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Ski Town Caricatures: The Trustafarian

Editor's Note: Classic stereotypes fleshed out in cartoon caricatures, the TGR media team is beginning a new project to document and chronicle the finer nuances of ski town culture. This month, we satirically profile the archetype of the hippy shredder, sometimes referred to as the mythical Trustafarian. We all know and love our wanna-be Rasta friends—our communities would not be the same without them. From infusing your hill's smoke shack with herbal essences to preaching ecological and social consciousness, the tribe of Trustafari is a prolific part of ski town culture.

Illustration by Jenna Mahaffie

As Jon Desabris delved into this summer, the characters you meet in mountain towns are ripe for parody. Whether it's the roommate who has PBR coursing through their veins, the ageless neighbor who might be 32 but possibly 58, or the mildly talented athlete who's always a few steps behind where they'd like to be in their "pro career," ski town monocultures certainly rotate around an interesting blend of folks. In this tongue-and-cheek piece of satire, we wanted to delve into the trademarks of one caricature in particular: The Trustafarian, who projects a righteous mountain lifestyle while hypocritically supplementing their busser income with a sizable East Coast trust fund.

Exhibit A) A Fat Joint

A must-have for any Trusta's day of shred, several PRD's (Pre-Rolled Doobies) are a mandatory part of the kit. Maybe it was a spliff type of morning, perhaps a blunt, but regardless,we know they'll be puffing tuff on a fat cone once they've gotten onto that double chair or 15-minute ganjala ride. Imbibing the herbs of Jah is a sacrament. They'll use glass when necessary, whether from chillum or chalice, but the ceremony remains a communion with the most high, Haile Selassie—Boy!

Exhibit B) Groceries From the Co-op

Only the freshest veggies and Ital foods for the Trustafarian. Even though the local co-op or natural foods store is exorbitantly expensive, the piece of mind found by eating in accordance with Jah message more than makes up for it—plus, it's their parents' money anyway. They strongly adhere to eating Ital and vegan, except when they've got the munchies, which come to think of it, is always—in which case they binge hard on dairy, meat, and other things greasy. MMMMMmmmmm.

Exhibit C) The Drug Rug

Procured during their recent all-expenses-paid pilgrimage to Jamaica, the drug rug is an item of clothing they use to identify themselves as a worldly and cultured individual. Wearing the drug rug at a show or on the mountain, it doubles as a conversation piece to inform people how they helped build schools, worked on water sanitation, or some other socially conscious cause. In reality, they went to Jamaica, smoked bushels of herb on the beach, and gave some money to Engineers Without Borders. Go Trustafari!

Exhibit D) The Bling Chain

Representing different polar ends of their personality, they wear a bling chain around their neck with a gold weed leaf and their old class ring from Phillips Exeter Academy. The weed leaf lets people know that they’re in touch with their irie roots. In contrast, the class ring reminds them that they’re better than people. They try to fight the East coast prep vibe, especially because Jah preaches acceptance and equality, but old habits die hard, and they still exclude others they deem less heady than they are while socially climbing through Jah people.

Exhibit E) Dreadlocks

Perhaps the most recognizable aspect of the Trustafari appearance, the dreadlocks are a statement and give testament to the Trustafarian's "headiness." Contrary to almost all real Rastafari dreads, which are of the "natty dread" (all natural) variety, the Trustafari's dreads were probably done by Barbara, the hairdresser in your nearest suburban salon. Barbara has no links to Rastafari and cares nothing for "Jah Message" or the social inequities that gave it birth in the first place, but she does have a cosmetology certificate on the wall.

Exhibit F) Perfect Teeth

Don't be fooled by the ripe smell of patchouli and body odor, the Trustafari come from privilege. Probably in braces and retainers well into their teen years, they  lost the face metal right before their conversion to the tribe of Jah, endowing them with a straight smile and pearly white teeth, regardless of the nearly constant binge of weed smoke, Guayaki Yerba Mate, and whatever else...

Exhibit G) Chin Spinach

There might be something stuck in there—possibly some leftovers from the meal they ate when they were smoking Jah herbs last night. When they were a teenager, instead of shaving and maturing their beard over the course of years, they opted to let it ride, and now in your mid 20’s, they have whiskers that are inches long and grotesquely patchy. However, to them and their Trustafari bredren and sistren, the chin spinach is a way to show they're in touch wit’ de roots--braap braap!

Exhibit H) Pocket Possessions: BMW Keys, Old Festival Ticket, Credit Cards.

Keys—Interchangeable with WRX, Range Rover, Audi, or any other "rugged" luxury brand, the Trustafarian scoots around in style. On their trip home to visit their parents they mysteriously acquired a brand new Subaru—for the winter—even though they have a perfectly functional SUV sitting in their friend's driveway. They pretend to own these vehicles even though they work seasonal jobs of various low-paying varieties. When asked about the environmental footprint of their vehicle, they mention their plans to buy something a bit more eco-friendly next time around..."Fo sho!"

Tickets—Reggae on Whatever-the-Fu**, Dubstep Dream Orgy, Bluegrass Hoedown, Sacred Earth Gem Shows—Trustafari do ‘em all. They spend the summer touring the festival circuit selling crystals and gems that they wrapped themselves. This job is of course a front, but they nonetheless claim that their visionary art is enough to propel them to festy oblivion. LSD and MDMA are weekly mainstays during this part of the year, and although they've done enough drugs to put down a large mammal, they still retain the ability to have philosophical conversations in slow motion.

Credit Cards—AMEX, VISA, MasterCard, shit—even UnionPay. Every month, the circumstances of payment are largely suspicious. Of Course.

Exhibit I) Big-Ass Headphones

The player of Jah music! Their enormous Beats by Dre/Skullcandy/Bose sound system sits snugly on their dreaded dome as they tear down the slope. Often their friends can’t communicate with them because they’re so immersed in their noise-canceling head speakers. Capleton, Collie Buddz, the Marleys (father/sons), Ini Kamoze…Irie tunes. To date, they’ve settled two lawsuits out of court for undisclosed sums because they couldn’t hear the people they collided with. Jah music--Boy!

From The Column: Ski Town Caricatures

Eschew does not mean what you think it means:
“The Trustafarian, who eschews a righteous mountain lifestyle…”

verb (used with object)
to abstain or keep away from; shun; avoid:
to eschew evil

He is not eschewing righteousness, but rather affecting (feigning) it.

    Thanks for the grammar lesson velo–edit has been made!

      .....Vocabulary lesson.  Ugh sorry couldn’t help it - mom is an English teacher.  I enjoy your posts tremendously Ryan.  Cheers

    Thanks for the grammar lesson, Velo… edit has been made!

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