Letters to the Editor 06/08/2023 | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Letters to the Editor 06/08/2023

click to enlarge Letters to the Editor 06/08/2023
Victoria Tolonen
Thanks to Victoria Tolonen (@dance.bend) for sending in this photo of the Bend Night Market launch. Performers dressed in steampunk, aerial artists and a variety of musicians entertained the crowd as they perused the new market. Attendees can expect more magic, mystique and fun every week, Tolonen told the Source Weekly. Don’t forget to share your photos with us and tag @sourceweekly for a chance to be featured as Instagram of the week and in print as our Lightmeter. Winners receive a free print from @highdesertframeworks.


You have to wonder why someone thought Representative Lori Chavez-DeRemer deserves the honor of being Central Oregon Community College's commencement speaker. This is just some of her record:

  • Chavez-DeRemer voted for an anti-transgender bill that would require that "sex ... be recognized based solely on a person's reproductive biology and genetics at birth" for the purposes of Title IX of the Civil Rights Act. The bill passed the House.
  • As mayor of Happy Valley, Chavez-DeRemer opposed naming the new high school in Happy Valley after Adrienne Nelson, a Happy Valley resident and the first Black woman to serve on the Oregon Supreme Court or on Oregon's federal bench. She claimed that naming the school after Nelson "divides our community." The school was ultimately named after Judge Nelson.
  • Chavez-DeRemer said, "The Radical Left has been forcing its woke agenda into our children's education for too long." "Our children are being taught to hate each other based on the color of their skin, under the guise of 'equity.'" "In Congress, I will fight for a Parental Bill of Rights...." And she did. The bill passed the House.
  • Chavez-DeRemer opposes the Biden Administration's loan forgiveness plan even though she received more than $1.3 million in pandemic loans that were forgiven. After she signed an amicus brief opposing Biden's Executive Order providing student debt relief, she followed with a vote for the bill to overturn the Executive Order. The bill passed the House.

What do COCC students think? Maybe COCC should rethink their choice?

— Mary Chaffin


Now that price gouging has come to Bend, Oregon, here is what I fear might happen next.

My old hippie town in California is now an outdoor mall. In what was formally a stronghold for cultural creatives, the so-called gentlemen's coup of bourgeoisie imperialism now forms a nearly complete ideological monopoly. The town's capitalist New Jerusalem informs almost every instinct and patterns almost every human interaction. Downtown, the "essential worker" can momentarily merge with the wealthy, but only in fantasy, as they are essentially not included in the town's giddy "growth." For everyone but the business class, "growth" is word-voodoo for a concentration of wealth for the wealthy, racial cleansing, price inflation, wage reduction, near slave labor and unaffordable housing. Unhoused essential workers know that as prices soar, wages have lost their value and labor its meaning.

My old town is not an economic miracle. It is an economic fever dream of instant gratification, a capitalist utopia infantilizing adults. The old-timers and hippies there are now spiritually displaced; they live in a near total surround sound of decadent fun masking the economics of loneliness, of isolation for profit.

So here is warning from California, a dose of healthy cynicism for the free-market radicals and landed gentry of the Bend bubble.

If Bend goes by way of California, the Faustian bargain of your town's head to toe makeover into an open-air mall of frantic consumerism will continue to vanish individual worth. As the unnatural profit motive (by what economists call the free market of "planned misery") forms the basis of society and you are metaphysically starved of substance, of an authentic collective life, you will turn inward and replace real needs with artificial needs and their satisfaction. Driven mad by grief, by the for-profit motive as the essential activity, an essentially meaningless activity, you will turn more and more to entertainment, fantasy politics, technology, and to synthetic drugs for meaningful relation. That is, you will turn to a total encirclement of machines to ward off the total encirclement of the Machine Age. Feelings of isolation, futility and desperation will rise amongst your neighbors. Your symbiotic identification with the rich downtown will still not make your workers, farmers or poor rich, only amplify manufactured needs that can never be gratified. Shantytowns will continue to spring up in your National Forests to warehouse people regarded as human garbage by the police state and media class.

As substantive needs of your collective life are systematically starved, your intellectual brain trust; the vanguard, the reformer, musician, artist, leftist, farmer and pilgrim having no social role will be moved into slums, cleansed by pure capitalism. Those amongst you who denounce Bend's ideological project will be excluded from the economy and form a shadow, black-market class.

The healthy opposition, meanwhile, that these activist networks represented will, too, be purged. Their contrary values and competing worldviews, and a political philosophy that might cap necessities, offer meaningful dissent, or temper Bend's economic trance; all they might hold for hope of a Human Way of Life in Bend — will disappear.

That would be my positive prediction.

— Asher Lyman


I know why the Sheriff's office has work details, and, in general, this is a good thing. Yesterday, however, one of these groups obliterated ALL of the gorgeous blue flax plants that grew on either side of the block of Murphy Rd. between 3rd and Parrell in South Bend. In the morning they were there, blooming their little hearts out...a lovely carpet of blue. By afternoon, they were just gone. Why? These flowers provided an oasis for passersby who walk or drive this way. I believe there needs to be some thought about where these crews do their work. Really...we need more Nature, not less.

— Gladys Pilz

Letter of the Week:

Yes to more nature, Gladys! Come on by and grab a gift card to Palate. You get Letter of the Week.

— Nicole Vulcan

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