McKinney Can Fight the Future All it Wants, But the Future's Coming, and It's Sockless

Categories: Schutze

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OK, we start with a cartoon on the web site of the McKinney Tea Party, depicting President Obama as a high-stepping, vaguely simian character dressed as a trumpeter in a marching band. The headline is "McKinney Sustainability Plan." A label over the president identifies him as, "Dear Leader Obama."

According to a story in today's Dallas Morning News, the cartoon expresses a current of unease and unhappiness in McKinney, a city of 136,000 that lies 30 miles north of downtown Dallas on US-75. People in McKinney, according to the News, have been expressing anxiety over a million-dollar grant the city won two years ago from the U.S. Department of Energy for the development of a comprehensive sustainability plan.

Sustainability, it seems, is bad.

McKinney critics of the sustainability plan are especially alarmed at certain elements of it, including farmers markets, bike lanes and water conservation. Another cartoon on the Tea Party web site shows a Homer Simpson-looking guy naked in the shower (is this a good self-concept?) while a masked burglar with "Dallas" printed on his chest breaks in the door. On the floor a copy of The Dallas Morning News bears a screaming headline, "Home raids long overdue."

The burglar is shouting, "Turn off that water! And where is your assigned bicycle?" A caption over the whole cartoon (sorry, these cartoons take some work) says "For the common good - 2019."

The year 2019 is significant in certain dystopian views of the future, but, you know what, we're going to have to get a move on here. The point is, what do these people think McKinney should be doing with its time and energy instead?

The McKinney Tea Party site offers suggestions, including information on how to stockpile food in preparation for the Global Meltdown. It advertises an upcoming seminar on canned goods, for example, open to all with only one restriction. The web page warns, "The only requirement is NO OPEN TOED SHOES!"

I have attended Tea Party events, and I feel that I have a pretty good feel for this particular demographic. I think the ban on open-toed shoes is a good idea, at least for their own demographic. I'm not sure why they wouldn't want to see other younger healthier toes. Maybe it's a competitive thing.

But look, this is all serious, if you live in McKinney. In the wake of these expressions of anxiety over sustainability, the city of McKinney, according to the News, is either abandoning or greatly scaling down all efforts toward any goal that could be described as green. McKinney may even have to consider changing its logo, a green tree over the motto, "Unique by Nature."

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They haven't asked for suggestions yet for the new logo, but I'm thinking in terms of a green tree with a big red X over it, with "No open-toed shoes" as the motto.

So, the second piece of the puzzle this morning is a terrific piece that ran on the front page of the New York Times Sunday Review section yesterday under the headline, "Republicans to cities: drop dead," a play on the infamous New York Daily News October 29, 1975 headline paraphrasing President Gerald Ford's opposition to a financial bailout for New York City. In yesterday's piece, author Kevin Baker, recounts the history of the Republican Party's love-hate relationship with the nation's great cities over the years, coming to what I thought was a hilarious conclusion. After describing the relentless march of diversity and urbanism out from city centers toward the farthest reaches of suburbia, Baker writes, "Republicans may not want to go to the cities. But that doesn't much matter. The cities are coming to them."

Ha! I love that! You can't keep us out, you green-hating, toe-covering, oatmeal-hording funny-hats. No matter what you do to bar us, no matter how high the walls, how deep the moat (song title?), we are a-comin', comin' to you with our farmers markets and our bike lanes and ... yes, ha-ha, yes we say as we cackle and rub our hands ... our toes! Millions and millions of toes!

So the last piece to think about this morning is Edgar Allan Poe and his short story published in 1845, "The Masque of the Red Death," the tale of the medieval prince, Prospero, who barricades his castle against the poor suckers outside who are dying of plague by the millions.

Prospero even throws a masked ball party for his wealthy friends, who compete in grisly costumes to see which best mocks the suffering of the wretches beyond the castle walls. The best costume by far is that of a stranger disguised as a plague victim in final agonies. And guess what! It's not a disguise! Everybody dies!

Ever since the story came out, writers have interpreted it as a metaphor for all sorts of things mainly having to do trying to put off The Big Inevitable. I take note that McKinney was founded in 1841, four years before Poe's story was published. I notice also that Poe's career suffered a serious set-back as a result of the New York City financial crisis of 1837.

Hmm.

It's so hard to figure out where stuff like this really comes from. In this morning's story in the News, a McKinney city councilmember is quoted saying, "We have some citizens that are concerned that our freedoms are being eroded. I think that is where this debate has come from."

Oh, no. That's not right. I mean, that could be a factor, but the whole toe-phobic thing is obviously way deeper than that. These people are deeply, deeply afraid of something. They sense a threat out over the horizon, something moving relentlessly toward them, a thing so awful it makes then want to stockpile canned goods. Think what it must take to make people actually want to stockpile canned goods! Those things take up a lot of space.

They're right. The cities are coming for them. The cities' toes are bare. Those toes are wiggling, wiggling, wiggling. And guess what. Those toes are REAL!


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32 comments
TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

I'm guessing that Rick Atkinson won't be having any gallery showings anytime soon.

sidewalkastro
sidewalkastro

Oh, one other thing, where have these people been hole up at. Don't they know that electric bicycles are all the rage with older white babyboomers.

sidewalkastro
sidewalkastro

The McKinney Tea Party sound as paranoid as some in Burleson when some town folk down there thought a rail line was planned for them.

MissMacy
MissMacy

Somebody around here has a foot fetish.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

This is the most inane article of your's I've ever read JS.  We could continue your history lesson and note that Texas became a Republic recognized by the US in 1837, and Michigan became a State that same year.  Two events that would eventually collide in the late 20th century to give us Jim Schutze.  A year later, 1838, saw Democratic President Martin Van Buren order the removal of the Cherokee from their ancestral lands, leading to a forced march in winter that killed hundreds.  The Trail of Tears was actually the last of the removal orders carried out against the native americans of the deep south, and brought to fruition the Democrat Party's vision of a racially pure South, cleansed of native peoples.

 

On the good side of history at the time of McKinney's nefarious beginnings is the Amistad case and Oberlin College becoming co-ed.

 

As for things that may make one want to stockpile canned goods; How about Nature and her various foul moods?  Mormonism?  I believe various North Texas Food Banks stockpile canned goods as well, we certainly must put a stop to that.

 

I'm with you on the toes thing, though.

Chuck_Schick
Chuck_Schick

So leaving debt from unchecked government spending to the next generation is bad, but initiatives to ensure there's clean air and water and a sustainable habitat are a waste of resources?

Edward
Edward

Let's walk through the current Tea Party/Republican beliefs (or lack thereof):

Don't believe in science

Don't believe in education

Definitely don't believe in "Socialism" or "Big Government" (except of course when it's THEIR Social Security check or Medicaid/Medicare pays for THEIR medical care...but certainly not for the OTHER people)

Don't believe in birth control/contraception/women's healthcare in general

Don't believe in saving/preserving/protecting the environment

Don't believe in evolution

Don't believe in equal rights ("Slavery was a good thing for blacks!")

Don't believe in sex education

and it goes on....

 

It's disturbing that our country seems to be going backwards instead of forwards, and it's not because of President Obama. It's because the Republican party keeps electing anti-science, anti-education, anti-environment, anti-everything people who are apparently trying to drag our country back to the 1800's. 

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

I'm in favor of the Cider Party. Mostly apple, but pear now and then. So refreshing. After a sixer, I can almost forget about the selfish, hateful, greedy bastards that have sucked on the federal tits for a lifetime, enjoying all the benefits of growing up in the USA and now think they pay too much tax, even though taxes have done nothing but go down my entire life. And yes, those gnarly toes should be covered up. Why can't these old people spring for a pedi now and then? I know they're too fucking fat to bend over and do it themselves.

ReaganTheFryCook
ReaganTheFryCook

For once, and let me emphasize ONCE, the Tea Baggers have come up with an idea that isn't thoroughly bigoted and numbskull...for the first time a rule we can all get behind:

 

Don't make us look at old conservative white people's feet. Yuck, great idea.

 

In fact, can the Tea Baggers just cut to the chase and enact yet another of their stupid rules that prevent us from being exposed to ANY AND ALL PARTS of a Tea Bagger's anatomy? We would greatly appreciate it.

Double-O-Joe
Double-O-Joe

Um...  I live in McKinney.  Close to Frisco, yes, but still in McKinney.  Neither I nor any of my neighbors have heard of either side of this debate.  Frankly, I didn't even know we had a Tea Party.  I guess someone needs to work on getting their message out a little better. 

oakclifftownie
oakclifftownie

There are businesses large and small in the McKinney area that are waiting receive  those checks that will be issued to do such projects

 

Damn Tea Party spoiling it for everyone !.

 

 

EdD.
EdD.

Ha! It's funny because dropping canned goods on your bare toes is a safety issue. I look forward to next week's insights into the hidden meanings of "use stairs in the event of a fire" and "employees must wash hands" signs. Bound to be comedy gold there, right?

rke
rke

"we are a-comin',  to you with our farmers markets and our bike lanes...."  and our racial division, our corruption and crime.  And since you won't pay for your schools, parks and roads you need to glom on to burbs.  Cause it's like urban hip, man.

Daniel
Daniel

Next major drought that comes along (we seem to get a serious one every decade or so), these same people will be bitching and moaning that Dallas should share its water with them. 

drtz
drtz

As long as the city continues to grow, the people of suburbs will have to either accept they're going to become a part of the city or move further away.

pak152
pak152

wow! simian like? seriously?

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

What is this?  Is this what passes for a stream of Schutzian consciousness?  I mean I get the general idea of this story: Schutze wants to go barefoot in McKinney.

 

CitzenKim
CitzenKim

Goebbels loved these type of people.

Tolldya
Tolldya

I hate looking at people's toes. Especially Tea Partier toes.  Good catch.

kduble
kduble

Don't believe in mathematics, either. How else could Romney talk about balancing the budget and paying down the national debt, yet promise to spend more for defense, more for space exploration, more for controlling the border, more for education (or so he said in the debate), all the while promising to lower taxes!

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

 @Montemalone Sadly, there's few American beers that one could drink anymore.  Bud, Coors, Miller; all foreign owned. 

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

 @Double-O-Joe In Schutze's book you are not only a dirty suburbanite, you're probably the de facto grand high poobah of the McKinney Tea Party.  You see, Schutze isn't aware that there are diverse peoples in the suburbs, he just rails at them from afar, for no apparent reason.

Guest
Guest

 @EdD. Good lord! I've been taking my life in my hands every time I walk down the canned foods aisle at the grocery store in sandals! Thank you so much for opening my eyes!

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

 @scottindallas Hornsby's cider is made in California, which I know automatically makes it commie-socialist, but I like it.

kduble
kduble

Schutze was attacking the McKinney Tea Party, not the city itself.

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

 @Double-O-Joe  @Montemalone I know, but I hate when that's all they have, not even the insipid Shiner Bock, that's when I reflect on the foreign ownership of all that shitty yellow beer.

Double-O-Joe
Double-O-Joe

 @RTGolden1  @kduble 

RT, as to your first point, I don't get that from Jim.  He might hate the diaspora towards the suburbs, but his vitriol (at least as far as I can tell) is mainly directed towards the entities that refuse to support the desires of the people. 

 

Secondly, I didn't get that at all.  He barely mentions the City itself, other than to describe the grant and the possible changes to the use of funds.  I doubt highly that the information in that DMN article is accurate.  The money is earmarked.  If the city doesn't use it for its intended purpose, it goes away.  Our city council isn't stupid enough  to let that happen.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

 @kduble Read it again.  Schutze makes very little distinction between the McKinney Tea Party and McKinney itself.

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