It's always been my Poor Wife who's done this, switching on the locals at 5 AM when she woke up early. She's constitutionally better prepared to take it than I. And then, when we sat down evenings to watch the First-String locals try to sound out phonetically what was on their teleprompters she'd already know the stories. Now, unfortunately, I do, too.
You are in all likelihood blissfully unaware that Super Bowl CMLXVII, or whatever it is, will be held in Indianapolis next February, a sop to the city for the NFL's extorting a new $1 billion football barn ("The House That Curtis Painter Built") out of us. Experienced Indianapolis watchers with a sense of the larger world outside that hasn't been acquired through the television--there are at least three of us--are accustomed to weathering these periodic bouts of mass delusions of Importance, or Greatness, or whatever it is media-driven civic boosterism inflicts on our fellow citizens. Indianapolis accidentally elected a proto-Teabagger, one Gomer P. Ballard, mayor four years ago. He expressly opposed the Democratic-Republican incumbent's efforts to bring the Super Bowl here. So, of course, he led the charge for it once we got it, and has been spending public monies on trying to impress people who have been to actual big cities with actual cultures and who will be here for four days, tops. Meanwhile, the massive public-funded improvements will be with us for generations, or, judging by the fate of earlier city spruce-up deals, about eight-twelve years before the sub-standard concrete begins crumbling.
Well, you can't start something like that rolling downhill without people finding out, and that includes state and local office holders. A few months ago some Texas-based group of public beggars, in cooperation with a few Lone Star law enforcement officials equally repulsed by the idea of people having sex, blew, you should pardon the expression, into town to regale Hoosier law enforcement officials with tales of people having sex on or near Super Bowl Sunday in Big D last year, while thumbing their noses at all the good people of Dallas who spent the day in church. The group has been collecting donations and haranguing the NFL ever since, with tales of Rolling Limousine Brothels clogging the streets and unlicensed kiosks on every corner selling nude fourteen-year-olds. The fact that none of this is reflected by anything which could be described as a Police Blotter just proves how invidious and all-powerful these sex traffickers are.
So then shortly thereafter we got press releases from local leos and the State AG Greg Zoeller…
who, by the way, has just reached the point in every Indiana Attorney General's first term where he looks around and realizes he's got nowhere to go politically excepting four more years of where he is, because his party, usually the Republicans, have all the national offices already filled with political non-entities and low-handicap golfers, and starts casting around for some reliable (i.e. wingnut, religious) source of political donations for a campaign he'll never run, before getting a semi-sinecure at some "conservative" or "bipartisan" DC firm. We're almost at the point where the last one--Steve Carter, Esq.--raided Planned Parenthood without a warrant, and told everyone between here and the hinterlands of the Bible Belt that there'd be plenty of arrests for shielding child prostitution rings just as soon as he went through all the files he stole. Zoeller's in an even worse position than most, because Mitch Daniels already appointed Mike Choirboy-Pence his successor, by giving Lt. Governor Becky Skillman an incurable but non-debilitating disease , in exchange for Pence not cockblocking Daniels' Presidential run. So Getting Right with Jesus is the first order of the day for ambitious Hoosier Republicans, and the Good Lord knows there's no better place to do so than on a mattress stuffed with tax-exempt religous wingnut dollars.
uh, press releases, I say, in which the allegations of Satanic Human Chattel Rolling Bisexual Butt Orgies taking over the Sacred, I mean the Super, Bowl, became fact, and in which our sworn officers of the law vowed to fight to the last man for the right of every wholesome reveler not to have to think about such icky stuff. Let alone participate.
The obliging City-County counsel was way ahead of them, having set aside their Constitutionally-prohibited-but-who-gives-a-shit anti-pandhandling crusade--the one they formally enacted a couple years ago, but are only planning to use for one particular week--long enough to enact stringent health regulations for massage parlors and new licensing requirements for people who subject other people to friction. And Monday the newly-empowered police force pounced, raiding thirteen good-time establishments, resulting in…lemme just double check those numbers…zero arrests, deportations, or flashy slave rescue efforts.
All wasn't lost, though:
"In one place they found rodent droppings," said Katie Bannon, Indianapolis Code Enforcement.
Though, if you'll forgive me, as a young man who tried desperately to come of age before the Sixties ended, it wouldn't surprise me to learn the cops brought their own.
Speaking of expert testimony, that same day brought the sounding-out of horrifying ("for Parents!") teleprompter news that more Marion county middle schoolers are on the marihuana than ever before in recorded time, according to what Marion county middle schoolers told some asshole who asked them about marihuana use.
Now let me just go on the record here: middle schoolers should not smoke weed, and they definitely should not drink alcohol, snort nutmeg, huff paint thinner, or watch television, all of which are worse. They should be too busy diddling themselves, and each other, to have the time, or anything approaching the necessary boredom.
Meanwhile, adults who've reached that demo without being, or becoming, credulous yokels shouldn't lie for money. A case in point being the hairdo who got to read this line as an intro to the thoughts of one Nancy Beal, spokesliar for something called Drug Free Marion County:
"Now while some say marihuana is harmless, others say that isn't necessarily the case."
Guess which side we actually got to hear say that?
Ms Beal's rebuke was that marihuana often caused paranoia as one "came down" from a "high". Which, you'll pardon the personal observation for a moment, caused me to suggest that she ought to consider what Mitch Daniels' educational scorched-earth policy does to teachers.
What I didn't get to hear I did read on Channel 8's website later, though, as Beal continued:
But among the best advice, Nancy Beal said, is to be suspicious.
"I think you still have to be suspicious,” she said. “I think you have to go through your kid’s backpack. I think you have to go through their room, and look for signs of trouble."
Gee, lady, I wonder why drugs turn people paranoid.