home | metro santa cruz index | news | santa cruz | news article


California Normalization Control Board

Dominant Paradigm Stable

Despite long-running campaign, Santa Cruz deemed "No Longer Weird"

By Jessica Lussenhop

In a state report released this week, Santa Cruz failed to achieve "weird" status for the first time in 40 years. The news was devastating to the local grassroots conservation effort that has fought for years to educate the public about its rapidly declining wackiness. "We bought the bumper sticker," said 15-year-resident and conservationist Tom Snyder. "I guess it wasn't enough."

The annual report from the State Normalization Control Board was its harshest ever, deeming the community "at least 60 percent yuppie."

"Nothing remotely counterculture has come out of Santa Cruz in far too long," said director and weirdness advocate Steve Miller as he held hands with his first cousin. "I mean, even New Jersey has legalized medical marijuana, for God's sake."

Several indices contributed to the abysmal rating, including the ratio of Ugg boots to female residents--a record-breaking 1:2--and a proliferation of backlit bars serving $10 cocktails. Sky-high rents, designer frozen yogurt and the arrival of Whole Foods also contributed to the low marks.

Local laws seeking to "clean up" downtown and make it economically viable sent Santa Cruz's weirdness stock plummeting. Legions of crust punk vagrants have declared their intention to take the town off the circuit. "I wouldn't deign to squat here anymore," says long-time crust punk Nightshade. "You couldn't pay me not to work here."

National trends have also driven down the value of treasured local traditions from "weird" to "boring." New Hampshire, Minnesota and New Jersey, states whose ratings have historically fallen in the "bougie" to "brain dead" range, have all recently moved toward legalizing medical marijuana, sharply driving down the craziness of such legislature. The increased participation of local sluts in store-bought costumes on Halloween had a similarly negative effect on the event's kookiness. "I saw, like, 40 identical naughty schoolgirls this year," said area man Sam Firth. "I'm not complaining, exactly, but chicks used to show up naked. What happened to that?"

Conservationists say they were encouraged by the return of the Umbrella Man, whose sudden reappearance signaled to some a resurgence in quirk, but some say the move came too late. "Also, he only seems to hang around outside El Palomar now," said Snyder. "I mean, is that more weird or less weird?"

Some people thought conservationists were politically unambitious and that while the bumper sticker marketing campaign proved to be quite popular, almost none of the revenue found its way back to grassroots conservation efforts, like that androgynous guy in short shorts who wanders around filling people's hands with glitter.

Send a letter to the editor about this story.