Thursday, July 13, 2017

9738. RUDIMENTS, pt. 12

Making Cars
Yeah, I suppose it's sometimes extremely
difficult for me to fathom what has
happened to me over the years - lots
of oddball and bad choices, I guess.
Nothing to really 'regret.' I am, after
all, still alive. ('Hesitant to write any
further, he winces in trepidation of
that last statement'). But the mess
of entanglements does baffle. It
got so bad, so strange anyway, at one
point, in 1998, that I was asked to
run for Mayor of the town I lived in
then. It was a completely bizarro
concept, but the guy who offered it
it was the head honcho of the town's
bonafide, real political party. The
one that never won. No matter, that's
not the point here. The actual story
I want to entertain is what I call the
idiot's version of a sort of reverse
reality that people call living. The 
normal sort. Two things : The first is
that, in the previous election, four years
before, this guy Stanley  -  the one who
came to me asking for my candidacy in
'98, had, in '94, run for Mayor as the
candidate of that same out-of-power 
party. (They didn't do any of that red 
state-blue state stuff back then, but if
they did I'm sure this would have been
a black town, or deep purple, or some
top-heavy, ponderous color). It was really
bad  -  he had a televised 'debate'  -  it 
was called, as they do  -  with the other 
candidate, and it was apparent that this
Stanley fellow was not, let's put it, made
for TV at all. It was like an atomic bomb 
of bad visuals and horrid tone. In no way
fleet-tongued or glib, or even understandable,
he talked terrible, screwed everything up, and
reverted to canned, horrible lines as a form of
cover for inadequacy. His language was barely
comprehensible, and covered no  deep thoughts
past the point of, perhaps, 'pass the salt.' At one
point, which was like the end-all of chance, he
used the phrase about something being the
'coup de grace.' Except instead of actually
articulating 'coo de gra' as it was, he really
and actually uttered 'coupe dee grace.' Just
like that. Man you had to be there.
The other guy was no better, but he'd been 
Mayor already like 3 terms, so it little mattered.
He was a big-guy buffoon anyway, but pleasant
enough so that all the cronies who counted 
put up with him, and everyone voted for him, 
as well. The big thing that year was pedestrian 
rights of way  -  which they eventually got; 
everywhere. He'd introduced, and gotten 
implemented, a system of complete pedestrian 
rights, throughout the town. It's still like that, 
and it's quite anarchic. No matter for 
the walk/don't walk hands, the timers on 
the lights, the stop signs and right-hand turns 
and all that, within the confines of this town  
the pedestrian has all rights, to cross anywhere, 
at any time, and take precedence. it's anarchy, 
and quite dangerous : people, cars, trucks, 
traffic, and not, no one quite sure at any
moment when or if someone will just come
darting out and take precedence  sudden braking,
close calls, angry growls, etc.  The thing that
galled me was the conceptual presentation of
how he went about saying, in defense of the
pedestrian over the auto (this, of course, 60
years after the fact of all towns having been
completely turned over to cars, so we're already
stuck with that idea), that 'after all, they were
here first.' Huh? What a ham-fisted, asshole 
comment. I always just wanted to say to him,
'OK, then, the next Native American Indian 
I see, I'll just turn the entire town back over 
to him; after all, they were here first.' That was
my plan anyway, had I fully run. For my 'debate'
line, it would have been perfect TV. However,
I was shortly thereafter, thrown off the ticket.
The whole thing lasted about 2 weeks. 
I'm, I admit, a fairly outlandish thinker and
somewhat of a character when it comes to 
speaking my mind and taking weird stances. I
figured they'd come to me to run, and I'd said
yes (even cut off my hair and beard and dressed
for the flabby role of political dude, for the time 
needed). They sent me around to local people,
even to an ex-Mayor, to introduce myself, sit down
and go over approach, tactic, etc. There was more
to all this, and another big issue besides, but what
I wanted to say is what a bogus idea it all is. They
sent me to the big County Convention of that
particular party, at the Pines Manor (a big, fancy
dump in the next town over) where the County
Committee introduced all the new candidates,
for each town etc. Everyone knew each other
already, having been at this crap for twenty years 
each, clawing their hopeful way up a greased 
pole in the hopes of achieving, (what I don't 
know)... something. I may as well have been 
from Mars. No one knew me, I had no real 
references, spoke of nothing familiar. The real
Zombie candidate. But I thought I was the 
candidate at least  -  turns out not. The idea 
here is to say and do only what the county 
committee tells you to, what to advance, and 
how to say it. You have no independent
voice, and it's as if you were not running at all; 
they are, and you are being used. It amazed me, 
all these stupid, meek cronies and not an 
original thought among them. Of course,
I went right back to town, the very next day, 
and  -  as is my wont  -  started saying and 
doing just what I pleased. After all, I was 
running for Mayor, not them; and I wasn't 
about to compromise my name away when 
there were real concerns and ideas not even 
being touched upon. I realized American 
Democracy is a big, huge, flaming sham. 
Insiders only need apply. Congressional 
leader Tip O'Neil, from Massachusetts, used 
to say 'all politics is local,' and his big-ass 
expression defined him and took off as 
the prime key to express how America 
works. The real truth is, it's crap. There 
is nothing 'local' at all  -  everything is
filtered down from two big political parties 
who control the game, the decks, and the 
cards you play with. Ten days later, I was 
given the royal heave-ho. But boy did I 
learn from it and boy did it feel good.
I've never voted since. It's a real crock.

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