The Choler of Politics

The Chaps do admire a piece of witty snark …

… especially combined with sharp observation, as regular readers may have noticed. So we could not resist this recent restaurant review. Equally, we could not resist this little write-up on Texas politics, especially written by a real journalist of the caliber of Barrett Brown, either slumming for a crust or just the pure heck of it. The subject? The possible opening of a new “smoke shop” in Dallas, which met with some opposition. At least, it seemed that way, but it was sometimes hard to tell…

The property manager for the complex gave an exceedingly non-specific account of wrongdoing by unspecified people with implicit connections to either this particular shop or other shops or something.

Brown notes that this is not unusual in these quarters, commenting:

it’s always jarring when one is first enveloped in the vast and hyperactive neuron-cloud of unreason that is the American public consciousness, and which can only be properly understood from within.

As to might constitute a crime wave worthy of community and newspaper attention, and its source, Brown comments that real criminals tend not to come to such attention:

I spent four years in prison hanging out with Dallas gang members and hearing their amusing anecdotes, many of which start in a strip club before moving on to drunken, high-speed shootouts. Since gang members are generally poor marksmen, only a small portion of these incidents leave any trace in the form of a corpse or hospital visit or anything else that might result in a write-up or police report.

Not that one should expect perspective, vision, or even consistency in Texas city politics.

Councilman Kleinman’s statement of support on Wednesday for additional regulations began, “As much as I’m not a fan of additional regulation … .” I once spent a fascinating half-hour trying to parse Kleinman’s explanation as to why it was fiscally conservative to borrow money to build new roads but not to repair existing ones. …[Councilman] Callahan in particular likes to decry certain proposed regulatory measures, such as those intended to reduce traffic in downtown, as contrary to the fundamental liberty accorded Americans since time immemorial.

Why would Brown, who served jail time over his freedom-of-information principles and association with Anonymous, get involved with such things? He has a bigger story to tell, as he says in his conclusion: Such little events may be interesting, but they both illustrate and obscure bigger issues.

The real community crisis isn’t as exciting or lurid as the fun little events that take up so much oxygen in both regional and national news cycles, and thus in our politics. It’s the inability of the bulk of our elected leaders to think in terms of consistent principles of governance, even when they make the effort to do so.

The broad view, consistency of vision, understanding of governance. All from a squabble over a smoke shop. Classy journalism.

John says … “stay classy Texas.”

oh and I had to look up Choler - so don’t feel bad if you did.

Graham … and of course there is this

John … yes indeed - there is that … trust me - it isn’t just you!

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