Opinion » Shredder

Vexed and loving it!

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Look hard enough and you're guaranteed to find something to be indignant about! Nay, aggrieved! Outraged! Livid! Furious! Apoplectic!

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A smirking high school kid in a MAGA hat? Death threats! A Native American activist and veteran beating a drum? A liar who wasn't in Vietnam! A statue of 26th President Teddy Roosevelt in Mitchell Park? Too white and penisy! Cutting down trees? It's a tree-apocalypse! An alleged brown-skinned murderer? Illegal alien run amok!

As a wise dude once said, "Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man."

I mean seriously! Can we all take a collective chill pill for a freakin' second! We're so ready to find offence behind every word, look, idea, meme, or video snippet that we've lost our collective minds!

The whole Covington High School kids vs. Nathan Phillips illustrates this perfectly. A video clip comes out that appears to show disrespectful kids mocking a Native American elder, and the left loses its shit! More video comes out making it look like Phillips was the aggressor, and the right loses its shit! Guess what? You're both wrong, and now neither side is willing to say, "I jumped to conclusions and am too proud to come off my stance," even though there's plenty of blame to go around.

Former SLO City Councilmember John "Teddy Lover" Ashbaugh suggests honoring Theodore "Panama Overthrow" Roosevelt, who famously said, "I don't go so far as to think that the only good Indians are the dead Indians, but I believe nine out of every 10 are," with a bronze statue by formerly local artist Paula Zima, and SLO Mayor Heidi "F-Bomb" Harmon freaks out on Facebook.

"Wondering why we need more monuments of white men at this point," she wrote. "Is it not way past time to honor a border group? We have no monument whatsoever to any women in this beautiful city. I just don't understand why we continue to put all of our resources into only lifting up white men and there's close to zero resources put into white women or people of color whatsoever in terms of monuments, etc."

Um, look, other than the weirdly buff statue of Shakespeare's Puck from A Midsummer Night's Dream in the Downtown Centre and Albert Einstein sitting on a bench at Cal Poly, I can't think of any statues of white men in SLO, though we do have Zima's statue of the Native American mother and child in the SLO Mission Plaza, the Chinese rail workers by the train station, and that incongruous Plains Indian statue at the corner of Prado and S. Higuera.

Is Heidi really mad about the idea of a Roosevelt statue or trying to get some publicity with her "I'm fighting the man" stance? She seemed pretty miffed that no one noticed she was quoted dropping the F-bomb in a Rolling Stone article about Bernie Sanders, in which she describes climate change as an existential threat (which it is, I don't deny!).

"'I have two kids, and they're going to fucking die if we don't fix all this. That's how I look at it,' is how Heidi Harmon, the colorful mayor of San Luis Obispo, put it," Matt Taibbi wrote in his story titled "Yes, Bernie Should Run."

The story hit newsstands on Dec. 19, and more than a month later Harmon posted on Facebook, "I have hesitated to share this Rolling Stone article that I was quoted in as I recognize that 'Prominent woman says curse word' has become a news genre unto itself."

Um, who cares? No one! It's not like you're Democratic Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib saying of President Donald "Kid Cager" Trump, "We're going to impeach the motherfucker!" Also, who cares?

And can everyone please stop acting as if cutting down a grove of cat-piss-smelling non-native eucalyptus trees across from Laguna Lake is the end of Mother Earth as we know her? Am I the only office appliance who's been getting letters for months telling me tree removal is coming? Non-native species will be removed, the letters warned. Hey, folks, don't throw out your mail! Pick up a newspaper! This has been coming down the pike, and it shouldn't be a surprise. Get mad about 580 new houses you can't afford! Pick your battles!

Unless you're in the North County. Then, by all means, lose your mind wondering if Carlo Alberto Fuentes Flores, alleged murderer of Nancy Woodrum, is a legal or illegal resident of the U.S. I know it would fit perfectly into your Trump-praising anti-immigration position if Flores was some evil illegal, but can't he just be evil ... allegedly? Does it matter if the man who's been working in the U.S. for years painting your houses and fixing your broken fences is documented or not?

Quit looking for something to pounce on, to prove you're right and your sworn enemy—who's a fellow American, just sayin'—is wrong! Ask yourself whose interest is it in to divide us. Ask yourself where the common ground lies, how we can compromise, and make America strong again!

Everything doesn't have to be a Dos-Angrys advertisement: "I don't always drink the Kool-Aid™, but when I do, I get irrationally pissed off over nothing! Stay angry, my friends!" Δ

The Shredder reminds you to be careful, man. There's a beverage here! Send ideas and comments to shredder@newtimesslo.com.

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