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What was that all about?
Op-ed by Carleton Cronin, West Hollywood, California
Politicking goes on – and on, and on…
Macbeth rails about the idiot, telling his tale, “full of sound and fury and signifying nothing”? I am not that idiot. I am another and my tale, somewhat of sound and fury, does have significance.
Obviously, in the small concentration – about 20 percent (shameless!) by my estimation – of concerned citizens in our little corner of Heaven, there was more sound than usual as the incumbents retained their chairs at the Council table. Nine candidates for two Council seats. Something must be amiss in Paradise. All indications are that change was the order of the day, just as the Thane had feared. But, what of it?
Carleton Cronin writes about life in the urban wilds of WeHo.
I could only view the final hours of the campaigns from a distance of some one thousand miles, tucked in the happy hollow of Aspen, deep in the Colorado Mountains. Nevertheless, that town is nearly a simulacrum of WeHo. (The many ways of which I’ll try to explain in an up-coming piece, A Tale of Two Cities.)
Here are some things which struck me in particular: Nine gay men vied for the two open seats. No lesbian. No “straight” men nor “straight” women. Where the hell was our “diverse” city? Each candidate carrying a different banner, each with a varying degree of disenchantment with status quo or, in the case of the incumbents, a flag defining their accomplishment.
However, the challengers were voices from the crowd, some more strident than others. None muted. Discontent, a sense of being disenfranchised, of being ignored by the lords and ladies and their developer attendants in the throne room. A palpable discontent of the sort which leads to revolutionary murmurs.
Although the incumbents retained their seats of power did they hear the message swelling up from the sweaty peasants on the other side of the moat? As for fury, one candidate exercised his voice in calling out to remove, not the “damned spot,” but the “dogs of war.” The Bard is quoted everywhere these days with varying degrees of eloquence.
The obscenely low turnout of voters indicates what a complacent lot we are. Surely, those who actually care about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness have heard all the arguments for letting things happen – and then complaining loudly about the turn of events. Can you hear those folk now?
John Heilman wants to strip lobbyists of their ability to do campaign work.
That measure C passed is an indication of the degree of frustration over institutional intransigence and disenfranchisement of the citizens in favor of “outside “elements, those which seem to profit from the city’s every alteration. As one councilman now wants to bar certain types from being able to sup at every trough, it reminds me of how our democracy has been degraded by every sort of lobbyist and consultant.
At one time city officials went to Sacramento to plead a case or to get to know the state administrative process. Now we pay the slickest characters we can find to act in our stead. Of course, this is a national scandal as well as a local one – and expensive as well. It was well said that “money is the mothers milk of politics” and the wonder is how many mouths that great teat feeds.
The recent election favored two fairly well thought of incumbents and raised lots of questions - but not very many butts - from the comfort of their seats in the fantasy world of our American culture. The next municipal election should be a loud and raucous affair – I hope.
Maybe we can have mass rallies, parades and cars with loudspeakers drumming up the crowds; maybe we can gave flags flying and street corner debates – real debates, not softball loaded questions. Maybe – maybe.