Serving the Metropolitan Area
THE SHAME (and the PROMISE) of CITIES!
By Jack Parnell - retired Congressman and Independent Presidential candidate
Syndicated by Acme Features
"Genes hold culture on a leash..."
- E. O. Wilson
Might lose a few votes from the country folk haters of New York (or Dallas or Birmingham) values with this slice of truthbaloney, but hey!.. I like a city.
Now, might be one
someplace near you, might be not. Might not even be a real place... just an
amalgamation of neighborhoods from
I like the slap of shoes (not sneakers, not for adults) against pavement. Walking's good for soul and body... whilst driving (or being driven) round, your eyes play tricks. You miss details. (Or, if you’re in one of those robot chauffeur Teslas, stop signs!)
I like a city with museums, real libraries and at least two daily papers as so despise the one another that some truth can often be parsed from between their bluster. Plenty of watering holes as survived the plague, major league sports, a hall for country music, rasslin' and the foreign symphonies. Don't care for most ballets… too many Russians… 'ceptin’ that "Nutcracker" for the kids, over Christmas (that one that the squeamish people got banned in Boston and some other places for culturally appropriating Chinese tea, Arab coffee and, to the #MeToo gang, “nutcracker” being a slur against assertive women), but I'd rather live in a place that still had 'em, if I changed my mind, even if ol’ Drosseldorf does seem a bit creepy amongst all them tweener Russian nieces of the Trump wives. Stores as aren't owned by franchises... restaurants where you might taste something out of this world, might catch a sickness. Never know! The noise and the risk of it...
Risk is what's at issue... people who don't like cities being those as don't like taking chances in societies where everything's gone at risk. Not that myself, nor any politician, should have authority into telling people where to live... Pol Pot drowned that pup!... but it does seem we've beaten up on cities for too long. One Replutocrat boyo with vestigial Libertarian leanings... forget which, was back in the Congress... shows me this picture from his New England paper after them riots in St. Louis. Whole streets where buildings are burnt out, cars up on the sidewalk, burnt out too, and this policeman walking up and down, writing out parking tickets like a goldarned U.N. peacekeeper.
Writing out friggin' parking tickets!
Pretty much sums up
how most in Congress treat the cities. Yet, if you'll open your kids' history
books, most of what people think significant, even noble, sometimes, took place
in or near a city. Athens.
Not to libel groundhogs, but when the Founding Fathers got together to draft that Constitution of ours'n, they convened in Philadelphia, not Punxsatawney.
Someone almost forgotten now, for having been too much the optimist during exciting times, was Francis Hutchison, the great adversary of Hobbes and certain other termites as infested the English royal courts. His heresy was that life is inherently social, not "nasty, brutish and short", and that governments should "...prohibit the greatest or wisest of mankind to inflict any misery on the meanest, or to deprive them of any of their natural rights." (He employed the term “meanness” as its original designation of material, as opposed to moral want.)
Most great philosophers and statesmen of the past lived among each other, in cities, not walled away in security communities. They got great by running into one another in taverns and coffee shops and other public places, having to sharpen those faculties as improve by discoursing with people smarter than you. "As darkness falls, the great capitals of Asia and Europe hum with human vitality," observes the modern pundit, Andrew Glass. "At the hub of these urban centers, streets swarm with people enjoying the gentle August nights. (Was a few years back, this, before the plague and before the Euroheat sent daytime temps up into triple digits!) They stroll. They talk. They eat and drink."
So... why's the difference between over here and the over there? We know, but cannot speak. Paula Deen settled that issue. Squeamishness clamps our tongues.
Most as get out of cities move to get away from...
After I'd said I'd not stand for re-election due to the gerrymandering and became... how shall I describe it... more libertinious in thought, speech and deed after the wife refused to take me back, the Washington Post, that beacon of liberal squeamishness, took issue with my designation of Chicago's Reverend Fellows as "one diseased (n-word)" for demanding he be the one paid off after those two church bombings on the South Side of Indianapolis, after which he would be the sole distributor and authority regarding funds for the survivors and the victims’ families. Or maybe not. They were, as ever, ticked off over the use of that word whose utterance is, apparently, more terrible than extortion or setting children on fire.
So, I am going to resort to the n-word minus its dash like this... nword. It's a made-up word (if Ex-President Covfefe and Shotgun Sarah Palin can coin terms, why not me?), as insinuating swords (which stand in for the cheap guns that nwords raise against everyone not of their tribe, and most as are); it also reflects the negativity as keeps these victims of history nwording their way 'round as how life has been so unfair and et cetera and et cetera. Take a look at more over there in that Don Jones Index four years back!
As nwordist apologist Corinne Brown of the Congressional Black Caucus puts it: "We keep hearing, 'Get over this.' We will never get over this." Gimme a dime! Which leads to the inverted theocracy of JFK as practiced by the so-called “progressive” wing of the flying donkees (in itself a gross insult to the memories of recently cancelled TR, Upton Sinclair and Fightin’ Bob LaFollette) – ask not what you can do for your country, ask for what handouts your gummint can dole our. Neither party seems willing to expect and demand a fair day’s work… infrastructure, healthcare, whatever – or even serious training for seriously needed skills… for a fair wage. Some Republicans, of course, have a final solution… wait until next winter, next iteration or variation of the plague or climate apocalypse and kill off the American surplus; President Joe wants to shower cash over the undeserving of all races and, as for the even further left, the Bern loves bums, for example, and bums love Bernie.
Not that race, poverty and corporate de-urbanization hereabouts aren’t problems. Black South Africans, at least, "have had their own earth under their feet," posited the late South African writer Nadine Gordimer. "It is unfortunate to have to say it: History is against you in the U.S.A."
History's agin' us all! Between the Crump and Trump we might as all be skipping down some garden path to Fascism between Djonald Duck and David Duke. Hitler's mistake, declaims one Jason Brent, lawyer and Mensa member was "the fact that his actions prevent a rational discussion of the creation of a master race." Another Mensoid as deems surplus Americans in the Outsourcing Age "...too stupid, too lazy, too crazy, or too anti-social to earn a living..." recommends they "be humanely done away with, like abandoned kittens." Guy as did that shootin’ of the children in the West Texas town northeast of El Paso warn’t no Mensoid, but came to the same conclusion - that we can exterminate our way out’n the population crisis…
He ain’t talking ‘bout the Trump kids…
Virtuecrats graciously eschew genocide, favoring bible-thumping private schools, segregated by color and the content of one’s bank account – financed by the taxpayers’ vouchers, Singapore-style catchlaws and a sea of privately- or public disfunded jails (aka plague incubators). Those who still had jobs and money once the George Floyd race wars and… may we call it, the China virus?... wall themselves up in gated enclaves: "...to protect the value of my home, to shut out other races, other cultures and crime," as let slip this city planner, Edward Blakeley.
Now, I pick up the paper and read about the return of the six dollar gas, seein' smirkin’ sheikhs, Burisma boys and Texas oilies as clustered 'round that energy lobby, so to speak, like barnacles in big hats, apologizin’ for their inability to seal the deal and blaming windmills. Quixotically kited gas prices do make cities desirable again, so the question gets to be... who benefits? Do people living there finally get their jobs and communities back, or do those who commute out’n compounds during the week get to take their homes, too, and leave the meanest (18th and 21st century applications, the both, intended) to spin down and out into nwordism; fodder for social workers, poverty pimps, cardboard cities under bridges and overpasses and more jails?
One reason I mentioned Francis Hutchison, earlier, is that he also championed discrimination (as was noted in a somewhat older Don Jones Index). He discriminated between so-called "perfect rights", which are guarded by law and so-called imperfect ones "governed only by men's honour and conscience"... equality and charity and gratitude, for example, as become precarious without opportunities and justice. The anti-government pundit Walter Williams… citing Madison, Franklin Pierce and Grover Cleveland… asks whether politicians as vote to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable are “just plain constitutionally ignorant or mean-spirited, or has our Constitution been amended to authorize charity?”
"There does come a moment," surmised former HUD Secretary Cisneros, being of a different persuasion, "when the country simply can't carry on its shoulders a permanent and growing underclass of 10 or 15 or 20 million people." And that was more than a decade ago, before the plague wiped out maybe half of the minwage service and factory jobs (with the virus itself taking a deadly toll on the least protected… and paid… healthcare workers), outsizing and downsourcing vaporized much of the middle class, jacking that number up towards fifty, even… taking Mitt Romney’s forty-seven percent useless eaters as a benchmark… a hundred mil adult Americans, and lightening the complexion of the problem, as if by pouring more artificial cream into the coffee.
In President Obama’s last budget and Trump’s first (before the triumph of the haters negated everything, the good and bad, the both), Executive and Legislators waxed each others’ loins by reinstituting tax cuts for billionaires and shelling out back-unemployment insurance for those as sit on their butts of a day or year, rather than being marshaled to perform the tasks that private sloth and government cutbacks… some justified, others not… are leaving undone. (Djonald Unchained’s subsequent budgets wobbled into months upon months of shutdowns, gimcrack fixes and more shutdowns, Uncle Joe just puts the whatsoever on America’s tab, blame the Coronavirus and fumigate against Joe Manchin and cursed Sinema.) And who’s delegated to pay for this – now that the markers are honing in on thirty tril, inspiring Chinese and Russian moneylenders (not to mention the French, the Japanese and a couple dozen other creditors to come a calling with garbage bags of American IOU’s engendered by another round of Trump tax cuts for Jeff Bezos and his ilk or by President Joe’s “what, me worry?” patter on a silver platter. The kids, that’s who…
Or our grandkids – if we’re lucky.
Americans must Awaken to the need to plug the holes in our lifeboats, Assemble to do this necessary work in common, and Attack such worms as keep chewing away against our ship of state. We cannot accomplish this by cutting cities adrift. They are our promise. But... with or without new oil crises... they also represent our enduring shame.
CLICK the CATFISH to go to PAST and PRESENT EPISODES of "BLACK HELICOPTERS" and to OTHER JACK PARNELL COLUMNS