the boxster blog with a different spin

Thursday, February 01, 2007


by pam ashlund

"... note to artsy rich kids: don't stay here and laugh at the kitschyness of East LA and then go back to Silver Lake. I've seen how quickly you spread in an area, drive the rents sky high, infest the place with tacky pop culture and disconnected cynicism, and then boot the locals out. Don't make us start a chapter of the Mission Yuppie Eradication Project down here! You've been warned." (emphasis mine)

This isn't the first time, and it won't be the last, that I write about Porsches and Politics. I still find it hilarious that there is anything to say there at all. I felt I had truly crossed one of the surreal lines in life when I found myself supporting a protest in front of a local dealership (about a warranty squabble). What had I come to? There are so many more important things to do. Then again, what's life without a little laughter?

I recently moved into a renovated loft in a neighborhood that has been "down and out" for close to fifty years. I did think about the Porsche, but only in terms of theft. I did not think about what it would symbolize to my neighbors.

Who would have thought owning a Porsche would set off a firestorm of controversy over neighborhood gentrification? Alright, technically that's not what started it, it may have my whining about wanting to find a decent grocery store, but it didn't help.

Oh well. It all started with a blog post on the merits of one LA area (Silver Lake) and my new neighborhood (Lincoln Heights). Understandably, my comments touched a nerve in the community. I would leave it at that, but in pursuit of a deeper understanding I studied one of my critics website. There I found thought provoking comments on gentrification (something I give a lot of thought to these days), but then....I saw it--a link to a website called Mission Yuppie Eradication Project.

The Yuppie Eradication site was hilarious and representative of the wit that makes Northern California so unique. But as I read on I got a creepy feeling that this wasn't tongue in cheek. It was a website that advocated violent resistance (what they refer to as "controversial methods") as follows:

Tips on Making Yuppies Pay

  • Vandalize their cars: Mercedes, Lexus, Porsche, Jaguar, and anything that your family wouldn't be able to afford. (emphasis mine)
  • Throw shit at Yuppies as they drive by, especially if they are on their cell phones.
  • Don't patronize Yuppie establishments.
  • If you are sitting with friends near Yuppies, spread rumors about increasing crime in the neighborhood.
  • Organize your community against developers who help gentrification.
  • Organize your co-workers against your Yuppie boss.
  • Work with your neighbors to find out who owns what in your neighborhood
  • When Yuppies invade it means higher rents, so organize a neighborhood Tenant's Association to keep a lid on rents.
  • "Don't listen to Yuppie radio stations, which includes your local NPR affiliates.

"That does it", I thought, bashing Porsche's AND NPR??? To quote a favorite movie "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!"

Oy. Signing out.

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Anonymous said...

Stupid posting, waste of time. Do something worthwhile in your life, instead of complaining and think your deserving of something for nothing. You are nobody, why should you get anything for free, cause you're you? Hah! Time for the weekend, which house should I go to and spend my weekend... Hmmm, maybe I'll go skiing, guess I'm off to Colorado for some skiiing, which car should I take to the airport? Hmmm, so many decisions, wait, maybe I'll go to my Lake Tahoe home instead, I haven't been to Cali in a while, it sucks, too many homes, too little time. I'm in DC currently. Time to call my driver, so they can pull my Jag around to the front of my building. Sucks to be you.

pam ashlund said...

Don't be a hater. I know you just want to go for a spin with the top down. Come out behind your cloak of anonymity and we can roll.

p.s. who would drive a Jag when they can drive a Porsche?

Anonymous said...

didn't you already post this on your other blog? maybe the anti-yuppie site has a point.

pam ashlund said...

Yup, I don't have many dual blog readers and occasionally cross post with an audience specific slant.

Regarding the pitfalls of Gentrification, that other blogger and I have quite an overlap of opinions about our neighborhood. Gentrification is just a sub-set of the eternal issues of Economic Class. My life embodies the contradictions.