Which analogy do you prefer? The Star Wars cantina? …… a carnival sideshow? …… a circus parade? …… a casting call for The Walking Dead? Pick any one of’em to describe the latest series of Loonies Aplenty that have descended on the NC General Assembly.
With His Imminence Billy Barber as Ringmaster, a slew of agitated crazies have kept the legislative security force busy lately, and local observers asking “Who ARE those people?” ……
Yes….. dissenting dingbats have rights too. Except of course in places like Cuba, North Korea, Venezuela, et al where the loco loonies are in charge. There the right to protest one’s government is verboten. But Raleigh’s Jones Street is not Havana or Caracus so local hate-meister Billy Barber can scoop up endless loads of goggle-eyed crazies and dump them at the front door of the NC Legislature.
It’s all part of the Cycle of Life.
Several years ago BobLee did a knee-slapper about “visiting the DMV” in which he pondered “how come you NEVER see anyone you know when you go?” Not just the DMV but any such government “stand-in-line and wait-your-turn to be processed by a bored brain-dead clerk” agency.
I prefer to go in-person to renew my vehicle registration rather than do it on-line so, with three vehicles, I find myself at the local DMV several times/year. Dozens of DMV visits over the years and I have yet to see anyone I know or even recognize from my neighborhood, church, civic affliations, ball games, et al.
OK, I’m also usually the only one waiting in line without visible piercings, tatts or prominent knife scars, who speaks fluent English, and has a passing familiarity with soap and water. And the guy/gal in front of me ALWAYS has some convoluted tale o’ woe involving “my ex-wife / husband….. the po-liceman said….. the “repo man”….. and/or my parole officer said. Apparently dogs eat a lot of vehicle registrations and car titles. Who knew?
Pretty much the same sort of human detritus that Billy Barber scoops up for his Jones Street circus acts.
NOTE: I will give Billy credit for whatever weight-loss programs he is on. The once gianormous race-baiter is now down to around 300 lbs. I know that because McClatchy photo-journalists and WRAL film crews show us Billy B on a weekly basis. Billy Barber attracts more local media attention than Kim Kardashian gets in Hollywood.
The N&O and Jim Goodmon apparently assign staffs full-time to chronicle every move this guy makes. Wonder why that is ????
So anywhooo….. Billy B picks his gaggle de jour from three categories:
• The Welfare / Entitlement Bunch….. this group, 95% AfAm, are Billy’s “first team” that are always available to assemble, complain and demand more “gimmee gimmee”. Billy’s henchmen drive the church buses thru “da hood” and loads’em up. It’s usually no more than a few hundred max which Billy’s media sycophants exaggerate to “several thousand” regardless of how ridiculous that exaggeration is. The advantage of using this bunch is they already know the words to the chants. Billy or one of his henchman can hold up X number of fingers and they respond pavlovian-like with the appropriate chant.
• Group two are the local college kids of which there is no shortage in the Triangle. This is the same woeful lot that appear at candlelight vigils at UNC. Ever notice its always the same ones looking soooo sad in the background behind whatever disenfranchised dissident is complaining over whatever. Imagine paying $30,000/year for your kid to hold a votive candle and look sooooo sad. This bunch oozes “earnest”.
• Group Three appeared this past week – the Old Hippies. This bunch was Group Two above but 30 years ago. Their local HQ is Carrboro over at the far end of Franklin Street. Truly stuck in a late 60s time warp ……. imagine if Janice Joplin or Jim Morrison had lived to be 60-70. That be them. They still have old VW buses painted with rainbows and peace symbols…… tie-dyed t-shirts….. Birkenstocks etc all right from central casting. Yep, they still leave plenty of trash and garbage to be picked up at taxpayer expense.
Group Three wishes they were still Group Two. Group Two wants to “grow up” to be Group Three. Group One just wants more “free stuff”.
It really is pretty good “political theater” so long as you stand up-wind from’em. The local film crews and McClatchy crowd makes up at least 50% of the “crowd” every time. The legislators themselves are usually either “in session” or otherwise out of earshot of Billy’s shows but he’s not doing it for them any way. He “does it” because that’s how he stays relevant….. and because his media buddies can always use more B-roll.
Who ARE those people?….. indeed. Now you know.