JACK NEWORTH, FORGIVE ME
Not trying to invade your territory. I know how much this pretender president offends you in every way, as a patriotic and informed American. And how you have made it your mission to satirize him often in your “Laughing Matters” column, not because you are convinced it will make a difference but because you feel we all must do what we can, every moment, to not let his assaults on our system of government and our way of life go unanswered.
I salute you for that, and as someone who feels the same way I have mostly stepped aside from commenting in my column, bowing to your sharper pen. My words usually just come out angry, but using humor is a good device. Except…
I heard a fascinating report on NPR radio this weekend about how such political satire can have the opposite effect: it can make the object of the satire more likable. When we laugh about someone, they don’t seem so scary, so bad. Witness SNL’s Tina Fey as Sarah Palin (they even appeared together on the show, great for ratings, eh?), and all the hilarious portrayals of Donald J. Trump.
But carry on, Jack. I support your mission. Your satire does not leave him seeming sympathetic. I will continue to defer to you. But on Monday I watched the White House press conference — all 17 minutes of it (George W’s averaged 32 minutes, Obama’s nearly an hour, even Sean Spicer never held one running less than 25 minutes) — and I just have to say something.
I pretty much transcribed that whole dang thing to be able to remind people of one small part of the assault on normalcy and our government that goes on every day in this tweet-adled administration. The brainwashing deception that never ends. But now I would need another whole column just to hit you with it all.
Preaching to the choir, right? The big problem is the ill-informed who eat it up as fact. So I will just leave you with these scary comments posted below the YouTube video.
“God Bless Sarah Sanders and the Trump Administration”… “Good job, Sarah!”…”no discretion and/or respect for the White House Press Secretary, clearly obvious by the questions moronic reporters have chosen to ask. You really have to be a special kind of nosey, meddling, manipulating, & stupid, kind of a hypocrite! The LOW-LIFE SCUM!! Who else would re-ask the same question that was just asked?”… “MAGA MAGA MAGA finally we have wonderful president and vice president Mick pence”…”I volunteer to be the one selected to stick a pole with barbed wire up the ***** of most of these democratic libtards who ask such pointless targeted questions of Sarah.”
This is a real danger. Citizens so ignorant of how our government works, so manipulated by lies, so willfully ignorant of facts, that they will go anywhere, are the harbingers of fascism. It can happen here. Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ soulless performance once again made me shake my head that this could be happening, but knowing there were millions eating it up made me a bit ill.
BUT WHAT ABOUT SANTA MONICA?!
Indeed. What surrounds the sick joke of a White House press conference these days could plunge the world into nuclear war. Not to mention option 2, slower death by environmental disaster.
Here in Santa Monica, we only have to worry about fast-rising serious crime like murder, home invasion, assault, seemingly unsolvable homelessness issues that can be deadly for both victim and community, gridlock, diminishing water reserves, extreme gentrification, climate change issues for a seaside town, the Wall of Lincoln, steeply escalating housing costs, and a City government whose notion of the future of a progressive city by the sea is one that’s sold off to developers (cheaply) to build to the sky and to the sidewalks, all supposedly for the sake of a few more “affordable” units to bring more people into a city that’s already choking on its own density.
People expect me to write about Santa Monica and I’m glad and privileged to be able to do that, so even when this horror show of a president has caught my attention, I would like to throw out a few, just a few, of the issues we are facing here, in my “Question of the Week” section below. Maybe I can get around to some of them in the next few… years if we still have a Santa Monica by then that we care about.
QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK: When they build the 47 apartments (but wait! four, total, one- and two-bedroom units, will be reserved for “low-income families”) and 17,000 sq ft of retail at 2903 Lincoln (the southern end of the coming Wall of Lincoln), will there be any problem at all with the 151 cars in their parking garage exiting onto Lincoln, across a sidewalk with pedestrians, bikes and Birds, trying impatiently to get into the dense flow of traffic? Is it in our best interests to cut out Coastal Commission oversight for our own coastal plan, maybe as soon as July? More hotels on the beach! And whatever did happen to the report on parking at the Civic that would have reserved space for a much-need playing field there, after 12 years of the City promising it? They sure got the other reports filed quickly. What about that early childhood center, a glorified kindergarten, that will cost the City millions in subsidies but benefit mostly the children of RAND, SMC and City Hall employees, most of whom probably won’t even live in Santa Monica? What are we going to do with all these high-end pensions for City employees that will come due and break our bank — how about caps and farming out some of that work? Keep hiring even more and more at six-figures, for the most bloated city staff in CA? What about the bungled Lincoln Middle School student walkout, kids exercising free speech rights, supporting safe schools? Term limits for the City Council, and how about the SMC board? With whom is the school district and the City sharing our collected data? Does SMRR and Local 11 Union control our politics while resident voices are ignored or rudely shushed? Tip of the iceberg…
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion.” — Alexander the Great
Charles Andrews has lived in Santa Monica for 32 years and wouldn’t live anywhere else in the world. Really. Send love and/or rebuke to him at email@example.com