Say it ain’t so, you’re a scuppie? - Tucson Local Media: Columns

Say it ain’t so, you’re a scuppie?

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James C. Sandefer

Posted: Wednesday, September 12, 2012 4:00 am

You, me and everyone else has some sort of societal label whether we want it or not. The onslaught in full swing now is Baby Boomers or the “me” generation, while Yuppies, Guppies, Gen-X, Sandwich or whatever term best suits your fancy works for some people. Now we’re introduced to yet another collective incarnation called Scuppies (Socially-Conscious Upwardly-mobile Persons).

If you’re a frequent, diverse Internet user, then you’ve probably noticed on a number of human trend websites such as, Scuppies are identified as upwardly mobile folks who are hypersensitive to environmental concerns. Oh good, more Birkenstockers. Nothing can be too green or ecologically friendly for them. They’re incessant recyclers, will walk or ride a bike to work if possible, only possess and use credit cards that guarantee to donate a percentage of payments received to green organizations, whatever those may be due to the multitude of scams. Marketing specialists and retailers have this group in their sights and are targeting them for oncoming product offerings as an alternative to Boomermania.

You’re probably wondering how this label came into being. It seems a substantial number of people who were “trend labeled” didn’t particularly take kindly to their tag, so via the Internet managed to link up with others experiencing a similar dissatisfaction and they began brainstorming a suitable term. The person actually credited for creating the term Scuppie is Chuck Failla, the President of a financial planning firm located in Stamford, Connecticut. Mr. Failla openly admits to having earned, not inherited, an abundant amount of discretionary income and enjoys the finer things in life such as his Rolex and limited edition BMW vehicle, expensive and tastefully tailored suits made of virgin organic cotton (don’t ask, I don’t have a clue), various other earth-friendly fibers, and almost exclusively consumes exotic and costly organic foods. But he also invests in solar power upgrades for his home and supports those in underdeveloped parts of the world through sizeable contributions to legitimate charitable causes.     

From his perspective, the Scuppie philosophy is simple and straightforward: Americans not only want to work hard and live well, but want to also do good things for their world at the same time. He views earned upward mobility as the natural evolution of a healthy society.  

With each passing day numbers of people are defecting into the realm of Scuppiedom--they’re everywhere. Scuppies roam free in urban and suburban areas and are regulars at places like popular local coffee shops and restaurants, world music concerts and numerous world-friendly gatherings. They own solar-powered bird feeders and kitchen tables hand carved from rare but recycled wood. They shop at natural food markets and are perplexed about whether or not to ask the cashier for paper bags that may not have been produced from recycled products.

Scuppies are people who, although they may not have realized it, are desperately yearning for an updated designation that more comfortably and appropriately reflects their acknowledged humanitarian yet indulgent way of life. In effect, they still love money and conspicuous displays of affluence, but they want to work to acquire these luxuries in an eco-friendly manner.

Looking a bit deeper into the term we learn how they became comfortable with the final version. Yuppie, or young urban professional, turned them off because it fell short of summarizing their mindset. Hippie doesn’t cut it these days because of the historical association with Woodstock and the perpetual protesting, socially indigent connotation it carries along with the prevailing connection with the 1960’s crowd from the radical Bay area of California. The group was too far into adulthood to be a Generation-anything or a Preppie, and Guppies were nearly a lost cause before were they launched. Therefore, the term Scuppie seems to represent a group that can be socially conscious while concurrently working, desiring and pursuing upward mobility.

We’ll have to wait and see if this faction manages to successfully incorporate and embrace their conspicuous lifestyles and subtle do-gooder intentions over the long haul. So, are you a Scuppie, a Scuppie wannabe, or just a regular person going through life with the massive human herd?

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