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The 8 People Alaskans Love to Hate

Alaska Culture
by Kaitlin Armstrong Dec 19, 2017

Alaskans are bound together by a distinct set of values. We’re independent, industrious, wilderness-savvy, passionate about the environment — and above all, tremendously proud of our lifestyle. Among Alaskans, certain codes are unbreakable. Outdoor safety is to be taken seriously. Don’t feed the bears. But our state has also always drawn curious outsiders, some of whom haphazardly disregard our way of life. We may hold diverse opinions about other topics, but Alaskans are united in their distaste for a few individuals. We don’t mean them any harm — we just find some of their actions to be truly incomprehensible.

Here are 8 people Alaskans love to hate.

1. Timothy Treadwell

Timothy Treadwell went down in Alaskan cautionary tale history in 2003, when he and his girlfriend were mauled by a bear in Katmai National Park. While their deaths were tragic, Treadwell isn’t exactly a sympathetic figure among Alaskans. Mainly because he broke a cardinal rule: keep your distance from wildlife. After reports surfaced that the man had spent 13 years petting grizzlies and playing with their cubs, Alaskans couldn’t help but feel he had it coming.

2. Cruise ship tourists

Alaska’s seasonal workers dread cruise ship days above all others. That’s because somehow, these tourists manage to be even more entitled AND clueless than most. Besides that, we have a bone to pick with the companies themselves, who dump illegal waste into our waters, try to take a flat percentage off the profits of local business owners, and occasionally, monopolize entire boardwalks.

3. Christopher McCandless

Oh, Christopher McCandless — the traveler with grand sensibilities seeking escape through some simple life in the Alaskan wilderness. We get the sentiment in theory, but our first reaction is: what the hell was he thinking? As Christopher learned, living off the land in the winter is no joke. If you recall, the last Alaskan he encounters before trekking off towards his demise only had to take one look at his footwear to know he was toast.

4. Anyone who comes after our subsistence lifestyle

One of the biggest controversies in the Alaska online-sphere this summer erupted when anti-whaling activists accosted a Yupik teenager after he proudly brought home his first bowhead whale. Alaskans unanimously rallied in the teen’s defense, because it strikes a nerve in us when our subsistence lifestyle is attacked, vilified, or misunderstood. Bottom line? Don’t tell us that traditional hunts or fishing are immoral or uncivilized unless you want to face our full wrath.

5. Governor Bill Walker

Poor Bill Walker faced the wrath of thousands of Alaskans when he cut our Permanent Fund Dividend checks in half last year in order to balance the state budget. Sure, Walker was in a pinch, but the whole ordeal taught him a valuable lesson: messing with our oil money is basically political suicide.

6. Lazy seasonal employees

Seasonal workers flood tourist towns in the summer, all wide-eyed and excited to live out their wilderness dreams. And we’re happy to embrace folks that are there to work hard, but if not — that’s another story. If you claim to be looking for a fishing job, but really just want to party all night and smoke weed on your break at the cannery, get ready for a rude awakening.

7. Joe Hazelwood

Joe was the captain of the Exxon Valdez, the boat responsible for the largest oil spill in U.S. history. To add insult to injury, Joe was infamously drunk at the time and admitted to sucking down a few vodkas in the hours before the incident. While prosecutors were unable to prove his intoxication in court, the public hasn’t let the man live it down since.

8. RV Drivers

In the summer, RVs are the bane of our existence – there’s nothing worse than being caught behind a caravan of them creeping along at 45 mph while we’re on our way to our next adventure. And if that’s not bad enough, they slow to a crawl at the first sight of a moose. Ugh.

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