Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Arizona - Land of Lily-White Rich Republicans
The West is the land of the rugged individualist (read: misfit loaner who's a danger to himself and others). The West is the land of live and let live (as long as you live the way everybody else does OR keep your big trap shut about how you actually do live). The West is the land of tolerance (bullshit).
I went to work for a couple of rugged individualists in Seattle. Father and son were sole proprietors of a thriving electronics supply company which ran a string of marine electronics repair shops all around the Gulf of Alaska, from Juneau to Adak, in the Aleutian chain.
On the surface they were nice guys. But underneath... the son was the chairman of the Reagan for President committee in Washington State (did I mention, this was 1976-77?). He believed in the western ideal of rugged individualism --- he also believed that as long as you worked for him, he pretty much owned you. One day he dictated that NO EMPLOYEE could smoke... on company property or off it and anyone caught smoking would be frozen in salary and position until they quit (smoking or their job).
He also made it abundantly clear that he wanted all employees to join a gym. The one he belonged to.
It was about this time that I started noticing the abundance of bumper stickers around town, celebrating something called The John Birch Society. Something about him being the first casualty of the next World War -- or some bullshit like that.
I didn't last long in the rugged Pacific Northwest. I hated working for Fascists, so I decided to move to the most liberal city I knew, New York City.
But I never forgot that stint in Seattle. I never forgot how they mouthed a bunch of platitudes about the freedom of the individual, even as they dictated the terms of conformity. As far as I was concerned they were a bunch of hypocrites.
Now, of course, we have Arizona or, as I like to call it, Deutschland. It is my understanding that the State Police (der Staatspolizei) are being signed up for Rosetta Stone beginner's courses in German so that they can rattle off "Dürfen wir ihre papiere, bitte?" ("May we see your papers, please?") like a native. This will come in handy in the days and weeks ahead, as they round up brown people, queers, Jews, and anybody who doesn't look like either their governor (Terence Stamp in "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert") or John "I'm No Maverick" McCain.
I encourage all patriots, by which I mean anybody not from Arizona, to boycott Arizona businesses until this Fascist charade is overturned.