Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Cause/Effect? -OR- Who's Minding the Store?

Were women driven from the public square? Purposefully?

At risk of being sexist or offending any female readership I may have acquired, Where were you when we needed you?

Oh yeah, you were at work, bringing home the bacon, frying it up...
becoming empowered. Coming a long way baby.

You were tired of being unappreciated. I can certainly appreciate that. But I wonder...
Whose bright idea was it? Was it purely organic?

Men are mostly clueless, gluttonous pigs. I will gleefully surrender this point, stipulate to the facts and not object to the mountain of evidence. Without women to herd us, men would be extinct. Architects of our own demise. How much more empowerment did you need? You knew it and men knew it.

More sexism... I think it was a man who planted the seed that women were treated as second-class citizens. Further, I think it was a man who figured out that if women were in the work force; being all that they could be, they wouldn't be at the school board meetings and town hall meetings taking names and kicking ass when the menfolk got too greedy and stupid for their own good.

Back when the teevee machine removed our regional barriers and spoke to us about potentials, Sheriff Andy schooled us. "Don't play Leapfrog with elephants. Never pet a tiger lest his tail be waggin'. And NEVER-EVER-Ever mess with the Ladies Auxiliary."

For whatever personal powers were gained by the empowerment movement, what was lost has proven far more costly. The metaphoric elephants and tigers are run amok. Chasing, splatting, and mauling with impunity until now we're up to our asses in alligators. Up to our Opie Taylor colic in the big muddy.

Our commons have be taken over by experts who know what's best due to the expertise they bring to the table. Armed with only a bag full of big fuckin' hammers, Experts have made, and continue to make, short-work out of our pesky individualisms and regional idiosyncrasies.

Our streets, council chambers and schoolyards have run amok. They cannot be reclaimed to suit our scheduling. The void cannot be filled by cameras, another curfew ordinance or a flash mob. We no longer have the conscience of Aunt Bea to remind us of our place.

There are men, women and children trying to regain their rightful place in the processes. What they are finding beats most of them back before they even begin. There's a process to the process that must be followed. We can't have just anyone standing up to add their 2¢. You have to sign in. Wait your turn. Make your statement or ask your question (in 3 minutes or less). The "public" portion of the meeting is typically at the beginning; prior to any business being discussed. This is participatory? Your question/statement can be dutifully ignored. Thank you for playing our game.
We no longer build anything, maintain anything, fix anything. We just fuck it up some more, add more lipstick, slather on thick layers of bondo & alkyd enamel, bake it under sunlamps, then hope it'll buff. When it doesn't we'll squint, wear blinders, stand on our head, lie to ourselves. This is GREAT! Exactly what we NEED right NOW!

Oh yeah and Happy Potato Day.

Stephen now runs a K street think tank.

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