Saturday, May 13, 2006


Bye Bye Bunkey: These three "cowboys" won the Chatham County NC Commissioner's Democratic Primary Tuesday, May 2, against three conservative incumbents aligned with full-tilt growth at all costs interests. It might be a bit o the old tip of the iceburg deal, huh?

I haven’t been writing much lately because… I don’t really know. Picking up lots of stone, and playing a good bit of music, might just be excuses. The news keeps outrunning my outrage, yeah, that’s the ticket.
Anyway, the three white hats who won the primary election in Chatham County this past week could be the tip of a big iceberg. I’m sure lots of folks are thinking that at least: could it be? A return to reality at last?

Reality has a way. Over in what we call the Heart of the Triangle, they are running out of water. You folks in New Mexico, just laugh all you want. Yes, I’ve driven across, from here to out there, and yes, the trees pretty much stop at the Mississippi, and we over on the East Side don’t really have a clue about dry. Nonetheless, they are having water problems in Raleigh. The reason is not so much that there’s not been enough rain, although last year was a relatively dry year (again, relative to here, not to Out There). The reason is that there are way way more people living over in the Heart of the Triangle, which means that there are more taps on the supply, and also more rapid rain runoff which doesn’t get down to the local ground water table but instead rushes to the rivers and on down to the ocean, for the most part. People are worried. For us, it’s at the stage of What If We Can’t Warsh Our Cars??? The white hats in the photo beat out some commissioners who seemed to believe in All Growth, All the Time. Clear the land, build the houses, damn the water. That might not be a winning campaign any more.

Then I read this morning that not only did Mr. Colbert actually tell the mainstream media, in the presence of the President no less, that they were all pretty much living in a fantasy world, but just a week before that, Noam Chomsky had given a speech at West Point! Delightful. I hate summers, and pretty soon that Gulf Stream is gonna stop (because the Greenland Ice Sheet is gonna melt and all that fresh water will stop the convection current up in the North Atlantic that keeps the Stream moving) and it’s gonna get seriously chilly, just before it really warms up. That’s reality for you. It shows up.

Here’s another bit of reality, captured in a thought experiment. We’re having this horrible flap around here about the Duke lacrosse team and its alleged rape party, which might otherwise be called an alleged male bonding ritual, and whose other name if you recall your NYC tabloid history is an alleged “wilding.” If you’ve not been following this sordid story, the team has stuck together in team-like fashion (bonded as they are) from the very start of the inquiry, forcing DNA testing on all 46, errr, members, and the team has hired a veritable phalanx of lawyers who have been running WTVD’s newsroom with their daily pronouncements of innocence and district attorney malfeasance, to where you have to do things like this here thought experiment to catch a bit of reality in the exposed film you’ve hidden in the black box, the whiz of the truth showing up like a white blur as it joggles those silver nitrate molecules on its way past. Get ready. Now, ask yourself, What Would Coach K Do?

I guarandamntee you he would not have simply resigned his position and left town, as the Duke lacrosse coach has done. Not unless he was so completely embarrassed and so completely sure they were guilty of the allegations—which would be such a profound indictment of his failure as a coach that there was absolutely nothing more to say, nothing at all but undiluted shame and depression. Memo to the defense—a missing coach isn’t the same as missing DNA. When there’s DNA present, it’s information. When it’s absent, it means absolutely nothing. A missing coach though, that’s a little odd.

Slick’s good, but it has limits. Rumsfeld’s answer to all criticism, that in a democracy there will always be dissent, is as slick as Miles Davis’ “So What.” But it has a flaw, that smooth glide of the hands he performs at his pressers, and somebody really ought to call him on it. The defense is too big. “Are you saying, Mr. Secretary, that there is no point in considering the content of specific dissent, because after all, there’s always dissent? Is this how we got into the morass of Iraq? You used that defense against all your internal opposition, just waved your hands and, as they say, moved on?” Explains a lot at least. The best thing about the Colbert routine was that the Washington Press Corps sat there and said nothing. They couldn’t laugh because Coach Dubya might notice. He nailed them to the wall. Look who’s saying nothing in the Duke lacrosse story. Sometimes, like my man Wittgenstein said, what you cannot speak of you must pass over in silence.

I think we’re eventually going to get our press back. That’s reality again. It’s going to take some more time. It might take $10 a gallon gasoline, which will arrive about the same time as we drop bombs on Tehran, if that’s what we’re going to do. $10 gas will also bring with it a clearer view of the United States’ true place in the world of nations. It will not be fun. Another bit of reality was when Mike Nifong won the Durham DA primary on Tuesday. I read that some of the defense attorneys for the Duke lads voted for him. Reminds me of what a defense attorney told me one time.

He was part of a team defending some dudes from Maryland who’d come down south to gun down some competitors in the crack trade. It was a bloody mess, shotgun shells and splayed bodies all over an old frame house in the wrong part of town. Cops had the shooters cold right off, but the DA’s folks were messing the case up terrible in court, and my friend looked at his teammates as they went out to lunch one day and said, “Shit, we might get these guys off!” I’m just sayin’. Course it’s also true that maybe the defense folks voted for Mr. Nifong cause they figured he’d be an easier opponent. Guess we’ll just see about that. Eventually. If they can ever find a jury.

--Bill Hicks

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