That was a Special Election. The kind fit for a short bus. It reminded me of prom. Tons of hype coupled with tons of money and in the end the only thing notable was a man being metaphorically neutered for his bravado.
What I have gathered from these smaller elections, here and around the country is that there is a trend on the ballot these days to try to pass annoying laws. Annoying, in the sense that they cause MORE bureaucracy in an attempt to legislate morality all under the guise of conservatism.
This week, Texas passed a law that would outlaw gay marriage. Not that it was legal there before, but now marriage there is specifically between a man and a woman. And I’m sure Texas is a better place for it.
Kansas passed a measure that would allow something known as Intelligent Design to be taught in the classroom. We’ll all keep track of the Nobel Prize winning scientists to come out of Kansas public school system, deal?
Here in California, we had Prop. 73 which would require a pregnant minor notify someone before she was to get an abortion. It didn’t have to be her parents; it could have been a judge. Public humiliation for what should be a private medical procedure. The measure failed, mainly because Schwarzenegger endorsed it. Thanks Kindergarten Cop!
These voter initiatives all come from the idea that if we as a society object to someone doing something, or even worse – believing something – it should therefore be illegal. That is our only recourse. Suddenly, a free society has come to mean that we are all free to know what people are doing and not like what we see. Being an American has become a big reality show where we get to know all and judge accordingly.
I’m speaking, of course, about American society as a whole. Not Los Angeles.
My family back in Texas and Louisiana think that Los Angeles, is a hive of liberalism and perversion. I think it’s perverse to call Los Angeles liberal at all. Los Angeles, is ‘old school’ conservative. The brand that existed before the Religious Right (or “correct” as they like to think of themselves) hijacked the GOP and started collectively being the squeaky wheel of the nation. I say this because in Los Angeles, commerce weighs in greater than morality. Less government interference. If the economy is strong who cares about the rest? What I do in the privacy of my own home is none of your business. Free market, enterprise and capitalism. In short: we are usually against annoying laws on principle.
No, here moral crusades stop around Riverside and then get ignored.
In Los Angeles, it is possible, and I’m sure happens all the time, that you can have an entire conversation about pornography and not be talking about sex. Because in Los Angeles, and more specifically the San Fernando Valley, pornographers are also homeowners, tax payers and the people that hire you to cater their kid’s birthday party.
It’s a city where “anti-gay” means that the new decorations on Santa Monica Boulevard are too tacky or not tacky enough, as the case may be.
Actually, it is really hard to be anti any group of people. Because no matter how long you live here, you will eventually end up being lost in one of their neighborhoods. Personally, I was prejudice against the neuvo riche until my car broke down in Beverly Hills and then I found out that they are not all that bad.
So when I saw the preliminary results on the election, and Prop. 73 were really close but LA hadn’t been counted yet. I knew the measure was toast. If they were waiting on LA to weigh in, I knew the tally would be heavy on the ‘get lost’ side.
Take the prolonged attempt to ban lap dances. The ban was passed by the city council. Then fiercely challenged. Then quietly compromised. All because the opposition claimed that it would hurt the city’s economy. The patrons could just take their sin-money but more importantly their money-MONEY to Vegas. The proponents claim strip clubs are hotbeds of prostitution. Uh, sorry, you’re going to have to go a little farther South on The 5 to sell moral outrage.
I say this to the other end of the political spectrum as well. If you want support for your cause in LA, whatever it may be – whatever you do – don’t cause more traffic. We can be Anti-War all day long, but come time for us to go somewhere and we are ALL Pro-Shut the hell up and get out of my way!
I know it’s archaic and almost difficult to imagine conservatism sans a bible. But it used to exist. I see Los Angeles as a throw back to it. A city that can easily say, ”No we’re not liberal. We just really don’t care.”