Letter: Bring back the old Beem

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Hippies have been an amusing feature of Maine’s landscape since the Muskie days. The freedom-loving, carefree, nonviolent hippie complemented the state’s core fabric of toleration and peaceful community. Generous Mainers and visitors have looked past the vehicles and homes in various states of disrepair, littering our neat New England landscape.

And, of course, the occasional idiot who publicly exposed himself in order to materialize his sense of freedom was good for a laugh. Occasionally.

As an avid reader of The Forecaster, I can’t help but wonder what has happened during the past year that has emboldened Edgar Allen Beem to expose himself less occasionally in his weekly tirade.

Beem seems more and more like the Ray Liotta character in “Wild Hogs” – the aggressive villain posing as an easy rider while abusing fellow travelers who dare to have families, careers, property and other civilized responsibilities. The Peter Fonda character, the sophisticated hippie we’re all perfectly happy to respect, is clearly not the guy behind that trophy beard.

How did we get so far away from live and let live? Why do we suddenly feel as though it’s acceptable to chastise or bully one group of people in aid of another? And, if Beem thinks people will hand over their property just because he says they should, what is he smoking?

Can we have the old hippie back, please?

Pete Kledaras