Monday, May 18, 2015

Fever Dreams

It's no longer news that the State of Texas, that cynosure of every secessionist's fever dreams, is monitoring some local Department of Defense training operation for sinister and subversive intent. Why the federal government would want to own Texas is anyone's guess except that it already does, so what's the big deal? In the world of crazytown news, I've come to think of Texas as the new Floriduh (another state which keeps a pretty stiff pace).

I know that I have foresworn my usual diet of tinfoil-hat political mockery, and that this particular bit of regional exceptionalism is old news by now. But as I think I've mentioned, I am residing literally within spitting distance of the state (not that I would ever do that), and everything at the house here has been quiet since the rains started and they shut off the irrigation sprinkler motor across the road (in Texas). Which brings me to my point.

While these sorts of febrile federal-takeover maunderings are the stuff of internet geniuses, adolescent masturbators, and those intelligent enough to see that it's already over, Texas guvunner Greg Abbott has endorsed this mawkish foolishness by deploying the state's national guard to monitor the comings and goings of our boys and girls in government-issue camouflage, now wandering across the abandoned reaches of West Texas, a strange place unto itself but still nominally within the national boundaries. (And frankly a better place for our military personnel than others have imagineered them into.)

If you look deeply into Gregg Abbott's eyes, as you can do in this photograph of him waving his hands like an ESPN hockey commentator . . .

 . . . you can probably detect nothing more sinister than a genetic vacancy, as you would expect to see in the blank gaze of any elected official - though not quite barking mad, like the chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, who wears a cross on his sleeve - lapel - as a sort of shamanistic assurance (as in 'everything's working out fine,' not as in 'oh shit, we're all nailed') . . .

"Imagine that this here snowball is the earth's left testicle."

I have no further wish to asperse Texans in particular, having come to know and admire many fine specimens of the soil, and having already had my fun in these pages during the reign of Guvunner Rick Perry, who also weighed in on the Jade Helm speculation to allay the fears of his fellow citizens by differentiating between a noble American military tradition on the one hand, and an upstart, sharia-inspired federal presence on the other. That, little as it may be, should keep the lid on in Waco. (Which is really a different thing from Ferguson and Baltimore, see, because it was white dudes, and they are not a bunch of savages who riot.)

But in a gentler time when people went crazy, we kept special places for them and transported them there in the padded van . . .

 We offered expert and specalized treatment by a rigorously trained medical profession . .
 "Hey, I t'ink we gonna hafta take offa da head."

These days we just lock them up (when they happen to look like this) for as long as we can manage to make them stay . . . 

Angola (LA) State Penitentiary lifer Chris Gage

When they look like this - a vacancy of forceful, manly, whiteness - we elect them to the statehouse, even when they exploit their elected office by enacting the sort of lethal mayhem calculated to keep them in it for as long as they can manage to stay.

Sic transit gloria patriae

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