Sunday, September 19, 2010

California Nuthouse Rant

I wonder from what burning circle of Hell the current Republican candidate for California governor, whose name I’ll not dignify by repeating in my little corner of Cyberworld, has sprung forth like a grinning caricature of Nemesis?

Why would she not remain content with the sordid fortune she has garnered by converting eBay from the pleasant, community-oriented flea-market enterprise it once was back in the late 1990’s into a sterile online discount outlet?

Of course eBay used to be fun back in the days when people discovered the chance to empty their attics, and where with a little application you could come up with some good bargains offered by friendly folk all across the country. Now it functions mostly as a sort of digitized mail-order catalog, where the big increase in shipping rates––UPS doubled its rates during the gasoline crunch a couple years ago and forgot to lower them afterwards––has effectively eliminated the fun of bargain hunting, since basically there aren’t any bargains.

Herself is now poised to buy her way into governorship and, one fears, set about converting the State of California into the handmaiden of corporate capitalism, with state-funded enterprises like the state university system and welfare programs of all sorts heading the scratch list if they fail to start turning a profit.

The worst of it is that she stands every chance of winning. Jerry Brown, an honest and diligent public servant who has worked for California for decades and who could hardly qualify as a shrieking radical, is not exactly dripping with charisma, given his current age-group.

Herself will now dump a couple hundred million dollars worth of smear advertising on tv, an amount sufficient to do some noticeable good had it been spent to any worthwhile purpose. And the zombified electorate, who exist mainly to reject whatever taxation is required to run the state properly, and of course also to deny civil rights to gay people, will probably fall for it.

Really, how could have it come down to this. It makes the California growth years under Gov. Pat Brown seem like a lost utopia. It also makes one wonder why any sane person should want to be governor of a state with a 19-billion dollar deficit, a dysfunctional state legislature which isn’t worth the cost of maintaining, and a brain-dead voting public.

One prefers rather to envision Herself washed up onto Ocean Beach, in the condition described by Archlogus, a 7th-century poet of Sparta:

Swept overboard, unconscious in the breakers,
strangled with seaweed, may you wake up in a gelid
surf, your teeth, already cracked into the shingle,
now set rattling by the wind, while facedown,
helpless as a poisoned cur, on all fours you puke
brine reeking of dead fish. May those you meet,
barbarians as ugly as their souls are hateful,
treat you to the moldy wooden bread of slaves.
And may you, with your split teeth sunk in that,
smile, then, the way you did during the last election.

–– from Brooks Haxton: Dances for Flute and Thunder, Viking Press, the last line slightly modified.

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