Monday, July 22, 2013

Propaganda Payout

When I was just a lad of ten, my father said to me,
"Come here and take a lesson from the lovely lemon tree."
"Don't put your faith in love, my boy", my father said to me,
"I fear you'll find that love is like the lovely lemon tree."

Lemon tree very pretty and the lemon flower is sweet
But the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat.
Lemon tree very pretty and the lemon flower is sweet
But the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat.

A recent visit down the rabbit hole revealed much unrest in The Wold. Not The Other Dunwoody, but in THE Dunwoody. The original one---you know, the funny one. If what the nuns said is true and disappointment is the result of unmet expectations then there's a lot of lonely expectations out there because they've yet to meet with anything resembling satisfying results. Or so it would seem.

And it is no longer the usual suspects that need to be rounded up and shot for not being pretty and not being proud and perhaps complaining just a bit too loud. We are now seeing disillusionment take hold amongst not only ardent supporters of citihood but also amongst those who took lead roles in the early days of charting the City's course. Some had already been dismayed to find that not everyone in Dunwoody thought exactly like they nor did many others find the need to change so many things simply because we were now unshackled from the chains of Decatur. And they were facing increasing resistance from a City Hall that was establishing itself as the sole power 'round these parts. It turns out to be much easier to grow a bureaucracy than a garden. And a brown thumb and someone calling "switch" comes in handy.

And this disappointment is not the result of incompetence, at least not exclusively, but rather because quite a few unreasoning folks believed what they were told setting expectations beyond any realistically achievable level. Under ordinary circumstances these "tellings" would be mere prevarications but when put to the purpose of manipulating an audience and used in conjunction with other contrivances to achieve an end completely divorced from the merit of the means then what we have is "propaganda".

One powerfully persistent misleader goes like this:
"81% of the citizens of the metro-Atlanta area where I called home had just voted to form the newest city"
Not all citizens in Dunwoody could (or can to this day) vote and of those who could a majority did not as the vote was held at a time most opportune for passage rather than greatest vox populi. But the lie persists in a strength and rap-like repetition that would make Goebbels proud.

Equally prevalent and more destructive are the chants of "local control" and "our neighbors". Like the others these are 81% false.

So now we enjoy the fruits of the seeds that were sown when any means necessary was brought to bear on the goal of secession. People are increasingly pissed off. Just like they were before we made ourselves a City, but this time they're not pissed at DeKalb, they're pissed at City Hall--for the very same reasons. A critical thinker would expect no less but had we a sufficient supply of those we'd not have the main ingredient for this bullshit bouillabaisse. Some say this Smart City maintains this deficiency pointing a Vernon Jones-like finger at those who protest and while these protesters are ineffective they are improving every day. But under no circumstances should those who fomented discontent be surprised that the army of World-War-Z-like angry zombies they created has turned on them. After all these shakers and movers worked pretty hard to become a local version of Decatur's dysfunction. They may have missed the mark creating "better" government but they were spot on when they said that voters wouldn't have to drive as far to complain.

Some say the zombie whiners are wasting their and others' time on something of little consequence and have rolled out the "Starbucks Defense" used by those who want to minimize the impression of government malfeasance by ignoring the aggregate and focusing on the "small amount of money/discomfort/inconvenience" suffered by individuals. Karma should be given greater respect.

Others claim that the zombie army is misdirected and that there are bigger fish to fry citing DeKalb County Schools. This is reminiscent of Kings of old who sent idle armies on Crusades lest they turn their swords inward defiling and deposing Kings and Court. But the decay of DeKalb County Schools is not a recent truth and it begs a question. If fighting the good fight against DeKalb County Schools is both noble and winnable why didn't all the City-Hoodies fight that good fight, that Crusade, against DeKalb County government? Is it simply that in their mind victory is singularly defined as "we're no longer part of DeKalb?"

It looks like we're embarking on another war against "Big Bad Dekalb" and should expect no different results this time around.