The BSRUS (Big Sur Residents United for Socialism) announced plans today for a Festival of Appreciation aimed at thanking the many government agencies, and the state and federal taxpayers, who make the very existence of the community of Big Sur as we know it possible.
Precarious lifeline: The modern Big Sur community is completely dependent on a single, phenomenally expensive, highway.
“Let’s face it,” said a BSRUS spokesman, “Before the government took an interest in Big Sur, all the place could support was a handful of poverty-stricken homesteads and a few hard luck cattle operations. People were so desperate they tried to create industries out of things like cutting redwoods by hand to make fence posts or selling the bark from tan oaks to passing ships. Can you even imagine? Things like electrical power and indoor plumbing were almost unheard of. The only way in and out of the place was over a trail for crying out loud.
“But thanks to the untold millions the government spends every year keeping the highway open, providing parks and recreational opportunities and protecting the place from fire, Big Sur is now a world-class tourist destination and a playground for the rich and famous. We’ve got a population many times what it was in the old days and a government spending/tourism based economy that provides better jobs than anything the Big Sur pioneers could possibly have imagined.
“And, sure, those pioneers were great stewards of the land – ‘course when you’ve got thousands of acres of rough country and nothing but hand tools, it’s pretty hard not to be – and there are many property owners who remain great stewards of the land today. But, let’s face it, if it wasn’t for government regulations, the other landowners, the ones who aren’t such great stewards, would long ago have messed the place up for everyone.
“We realize that keeping the Big Sur community afloat costs the taxpayers of this country a lot of money and we want to thank them for that. We’d have to be pretty selfish to take all this largesse for granted or to suggest that the government and taxpayers ought to be doing still more for us.
“This is one of the most beautiful places on the planet and living here is indeed a privilege. We’re holding this festival because we want to acknowledge all those people out there who help to make our rustically refined lifestyle possible.”
In related news see: Broad Coalition Backs Return to Early Silurian Conditions Along Big Sur Coast