Friday, January 7, 2011

On the Wing

This week, our backcountry beat reporter buckles in with a Bible Belt bureaucrat who's busting at the seams to become his own Uncle Sam.

Um ... Can I help you?

Just curious—what’s that look first-class passengers give us normal folks as we wait to take our seats back in coach?


You know, that disgusted lip curl mingled with a “Here’s hoping you suffer a stroke mid-flight” death gaze.

Honestely, I was trying to figure out if you were that Nigerian Underwear Bomber.


Excuse me, sir. We’ve overbooked the flight. Would you mind an upgrade to first-class?

Hmm, depends. Up here in full view of the flight attendents, will I be able to successfully hide my mobile devices? I've got a slew of text messages to fire off during the flight.

Sir, in first-class, you don't have to hide your mobile devices.

Oh, word?

It’s the only way to fly, my boy. Have a seat.

... A brother could get kinda used to this.

Indeed ... I’m Tex Prairie, btw, chief administrator of this great state.

Nice to meet you ... Beau Jangles, investigative reporter, The Morning Timber.



Come on, Tex ... You’re giving me that look again.

So I'm set up by the Lame Stream Media, eh? A journalistic ambush?

Stewardess, I’ll be switching seats.

Sorry, Mr. Prairie ... The only other first-class seat available is the one next to Keith Oldspice, the newscaster from MBNSC.

Which of THESE stewardesses will I be waking up next to TOMORROW!?!

... Uuggh

... I suppose it’s a short enough flight to Shreveport.

That’s the spirit, Tex! ... First off, allow me to congratulate you on your recent reelection.

A resounding 55 percent of the voters have spoken!

As has just under half of the electorate that voted against you in a red state that was looking mighty purple in 2008.

Nevertheless, this election was a referendum on the federal government, a mandate to continue my advocacy for states’ rights!

Listen, Mr. Prairie ... I’ve heard all the academic arguments both for and against limiting the federal government, but philosophical debates often only skim the surface of an issue.

I want to get real for a few minutes, really get down to brass tacks, and rap with you about what it would mean, what it would really look like, if this state were a sovereign entity unto itself.

Alright, sure—let’s go there.

First, a conceptual framework: Will you grant me, right off, that this whole states’ rights agenda is, at heart, a conservative one? Even if it’s a conservative ideal from which you feel both left-wingers and right-wingers alike might benefit?

Sure, OK.

And will you acknowledge that within the vast and ever-growing nebula that is conservative ideology there exist two primary and most clearly discernable camps: (1) free-market capitalists and (2) evangelicals?

Don’t think anyone would disagree with you there.

Great. So follow me on this one: Once your conservative agenda is fulfilled and the state is a fully autonomous, self-governing entity ...

And businesses jockey to drive down wages and increase their market share, completely unregulated, and legislation has been rewritten to reflect the moral precepts of a full-fledged theocracy ...

How would such a government hold itself together, what with the engine of industry continually working to undermine worker’s rights and the Christian populace, on the other hand, inevitably advocating for humanitarianism, which, as a self-preservationist measure, it'd surely be compelled to adopt?

Uh, come again?

Basically, how do you keep right-wing, religious ideologues sipping the Kool-Aid once this wave of libertarianism leaves them clawing and scraping for their very survival?

The same way you keep atheist tree-huggers clinging to the dead weight of liberal idealism long after the ship of inclusion, pluralism, and tolerance has all but completely sunk ...

One man, one mic, and one soul-stirring piece of oratory.

They saaaaaid ... They saaaaaid ... They said this day would never come!

Yes they did! Cheeeeeeeeeeeeer!!!

They saaaaid our sights were set too low. They said this state was too much a maverick, too eager to secede to ever come together around a common purpose.

But on this sweltering January night, at this redefining moment in history, you have done what the bureaucrats and liberal dreamers said we shouldn’t do ... Cheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeer!!!

In lines that stretched around cattle ranches and mega-churches, in hick towns and in congested cities, you came together as Tea Partiers, Republicans, and Libertarians to stand up and say that we are one plutocracy, we are one religion, and our time for laissez-faire capitalism has come!


Because we are not a collection of business interests and religious interests ... We are, each of us, a conflicted tangle of self-interest!


Any so-called Christian among us would forego Sunday service at the drop of a hat for a chance to profit exploiting child labor as head of one of the great multinational corporations headquartered in our state.

Preach it!

And any wage laborer out there among the crowd would ditch his corporate ladder-climbing in an instant had he the opportunity to live high off the hog like one of our state’s great evangelical demagogues.

Tell it like it is!

[... Demagogues who, btw, cut backdoor deals with blood diamond mine owners in Zaire while simultaneously demonizing and diminishing the plight of disaster victims of color both in the US and the Caribbean.]


It is this shameless self-interest, paired with our ability to wholeheartedly embrace two absolutely contradictory ideological positions at once, that makes our great union what it is ...

The Birthplace of Winners!!

And, yes, heh heh, the Birthplace of Sinners, as well.


We love you, Tex!!!

And we exploit you, citizen!

... It’s ... it’s just outrageous and diabolical enough to be perfectly plausible!

Here, Jangles, take one and pass them around.

What’s this?

Only the best part of the flight: pelting the stewardess with spitballs as she makes the pre-flight announcements!

You’ll find a safety information card in you seatback pock—Spak!!—Ouch!

Heh, heh, Bull's eye! ... Spitoo!


Come on, Jangles! ... Spitoo!


What are you waiting for? ... Spitoo!


Mr. Jangles, who’s giving whom the dirty look now?

Excuse me, stewardess ... I’ll take that seat beside Keith Oldspice now, if it’s still available.

New comic next week, 1/14!!


macon d said...

one plutocracy


Excellent stuff, as always. I came, I laughed, I sighed in appreciation. And then, in something like despair.

Jackson Brown said...

Haha! Thanks, Macon.

Missing Stuff White People Do, btw ... Looking forward to the end of your hiatus.