Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Welcome To Hooterville

Like a lot of people I know, I'm a little dazed and disoriented. I didn't expect to be hit quite so hard by the outcome of the election, although I knew I was invested in 2004 like never before. Never before did it seem to me so imperative to change the direction of the country. Never before was it so clear to me that we had not only an incompetent President, but a cruel one, propped up by a vicious and greedy Administration. In the months leading up to the election, I made phone calls, wrote letters, talked to anyone who would listen, supported my candidate. I was heartened to find that there were many others that felt the way I did. Surely, after the Travesty of 2000, things would be different this time around.

Alas, it was not to be.

On the morning of Nov. 4, I woke up in Hooterville.

Hooterville, for those of you who don't remember the '60s TV sitcom "Green Acres", was a small rural town filled with crazy people. Let me take this opportunity to fervently stress that it is not the 'ruralness' (for lack of a better word) that I am referring to here. These same types of characters can be found in virtually any sitcom setting - big city, suburbs, rich, poor - so don't go thinking I'm bashing the 'Heartland' like some over-educated, no-values-having, Cosmopolitan-swilling liberal elitist. It just happened to be the setting for this show. For those still unclear on the concept, think "The Simple Life" meets Franz Kafka. Anyhow, the story is about a New York City lawyer who longs to lead a simpler, more uncomplicated life - to buy a real farm and really farm it; to get 'back to the land'. His ditsy-but-sexy Hungarian wife loves the big city and has no interest in leaving New York. The husband puts his foot down, however, and off they go.

Once they get to bucolic Hooterville, though, nothing is as it seems. Bets are taken by the locals as to how long the greenhorns will last. Right away poor Oliver Douglas has to start dealing with the resident Con-Man-In-Chief, Mr. Haney, who, having begun the show with a swindle, makes it his mission in life to fleece Mr. Douglas at every opportunity while ladling on the country charm.

Everyone on that show, including his wife, was just nuttier than a fruitcake, and yet Mr. Douglas was the one who was unable to prevail. A reasonably sensible man, he stood no chance of success, because he was trying to deal with his neighbors in a rational, logical way. In return, he was constantly lied to, important information that everyone else knew was routinely kept from him, he was tricked into paying for things that already belonged to him. And, of course, always served up with a heapin' helping of hot, steaming corn-pone.

I didn't watch the show all that much growing up because it made me vaguely uncomfortable. It seemed wrong, somehow, that this basically decent guy couldn't get a break, ever. He didn't try to come in to the town and change things; he just wanted to learn how to fit in. He tried to play by the rules, but they kept changing the rules on him. His only fault was not being as crazy as the rest of them.

This is how I've been feeling lately - as if I have somehow wandered onto the set of "Green Acres". The inmates are in charge of the asylum. I've put up this blog in order to try and sort out what the hell happened, what the hell's going on now, and what the hell to do next!


Lisa said...

I was hit pretty hard by the outcome of this election, too - this was the first year of my life I ever gave money to a campaign - I just knew Bush had to be beat and I believed Kerry was the man for the job. I really thought he'd get it, too...really did. Now I feel just like you've described; as if I've woken up on the set of Green Acres wandering around looking at my neighbors going "What is WRONG with you people??? I mean, can't you read, can you research anything at ALL? How COULD you???" Knowing that half the people in my Hooterville voted for Bush, I look at the neighbor on my right and on my left and wonder which one was it...but I know...it was the one on the right. Now I feel like I have to look at him warily for the next four years - and if things get much worse because of Dubya - maybe I'll even get to stick my thumbs in my ears and wiggle my fingers, stick out my tongue and cross my eyes at rightie. Then give him the finger and say "Hey, don't blame me - I voted for Kerry."

Great writing, by the way - nice smooth reading :)

Alicia Morgan said...

Thanks, Decaf! A big reason for my doing this is because I know it can't be just me. I've talked to so many of my friends who are still reeling. I'm hoping that, by getting together and pooling our ideas, options and resources, we can make a change and be ready next time - that is , if there IS a next time and we aren't under some kind of martial law...yes, exaggeration for effect, but - it's happened before.

Sticking your fingers in your ears - that seems to be exactly what everyone has done in the face of the plain facts - "La la la - I can't hear you! I'm not listening! La la la!"

I have 4 kids, counting my husband's oldest - caffeine is my one remaining vice!

Kyle E. Moore said...

Okay, that explains a bit. I have to admit, you kind of lost me with the Green Acres reference over at my blog. As you explain it though, I realize it is just like today... with a laugh track.

Of course, I have to point out that I LIVE in Hooterville. Nice conservatively red Virginia. Sort of like decaf said, I can point out the Bush voters, only in my case, I do that by opening my eyes and stepping out of my house. As a liberal, I feel almost like a back alley stolen goods dealer, floating from person to person saying, "psst, hey, do you believe in gay rights?" Instead of selling stolen rolex's, I'm selling an ideology.

But I'm used to it. These are people who, out in the smoking area (Sorry Alicia, I love caffeine, nicotine, greasy foods. I've got vices out the whazoo), can go back and forth between talking about the Bible, and our military might with the same amount of reverence.

So I wanted to move after the election. If not to Canada, to at least a blue state. But that's not where I'm needed. So here I stay, turning one Bush supporter at a time.

Mr. M

Jim Pankey said...

I was dismayed (to say the least) at the election results and follow-up continuation (after the 2008 election) of Bush policies by our latest president.

Hypocrisy is one thing I can't stand, but there seems to be so much of it now, it's like a heavy atmosphere...indeed, being retired military and living in an area dominated by conservatives who play golf most every day under their golden parachutes, I too hate to hear the reverence they give to God and the military in one sentence. I saw enough of that in the Bush presidency.

I consider them with the same disgust I do about the pimple on Rush Limbaugh's ass, and the college deferment by Dick Cheney that kept them out of military service and especially Vietnam.

I'm a Vietnam veteran, and a pissed off one, at that.