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Garbage in, garbage out 

Get me out of this dump.

Seriously. You there, walking by like you can't hear me. Pull me out of here. It stinks.

Some yutz went and threw whole stacks of New Times away last week, and I somehow got stuck in the garbage. I'm really wedged in here.

I have a sneaking suspicion that Joey Racano was involved, mainly because a lot of circumstantial evidence pointed to him throwing away papers and then putting them back recently.

Joey's a man who uses the First Amendment like some people use cheap perfume. He really slaps it on. I mean he wallows in it, and everyone who gets within a 100-foot radius of him knows it. It's enough to make your eyes water.

Joey's the guy- don't tell me you haven't seen him- who waves signs and posts blog entries about all of the evils he sees in Los Osos. I've written about him before. I'd show you the columns, if I could just pull myself out of this crap. My hips seem to be caught in here somehow. I knew I shouldn't have eaten that whole bag of chips.

Anyway, Joey's always out there on the side of the road raising his voice about saving Los Osos and stopping the waiver and recalling the CSD, so I was more than a little surprised to learn that one of our employees caught him in the act of what looked like returning a bunch of New Times papers to their rack. For them to be returned, they first had to be removed, and I don't think he had just stumbled upon them and decided to give them back out of the goodness of his heart.

From what I gather, Joey was upset that an anti-recall piece came a few pages earlier in the paper than did a longer pro-recall piece in our Sept. 22 paper.

If you want to find that issue, just dig through a few trash cans until you see not one, but two images of Lois Capps glaring at you. Our cover story about the congresswoman made it look like she was having a heart to heart with herself, or maybe an out-of-body experience. Head toward the light, Lois.

Anyway, Joey said that the opposing Los Osos opinion pieces in that issue were presented in two "wildly different" ways, implying that New Times was somehow biased against the recall effort. He dug through his First Amendment handbook to throw around $30 phrases like "fascist control of information." Methinks the protestor doth read "1984" too much.

We're not Big Brother. We're not even Big Brother's little brother. Maybe the two opinions should've run face to face, or back to back, or whatever to whatever, but I can say with a clean conscience and pure heart that a story's proximity to the front of the paper really has nothing to do with how important it is. After all, I'm all the way back on page 21. Get what I'm saying?

As someone who rubs everyone's noses in free speech, Joey deserves to have his nose rubbed in whatever it is I'm sitting in at the moment, especially since a short time after his apparent little stunt, someone found even more New Times stuffed into a Dumpster. I don't care whether Joey did it himself or whether some impressionable youths decided to play copycat. I'm mad either way, and my eyes are watering, and I can't tell if it's from this rotten pile of trash or Joey's overwhelming odor of free speech.

Someone who would do or encourage such a thing as dumping papers might as well join up with a crowd that has a habit of burning books and making women wear big scarlet letters on their chests. Silencing one opinion in this paper silences all of the opinions, and that's double-plus ungood.

After all the hubbub, Joey wrote to say that he didn't throw the papers away, but he didn't seem too appalled that someone had, either. He went so far as to say that New Times can dish it out, but can't take it. From my vantage point, it looks like someone else couldn't take it. Your panties have to be in quite a bunch to allow you to stoop to such a crude form of censorship.

Besides, we're all eating out of the same dish here, Joey. If you keep up your more-First-Amendment-protected-than-thou attitude, I'm not going to raise a finger when someone throws you in the trash.

In fact, I may still be in here when that happens. Could you pick me up a combo meal or something on your way? There's a half-eaten hamburger in here, but it has mayonnaise on it.

I hate mayonnaise.


The smell of change

Speaking of the recall, or Los Osos, or big, stinky messes- take your pick- I couldn't help but notice that voters managed to support a recall of all three pro-sewer CSD members in their recent election.

Joey's probably going to take most of the credit for the hairsbreadth victory, and he deserves whatever he gets. I mean it.

The deciding votes barely nudged the scales toward recall. Los Osos is about as half-and-half as a carafe of coffee. It's as split as a 7-10 shot in bowling. It's practically equally divided- and Jesus or Abraham Lincoln or someone like them pointed out that halved houses don't usually stay standing for very long.

I'm not saying that Los Osos is going to fall down or anything, but I wouldn't be surprised to see a recall recall, if such a thing is possible, and if it is, rest assured that Los Osos will figure out a way to do it....

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