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New Times / Shredder

The following article was posted on January 22nd, 2014, in the New Times - Volume 28, Issue 26 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from New Times [newtimesslo.com] - Volume 28, Issue 26

Pimp my cave


I’m trying to put together a Pinterest board for decorating an oblong, dank space—specifically, a cave—but I realized that I need to find a company that provides Internet access to my new nontraditional digs. Also, anyone know a contractor willing to install a Jacuzzi in a rock wall? And lastly, I’m gonna need an exterminator ’cause the cave I’m now living in was apparently occupied by all manner of rodents and insects before I found it, and I can’t exactly have mice scampering around the walls of my swinging bach pad, now can I?

I want a space that captures the full extent of my distaste and loathing for everything that has happened since the first Neanderthal dropped her club and decided to grow thumbs and become a vegetarian who hates America and relies on the government to pave her roads and educate her children. But I also want the amenities that come with science and progressive technologies, even as I dismiss scientists as government-funded hacks trying to interfere with my right to remain a cave-dwelling Neanderthal. I want the Internet, not because it affords near-limitless access to information, but so I can perpetuate conspiracy theories about Agenda 21 … and pin adorable photos of small spaces used and decorated economically to my Dream Cave board. I want cable, not so I can access different worldviews and cultures, but so I don’t have to go outside and look at those stupid trees that suck up all my carbon dioxide emissions. Not that I’m responsible for “global warming.” Why do you have to go and make everything all political?

Don’t worry, Atascadero. As soon as my Neanderthal cave is up and running, I’ll make sure you all get GPS coordinates so we can bunker down and berate and disregard science and common sense together, with all the modern comforts and amenities. And I’m stating upfront that I don’t even want to hear from all you high-falutin’ folk from Paso or Arroyo Grande or SLO about trying to secure a place in my Super Awesome Cave House. You had your chance to stand up to science and reason, and instead you just went and passed your city’s climate action plan without even making a big show and spending two hours nitpicking at terms you think might imply that you believe in global warming. I’ll bet you buy that crap about the Earth not being flat, too. You’ll just believe anything that scientists can prove with facts, won’t you?

Not like Atascadero, where the City Council—led by councilmembers Heather Moreno and Roberta Fonzi—turned a relatively simple task (approving a Draft Climate Action Plan to make the city compliant with the state’s AB32 requirements) into an hours-long ordeal during which they ripped apart the plan, accused it of politicizing their task by including a simple scientific diagram illustrating how climate change occurs, and generally upheld a reputation for ass-backwards country-bumpkin antics.

Mayor Tom O’Malley tried to assume the role as rational adult, allowing Moreno and Fonzi to dumb up the plan but asking them to explain the logic behind each alteration they wanted to make to the report. He also deserves credit for offering the public the option of weighing in on these alterations.

I think my favorite detail about these shenanigans is the fact that the industry term for the portfolio of options to decrease reductions is a “toolbox.” Which brings me just a hop, skip, and a cartwheel’s distance from referring to Moreno and Fonzi as tools. Moreno’s the one you hit things with, and Fonzi’s the one you twist things with. I could look up the specific names for these tools, but that would require me to use the Internet to educate myself, and I swore never to use anything created by science for good.

There’s a camp—and by camp I mean a lone person with doofy hair who tried to make this argument—that holds that Moreno and Fonzi aren’t quite the hillbilly blunt tools they make themselves out to be. In fact, this “camp” argued that it’s strategic for Tea Partiers to use climate change denial as obstructionism. In short, they might not be as thick-witted as they sound, but so long as they’re decreasing productivity and making life a little bit more difficult for their fellow civil servants to accomplish anything, well, they don’t care that the rest of us are visiting Ancestry.com to determine how many of their forebears were first cousins at the very least.

I’m particularly interested in the outcome of this discussion, because I’m considering making a marriage offer to either Fonzi or Moreno—or both, y’know, ’cause it seems to work for the backwoods cave-dwellers elsewhere. Every Neanderthal cave needs a queen, and I think a climate change denier who throws away government time and money in order to flaunt ignorance and distaste for science would look perfect posing next to my wall of endangered animal heads.

Just as long as she’s willing to sign a statement to the effect that the world’s flat and any statements to the contrary are part of Barack Obama’s plot to hand America over to the Canadians. Also, that Hillary Clinton used the CIA time machine to kill Abraham Lincoln. And that Pepsi’s totally better than Coke.

 

Shredder’s looking for Pinterest buddies. Repin at shredder@newtimesslo.com.