When you gonna give me some time, Sharona?
Ooh you make my motor run, my motor run.
Gun it comin’ off the line Sharona”
— “My Sharona” by Burton Averre and
It’s the dirtiest song in the history of rock ‘n’ roll and perfect as the theme song of this year’s Nevada follytix.
“My Sharona” by The Knack was both the number one rock song of the 1970’s and number one in 1979, the year of the Iranian hostage crisis, which ushered in the era of King Ronald the Vague. And brought the nation and the world to its current sorrowful state.
If you would understand our current political environment, first abandon reason. It’s a show, a shuck, a shell game.
The American electorate is a dumb cow that follows the herd, is easily stampeded, gets milked for all she’s worth and produces offspring for use as meat, muscle or cannon fodder to benefit the few. When all used up, she is sent to the slaughterhouse so that she can give her overlords the last full measure of devotion, bones for Jello and hide for belts. No stars and stripes for her grave because she doesn’t merit one, having been totally consumed by our consumptive system.
New York Times columnist Bob Herbert, sounding a lot like a certain obscure Sparks Tribune writer, recently wrote that “voters do not feel that the administration and Congress have delivered the fundamental change they were seeking when they swept President Obama and huge Democratic majorities into office nearly two years ago...Democrats are in deep, deep trouble because they have not effectively addressed the overwhelming concern of working men and women: an economy that is too weak to provide the jobs they need to support themselves and their families. And that failure is rooted in the Democrats’ continued fascination with the self-serving conservative belief that the way to help ordinary people is to shower money on the rich and wait for the blessings to trickle down to the great unwashed below.
“It was a bogus concept when George H.W. Bush denounced it as ‘voodoo economics’ in 1980, and it remains bogus today, no matter how hard the Democrats try to dress it up in a donkey costume,” Herbert wrote.
“The Democrats are facing an election debacle because they did not respond adequately to their constituents’ most dire needs. The thing that is really weird is that a strengthened GOP will undoubtedly make matters so much worse,” he concluded.
So let’s laugh. It’s the height of irony that President Bush the Lesser announced in 2005 that he included “My Sharona” among the favorites on his personal IPod.
Former backbench Nevada Assemblycritter Sharron Angle knocked out the Chickens for Checkups Lady and Tark the Shark’s kid in the GOP primary. You underestimate Sharrona at your peril. She sports hyper-wealthy Bircherite funders who found true love with her: She is committed to making them richer.
I have met Nevadans of high education and great refinement who abandon reason to support Sharrona because all they really care about is maximizing their already fat trust funds. Gordon Gecko is back, big time.
Where does it all lead? Try Arizona, the legislature of which was described by Harper’s Magazine editor Ken Silverstein as “composed almost entirely of dimwits, racists and cranks. Collectively, they have bankrupted the state through a combination of ideological fanaticism on the Republican right and acquiescence and timidity on the part of GOP moderates and Democrats.”
These guys even sold off the state capitol building.
“Should the Republicans succeed in retaking power nationwide over the next four years, the country might start to resemble the right-wing desert that Arizona has become,” Silverstein predicted.
Tax cuts as an economic stimulus qualify as religious belief down there, notwithstanding an Arizona State University study that concluded they “have not had any perceptible effect on the state’s economic growth.”
By comparison, Nevada looks reasonable, but the dash to Kafkaesque burlesque looms oh, so very near with the utterance of one name: Chic Hecht.
Jacob “Chic” Hecht (“Chicky Baby” to his Nevada legislative staff) was an unassuming downtown Las Vegas dress shop owner, a fine, intelligent little man with a heavy lisp. I knew him rather well.
Because he was so unimpressive in person (the National Journal called him “the least prepossessing member of the senate”), his GOP handlers sent him to the Cow Counties for the duration of the 1982 general election against 24-year Sen. Howard Cannon, D-Nev.
My old friend Chic might have had a lackluster record in the Nevada legislature and not been impressive on the stump, but he photographed like a million bucks. In his first election in 1966, my old boss Bob Brown sold him as James Bond and got a Republican elected to the state senate from Las Vegas.
Now you know why Sharrona is avoiding the press and playing only to friendly crowds. Cute, cuddly and perky, she just needs to keep looking good on TV and fanning the vague flames of righteous rage at the rigged game that has dealt so many out of the American Dream.
You’ve been warned. So what are you going to do besides laugh?
Be well. Raise hell.
Andrew Barbano is a 41-year Nevadan and editor of NevadaLabor.com. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Tribune since 1988.