As the State Turns… Slow News Week Featuring the Pleas of a Satirist

stateturnssymbolBundy Fun-day… Okay, So That Doesn’t Rhyme
Just after talk flared up about a “citizen’s grand  jury” to indict people that don’t agree with them (and if history is a lesson, the conviction usually amounts to lifelong threats and harassment)… just after the Bureau of Land Management went into talks to possibly return grazing rights to the Hammonds… it’s over. Well, sort of. LaVoy Finicum got his death wish by charging a police roadblock at dangerous speeds in icy conditions (like so many senior citizens), then repeatedly lowered his hands while in the middle of a crossfire situation, eventually reaching for where a gun was found after the shooting. Good job, ol’ Finny, you’re a real martyr now. Not for anything cool, of course. According to my mathematical skills, you will be warmly remembered by approximately 0.00000376% of the population, given that only a dozen or so people give a sh*t, you idiot.

Despite the probably less than genuine call for the militia to stand down (“This was never meant to be an armed standoff…” …that’s why we all brought guns!) by the now arresticated Ammon Bundy, four holdouts are still up there starving from a lack of snacks, trying to eat rubber dongs in hopes that the government will grant them their wish: to be fully pardoned in exchange for leaving. Is it just me, or does this sound an awful lot like a 12-year-old trying to barter with his mother? Unsuccessfully.

You know, despite all of the ins and outs of this—most of which are hilarious to those of us that can count to 11 with our shoes on and our pants up—I have to wonder about the lack of media attention on the real victims: those federal workers that have been continuously threatened and forced into displacement. Their entire lives have been upended, with many being moved out of the area for safety concerns. This has taken a toll not just on them, but on their children, who have faced cascading effects from removal from their schools and friends. And of course we’re not just talking refuge office workers—these are employees at the dams, ranchers whose cattle symbiotically feed from refuge lands, you name it. Those who have stuck around during the occupation are living in fear. The emotional strain on these people has got to be immense, and I imagine that the full-tilt ending of all of this won’t return things to business as usual for quite some time.

If you wade through the bog of people shouting about how Finicum was murdered “and the video clearly shows it!” or people like me who can’t resist mentioning the big box of dildos every chance he gets, you’ll find a pretty interesting and inflammatory debate: whether or not they should be charged with terrorism. Not whether they will, because it’s not going to happen, but should. Should is an issue of the people. We’ll likely be returning to that fertile current in future editions.

Oregon, Y U So Lame?
The news is Oregon is many things, but we all have our downtime. Each week I poke around a number of sources, checking for what might concern the sort of halfwit that reads my work. Right now I’m disappointed. Take this feature news piece I just read in the Statesman Journal: “Polk woman excited to be Dairy Princess first alternative.” Literally it’s about how excited this lady is to have placed second in something that, as far as I can tell, nobody has ever heard of. I can hear you now… “That Johnny Beaver is such a %$@! ^%#.” But I just asked a dozen people and they all went “huh,” so take that. In your face, detractors. This article was actually a runner-up itself to the main page feature, which discussed how beneficial it is to take neighborhood… walks. Alright, people, come on. Do we really have to rely on a bunch of ranch-billies from Nevada for our entertainment? What the hell happened to that Moss Man guy in the crazy expensive camo suit stealing rocks and minerals in Portland? What’s up with Bird Capone or whatever its name is in Salem? Any new vegan strip clubs?

COME ON. If this is some sort of statewide conspiracy to get me to move to the lush valleys of Idaho, well, it isn’t working because I have no money. Next week I want an earthquake, a milkshake machine explosion, a bear in tights, hippies blocking a giant boat… something. Make it happen, folks. Be the news. Be the you… that you were meant to always be. Be all you can be.

Okay I’m done. I promise.

By Johnny Beaver