12/26/11, No. 13
Mayor Alvin Brown: no K-pop: Last Wednesday your paper ran a headline about “Slackers” at city hall. However, I can’t find it now: I used the paper to pad Christmas presents. The online edition of the same story has removed “Slackers” from the headline.
I wish the T-U hadn’t done this. It is as if I had read the first edition of Marcel Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past and then, in the second, mention of the madeleine had been removed. To recall to your mind, the taste of a madeleine dipped in tea inspires for the narrator a cascade of recollections of his youth in Combray. “Slackers” in your first headline similarly unleashed a flood of memories. For example, it brought back the memory of Teresa Nervosa, the drummer for the Butthole Surfers. She appeared in Richard Linklater’s 1991 film Slacker.
Slacker was the plotless film about a group of directionless bohemians in Austin, Texas. This film spoke to my generation. Teresa Nervosa was the women in the movie poster.
She also plays the character trying to sell Madonna’s pap smear.
The involuntary memory of her and the film accentuate for me the difference between what I was twenty years ago and what I am now. Look at what Teresa Nervosa has accomplished! Having a Wikipedia entry devoted to you is the new sign of success. Today she has one. As do the Butthole Surfers and Sid Vicious. That’s more than I can say. Who’s the slacker now? (sob!)
But I digress. The print-version headline of your story using “Slackers” suggests that characters like those in Linklater’s film now populate city hall. As a true conservative, this image fits with my idea of big government, that the city has hired unemployed (and unemployable) misfits to oversee hundreds of thousands of dollars of tax-payer money. As patron saint Sarah says, “How’s that hopey-changey thing workin’ out for ya?” Moreover, as a combative conservative, I reach for “any stick to beat the dog”: I blame Mayor Alvin Brown, the first member of the Party in Remission to serve in that office in 20 years.
“Hopey-Changey Thing” (Opps! Sorry. It’s hard to tell one black person from another. But I’m no racist: I have a “Honkies for Herman” sticker on my bumper.)
Least I betray a limited point of view, let me acknowledge that my job in these letters (that I notice you never print) is to indulge in fantasy rather than reality, to settle for caricatures of people with whom I disagree instead of keeping at the hard work of trying to see what they really are like. Which is to say, other people cease to be realities—I simply construct them..
My real point is this: America’s founding fathers, about whom I consider myself an expert and the words of whom I constantly invoke, back in the seventeenth century conceived of a small and well run government. They were inspired by descriptions of order such as those of John Locke concerning the human understanding and Isaac Newton of the universe. Additionally, everyone knows that, after hearing a recital of Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor, they all went back to the Hyatt, where the convention was being held, and wrote the U.S. constitution.
They expected the parts of the newly conceived government to flawlessly sync with one another, like a Bach fugue. In other words, they thought government should be seamlessly well organized. Our Pacific Rim competitors have picked up on this notion of our founding fathers: some liberal maggot might criticize, saying that this looks like fascism, but the truth is K-pop illustrates the concept of the well-run state. Wikipedia: K-pop or watch this video
Democracy shouldn’t be messy. Rather, it should follow the model of the well-choreographed synchronization illustrated in this video. Our leaders, such as Mayor Brown, should govern with poetry while also making the trains run on time. This is what we hardworking taxpayers deserve. However, do we get it? No! What do our leaders actually look like in action? They look messy. They make mistakes.
Aren’t you fed up? I am! Seeing this brings on another involuntary memory . . . wait! . . . oh! oh! Wait! Wait! Don’t tell me . . . another madeleine memory! . . . The eloquent newscaster Howard Beale in the 1976 film Network. . . . It was Beale! Beale is the one who started this movement. It was he who inspired my current heroes, the ones I listen to everyday on AM 600 WBOB. Beale is the one who first articulated what now has become our perennial political mantra and marching order:
“‘I’M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!’”
What we need now is a strong man (though a strong woman like The Iron Lady will do), someone willing to speak the language of poetry while ruling with an iron fist, to make our government run like a well-orchestrated k-pop video. I know I’m right, and so do you. How could I be anything else? After all, anyone who doesn’t agree with me must be stupid, demented, or evil.