Oct 9, 2009

You Will Learn to Love Big Brother

"The 'heartbeat' of the city consists of elected and appointed officials...Collectively these officials come and offer time and talents for public service. Each and every one takes the opportunity to represent the City of (Smugleye-on-Lake) with integrity, professionalism and making all decisions based on what is best for out community."

So says the lead article in the quarterly newsletter I get from the Leaders of SoL, along with the water and garbage dun.

I take great comfort in knowing that the motives of the folks I pay to regulate me are as pure as those of any living human since c. 32 A.D. -- and that they are as omnicompetent as -- well, sheesh, I dunno. Maybe one of Plato's men of gold.

Yet it is disheartening to learn that my government is the heartbeat of my community life. I always thought my heart beat pretty happily in Smugleye because I spend about 100 per cent of my time dealing with folks whom I don't pay to regulate me. Together we create private and uncoerced arrangements, and we're just pretty damned disappointed to find out City Hall figures this is trivial compared to its over-riding role in heart beatery.

Oh well. I suppose I'll just let this statist bullshit ride,* but I shouldn't. The tyranny of the nanny state rests on countless repetitions of such pap so that it will, in accord with Goebbels dicta, in due course assume the status of settled truth.


*Or maybe not. There are some highly rantable restrictions here. How about a zoning reg that requires a building permit to replace a window?

Oct 8, 2009


Giada's neckline has been rising recently, making it less likely I'll hang around for the final reveal of her apple pie with capers, salami, and a nice cilantro garnish.

Going to Cowboy Country- South Dakota

The world contains too many smartasses who think it's funny to crack stuff like the main industry in South Dakota is Mount Rushmore. This is unfair, even for a joke. The SD economic mainstay is Interstate 90, assuming the billboards are econometrically included. (I think the Jinglebob Leather Works may run a close second.)

Somewhere in South Dakota, the West begins. You start your trek in Sioux Falls which is faux West. You see vast seas of corn along the highway, so you know you're still in the Midwest. As you cross the silted ponds that used to be the Missouri River, the corn thins out, and what you do see will exist only at the suffrage of giant spidery assemblies which look like steroidal versions of one of those new species of bugs they're always finding in Papua New Guinea.

Eventually even the irrigated corn gives way to grass and badlands -- and larger signs reminding you that you're getting awful close to Wall Drug where ice water is still free, coffee just five cents, and there is parking for about six thousand senior-citizen tour buses. Here (or just beyond, depending on which nitpickey buddy you're explaining all this to), is The West, and it is now permissible to doff your Topsiders and gimme cap in favor of your Tony Lamas and Stetson. Also to say howdy instead of hello.

Oct 5, 2009

Powder River, Let 'er Rip

There's nothing like a week or so in the Mountain West to clear a fellow's head of all the cobwebby nonsense that accumulates in the semi-civilized environment of the Internet, the mainstream media, the daily arrival of third-class mail, and your occasional surprise visitor who wants to sell you something -- a siding job, a new and improved politician, or a better crack at bliss beyond the grave.

I'll report an item or two of possible general interest, but you'll be spared a What I Did on My Vacation deal. Even in cowboy country, even in the mountains when an early winter storm hits, only a few things are interesting enough for comment.

I guess maybe one of those things might be the blonde with the green parrot at the Three Forks State Park campground. Or maybe not.