Respecting Opposable Points of View

« November 2005 »

Memo to Oscar Goodman: YOU ARE DUMB.

I don't care that you're ostensibly a Democrat. I don't care that you're one letter away from being the Bionic Man's boss. You are an old-fashioned idiot. That's two separate descriptions, by the way - he's not an idiot the way they were in days of yore. He's old-fashioned, and he's an idiot because of the specific way he's old-fashioned.

Oscar Goodman is the mayor of Las Vegas, with all the implications of corruption, bribery, and general inthepocketry that come with "running" America's only municipal theme park with hookers. So when it comes to a serious discussion of policy on, say, crime, Oscar Goodman is not the guy you want as your keynote speaker. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"You know, we have a beautiful highway landscaping redevelopment in our downtown. We have desert tortoises and beautiful paintings of flora and fauna. These punks come along and deface it."

Wait. That actually makes sense. A city mayor being concerned about graffiti, which, before you send in your e-mail, is an art form AND a property crime. I'm not going to stand between Marc Ecko and Jack Thompson, I'm just going to sell tickets and hope for simultaneous killing blows. So anyway, I was supposed to be proving that Oscar Goodman was a deranged moron, so that wasn't the actual quote I meant to use. That was the "crime" part of the Dostoyevskian dichotomy I was setting up. ACTUAL PUNISHMENT QUOTE TIME!

"I'm saying maybe you put them on TV and cut off a thumb. That may be the right thing to do."

What I love most about that quote isn't the thumbs part that everyone else is talking about. That's obviously an insane, very-old-school, Dark Ages punishment. It's no more outre than your Ann Coulter "kill them and convert their children", or the "creative sentencing" ideas that get judges from small towns in the newspapers every couple of months. No, what I love is the TV part. Because that's how you know this isn't just any mayor, this is the mayor of LAS MOTHERFUCKING VEGAS, where if it's not part of the entertainment industry, it's just not good government.

There was some other shit he said too, about the value of caning, the historical precedent of beheading in France, and how the kids today just won't learn unless you take away their ability to hit the space bar. All televised, and probably on pay-per-view. Fuck, this is the mayor of Vegas, he could get Mike Tyson to bite the kids' thumbs off and really rake it in.

The good news is, he did shore up his Democrat bonafides by emphasizing the graffitists would get a trial before they lost their thumbs to an elaborate stage contraption complete with fireworks, half-naked showgirls, and that Siegfried and Roy tiger that's tasted human blood.

It's not much, but it's more than the CIA's "black site" prisoners are getting.

By the way, to give you a bit of an idea of Goodman's political acumen BEFORE declaring war on tool-using mammals, this is the same man that, a couple of months ago, told a class full of elementary school students that if he could take one thing with him to a desert island, it'd be a bottle of booze.

And no, he didn't have an elaborate survival rationale in which tequila is like some kind of Swiss army knife in alcohol form. He just loves the sweet, sweet booze. And watching people get their thumbs cut off on TV. And if that's really so wrong, I'm sure the fine citizens of Las Vegas will let him know in the next mayoral election.

And I would like it noted for the record that, unlike the many fine news organizations covering this story, I was able to make it through an entire article without a single "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas" joke. Why? Because you, the reader, deserve better than that.