The Journal


Serving the Metropolitan Area


Since 1872


October 15





By Jack Parnell - retired Congressman and Independent Presidential candidate


Syndicated by Acme Features


          Now and agin’, I confess to hauntsomeness by those "Better Communities" of Ms. Barbara Johnson, no less than by Mr. James Reston's "General Good" ... virtuestans of left and right... as both make habits of portraying nasty circumstances in terms of the children's shows on PBS. But contentious politicians... no less than sports-entertainment figures or the interchangeable scarecrows as shuffle in and out of boy bands, Apprentice III with Billy Bush or Am-Idol... these are ever with us; fire-ants drawn to picnics through the years and the administrations. Like Trump’s red hats, Hillary's villary or thousand points of Bush lite, like straight talk and Washington talk and change, chump change, more change, Chinese social credit cards, sixpence rogues and swamp mavericks everywhere; these easy visions of community are with us, also... inoffensively insidious, genial, covenanted as any gated covenant community of termites at the fringe of cities on whose timbers swarm off to gnaw every weekday morning before returning home by night..

          Geniality sells... especially where affinity replaces productivity. When the incentive to produce tangible wealth diminishes, as posited the late Mancur Olson, "the incentive to seek a larger share of what is produced increases.

          "The divisiveness of distributional issues can even make societies ungovernable."

          Defective Americans... as fail to suicide themselves, take up Islam or zone out on smuggled pills (or go up some clocktower with the shootin' irons and start blasting at a schoolhouse or multiplex)... crave artificial communities to join (whether Tweeterer, the New Mexico border vigilantes or NRA’s bitter Pennsylvanians totin’ AK-47s to church or among them neat retreats of sweet elites). Thus the proliferation of 12-step groups, where people confess defectiveness, then slop around blamin' relatives and teachers as damaged their self-esteem. There's communities of one... Dick Nixon walked beaches in dark shoes and a business suit, that more recent Tricky Dicky shootin' quail, hittin' a lawyer... and golfers who play to maim and destroy, like the Picts intended golf to be played in the first place. Rappers... I tune in to WBTY when it comes in clear from over the line, up in Evansville... and am impressed, if not cheered, by the sheer persistence of playa-haters; gangstas who seem to have no other reason for being than to shoot up people they think of as having more fun in life than they do. "To be a martyr, that's something," boasted the mother of a recent Palestinian suicide bomber. Not so different from them old right-wing golfers like Alice Cooper and Marilyn Manson, these!

          "As a species," suggests Naked Ape fellow Desmond Morris, "we are not biologically equipped to cope with a mass of strangers masquerading as members of our tribe."

          The social critic Vance Packard repeatedly predicted that the artificiality of the 50's would provoke some sort of backlash, as did occur in those 60's. Then came back-backlash, now so popular among aging playa-haters, as find their children’s music too loud and bones too achy-breaky for all-night orgies of sex, kat and whatever's passing for entertainment at the minute. Of course the nostalgia as some of us pine for is a past as never quite existed except, mayhaps, on television. "Man cannot avoid looking backwards as forwards," Mr. Darwin said, and one of his most vehement foes, a local Kentucky gentleman of faith, agreed by telling me he missed the Communism. In fact, he applauded the Jazzies and mourned Osama; he wished a new Stalin or Hitler would come along... too, somewhere... to get America "right by God" - anybody's God.  Remember: Dennis Hopper… Captain America and Frank Booth… died collecting Warhols, selling investment opportunities and shilling for Bush Two (ol’ lawyer-shootin’ Cheney I could understand, but Doubleyou?) and, after Bruce Jenner changed his name and sex to Caitlyn, she went into the tank for Ted Cruz, then for Djonald Unchained until POTUS lowered all the military freak-flags to half staff!

          At least technology's makin' the prostitution obsolete (except for priests and pedophiles and pedophile priests). Well before the dawn of Net voyeurism, Mr. Packard arrived at the conclusion that people increasingly preferred television characters to flesh and blood neighbors, relatives and friends inasmuch as they were more pleasant and diverting than real people. Also, those who were not could be turned off! "Perhaps," he allowed, "we are witnessing a withdrawal syndrome."  Same story, different… but more narrowcasted blogcast… mediums these days.

          So, if 'Murkans would rather cocoon with smartphones, narrowcast talk radio, Internet and cable porn, interaction with others can still take place remotely... prob’ly by sex with robots, or those VR glasses someday… but, in the mean-while, herding together to advocate gumment persecution of those other guys, as is called "Communitarianism" (never to be mistaken for the flat out Communism). Fast-talkin' fellow Amitai Etzioni invented or, at least, marketed this term... Communitarianism plays among both neo-liberals and compassionate conservatives because it says, with a wink, that it will do things to things nobody much likes: broken windows, graffiti, gum on the sidewalks, dogdada... not so different, truth be told, than what our own CNC block-militias promulgate…

          Communitarians mean, of course, they want to do mean things to people, mostly as come poor and dark as them that slink through Djonald Unchained’s nightmares. Now some spoil-sports contend it's all about putting Aryanism (if not the exactly that Arianism as slunk underground after the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD) back into communities, but I will point out that our 21st century Leni Riefenstahl, Dinesh Di Souza, seems to like the concept, as did the former-Aygee Ashcroft's Vietnamese Deputy.  Judge Long Dong Thomas and his freshly-minted rent boy Kavanaugh, too.

          It's the code talking. Boys from good homes as write their names on schoolhouse walls get the parents called in and maybe billed for damages so they take keys to the Tundra away for a week or two... those from the wrong side of the tracks get five years in some adult prison, a lifelong ticket to joblessness and a fifty-fifty crack at AIDS (or, thanks to our munificence in welcoming about half of Russia's criminal population, tuberculosis... as poets used to call "consumption"). You got patriotic parking spaces, now, for “Government Officials” and “Combat Veterans” to go along with the handicapped spaces at SmartMart and Etzioni waxes sentimental over truck stops with special stools and showers for "Drivers Only", tho’ it's a short, slippery step to taping signs back up over the public water fountains.

          Desperate times, as he calls ours'n, "call for something beyond the pale."

          One very pale Communitarian venture, Virginia's "Project Exile", has its slip-slidery, spidery slopin' house in order. Gun criminals first, no problem, then drugs... well, drugs are bad, we ain’t no frackin’ Colorado! Wife beaters? Sure. Burglars, check bouncers, gas station driveaway deadbeats, Mexican gardeners, telemarketers, soup-stirrers in soup kitchens or, as in Moscow or Columbus, Georgia, unwanted and uppity criminal attorneys... and on and on... slippery penalties too, like forfeitures and the eviction of relatives from public housing the way that the Israelis burn down the Gazan shanties of terrorists and their cousins. Until, like BHO and Mormon Mitt… you pass laws criminalizing them as can't afford health insurance, and the Tea Party has your back out’n the spite.  And if the cops are out to lunch when you need one, send in Mr. Zimmerman… that Florida State Senator George, I mean, not Swedish Prizin’ Bob.

          Things bottom out, as usual, in Alabam' where State Public Safety Director, Jim Alexander codified ticket-writing quotas as a minimum one per hour. "We have to do evaluations and the only way for evaluation of troopers is what kind of product he puts out," Jim said. (The italicism's mine... you know, there was a day when made-in-America product meant bread, beef and beans... steam, steel beams, beer and s’mores.  No more!  No dreams.  Not here!)

          Most upright citizens, Amitai says, so hate crime that they'd support police checkpoints in "drug-infested neighborhoods".  Not in their own pale Rush Limbaugh, Internet oxy-contin 'hoods... thick with the gentry of a sort that even Adam Smith, Capitalism's right invisible hand, called "decadent agglomerations of merchants, commonly ambitious of becoming country gentlemen!", each with five to eighteen bottomless prescriptions for their feelgood pellets... but over there, on those people's mean streets.

          "You don't know it's over," Ralph Reed, that cute munchkin of the MicroTimeTM Pit (as sidetracked his own political career playin' hide-the-casino with Native American-type Indians), gloats over fallen communities of surplus Americans, "until you're zipped up in the body bag."

          Which talk of body bags brings me round to the role of the Second Amendment in resolving contradictions through discrimination: "A well-regulated militia (sorry all youse Constitutional Patriots), being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." Thanks to the Coalition for a New Consensus, armed and disciplined Americans are patrolling their own neighborhoods… helping old ladies cross the street and keeping a watchful eye on the criminal element, both homegrown like Beto O’Rourke and such as wear the blue berets of the UN's so called "peacekeepers".  And, should the ‘publocrats tie up the budget and econ’my so much as to incite some sequestration or default once a Catfish administration takes hold, I’ll just shut down the gummint, declare martial law, issue a few dozen Executive Orders and deputize the CNC militia to keep order in their neighborhoods agin’ blue-collar and white-collar crime – the both.

          A gallows on every streetcorner?  If the current President can tout moats full of gators (or them flesh-eating bacteria), why not?  Watch crime rates plummet through the basement into the sub-basement and some of those cockroaches lobbyin’ and legislatin’ in Congress book the first flights available to Zurich or the Cayman Islands to cuddle up with their money!

          "People want to improve their community," as remarked Paul Samuelson in Barry Bluestone and Bennett Harrison's "Deindustrialization of America", "not abdicate from it."