… life in California’s ego-free zone


(flying busker in silver lamé, KT Tunstall, playing air guitar on the video of “All or Nothing” *)

Before being originally settled by the continental migrant-descendants of human cargo originally shipped across the Atlantic from Europe and Africa on cruise ships with few staterooms, banquet meals, happy hours or evening floor shows, the city of “water, wealth, contentment, health” was, of course, settled by people who were the descendants from earlier long-distance walkers who crossed the old-timey northern land and ice bridges that still occasionally connected the magma-floated and now drifting Gon’d Wanalands — even if it took a few hundred years more for the long-distance-walker kids to fully participate in purchasing their own franchises for democratically controlling the free will of the people.

LITTLE WOLF HANDSOME FEATHER: (incredulous) So you’re saying $3 million is a good price to determine a local election in the Bad Lands of North Dakota?

MR. BILL FROM AMERI-FRACK: Oh, yeah. It’s a steal. If this were California you’d be paying five, ten times that. You know, it’s still mostly prairie, here. And until prairie dogs can agree long enough on anything to hire legal representation, there just won’t be that many potential voters.

LWHF: You actually think that one day prairie dogs will have the right to vote?

MBFAF: Sure. Once the science of political-business-science can figure out how to deliver prairie dog voters.

LWHF: Why does that come first?

MBFAF: Democracy only works when some people are free to determine how other people vote.

In the 1870s of California’s Central Valley, however, determining how other people voted was more complicated. No tv ads. No sound bites on a tv evening news that’s read today like used-car journalists who are selling as much information characterization as possible in a 20-second spot. No computer-generated mailing lists. No means of tapping in to the trillions in hidden assets buried in coffee cans in the backyards of offshore banks. And no way to show, using computer graphics, definitive proof that your opponent is the alien spawn of travelers from a distant galaxy who “hate America for its free-dom.”

Back in 1870, with more people standing in front of the curtain than behind it, the “don’t vote for alien spawn” strategy was still just a political-action-committee dream waiting to be realized. In Modest-O — a town where a hundred years later hometown boy George Lucas would immortalize cruising in the 1960s on the town’s “American Graffiti” version of 10th and 11th Streets — humility was still something people could wear in public without the threat of being stoned.

MAYOR WILKINS: (writing letter) Dear Mr. Ralston: Just a note to let you know that the founding fathers of our fine community would like to call the town “Ralston” in your honor, as a way of thanking both you, and your Bank of California, for support.

WILLIAM CHAPMAN RALSTON: (writing letter) Dear Mr. Mayor: Thank you for your kind letter. To have your town named for me would be an honor I am, however, too humble to accept. As with other customers here at the Bank of California, we are only too glad to realize our humble part in using the money entrusted to us by others, to provide the investments necessary to help people realize their futures. That through diligence and perseverance our customers succeed in that endeavor, is the best return possible on our investment as it honors the very idea of social stability through shared wealth, that we in the financial system are working hard to keep alive.

CUSTODIAN IN MAYOR’S OFFICE: (holding broom handle, reads letter on desktop; mutters to self in Spanish) Oh, muy modesto.
20160902 17:10 (621 words)
▸ * KT Tunstall performing: -a) “All or Nothing”; and -b) “The Healer”, both from the EP “Golden State” 2016
▸ Winstersleep performing: -a) “Santa Fe”; and -b) “Territory”, both from “The Great Detachment” 2016

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