There’s just no better way to sum up Kevin Rice’s latest stunt, so I’ll just say it. Or write it, as it were.
Sound that out in your mind’s ear with the “U” drawn out. It should sound something like, duuude, but all judgmental—not like a stoner impressed with himself because he just made a sandwich.
I bestow that dude onto you in the most pretentious way possible. Picture me the way you picture a New Yorker cover, but less educated and with a more lacking vocabulary. See there, I just used up 95 percent of the words I know. If only I could squeeze in the word “avuncular,” I’d have exhausted my shredtionary and could go home. Wait, I just did. Later, suckers!
Blank space. Blank space. Snarky comment. Sarcastic news item. Rambling. More blank space.
Oh, you’re still here? I guess I’ll indulge you with whatever it was I was talking about.
Rice recently tickled the giggling girl part of my funny bone with a welcoming video for his website, slovoice.org, aptly titled “SLO Voice of Democracy,” which I don’t quite understand. Is it a play on words as in a slow voice of democracy? Or is it the San Luis Obispo voice of democracy? Wait. Maybe he meant “for democracy” instead of “of democracy.” Rice says it’s a “committee to support rights of SLO City voters to democratically elect city council members.” But I’m still confused.
The video opens with Rice sparking a cig—isn’t that illegal?-—in front of the County Government Center with text on screen alerting you to the fact that it’s 1 a.m. when he’s recording.
Oh, real quick before I get any further into this: Rice is pissy because Jan Marx bailed on her council seat halfway through her term and landed the mayor gig. Now the city has to either hold a special election or—and here’s what the smart money says will happen—let the councilmembers appoint someone. Oh, and Rice also wants to run for council should there be an election. But there won’t be. And he knew that before the council even decided it.
Which brings me back to that video. Before the guy even opens his mouth, he sticks a cigarette in it and lights up—leaving me sitting here watching this thing and wondering, “Why is Kevin Rice smoking and talking into a camera at 1 a.m.? Was he just passing by and thought, ‘Hey I’m pissed off, might as well put it on tape?’” Or is this the type of thing you plan?
Dammit Rice, you thought-ninja! You slunk into my subconscious as quiet as a mouse in footy pajamas and poisoned my psyche. And I haven’t even listened to what you’re saying yet?!? See the exasperated punctuation you’ve forced me to use?!?
I’m not quite sure what he’s saying. Actually, I’m having a tiff over the finer points with one of my fellow writer-dummies. Joe McSmartass Writer Guy here thinks Rice is staging a protest to show that the people should vote on a new councilmember. Methinks this particular writer has been huffing glue and Rice just wants the seat. Let’s ask Rice.
“Hi, my name’s Kevin,” he says in the video, with smoke leaking out of his nostrils into the cold air. “I’m aiming to be San Luis Obispo’s next City Council person.”
Maybe he’s just fooling around.
“That’s right, I’m serious.”
Guess not. You owe me a beer, Professor Wrong-All-The-Time-Writer-Shlub.
“But this isn’t a campaign video,” he goes on. “You don’t need to know my platform, my positions. I don’t need to dress up nice or kiss any babies. Because there’s no election.”
All right. Maybe he is trying to make some sort of statement. But I’ll go you one further, because I’ve seen others try to pull this sort of stunt before. It goes something along the lines of, “This process is a farce and we should let our government whosey-whatsits know we’re not happy,” followed promptly by, “But vote for me anyway.” Or, since there’s no election, his intended audience is the sitting council, and I’m not sure if they’ll appreciate this video’s subtleties.
Rice is not alone in poking at the city powers for wielding their appointing possibilities around—elections do tend to, you know, carry out the actual will of the people—but he’s the only one I’ve seen so far to say it out loud. In the pre-dawn chill. While smoking.
In other news, another New Times minion sent me a press release from the SLO Police Department that has me just as—if not more—flummoxed: “San Luis Obispo Police Officers will be contacting drivers with good driving habits with an emphasis on persons wearing seatbelts and utilizing a child passenger restraint system or other good driving behavior. The driver may be presented with a certificate for a free holiday turkey to say thanks for making our streets a lot safer this holiday season.”
How does one find these good drivers? For that matter, how does one flag down a safe driver to give him or her a turkey? I can imagine officers flinging turkeys into open windows of cars filled with buckled seat belts and strapped-in kids, which doesn’t sound very safe to me. (I know they said certificate, but my interpretation’s funnier, so deal with it, Capt. Bummer.)
I’m worried enough as it is that some a-hole with a laser pointer will try to blind me into a flagpole, and now I’ve got SLO cops tossing poultry into my car at 35 mph?!? And little Billy is strapped so tight into his car seat, he can’t dodge a peanut, let alone a frozen bird. Just look. I’ve got him buckled so tight his face is purple. Now my face is purple, too. ∆
The Shredder thinks it’s sad some turkeys only fly after they’re dead. Send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.