This is Your Congressman
By David Glenn Cox
Looks like kind of slow news day. All of the attention is focused on Madison Cawthorn. Like I said, slow news day. The citizenry of North Carolina are trying to use a Civil War era law, against participation in an uprising or insurrection to bar his candidacy, in the upcoming election. But it would seem the easier course, would be to just get rid of him the old-fashioned way at the ballot box.
I’ve lived in a blood red state before and understand that they would elect a green squid from Mars, if they had an (R) behind their name. Enter, Senator Qwark. But you’ve got to start somewhere, and this would appear to be the weak link in the chain. If you can’t beat this guy with a concentrated effort, pack your tent and go home.
I really wanted to talk about YouTube and about how it’s changed television forever. I remember staring into that huge cathode ray tube monitor oh, so long ago. Staring blankly at those early flickering black and white primitive images of deer and animals painted on the cave wall, “It’s a video!” What will they think of next? We live in an age of wonders! Andy Warhol said, someday everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes. Covid – 19 has tested the bounds of television watching, “Two Years before the Set!”
Which has brought about the rise of enactors and re-actors. Everyone can be famous on YouTube. There’s a lady in Ireland, and I’ve learned a lot about Ireland from her videos. A couple is building the farm and I’m watching their little kids grow up. You can’t script that, a four-year-old saying good morning to each of the pigs. There is another couple who bought a wrecked wooden sailboat. They hooked me by the fear, that they might actually attempt to leave the dock in that future missing vessel. They’ve found Viking long boats in better condition.
But the show quickly became about watching these shipwrights rebuild a wooden boat that probably should have been set on fire. The skill of the workman surpasses the show’s principals, until they just hold the camera and narrate. You can’t script that, the audience told them what they wanted to see through direct interaction. But what will happen when the ship is completed? Then you have to start doing stuff. Building a farm offers multiple construction projects, while a boat is pretty much her in a nutshell.
So, the reactors look at the past. Which it’s a lot of fun to see a new generation’s take from a favorite movie or song from the past. But what is missing is perspective. They watch the video for a song like “Zombie” and have no idea why those names are on the wall or who the wall belongs to. Or what those murals are all about. Why is 1916 so important, or why are soldiers with guns stopping cars? It’s a real nice song. Two o’clock, time for my Soma.
I watched two young African American reactors review Bob Dylan’s “The Times they are a Changing.” Without ever knowing, that the song was about the Civil Rights movement, and I just shake my head. That was a long time ago, how could they possibly know? It’s agin the law to teach history in most states, under the “Yesterday, was a Damn Dirty Lie Act.” When the Kink’s first sang “Lola” it was earthshaking. No one had ever written a song about Transvestitism before. Today, it wouldn’t even be an encore at “The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Ho hum, catchy song.
A young film student watched the original black and white film, “Twelve Angry Men.” Amazed that they could make a film in just one room. With just people and motivation, slowly revealing page by page, who these characters are as the story and jury vote, slowly changes. Or you could send it to the lab and add in a few CGI explosions, maybe a robot or two or maybe a terrorist attack. You know, jazz it up in some in the slow parts. Yet despite the film’s technological handicaps, the film still holds up.
“The Godfather” though a technical masterpiece, has fading references, which lower its esteem with a younger generation. When you know that Johnny Fontaine was supposed to be Frank Sinatra, and the studio in question was MGM. It gives a greater level of enjoyment than just some actor guy, who didn’t get a movie role, so they killed the director’s horse. Reality disguised as art becomes art disguised as reality, disguised as melodrama, as just another gangster film. Who was Frank Sinatra again?
But I had wondered, how could I tie Madison Cawthorn to YouTube, when I realized that I’d already seen him. Florida has a law (Yes, despite the rumors, Florida has laws) that allow private funeral escorts. They can lead the parade to the cemetery and close the parade, end of story.
Enter the long saga of Jeremy Dewitte. He began Metro State funeral escorts, and he wears a badge and a nightstick and a flashlight, for those all-too-common nighttime funerals. He wears a pepper spray gun modeled after a real gun on his cop utility belt, because he’s an ex-felon sex offender. (But it wasn’t his fault) He needs all this for self-defense at funeral escorts. He badges his vehicles as cop vehicles, with lights and sirens.
Convicted by his own videos, he speeds recklessly, cursing obscenities at any and all, who dare to get in his way. He bad mouths and condescends, banging on cars calling people idiots and dumb motherfuckers, as he illegally directs traffic. Now as many of you are already aware. The cops are real funny about their monopoly. They don’t like cowboys and amateurs, horning in on their territory. Jeremy was warned, he was advised, and he was told to knock it off. You’re a funeral escort; you’re not the cops.
Once in handcuffs, Jeremy becomes the victim. “I just don’t understand! I’m just trying to run an honest business here, and everyone is picking on me. Your honor, believe me, I would never do these things, it is all a misunderstanding. That wasn’t even me in that video!”
But you quickly learn why they always ask Jeremy the same question twice. To gauge the difference in his answers and measure the distance between them accordingly. He’s Hitler on the highway, but the contrite misunderstanding, put upon soul everywhere else. “Why is the landlord evicting me when I already paid him! And now he’s saying that I never did!”
I’m guessing 95 out of a hundred sociopaths would back off, once warned by the police. Leave the Batman utility belt and gas gun at home and drop the Starsky & Hutch routine. Take the casket to the hole and go home. Instead, Jeremy reals from arrest to arrest, A domineering obnoxious person at work and a completely different person in front of the judge. Everything happens to him, this all a misunderstanding your honor. They’re all just picking on me again, your honor! None of this my fault!
This is your brain on drugs; this is your congressman. Any questions?