Saturday, May 24, 2014

Hee-Haw & Ding-Dongs


I just watched the movie called The Campaign with Will Ferrell & Zach Galifianakis.  It was described as a "hilarious comedy", but it wasn't.  It was really quite serious although I can see how fans would laugh as easily amused and robotically behaved as many are. 

It was a campaign race of two Southern candidates.  One, a typical Southern douche bag more concerned with his pride than the people he represents.  The other was cast into the race as a strategic move by these arrogant jerks controlling the election, but he was the son of a former politician who happened to be that effeminate Southern male type primarily influenced by his Mama.  You know the kind.  They talk like women and act like women, but they're not gay, at least openly.  They have families and are quite often music ministers at the church.

I didn't laugh once, but I watched the whole thing.  It was so reflective of the way things really do work here in the South, although it was laced with absurdity, it wasn't a comedy at all.  Filled with Hee-Haw & Ding-Dongs, I was reminded of daily life in Georgia, where I have lived most of my life since I was seven years old.

After many years of accepting it as the norm, I finally concluded there is a reason the television show from the seventies was never remade.  It's because people actually live the way it is portrayed on Hee-Haw.  So, after living the Sweet Tea Melodramatic lifestyle all day long, who in their right mind would want to watch this ridiculous state of existence as a form of entertainment?

There is a familiar Bible verse I retain expressing the idea that certain people 'strain out a gnat and swallow a camel' referring to the ruling elite of the time.  It didn't really make a lot of sense to me until years later and after several failed attempts to fit into Southern culture.  Regardless of what time it is, the ruling elite still carry the same trait.

Countless experiences from the streets to the church brought it to clarity.  I remember preachers so passionately praying in the Sweet Name of Jesus with such exuberance, countless high pitched female voices sighing over cuteness, street preachers with bullhorns and bodies built by Burger King, and countless men who drive large trucks with large tool boxes but don't need them.

This is the America they see as worth fighting for.  I guess they'd better fight, because anybody who thinks rationally would see this as a glaring hypocrisy compared to the modesty of Christ, the one these supposedly follow.  Most people I know fight, in a behavioral sense, against this state of being as utterly wasteful, hoarding and gluttonous.  Besides that, other like minded people find this WAY unaffordable, and undesirable.

I submitted a suggestion for a movie title the other day upon request from a podcast I listen to.  I submitted, The End of Hee-Haw & Ding-Dongs, but after watching The Campaign, I'm afraid this movie has already been made.  See, in the end, the Southern douche bag steps down, even after being re-elected.  He repented, so to speak, realizing his sin (or wrongdoing) and he simply turned and walked away.

Here is further evidence of what I'm talking about.  This article was just published on Online Athens today.  My comments follow:


Five Points parking case heard by Supreme Court

ATLANTA | The highest court in the state spent 40 minutes Monday hearing arguments over who owns 22 parking spaces on South Lumpkin Street in Athens’ Five Points.
The Supreme Court must figure it out because the decision determines who gets to park there, members of the general public or just customers and residents of the businesses in the area.
The justices squinted at old photographs, city maps and property plats while attorneys from the city and the property owners made their case. Over the next three to four months, the seven justices will try to figure out the reasoning behind an agreement signed in 1954 between the city of Athens and the business owners.

Regina Quick, a state legislator who is also an attorney for property owner Barry Stiles, told the court the city’s reason for the agreement was to free up the flow of traffic by allowing cars to park in the spaces instead of in a handful of spots parallel to the street. Allowing the Stiles to move a sidewalk opened the area for parking.

“It was not a parking agreement,” she said. “It was a sidewalk-relocation agreement.”
Since the 22 private spaces still prevent parallel parking, the traffic continues to flow smoothly and the public keeps getting the benefit that the city sought through the agreement, she said.
Thomas Mitchell, a lawyer for Athens-Clarke County, said the parking spaces are half on government right of way and half on the Stiles property. The city never gave up its interest in the right of way, and legally couldn’t without action by the state Legislature.

And so, the city should have control over the spaces now since the city can’t legally do anything to benefit individual property owners.

“If that’s not how the agreement works, it’s illegal,” Mitchell said.

Justice David Nahmias challenged Mitchell that the city didn’t lose any right of way because the square footage of the sidewalk remains the same as before it was relocated to allow the parking spaces.

Justice Carol Hunstein said both the city and the property owners benefited from the agreement by freeing up traffic.

And Justice Harris Hines asked how the city could tax the property where the cars park if it claims that land as city property, suggesting that the city understood the land belonged to Stiles all along. Mitchell said Stiles is only taxed on the land he clearly owns.

But Justice Robert Benham lobbed several challenges at Quick about procedural issues that could prevent Stiles from winning the appeal.

This is the second time the Supreme Court has weighed in on these parking spaces.
The first was in 2012 when a county judge issued a temporary ruling in Stiles’ favor.
The top court’s decision then was so narrowly crafted that it required another hearing last year in the county court, which also went in Stiles’ favor. The city appealed again after its second defeat.
The standoff started in 2003 when Stiles tried to tow cars left by noncustomers until the city attorney ordered him to stop.

Follow Walter Jones in Twitter @MorrisNews and Facebook or contact him at walter.jones@morris.com.

***Gabe Newman wrote:

 It never ceases to amaze me the level of sweet tea melodrama our leadership brings to the table. Is this really an issue that needs to be resolved by the state Supreme court? This isn't much different than the big hullabaloo about booting cars in Athens when a near six month moratorium was set on booting because of some constitutional argument about due process when there was already a process in place affording due process, yet it went ignored because the attorneys and commissioners didn't get to have their say. Now, we are sending people to the court room to waste the courts time over parking tickets instead of more important matters. It's like Jesus said about the Scribes and Pharisees, they 'strain out a gnat and think they've swallowed a camel'. It's just a way of calling them self-righteous, and self-important for making mountains out of mole hills, and excitement over less than exciting things. But it is the southern leadership way, and the way of our government in general. We go around the world creating problems so that we can provide solutions. This is a deviant form of salesmanship where a good salesperson "identifies" a problem and then provides a solution, whereby the deviant of our current elected officials, "create" problems to provide solutions to the problems that needn't have existed in the first place setting themselves up as gods in a way; gods of deception creating a need for themselves much like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. They always get the finger pointed at them because they are black, but mighty whitey plays the same game, he just thinks he's more clever. Having worked for people like this, I know from first hand experience this is a reality. Troublemakers and wasters of time prevent peace and we end up in the supreme court arguing about parking spaces. Oy Vey! They will be made into "footstools", but they won't be available at WalmartS.

http://onlineathens.com/breaking-news/2014-06-02/five-points-parking-case-heard-supreme-court?#comment837367







Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Alley

Earlier in the day, I had seen a post on Facebook by one of me and my brother's best friends growing up, Bobby which was acknowledging that it had been ten years since his mother, Ruth, had passed.  Ruth was more like a mother to me than my own mother.  I never asked, and I know Bobby was originally from Boston before he and his mom moved South after divorcing from his dad, but from the accent she was from Brooklyn.

I wanted to say something and I did by posting something on Bobby's page.  I told Bobby, "Your Mom was very influential on me and there were two things she said that would always stick with me.  Number one, we would be hanging out in the den...  Ruth would generally stay upstairs when we would come hang out.  She'd let us play the stereo, and watch tv, but on more than one occasion we would be blaring Beatles records way too loud when she would come to the top of the stairs and shout out to us with that thick accent, "Lower that!"  And that's exactly what we would do, because if there's one thing Ruth got it was respect!

The other thing she told me specifically was when her other son Michael came down to visit one time and I being a baseball player used Skoal.  I gave some to Michael because he wanted to try it and within minutes he was sick.  He went inside and told his mom what had happened when she came outside, again at the top of the steps she told me, "Don't give my son Skoal!"  I never did again.  In fact, I quit myself.

Now, this is a lot funnier if you hear me telling this as I was doing earlier that day with a guy at the bar.  First, I told his wife who busted out laughing when I told her as he did as well.  I had been laughing heartily all day long over this to the point of hysterics.  I proceeded to have a few beers (3 pitchers in fact), and then I made my way over to the alley, a favorite spot that no longer exists.

Suddenly, two young lesbians sharing the same name of  Maddie showed up.  One of the young Maddies packed up a pipe and offered up some smoke.  I was already BAKED and I had begun reciting my poem to them which is said with the rhythm of a rap and entitled Morning Sex in the Parking Deck...  This caused more laughter.  So, by this time and after laughing out loud for much of the day, my belly ached and I had reached a point of exhaustion. 

With tears still in my eyes from talking with these two young lesbians who... shared the same name... I leaned back on the bench and looked to my right as another group of people entered the alley.  I swear, one of the people taking her seat just two seats down was none other than funny lady, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, the actress who played Elaine in Seinfeld!  Or, at least I think it was...  My vision isn't what it used to be.

Believe it or not, I am not one to see things, or hallucinate.  So, I reached out and shook her hand, as she did mine.  She simply said, "Hi", but was speaking with the woman who had sat down right next to me.  I didn't interrupt any further, deciding to first to let my laughter subside, and to let the tears in my eyes dry.  Just seeing her (if indeed I did) sent me into more laughter, but all I could do was lean over and try to be quiet without causing a commotion.

By the time I had regained my composure, and sat back up to say something to her; looking over to the right again, she wasn't there.  Poof!! She was gone!!  But an acquaintance of mine was sitting there and was wearing a similar black top that my vision of Julia was wearing.  I looked her straight in the face and said, "You look like Julia Louis-Dreyfus".  It was like an out from my insanity, and an appeal for confirmation, or denial at the same time.  One of the guys in the group was standing there who concurred by saying, "You do look like Julia Louis-Dreyfus", and then the next thing I know everyone made an exit and went back inside.  I sat there astounded, and BAKED to the point where you just want to sit there and meditate.  I did until one of the guys who works there came out the back door.  I took a peek inside, but everyone was gone.

A few days later, I sent the girl I knew at the scene an email asking her if I was seeing things, or what.  She has yet to confirm, or deny the events as I have described them here, but she did stop and give me a hug on the street the other day.  Is that a confirmation?  Maybe she never got the email.  Maybe she hugged me out of sympathy. 

At any rate, she is best friends with a young, funny girl who I adore who is also the girl in the green jacket I mentioned in a previous BLAHG post.  Now, I know the girl in the green jacket's bestie would have said something to her about this, but she hasn't said anything about it either and I haven't asked!!

Anyway, I just wanted to share this seemingly psychotic experience with you because it was like a dream that feels so real you don't know it's not until you wake up. 

If it was really her, then I am sorry I did not get to speak with her.  I think she is one the all time greats and she has been recognized as one by being inducted into the comedy Hall of Fame!  If it wasn't, then perhaps this is a good way to end my long run of street living by being declared disabled by psychosis and begin to draw a government check like so many others in this town!

Regardless, I'm getting back up on stage and while I hesitate to try to expose myself as some kind of lunatic, this was just too incredible to me to just let it sit in my memory banks.  I gotta work it in.  I mean come on, it's not everyday a guy like me gets to hang out with two young lesbians who share the same name only to think I've seen a star sitting two seats down from me in an alley way!

By the way, this is Ruth, Bobby & Michael from days gone by.  On that day, Ruth started the laughter that would not stop, and then whether in my mind, or not, Julia Louis-Dreyfus appeared!  It was truly magical!  So, if I am crazy, it feels great!