Every few years I attend Bonnaroo, for some unknown allure. Bonnaroo is a fantastic series of concerts on a 700-acre farm between Nashville and Chattanooga. It is like an annual Woodstock, where modern-day hippies and music lovers go to camp for four days and watch top bands play.
I do not camp, however. As I came to discover, camping outdoors involves the outdoors, and I do not like discomfort in any form. The outdoors is best left outdoors.
I was initially told that Bonnaroo is a made-up word that means nothing, like “lollapalooza” or “Congressional ethics.” Later, I found out that the word is Cajun slang for “fun.”
Bonnaroo is attended mostly by folks with nose rings and tattoos, wearing bathing suits that they really should have reconsidered. Although I am steadfastly against more government, I really think some of these women should apply for a permit to wear a two-piece. Bill Clinton could chair the committee to review applicants; he’d like that.
A few overdosed on drugs while others are making out with another joyful soul with a nose ring. More STDs were passed around at Bonnaroo than at Kim Kardashian’s bachelorette party. Afterwards, attendees are checking their crotches hoping that is only a bug bite.
As you might imagine, the Birkenstock crowd there had all their liberal causes. Kids seemed more interested in talking about the world’s problems than coming up with any solutions. As best I can figure, they like to “raise awareness” in hopes that someone else will actually do something – perhaps their parents who paid for their $250 tickets. Apparently it is more noble to be an activist in non-quantifiable, grand scale things such as world pollution, global warming and the environment. Clearly, that is easier than actually cleaning up themselves and their campsites. Besides, chicks dig it someone who pretends to care.
Any time music fans are together, there will be drugs. Yet so bold was the drug use that a kid could be arrested with pot found in his system and he would probably ask for it back.
At Bonnaroo the entrepreneurial spirit abounds, a shining example of the same capitalism that the kids seem to detest on a larger scale. Liberals are OK with making money as long as they act like they feel bad about it.
Vendors on foot offered a wide array of pot, coke and acid for a reasonable, market-driven price. Ironically, drugs were sold at a more competitive price than in the prescription drug benefit Congress “gave” us, because at least at Bonnaroo the drug dealers are forced to compete.
The dealers operate by walking past someone and naming their product. So I hear the word “pot” said by a passerby. If one wanted to buy said product, then (unlike with our government’s drug purchases) one would engage the vendor in price negotiations. And by “one” I mean Scott. And like almost all of my purchases, it would begin with, “You ain’t no cop, are you?”
Being one of the oldest dudes there, I really did not get many offers to “Rock the Vote” or buy drugs. I’m getting to the age that I’m starting to pay attention to those catheter commercials on TV. In fact, I am not sure that when I walked by one dealer, he did not say “Viagra.”
My crowd is so old, I would be afraid if one of us met Usher there, we would ask him to show us to our seats.
They register voters there because they know that the kids are going to vote Democrat, since they get most of their political views from the drummer for Third Eye Blind. The same drummer who rails against oil companies’ 10-cents-per-gallon profit has no problem selling his band’s T-shirts at his concert for $45 apiece.
Another barker said that he supported Hillary Clinton because she would fight global warming. I told him that he might be onto something – there is nothing about Hillary that is warm, so she really cannot be the least bit to blame for that.
Every year I get the funnel cake, because at some point, my hunger is stronger than my memory.
All in all, I really enjoyed Bonnaroo. I would advise all of the 40-somethings out there to try it. On one hand, it makes you feel old. Yet, with the vibrancy and infectious, carefree atmosphere, it makes you feel young and rejuvenated. And it reminds us that, although getting old is inevitable, acting old is optional.
(Ron Hart, a libertarian syndicated op-ed humorist, award-winning author and TV/radio commentator can be reached at Ron@RonaldHart.com or visit www.RonaldHart.com.)