“After the ecstasy, the laundry,” goes the Zen adage.
Or in Sacramento terms: “After Independence Day celebrations, the grindstone.”
And it looks like the grindstone is still winning. Big 5 leadership noses rubbed raw. Budget gridlock continues. Tough, impossible choices are delayed. No news here.
And really, does anyone really care outside of Sacramento? Isn’t it totally plausible that our elected officials are getting more calls from constituents wanting help getting tickets to the Michael Jackson memorial service than are grousing about the budget? Our legislators have got to be breathing a huge sigh of relief that the Michael Jackson Saga is sucking so much media and public attention from away from the impasse. Nothing like a good soap opera to relieve the pressure.
For a minute, let’s suspend reality and dream of a world when Californians and the media gave even a fraction of the attention and energy into our dysfunctional government as is going into the King of Pop’s funeral arrangements and second coming [The Blue Dog, swear to God, actually saw a newscast this evening devoting coverage to some local guy who says a knot in his birch tree contains the face of Jackson].
One percent of that kind of interest in the Capitol and we’d have a budget. Five percent, a revolution . . .
Yeah, Independence Day is a time for feeling good about our country, state and freedoms. But that is only half of the bargain. The other piece is that we all possess a responsibility to be passionately engaged in our Democracy. When we pay obsessively more attention to birch trees and dead celebrities we shouldn’t complain too much about the government we get.
The contrast between what is going on in LA and Sacramento over this past Fourth of July and well into the foreseeable future is almost too much to bear. Meanwhile, we’ve got a lot of laundry piling up.