This page partially comes from growing up in a very small town full of rednecks.  I hated them when I was in high school (I was with the Kurt Cobain kids).  I also worked as a dishwasher at King’s Table which served a lot of white trash and truckers who were all about the all you can eat buffet.  I used to loathe the country music they would make us listen to as we worked, and I would peer through the sneeze guard glass, across the line at the people scooping up gravy with their shaky hands making a big mess and eating a ton of food and just hate them all.

I lived in a small town called Lakeside during high school.  It had a hardware store, a small grocery store, a very small library and one hotel all on one street at one four way stop.  There were two sides of the railroad tracks.  The good side and the bad side.  The bad side was supposedly where all the meth heads lived because the cops rarely came all the way out to Lakeside.  The good side was mainly retired people who liked the beautiful Lake, which the town happened to be on the side of (hence the name).  It was about 15 miles or so from North Bend/Coos Bay, which is where I really call home, and is a couple hours drive from any freeway.

I didn’t realize how small the area I lived in was until I really moved away.  People in the city like to think they are real enlightened and more on top of things than those dumb people from the small town.  The fact is, as I got to know city people I began to really appreciate the small town way of life a lot more.  There are great people and awful people from both, but the city people tended to get into cliques and only spend time with their own kind, never venturing out to be friends with people of other ages, interests, ethnicities or ways of life.  In a small town you deal with who you get as neighbors.  You can’t be that picky and you learn to share space with a variety of people.  The people who live in cities and claim small town people are ignorant and closed minded may be right some of the time, but it goes for many people in the city as well.  You can live in a big city and have a hundred friends who all think just like you do.  That is rarely possible in a small town.  Oddly enough, it is easier to insulate yourself from other cultures by living in a metropolis, not the boonies.

These aren’t totally original thoughts.  A lot of these ideas come from one of my favorite authors:  G.K. Chesterton.  I must give credit where credit is due.  But I cite him not because he taught me these things so much as he put into words the things I had been thinking since I had stopped attempting to be fashionably angry at the world (admittedly much more eloquent words).

All that is to say I don’t hate rednecks so much any more, and I don’t hate people in general.  I began to realize a lot of artists truly do hate people and it really comes out in their work even if they deny it vocally.  It really turned me off, and I started to feel like I was hating people just because it was the punk rock or artistic thing to do.  I started to lose a lot of taste for punk rock actually.  You may not be happy to hear it, but a lot of this comic was drawn while listening to the same country music I used to despise.  I love country music now because it is some of the least hateful music I know.

Anyway, this blog has little to do with the page above, except that I am trying to make Joel start out similar to how I did.  He works, but he hates his job, and he hates most of the people in his town.  And I use hate in the sense of hating a kind of food, or a kind of music.  I guess “can’t stand” might be a better choice of words.  Basically, he is the only person he truly gives a damn about in his own little universe.

That was way more than I thought I would blog.  I guess you get to find out what the old lady is yelling about on Friday.  See you then!

Ethan