Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Yossarian Lives!

 Ron Crawford, over at Sewerwatch (  ) has completed a hilarious second round of puzzle-solving.  This one involving former BOS Katcho Kachadjian, he of the public crocodile tears and private “as little as possible” Chinatown ethos.

  Well, who can blame him.  Katcho’s punched his Ambition Ticket and moved on up to play with the big boys in Sacramento and you don’t get into that game unless you’re willing to ask no questions, and when asked to request a very simple, highly focused audit to answer a few simple questions on the State Revolving Fund (all fully documented with supporting documentation), your response will be to do “as little as possible,” or, preferably, nothing at all.  

If you want to know why The 99% hate “government,” Ron’s posting will show you why.  The public, official letters contrasted with the semi-private, wink-nudge casual e-mail exchanges are particularly telling.  It’s all a delicious mash-up of Through the Looking Glass and Catch 22.  Part III of this funny/tragic story will pick up again on January first, when Ron contacts the new “independent” state auditor and starts his “Waltz me Around Again, Willie” round of inquiries.  My bet is the nice lady heading up the new office is already firmly in the Chinatown loop. 

As usual, the local media, Tribune, New Times, Cal Coast News, all of ‘em are also into Chinatown mode.  For a politician, doing as little as possible, especially when it’s all about covering one’s ass, is understandable.  But for the “ watchdog press?”   

Spray Your Troubles Away

I love American snark.  No sooner had campus policeman Lt. John Pike sprayed seated, non-violent, non-threatening Occupy Wall Street protesters at the UC Davis campus, than some wag whipped out PhotoShop and there was Mr. Pike cakewalking through art history.  It was a deliciously satirical take to a needlessly savage act. ( at Huffington Post ) 

The visual symbolism of the real spraying is certainly telling – the absolute contempt, the indifference to the damage about to be done, the pain inflicted -- Mr. Pike as The Exterminator about to poison the bugs at his feet.  It was also an image that evoked the 1960’s, with Sheriff  Bull Connor blasting civil rights demonstrators with high-powered fire hoses.

As an icon of how the 1% views the 99%, Officer Pike dancing through art history doesn’t get any better than that. Let them eat cake. Pike is also a great reminder that things do not change much.  Power does what power does, even in a country whose government professes to derive its power from . . . We the People.  You know, those folks on the ground getting pepper sprayed in the face. 

1 comment:

Alon Perlman said...

Thanks for the prolific commentary, Ann.
Jaded enough to comment that the internet meme of the spraying incident is a poor demonstration of the rendering capabilities of photoshop. Even freeware ( allows a capture and a matching that places the Davis Campus police officer in a better light. Literally Chiaroscuro.
But I am dropping this comment as a nudge; Though not eternal, your blog entries have the right to link to their topic longer than the changing headlines- so suggest you use complete links such as rather than just www.huffi.etc.
Meanwhile the important events of the day have moved to "Pepper spray your fellow Black friday shoppers", and Wallmart 2 Dollar wafflemaker race-to-savings-riots.