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James Dean and Hillary? Don't Know. Wasn't There

The election fallout

This is Dark Cloud on Wednesday, August 17, 1994.

Once again, it looks like Clinton is going to get it done. The Crime Bill, held up in the House by the Republicans because it wasn’t bovine enough, looks like it is going to pass after all, with some watered down tripe thrown in so that it doesn’t look like inner city blacks are being coddled. Coddling consists of all night basketball during the summer, about the only thing that can be offered instead of jobs or education.

But Republicans, eyes focussed on their constituency of bitter middle class white people scared of the rest of the world, cannot even begin to be rational about the planet they live in. They want lots more prisons but no taxes to pay for them. They want lots more cops but want government out of their lives. They want no gun control but safe streets. They want to be hard nosed business types as long as the price supports continue. Democrats are little better. Democrats want heaven without having to die. They want safe streets without police, or prisons. They want dignity in life and are willing to do it by providing make-work jobs. They confuse jobs, time and good intentions with productivity, hard work, and point. And neither party, being essentially cowardly, will bring up overpopulation as an important issue, unless you can dump on poor black women on drugs without a clue and their absent boyfriends. Then, of course, you can discuss forcible sterilization.

But back to Clinton, who will get his Crime Bill and, I suspect, his Health package passed this year to the surprise of the aging and increasingly conservative press corps. Has anyone noticed how few new faces there are on network news? As people get older, they tend to get crankier and move to the right, and this is precisely what is happening. Even though there are more networks, there are hardly any new correspondents. CNN seems to be entirely composed of castoffs from CBS in its heyday. Why Jed Duvall turns up there, and he has, you can be sure they will hire anyone with credentials rather than train reporters. Networks are most interested in keeping the faces on the screen the same age as the population bulge, not too old like Brinkley, but not too young either. This is where the market place is a dangerous location. It tells its audience what it wants to here.

On more or less another subject.

In 1974, during the Watergate hearings, my wife and I and some friends attended the Boulder County Fair here in Boulder, the one that is now held in Longmont. There was a rodeo, and there was an announcer of the low end white trash republican Chamber of Commerce type blaring into the microphone. In an attempt to ingratiate himself into the audience, when a pig was released into the ring for some abusive treatment, he said, expecting a big laugh, “That’s John Dean, Ladies and Gents, John Dean.” Dead silence. Here was the marketplace in action, for Boulder at that point was no longer the affluent cow town it was to the 1960s, without liquor and paved streets. It was a young, rich, pseudo-Hippie hangout of Democrats slumming at the Rodeo and who felt John Dean was a hero for turning on President Nixon. It was quite soon thereafter that the annual Rodeo moved to Longmont. Lines had been drawn. Boulder banned smoking and edged towards vegetarianism away from beef and rodeo. Longmont still had Rodeo Royalty and formal wear still included a black pickup truck.

But it has changed. Boulder, restricted in growth, now has to live with itself in old age. Aging hippies and yuppies are unattractive because they do not gracefully age and they expect to be treated as young people. Longmont, on the other hand, is younger than Boulder, exclusive of the college, and nearly as affluent. While it may be that some poor porker was ushered into the rodeo ring and called Hillary this year, it is not certain. I wouldn’t know, I was home watching CNN.