Sunday, September 28

Tonight I gave some guy with a mountain bike a ride down 36. What do you do, he asked. Software, I said, what about you? I’m an energy medicine practitioner, he said, everything from professional runners to stage IV cancer. We’ve got stuff that actually works, he said, can you believe it, unlike our friends in the medical world, poisoning people for $250 an hour.

Sometimes this species of bullshit is harmless. Some people I like and respect a great deal talk a lot about “energy” and do all sorts of hand-wavy stuff. On the other hand, if the first thing I find out about you is that you lie to late-stage cancer patients for a living, it seems like a safe bet that it won’t get any less fucked up from there. I’ve learned to disengage quickly when I hit one of these in the wild: Minimum of small talk, don’t give out any contact info, get out of the area quick, offer bystanders and potential victims an escape mechanism if possible.

You spend a little time on the edges of the counterculture (does that even mean anything any more? I guess at minimum I mean something by it, and it’s as good a word as any for the moment) and you get to understanding that a lot of the genuinely dangerous mentally ill and outright serial predators really do come to roost in the hippie/freak scene, broadly understood. Among the weird, they find both victims and a population who, having struggled to reject a great many of the standard judgments and condemnations, frequently show a native reluctance to excercise judgment and condemnation in their own communities.

Not me, man. I judge like you wouldn’t believe.