Sunday, March 8, 2009

A Southern California Tea Party

By Doug Vehle
For The Daily Bosco

It was a dilettante tax revolt in Fullerton, CA with radio personalities John and Ken, meaning the revolutionaries drank the tea instead of dumping it. KFI radio had an on air event dubbed 'Total Recall 2009' in the SOCO district of the Southern California town, offering a day of Arianna Huffington style anger and hatred for all those who delight in such things. The slogan of the day was "Head on a stick," but ironically it was requested that there be no sign on a stick, handheld only was the order of the day.

In some ways it was a post modernists dream: The kids got to play games like 'Tic Tax Doe,' and the impossible maze of 'Avoid the Car Tax Pitfall' with the hole in every path for your ball to fall through. (Though I had an idea what might have worked.) Darn, if only there'd been a big muscled guy to get wet in 'The Dunkinator.' And this throwing, make a mess game that I'm not sure I understood, but maybe that was the point. At least there was valet lineups, people to park you in the right lines for the petitions they wanted you to sign, mostly involving, of course, recalls.

But amid the frivolity it was also the day of the living demonstrator. Zombie sign carriers slowly bumped their way through the crowd they never seemed to actually see, many expressing the hatred as usual of the head of the target of scorn on a degradatory body, or messages amounting to wanting someone's head on that stick they were told to leave at home, possibly to ensure that such mountings occurred on another day. Twisting names around to "SchwartzNEUTER,' and OBanana,' without offering any real insight why they're on the attack. The only truly telling sign was the man whose sign asked "No job, more TAXES?"

But he might have been the only one present in that predicament. Some people weren't embarrassed to acknowledge their new alloy bicycle had cost $1,000, some of the Ducati (Foreign) and Harley Davidson (AMERICAN, at least) motorcycles parked in the crowd run well into 5 figures. $3 'Tax Revolt Punch.' $10 for a walk past the MODEST buffet table, for a few dollars more you could do better at the crowded Slidebar Cafe. T-shirt sales, and other fun things, this little rave could run you $100. Oh, look, one of the zombies had a "Born free, taxed to death" sign.

All the while, Ken and John raged on stage, and on the air, sounding like they mean business about this recall. I have to admit that would be a bold step for a major radio station to take. They bragged that they'd had Arnold on their show during the recall campaign that put him in office, and now they were going to take him out. All the while seeming like that continuously cranking engine that drew these flesh eaters awkwardly toward new horror.

But events like this cast no such spell on me. The same glassy eyed activists indeed did recall Gray Davis to put in the Governator, and had great fun doing it. Tens of millions who voted for Bush in 2004 then voted for Obama in 2008, and are now screaming that the only thing he's changing is his mind. And now the natives are restless. AGAIN.

I might suggest, instead of the complex recall demands, other than the opposition to ballot propositions they say are actually closet tax hikes, and rather than vague screams about cutting "Waste," why not put these socalled budget experts that you claim are on your side to work on drawing up a good, practical budget that makes the cuts? You wouldn't even have to bother with a petition to put it on the ballot as a proposition, you just put it out there with the message from the public: If you haven't passed this by October, don't bother running in November. This will all be fresh in our minds, and wouldn't even require a special election.

Oh, I know, I know. Here you're mounting the real world solution of a major hate campaign, and I'm talking all this will of the public nonsense. Like back in school when people were calling for a law to put an end to the practice of term papers being due the Monday after Prom, and here I arrogantly suggested they just go ahead and finish those papers BEFORE Prom. How dare someone like me with no Prom date make a suggestion about something that doesn't involve me? And how dare I expect people to think BEFORE they vote?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well done Doug - a practical suggestion, which unfortunately is quite rare these days. Keep up the good work.