I spent an hour this morning at the Orange Grove Markets in Sydney. They one of those organic/mung bean/expensive inner city jobbies that's held in the grounds of a state school grasping for a bit of extra cash.
On the whole, I have to say that it's a good market. The range of beef, veal, venison, duck, goose, funny sausages, lamb and goat is enough to make a PETA member like me salivate for a week (PETA as in People Eating Tasty Animals).
I'm not so keen on the organic vegetables, as they cost the earth. I could buy a small basket of organic fruit at Orange Grove for $5, or pop out to the Flemington Markets and get a whole case of the chemical soused stuff for less than that. The only difference is the cup of bugs that comes with the organic stuff for free.
The bread stands were also very good - there were more varieties of sour dough than you could poke a stick at, and there were unusual variations like pumpkin bread and stuff like that.
So I could happily spend quite a bit of money there on the produce - if I could bear to put up with all the tilty headed shoppers again. It really must be the mother-lode of tilty-headedness in this area. I saw a bloke with a T-shirt from some Pine Gap protest (why is it that socialists like to turn a protest into a commercial event by selling souveniers?) There were any number of hairy legged types wandering around in sandals and hemp shirts, all looking completely miserable. It was the one thing that stood out - the place had a dank, grey air of misery hanging over it like a cloud.
When I go to Flemington, which is a sea of wogs and gooks as far as they eye can see, the place is alive with happy people. There are lots of people talking to each other in loud, happy voices, much back slapping going on, shaking of hands and smiling faces. Orange Grove on the other hand is where you go to see people bent double under the weight of the world. Being constantly worried about the planet must take a terrible toll on people. The waking up in the middle of the night because a bear drowned. The pressure of constant diary juggling in order to fit in another protest. The worry about showing up at the markets in a Nimbin hemp shirt that someone else is wearing.
The biggest problem is surely the strain on the neck caused by the tilting of the head. These people must live with constant neck pain. Wherever I looked, as soon as people started talking to each other, their heads took on a compassionate tilt - even if they were discussing organic bean curd. I'm not sure how one can have compassion for tofu, but it's something these people manage to achieve.
In short, their worrying about the planet has sucked all the joy out of them. The markets were infested by the hair-shirt wearing equivalents of the Living Dead. So next time you see a bunch of tree huggers having a protest, just remember how miserable they are and that they'd be happier if you ran over them with a bulldozer and put them out of their misery. The real reason why they run around forests complaining about logging is that they want a tree to fall on them so that they can be squashed flat.
Hug hippies by all means, but make sure you get them in a bear hug and squeeze them really, really tight.