Clothes Make the (Everyday) Man


• So, what could be more disappointing than the small town political scene?
• Why, that’d be the small town political scene during an off-year election.

I had grumbled that unfunny joke yesterday; just as I began unfolding my absentee ballot. Soon afterwards, a far more painstaking deconstruction ensued; based upon how this election cycle’s sole purpose is to let four candidates vie for three city council seats.

In other words, a contest that’s little more than a game of musical chairs.

Worse yet, the candidates’ political personae don’t generate genuine voter interest; considering how the three incumbents are akin to pterodactyl/albatross hybrids and the one political virgin is reminiscent of the just fallen from the nest, fledgling bluebird.

Worst of all, their “platforms”are not all that impressive, either. If any of them have discovered the path forward to a rational, knowledgeable, welcoming, inclusive, clean, green, fully functional, vibrant community, they’ve yet to speak, convincingly, about how, precisely, they’d lead us to such a wondrous renaissance.

Not boding well, too, is how our mayor and these very incumbents, invariably, have been rubber-stamping the anything for a buck agendas of developers hellbent on blighting our cityscape with row after row of butt ugly, boxy mansions that resemble a fleet of Star Trekian Borg Cubes. Resistance Is Futile? Hmm, it’d appear so.

Beyond that final frontier, it’d be tough to figure out which is more massive; their constructed houses or their conceited heads.

My community’s conspicuous lack of affordable housing and the legions of aristocratic, autocratic association prez wannabes loom; both eventualities promising a most unpromising future; one where the rich swoop down on gated communities and the poor get run out of town.

Needless to say, deciding just who the hell I’d be voting for proved quite the daunting task. Hell, I was even considering making a political statement by submitting a totally blank ballot or by not mailing it back to City Hall at all.

But then my heavy heart prevailed.

Seeing how, of late, nationwide, Republican governors and state legislators have been interweaving sore loser Donald J. Trump’s widespread voter fraud, BIG LIE into the fabric of slews of unconstitutional voter suppression statutes, it suddenly dawned on me that this very ballot could very well represent the very last free Election that I’d ever be participating in.

At that juncture, thru my tear blurred eye, I opted to reread an online, meet-the-candidate article; this time noticing something so subtle, that it had gone previously unnoticed.

Two of these three incumbents were dressed-to-the-nines in their finery and other one had been so cocky, he hadn’t even bothered submitting his mugshot at all. All of which had transformed candidate bluebird’s no necktie, open-collar work shirt, everyday man fashion statement into a political statement; one that, at the very least, suggests a glimmer of hope.

While voting on a hunch would, ordinarily, be unwise, seeing how, in victory, he’d be only one voice out of seven, about the only “damage” his being seated would accomplish is serve as a reminder to the incumbents; that they are not as invincible as they may think.

All the above considered, I decided to chance it; to vote for him and ONLY him.

After all, my two non-votes can only harm his opponents’ chances; especially if the eventual Election Night paper ballot count winds up paper thin close.




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Then One Foggy Christmas Morn (Part 5 / Denouement)

Here are the links to parts ONETWOTHREEFOUR

My conflicting emotions go to war on the battlefield of the mind, as I soldier onward, on my December 25th walk at dawn. One faction symbolizes fond memories of hometown Christmases past… the other cabal represents the unmemorable hometown of Christmas present.

In the scant hour, since this all began, the still unseen, rising sun has gradually, somewhat lightened up the blue / gray overcast… driven off a bit of the misty swirling fog.

My observations inspired, recurring question:

“What the hell good is change within a community when there’s no apparent, appreciable betterment of society?

This brings to mind the recent bulldozing of, yet, another Elementary school. That I had never set foot within it, is really not the issue. What is, is what eventually got built in its bulldozer leveled footprint… how the city fathers and mothers had thumbs upped a crass, subdivision developer’s master plan / plot to construct dozens of butt ugly, gargantuan, too cookie cutter and closely spaced, boxy, monstrosity “mansions”.

They remind me of Star Trekian Borg Cubes with tacked on aluminum siding. True, that’s an exaggeration… the siding is not aluminum.

I’m now free associating Malvina Reynolds’ song, Little Boxes, and suspect this will become an all walk long… maybe even all Christmas Day long earworm.

• Why couldn’t the locally empowered have opted, instead, for more affordable and aesthetically pleasing housing?

• How could they justify the negative impact of too damned much, rich, arable soil getting paved over… how that can only worsen world hunger and global warming… the one-two punch that threatens the very extinction of humanity!

Far be it from me to fault folks who are successful beyond their wildest dreams. However, their dreams become our nightmares when high elective office morphs them into the high and mighty. This, for the most part, is what draws the new town vs. old town battle-lines.

And what’ll be next? Gated communities with posted signs warning the commoners to KEEP OUT? Will the mayor wind up in his UnWelcome Wagon’s driver’s seat? Hanging his head out the window to blast over a bullhorn, his bullcrap, “GET OUT” message to the masses? Will he be presenting the key to the city to some vigilante (such as George Zimmerman)?

If any town buys into “of, by and ONLY for the wealthiest of the wealthy”, then commoners, such as I, become class war casualties.

And what then would become of my Chrismases, yet to come? Might one of those walks… uh… the final one… find me outward bound from the main drag’s City Limits sign… unjustly banished… forever run out of town by well-heeled heels?

Well… at least for the time being… my Christmas walk now sends me seeking out the comfort of hearth and home… the house I had inherited from my folks. I’ll soon be scaring up some comfort food, too. Instantly coming to mind is a stack of mouth watering, made from scratch, fresh off the griddle pancakes… all doused with maple syrup and washed down with fragrant, freshly brewed coffee.

All the more reason to pick up my pace. And an even better reason… to leave the new town reality behind me.

No truer words were ever committed to paper than lyricist Kim Gannon’s “I’ll be home for Christmas / If only in my dreams” and author Thomas Wolfe’s adage, “You can’t go home again.”

The poignancy of it all can easily well up tears in the eyes.