Dear Editor, I was born and raised in Austin. Excepting a couple of years on the West and East coasts, I've spent almost all my 30 years here. To those of you who mourn the "old Austin" and sneer at our West Coast brethren … where the hell were you irritable peasants-cum-armchair activists when our city was being so coldly snatched from your clutches? A great deal of what kept Austin "weird" (ahem), had to do with stagnation and reticence, which is what keeps it beige now. This is not to say I'm enjoying the modern-a-go-go cultural topography of my hometown. On the contrary, I look at the concrete homogeneity of the Domain, and the only measure of gratitude I feel is that I can continue to identify all the bourgeois hausfraus by their hilarious handbags (does it get anymore gauche than Louis Vuitton, or what? It’s cattle brands for the Oprahtti!). But this is happening everywhere, and the reasons far outreach the boundaries of our little city. Collectively, American humans want more places to spend their money that look and smell like prison compounds (I’d rather watch flies fuck, myself). In this day and age, no one demands personality, and no one gives a damn about being civic-minded, unless something offends their delicate ideologies. Because that’s what we’re really talking about, here: your superficial perceptions about “the way things ought to be,” even though you want nothing to do with putting in the hard time to re-create this false utopia. The problem is, it never was all that great, and it’s just a different, more claustrophobic brand of lame now. Whatever bohemian/punk spirit that might have existed here decades ago, has about as much potency now as a broccoli fart in a jar. Whine away, my fellow natives! Austinites accepted the ban on noise pollution (way to go, live music capital!) and voted for the unconstitutional ban on smoking in privately owned businesses (need we even get into toll roads and light rail?). You proved how loyal you are to the uniqueness of our “scene” by kicking it squarely in the nuts or just sitting on your own. Those who didn’t vote will bitch and moan about it, regardless. And that’s most of you! You people are really pissed off, right? So let’s get real. You miss the way things used to be? You’re grossed out by the seismic yuppie caravan of carpetbaggers? Exactly what are you gonna do about it, Austin? Show me the money … or at least your balls. See you at City Hall. Or not.