I wasn't at Pacific Beach on Monday for Labor Day. In fact, other than hanging out on the deck at Taang! Records (before it moved), having a couple beers before a show at Cane's or having picnics at Tourmaline, I can't really remember the last time I went to any local beach for any reason. It's not my thing, never has been. The beach "lifestyle" has never really appealed to me.
My sister, her husband, and Johanna live in PB, however, so I do pay attention to what goes on in their 'hood. I recently read the Reader cover story and now the news that there was a "riot" in PB on Labor Day Weekend, and all I can say is that I'm not surprised. I avoid PB for a host of reasons, but the frat-boy, "bro", high-fivin' mentality that pervades makes me gag. I avoid douchebags at all costs.
The thing is I know how it is; a whole group of people take the blame for the stupid few who can't handle their booze, who have too much testosterone and want to fight anyone who even looks at them, and who generally have no respect or concern for anyone or anything. In my experience, these people are usually transplants to San Diego via the military or SDSU who are here to live the life they saw on MTV spring break specials. They are probably 5% of the people who hang out in PB. Get them in one group and you have some serious groupthink and mob mentality. They may be few, but they are asshole enough to keep people like me from going to the beaches in PB. Ever.
As a person who believes strongly in personal rights and freedoms, I have never supported a booze ban on the beach. I never thought I would, either. But when you see these herds of assholes on the beach, as long as they are there, I won't be. And I pay the sunshine tax, too, so shouldn't I feel comfortable enjoying the beaches of San Diego? I still don't support a booze ban, but this situation definitely makes you think of ways to fix the problem: no booze on holidays? charging a fee to use the beach? limiting the amount of people on the beach at any given time? banning anyone who says dude or bro more than 5 times in 3 minutes?
In fairness, I've heard there are various stories about what happened. I can't seem to find the clip, but my dad said that the news showed that the "riot" started after police were called to break up a fight. One of the cops left his quad in the water, the tide started to pull the quad in the water, so a dude started pushing the quad out of the tide and the cop tackled him, not realizing he was actually just trying to help. From that, the initial melee ensued (supposedly). I'm sure with thousands of people on the beach, there are thousands of varying accounts, but just watching any of these videos and I know why I don't do the beach "scene". (Found the video. See it here.
More amateur (and dizzying) video here, here and here.
Clearly, if you care about booze on the beach, either for or against it, this is the time to step up and make your opinion count.
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