufficiently pleased with what they'd been given. They demanded more.
So they staged demonstrations and riots and broke windows and burned down cities. They said they were doing it for "peace."
I'm a former hippie and I well remember when we were bursting with (imaginary) idealism, most of which was focused on the supposed hypocrisies of our parents' generation. We had a self-righteous and smug attitude, convinced we were the finest and most highly evolved people to have ever walked the planet. It was all just a monstrous load of twattle, of course, but we believed it as sure as we believed we were in the Age of Aquarius.
Those were the early days. The Love Generation next looked around and realized it needed a way to make money off the Establishment while (a) not having to work and (b) maintaining a rebellious lifestyle.
The answer? Grants. Grants make free money available for nebulous programs with catchy titles to provide useless services for undeserving clients. So they solicited money from people who had too much of it to care where it went (governments, foundations) and began extracting cash in massive amounts.
Presto! Let a million programs bloom!
Look around Ukiah (or the country) all you want, for as long as you want, and you won't be able to find a single baby boomer contributing a single thing unless he's on the payroll. There's no end to all the proud do-gooders running things like Plowshares and the Food Bank and the Ukiah Community Center and Project Sanctuary and the Ford Street Project and First Five, and every single one of them gets paid quite handsomely. They'll talk first and foremost, of course, about how much they care and contribute and if you want to believe it, go right ahead.
The county itself is overstuffed with ex-hippies on its payroll, the people who spent the first half of their lives accusing others of selling out, and the second half of their lives cashing in. Every one of these people came to Ukiah from somewhere else, elbowed out the locals and burrowed in like parasites. Which they are.
You'll find mobs of them in every single "community service" organization, and at every one of the local nonprofits groups where they infest the boards of directors so they can hire each other and each others' spouses to squat right down in the trough of public service. It's all a nice, merry inside job and you, dear reader, are not invited. Your job is to pay the bills.
So don't look for any of these people to be on hand if there's actual work to be done because nobody from North Coast Opportunities or the Community Development Commission are going to show up. They don't do the Little League thing and they don't dig the Pop Warner scene. If there's a volunteer group getting together next weekend at fix up the BMX track don't wait for a social worker or anyone from AODP to show up.
Those people will all be at the Farmer's Market where they'll be talking (and talking and talking and talking) about their "commitment to community" and their passion for the arts and their latest insights into the real estate market.
Tom Hine wants to remind everyone that council member Phil Baldwin calls Tommy Wayne Kramer "the bravest man in Ukiah."
Original Page: http://www.ukiahdailyjournal.com/opinion/ci_17881372%3E
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