Unlike Congress, whose primary functions are to generate hot air and those noxious gases that drive the greenies crazy and, at least in many of their minds, use the power of a government gun to confiscate the earnings of working citizens to squander on their personal pet projects, those of us out here in the real world, the world of profits and losses and returns on investment, occasionally get bogged down and backed up with work.
After a couple weeks of being in Thomas Edison mode (work 'til tired, sleep, do it again, eat when the thought strikes) I finally got a bit of free time, enough to catch up on some reading, and ran across an article written by one of my favorite commentators. I make no apologies for, am in fact quite proud of actually, being a Capitalist Pig. This poor guy has it coming and going. Not only is he a Capitalist Pig, he's a Pig of the law enforcement persuasion. But what could anyone expect from a person so fond of quoting the motto chiseled into the tombstone of legendary Texas Ranger, Captain Bill McDonald, "No man, in the wrong, can stand up against a fellow that's in the right and who keeps a-comin'."
So here's PigDude, a Generation X-er, lamenting sissified gang-bangers who think it's more manly to settle things with an illegally obtained gun than one's hands, the fall from grace of drag racing, especially for pink slips, kids who wear helmets and pads to ride a bicycle, the rise of competitive bicycling, and probably spandex, except on a feminine form, electric cigarettes, no sugar in anything, and "new every two" cell phone plans... in other words, our boring lifestyles. To this, being a little older, I might add playing war with BB guns or, even more fun, .22 rifles that we'd loaded with soap-shots made by removing the bullet from cartridges then sticking them in a bar of soap. It didn't take getting popped in the tush too many times to learn to use cover... or the unpleasantness of tripping while running down a sand dune and sliding through a cactus patch under a clear, summertime Mojave Desert sky at high noon. The prickly pear were bad enough. Those other babies really hurt, as did the sweat running through the wounds, and I was picking thorns out of my hide for weeks afterward... not to mention the "Injuns" that day had no mercy on a kid sprawled out in the cacti. We also had our own methods of handling the occasional wiseguy who'd think it was funny to stick a grain of rice or small rock in his soap-shots. He didn't think it was funny for long.
PigDude's lamentations also reminded me of having dinner one evening with a young college buddy. A couple of us geezers would often take TW to the Waffle House to be sure he got a meal while talking politics and he never knew the difference. During one of those rap sessions I commented about "the breakfast of champions" and got one of those blank stares that screams "Huh?" Not wanting to be accused of contributing to anyone's delinquency, I explained it's cold pizza and warm Coke. Except back in our day it was cold pizza and warm beer, both usually having sat open at least all night and sometimes for a couple of days. The real test of toughness was who could take in stride finding a cigarette butt in the bottom of the can instead of spitting and cussing. Ah, the craziness of youth...
The craziness of youth... boys quickly learned how to straighten and balance wheels on a bicycle when they played chicken on those babies, just as they learned how to take a hit when they played any number of other boys' games, and the occasional scuffle that ensued as a result. Touch football always seemed a bit of a misnomer when the only person who didn't get knocked down was the guy with the ball, but growing up in families of rather modest means our balls were always big ones... baseballs, footballs, basketballs, dodge-balls, and sometimes water polo balls. The closest we ever got to playing golf was caddying for those who could afford it, and only played tennis, badmitten, ping pong or any number of other little ball games after we discovered our moms and sisters weren't the only girls who didn't have cooties.
We also had to learn early the only way to handle a bully was to stand up to him or her, win or lose, unlike today when the person being bullied is wrong for refusing to accept being pushed around. We have rules and standards of behavior in a civilized society, don't we, but other than regular, working schlubs who abides by them any more?
Take, for example, any number of clubs, associations, and societies many belong to. Homeowners' associations would be one example, political parties another. They begin with a charter and set of bylaws by which to operate and everyone has some right to present input to its operation. That's cool. But eventually there develops a group of elite members who honestly believe they don't have to obey the same rules as everyone else. Everybody's still equal, the elites are just a little more equal than the rank and file, sometimes a lot more.
An example of this would be the Hamilton County Republican Party several years ago when several of the Big MahMoos publicly supported a democrat in an election over a republican. Where were those like Mr. Bobby "We can Robert's Rules this stuff to death" Wood then? Where is Mr. Wood, elected republican executive committee member for Senate District 11, now with a Tennessee State Executive Director who blatantly favors one candidate over all the others in a contested primary? And ED Dude tries to weasel his way out of the hot-seat by telling us Senator Alexander had no declared opponent when the release was written? Oh please... I'll admit to being born at night, Mom has reminded me of that fact for a lot of years, but I guaranteed it wasn't last night.
When do they begin to exhibit some intestinal, or other, fortitude and admit they did wrong, step down, then go on with their lives by getting a real job? That's what a member of the Hamilton County Election Commission did not too many years ago, and all he did was get busted for hugging a stop sign because he was too blitzed to stand by himself. But perhaps his display of character was negated by another member who got popped for his actions at a horse show.
Then another of our Tennessee Homies stands in front of a camera and microphone commenting that his accomplices are "just silly" in their attempts to defund a law that very few of our nation's citizens want, and has been unilaterally changed by one division of government without authorization from the only division that can... the Congress. But he's also been in the fore with his "comprehensive immigration reform," hasn't he. I once had an interesting discussion with a developer dude about that exact subject, a story for another day. And now we have this very same homie giving us the old John Kerry defense... he voted against attempts to stop funding reprehensible legislation before he voted for them. And all the while he's speaking down to those who elected him to the office he holds. One might suppose he's more interested in having one of his minions send e-mail messages out as invitations to a $1,000.00 a plate fund raising dinner for Governor Haslam. For $5,000 one can come half an hour early and have some personal face time with them. What, we don't even send out hand written invitations any more when we want people's money? At least, like any other common street hooker, he's up front about the cash.
Who is the hippest that's happenin' all over our town
Tearin' up those hicks with the message that he lays down
Who is the coolest guy, who's also quite the snob
Slick talkin', low walkin', good lookin' Mohair Bob
Try as I may, I just haven't been able to fit "Senator Corker" into a parody of that old Charlie Rich song written by Dallas Frazier. I'll keep working on it, especially when he bloviates about receiving calls 99.9 to 0.1 against legislation but he believes the actual numbers are more like 40/60 against. He knows better than those who put him in office, doesn't he.
Does arrogance have one R or two? How about hubris? Only one B?
It's easy to exhibit bravado when other people's lives are the one's being affected, some even ruined, and we won't have to personally suffer any negative consequences, isn't it, when the worst that can happen is we force those who've elected us to pick up our tab when they already have a bill of their own to pay. It's easy to make demands on average citizens, citizens who are scratching and clawing to earn a living, when we don't have to abide by the same laws we're cramming down their throats, isn't it.
I used to wonder why so many of our political elite never walked into the local feed store, McBurger joint, C-Store, or discount store. I've also wondered what the gang at Ace Hardware thought of the political discussions and debates over legislation former Tennessee Senator David Fowler and I occasionally had back in the hardware section. It's easy for Senator Corker and his ilk to pontificate to the great unwashed from several hundred miles away, in front of a camera and microphone.
It would be a lot more difficult looking over the handlebars of a bicycle, wouldn't it... especially one of those 60s vintage Schwinns that were built like a tank.
Ace Hardware... and those Reese's cups right next to the cash register... I sense a trip to Wally World brewing. The Gang is out of steak for their special treats too.
Royce Burrage, Jr.