Small Town Exhibitionism

I have had plenty of nasty things to say about the People’s Green Socialist Republic of Santa Cruz where I live. (I remain here for two reasons. First, its superb ocean sites, second I like to stay close to the enemy where I can keep an eye on it.) There are also some nice things to say about the town.

First, street musicians abound here, on weekends but also on any warm evening. I always give them money, sometimes if only so they may take music lessons. Incidentally, this is also a town with an immensely rich musical life after dark. I am mostly asleep at that time but I sleep pleasantly in the knowledge.

Second, there are many murals about. I hate a few of them but they are not the ones that show People’s Heroes in the 1920′s Bolshevik style, as you might expect. They are the ones done in simplistic fake-childish style, according to an old-man’s cliché-filled unimagination about childhood. I won’t name him because I can’t afford the lawsuit right now against a man who is successful enough to be becoming rich on my local businesses stubborn bad taste. (I am still awaiting the fat oil company check promised to me because I “deny” global warming!)

Third, this is a town with not one, not two, but three bookstores. Everyone can buy his books on Amazon after I am gone, as far as I am concerned. In the meantime, I want the eye candy of rows after rows of new books. I do my small share by agreeably paying the couple of dollars more per book the privilege costs me.

Fourthly this is a university town with many restaurants although I would call few of them very good: It’s hard to maintain high culinary standards where your average cook is a Mexican who has not idea of what the food he prepares is supposed to taste like and the average diner is 23 and has never tasted anything beyond burgers and pizza.

Fifthly, there is much arresting street spectacle on nice days. A couple of days ago, on a sunny morning, a young man is walking up the main drag with his skateboard in one hand, his laptop in the other, and his plastic cup of coffee in his teeth. Dynamism, athleticism, intellectualism, and resourcefulness all rolled into one person, a sight that makes you smile.

Then, two teenage girls also walk by. One, the busty one, is wearing a tight white t-shirt with yellow bananas printed and the word “bananas” in black in several places. She is carrying her purse against her chest in a futile attempt to cover up. I am guessing she was feeling very brave this morning in her room, choosing her daring-vulgar clothes. Then, she walked on Pacific Avenue, crossing paths with dozens of guys, eye rapists each and everyone of them. I wonder if she is thinking that Mom is right, some of the time.

By the way, how I am longing for a no holds-barred debate between women on relentless female exhibitionism! It would go a long way toward countering the pernicious feminist simplification that has dominated our culture for two decades. I wouldn’t get involved in such a debate, I am too smart for this. I wonder though why it is that at the gym, all men who wear shorts were long shorts while all women who wear shorts wear short shorts. Go figure!

10 thoughts on “Small Town Exhibitionism”

  1. Damn, Terry! Those three $7.50 checks from Exxon sure did not do it for me. I am considering switching to true believer. More disinformation on global warming soon on my blog.

  2. “I am considering switching to true believer.”

    Unless I’m mistaken Al Gore just made a bucket of money, don’t shill for free.

  3. @Brandon
    I’m a Progressive not a Leftist so I will offer my opinion about why progressives are obsessed with the Koch brothers. In short they are perceived to be the most duplicitous political actors in American politics…an arena full of duplicity. More specifically they are perceived to be the kings of ‘astroturfing’, funding fake ‘grassroots’ organizations. Progressives would contrast the Koch brothers with Sheldon Adelson who dumped a huge amount of money into Mitt Romney’s campaign. But he didn’t hide it behind a hedge of shell organizations.

    On a related note, two comments on the source you linked. First, it uses cumulative numbers back to 1989. Second, it only covers ‘donations’. The first makes for misleading comparisons because it potentially uses different time periods. I’m sure the unions being whined about were active in 1989, I don’t know when Koch Industries hit it big. The second is definitely misleading because it dramatically understates using money for influencing politics.

    I find opensecrets.org a credible source, it’s the source for the misleading blog post you linked. What does it have to say about AFSCME [the largest union in your linked article] and Koch industries for the same year covering both contributions and ‘lobbying’?

    AFSMCE latest cycle
    Contributions $6,038,926 ranks 5 of 12,534
    Lobbying $2,680,000 ranks 205 of 2,880

    Koch Industries latest cycle
    Contributions $2,612,355 ranks 11 of 12,534
    Lobbying $10,430,000 ranks 31 of 2,880

    Head to head in the same year, who actually spent more money?

    1. Ah thank you for your explanation of why Leftists are obsessed with the Evil Koch Brothers. You find this obsession pathetic, don’t you?

      I would hope so.

      The article is not misleading, not really. It plainly states that it is providing numbers for political donations, and it plainly shows which organizations pump out the most cash for political campaigns. These are important numbers all by themselves, even if they omit numbers for lobbying efforts (a completely different process that is not associated with elections).

      I think the longitudinal approach is a great idea, as it puts the Left’s pathetic obsession with the Evil Koch Brothers in an important context. Simply put: The numbers show that money cannot be blamed for the intellectual and moral bankruptcy of the Left.

      As for your question, the Evil Koch Brothers obviously spent more money overall in 2012 (I’m assuming this was latest cycle) than a union. It is worth noting that the Evil Koch Brothers did not crack the top 10, the top twenty, or the top 30 in lobbying efforts.

      While they still spent a large amount of cash on lobbying, I think you would have to agree that the numbers render the Left’s narrative of the Evil Koch Brothers pathetic, no? I mean, why does the Left not hone in on the AMA like libertarians do? Why the silly conspiracy theories?

  4. @Brandon
    “You find this obsession pathetic, don’t you?”

    I would say misguided. In my opinion they are small potatoes in the larger landscape of political corruption but they are noteworthy…
    “A 2013 study by the Center for Responsive Politics said that nonprofit groups backed by a donor network organized by the billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch raised more than $400 million in the 2011 – 2012 election cycle.”. I think focusing on the evil brothers is an unfortunate distraction.

    “I mean, why does the Left not hone in on the AMA like libertarians do?”

    I don’t know, I only know one leftist and she’s here in Canada. My speculation is that the content of AMA lobbying is not objectionable to them for the most part.

    1. Thanks Dr A,

      Just two things: 1) Have you ever asked yourself why the Evil Koch Brothers feel compelled to (purportedly) spend $400 million on political efforts? That’s a lot of money not being invested in R&D or employment benefits packages. In your mind, is it at all possible that the Evil Koch Brothers are simply trying to avoid legislation by the likes of fascists such as Elizabeth Warren that would nationalize their businesses?

      Put another way: Are the Evil Koch Brothers playing offense or defense by investing so much money in the political process?

      2) I think the fact that Leftists cannot see that the AMA is responsible for the medical-industrial complex here in the US is telling of their worldview. Leftists are the people who, to paraphrase Henry David Thoreau, are hacking at the branches when they should be striking at the root of a problem.

      Do you find the AMA to be a major problem? I ask because it seems to me that if you think the Evil Koch Brothers are a bigger worry for the republic than the AMA you are likely to be a pawn rather than an independent thinker.

Please keep it civil (unless it relates to Jacques)

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