Chilly outside tonight. Will covering the peppers keep them alive?
Hello to Randy Russell aka GhostFolk, who calls FAR Future “an incredibly dynamic way to use the internet.” (Hey, I don’t have a reviews page!)
Speaking of chills, let’s get back to the story…
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Nothing Secedes Like Success
This is worse than election season. That, you could mostly get away from for a while — turn off the TV and radio, and you’re mostly in a campaign-free bubble. Since the Secession Question is also all over the net, and (at least here) dominates discussions even in the office (although the primary concern is whether we’ll all have to move north or not), I guess adding one more blog post to the general clutter isn’t going to push it over the edge.
The dividing line crosses both parties, the usual conservative/liberal divide, north and south, age, income, and just about everything else. Pollsters say beyond southern whites over age 60 (who are 2:1 pro-secession), southern blacks (uniformly against), and anyone under age 30 (2:1 against), there are no clear demographics for either side. The Gainesville paper did one of their “You Speak” columns on the topic; the arguments, both pro and con, can get amazingly silly. Bubba Something, pictured wearing a cap with a Confederate flag on it, said he was against it. “At least wait until football season is over,” he said. “The baseball leagues already play in Canada, so they have passports and they can work stuff out before the season starts.” I guess he doesn’t follow basketball or hockey. Then there was the kid with dreadlocks (but white) and a zillion piercings, who was for it “because we won’t have gas rationing anymore and we can cruise on Saturday nights again.” Lest you think the paper is going for the weirdest examples, they had an older lady who said, “Let’s keep this one nation under God, indivisible. Didn’t we learn anything from history?” and a businessman who said (and I agree), “Secession won’t make anything better. Our infrastructure is too integrated to just rip it all apart and draw boundaries.”
I can’t even get away from the question at FAR Manor. Mrs. Fetched has asked me a variation of the same question nearly every night for the last week: what are you going to do if we secede? She seems to think I’m going to pack my bags and bail for Michigan first thing… like we have enough gas allocations to do that. Sure, I’ve given it some serious thought, but right now I’m leaning toward sticking it out here on Planet Georgia. For one thing, she won’t leave her parents, and they barely leave the county anymore. For another, there’s a really good chance this whole thing is going to fizzle out either before it gets off the ground or shortly afterwards. Emotion rules the day today, but tomorrow people might start really thinking things over.
The talking heads are acting really weird now. It’s like their patrons had given them this idea to let people blow off steam about losing another election, but it got away from them so the marching orders are now to tamp it down. I’d guess Shotgun Sam is actually anti-secession, or he’s being told to be anti-, but most of his audience are pro- so he doesn’t have the nards to come out and say it. When you make a living being as politically outrageous as the FCC will allow, sitting on a fence doesn’t work well, and it’s showing. One of the chats was almost surreal yesterday afternoon: a caller was talking about “putting everything back the way it was supposed to be, before Martin Luther King stirred bleep up and all that.”
Sam stammered(!), “Um… y’know, you need to think about that. First, you don’t know if the union will split up or not. And even if it does, you’re talking about alienating a large group of people who already have a reason to mistrust you. You could provoke an uprising and give the other side a reason to invade — and all the guns you got aren’t gonna do much against what the Army and Air Force can throw at you.”
“Naw, naw, I ain’t talkin’ no Jim Crow. They can have their place, and we can have ours, and we jus’ stay outta each other’s bidness unless we both want to.”
“So you’re talking about a nation inside a nation that just split off from another nation?” I think Sam was trying to be funny, but it fell flat.
“I guesso, if you wanna look at it that way.”
Sam pried him off and went to a commercial right away, then when he came back he was on a completely different topic. When in doubt, change the subject.
Sam’s not the only one having second thoughts. After lots of demonstrations in Boise, and Coeur d'Alene nearly shut down with all the protests, the Idaho legislature is making noises about withdrawing their petition. The only surprise about Utah, though, is that they were a little slow to jump on the bandwagon. Looks like Idaho might give Utah their seat? The mountain West has hosted some of the strangest political shifts in the last 10 years or so, and you just can’t tell who’s going to do what if you don’t live there. The lower plains states (Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas) have secession bills in their state legi’s too, but not even Texas is really showing a lot of support for the idea. (Which is fantastic news, because there would have been a war over the oil fields.)
Vermont cracked me up though: they introduced a secession bill, and then even the guy who introduced it voted against it. I guess they wanted everyone else to know where they stood on the matter.
Sunday’s the day the “citizen’s militia musters.” I called some of the Atlanta stations and asked if they’d be interested in buying video, but they’re sending a crew. Oh well, if I don’t have to get up at 4a.m. that’s a Good Thing. It would have sucked royally if I’d gone down there to video a “division” of 4 or 5 people — the TV stations wouldn’t have bought that, and I would have gotten up for nothing. We’re supposed to have a hard freeze Sunday morning, so I plan and hope to be snug in bed then. With any luck, I won’t lie awake thinking about it.