Living vs. making a living

New joke making the rounds:

Q: Why are there so many hippies in Floyd County?

A: They heard there's no work here.

God, you know times are bad when hippie jokes make a comeback.

Hear an increasing amount of talk lately about the lack of work and/or the lack of income. The problem, of course, is nationwide. Local artists who travel to out-of-town shows say crowds and sales are down. Local businesses report more lookers than buyers. Musicians say paying gigs are fewer.

We've seen a shift in Floyd: Less talk about living and more about making a living.

Let's have a show of hands: How many came here to make money?

How many came here because of the lifestyle?

Lifestyle still wins but he margin is shrinking.

Had a salesman walk into the studio the other day and open the conversation with "let me maximize your income potential."

Looked up from my magazine and answered: "Let me maximize your life expectancy. Leave before I get up out of this chair."

We see more and more emphasis on turning Floyd into a mini-mecca for "business opportunity." We're overrun with those who want to "network." They hand out business cards to everyone they meet and they talk about marketing and business plans and "maximizing your potential" until you want to toss your cookies all over their designer tennis shoes.

Floyd doesn't need more seminars on "turning your business into a success." Discussions on organic gardening or alternative engery would better serve foks around here. Most who come here are not the "hippies" who show up more in jokes than on the town streets. Most are those who made their lives an economic success somewhere else and came to Floyd to enjoy the benefits of those labors. They came here to escape the business cards, the "networking" socials, the sales pitches and the eternal chase for the almighty dollar.

Don't let the magic that is Floyd get lost under the onslaught of those who measure success in financial terms and confuse making a living with just living your life and making the most of it.

New joke making the rounds:

Q: Why are there so many hippies in Floyd County?

A: They heard there’s no work here.

God, you know times are bad when hippie jokes make a comeback.

Hear an increasing amount of talk lately about the lack of work and/or the lack of income. The problem, of course, is nationwide. Local artists who travel to out-of-town shows say crowds and sales are down. Local businesses report more lookers than buyers. Musicians say paying gigs are fewer.

We’ve seen a shift in Floyd: Less talk about living and more about making a living.

Let’s have a show of hands: How many came here to make money?

How many came here because of the lifestyle?

Lifestyle still wins but he margin is shrinking.

Had a salesman walk into the studio the other day and open the conversation with "let me maximize your income potential."

Looked up from my magazine and answered: "Let me maximize your life expectancy. Leave before I get up out of this chair."

We see more and more emphasis on turning Floyd into a mini-mecca for "business opportunity." We’re overrun with those who want to "network." They hand out business cards to everyone they meet and they talk about marketing and business plans and "maximizing your potential" until you want to toss your cookies all over their designer tennis shoes.

Floyd doesn’t need more seminars on "turning your business into a success." Discussions on organic gardening or alternative engery would better serve foks around here. Most who come here are not the "hippies" who show up more in jokes than on the town streets. Most are those who made their lives an economic success somewhere else and came to Floyd to enjoy the benefits of those labors. They came here to escape the business cards, the "networking" socials, the sales pitches and the eternal chase for the almighty dollar.

Don’t let the magic that is Floyd get lost under the onslaught of those who measure success in financial terms and confuse making a living with just living your life and making the most of it.

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7 Responses

  1. “Tis the plague of “Affluenza”, the all consuming epidemic in the US which is creeping into Floyd……unbridled consumerism, leading to the death of our spiritual lives. Very interesting reading & food for thought. The book by the same name, should be a must-read for all who value life over possessions.

  2. Doug, I enjoy this blog, and read it on a daily basis from afar. I occasionally visit a buddy that has a place outside of Floyd, and having grown up in Roanoke and Martinsville, I really love the chance to sit back and enjoy life.
    I have lived in New Mexico for most of the last 34 years, having met a gal from Santa Fe that lured me out here; and got me to stay when I was served my first Chimayo chili over some prime Carne Adovada with a Sopapilla to handle any leftover sauce.
    I have watched the gentrification of Santa Fe, which when I showed up in 1974 was already in a change mode, but was still a place where the business district was dominated by local business which served local needs of folks that had ancestors who arrived in The City Different in 1608. Over the years it was turned into a collection of galleries and mystical experience venues which gave off an air of a Disney World for adults with way too much money for their own good. The locals found it harder and harder to resist the quick money to be made by selling the ancestral home, and before they knew it they were sitting in a mobile home on a strip which could be set down in any ugly little city in this great land. In more than a few cases it was the solution to not being able to pay the property tax on houses that had jumped 10 times in value in the same number of years.

    While I am sure a number of the new breed to Santa Fe, had made it through their own hard work, it was just as obvious that many, if not most, were much more likely to exhibit the old Texas political adage that, “He was born on third base and thought he hit a triple,” These folks came in, and in trying to build the biggest adobe castle on the highest ridge line soiled the nest to an extent that whatever it was they came looking for is now long gone. They are in large part trust fund children, and are for the most part rude and arrogant in their dealings with the locals. They have no interest in understanding or adapting to one of the oldest and most complex cultures in America. They are probably that way because their source of income never depended on treating people as people. The check came every month, and unless folks were part of the inner sanctum they were considered the help. These folks that they see as the help, are the same ones that Phil Gramm considers whiners because they are losing their homes, and cannot afford to pay for that 90 mile commute because the new folks in their hometown are now not inclined to encourage development of the sort that would provide jobs for the guys that didn’t go to Andover or Yale.

    The guy that came into your studio today was one of the feeders on the edges of the money that now resides at the top of this society. While you may not personally be one of the folks that he can make a buck off of, he knows they are there, and will continue to feed as needed.

  3. I would imagine that those who were successful and moved to Floyd are alarmed by the situation in the stock market and the state of the economy in general. Seeing a nest egg drop in value by tens of thousands of dollars is bound to get people nervous and thinking/talking about money (not a problem for me fortunately/unfortunately). Adjusting a lifestyle to reflect the economic reality (and the fear that things may get worse) can cause folks to complain about things .

    Making a living working in Floyd is tough, but that is hardly news. Route 8 and 221 are busy every day with locals (usually not those who moved here) driving to work in other places and I don’t see that changing with networking or any other “income maximizing” schemes. At the same time life is good in Floyd for so many reasons and for so many income levels. I do think some people who move to Floyd bring parts of the city/suburbs with them, but that seems inevitable.

  4. hey doug! thanks for your clarity and bravado! while floyd has changed and will continue to do so there is plenty of room to still live for a living if one wants. No one forces us to drive anywhere for bigger bucs, most do so for a variety of reasons associated with the $$, one being that hopefully they enjoy what they do! (why else do it?) i have always felt fortunate to live in this part of the world. there are truly a lot of wonderful folks living out their dreams in these hills. thanks for doing your part and hope to see ya round town soon! peace bob

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