Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Get Outta Town August 27
(August 27) This week’s episode of Get Out of Town is dedicated to Al Franken, author of Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them, the number one non-fiction book in the country. And it definitely deserves that honor as it is the first book in years that has had me laughing out loud.
Before we get to today’s victim, I have another New Rule. Actually, I intended to include this one last week, and it was one of the main reasons I wanted to do a New Rule segment. Being the space cadet that I am, though, I forgot all about it when I was compiling my list last Tuesday night.
So this week’s New Rule – as of today nobody can ever use 9/11 as an excuse for their own personal failure. I’ve always found 9/11 as a convenient excuse. Anytime something goes wrong, it’s 9/11. That’s BS. But a few weeks ago, an article in the paper once again allowed a failure of a businessman to blame the terrorists for his own shortcomings.
This story dealt with a certain downtown restaurant that took over a formerly successful business. The new owner immediately threw money into the building. He expanded into the open spot next door; he hired twice as many employees as needed and also sunk a ton of money into advertising. Unfortunately, he mainly threw this money at an AM station that appealed to an age group approximately double of those that had frequented the former business.
He also held back his scheduled payments to the previous owner, a small businesswoman who had sunk her life savings into this place. Even when he made it known that he was going to close, he refused to throw her a couple of bones. She even requested that he turn over his overpriced wine inventory. Instead, he threw a big party for his friends the day after he closed. A few days later he declared bankruptcy. Not only did the former owner never receive her cash, she was ultimately forced to spend a ton of cash to buy it back.
So let’s declare a moratorium on 9/11 as an excuse. It’s been two years and we’re a couple of thousand miles from New York City. I don’t think the tragedy is really affecting our day to day life.
On to this week’s Get Out of Town. I must say that I gave this week’s victim a lot of thought before I put these words on paper. This guy is a pure nutjob, and as I discussed with Cade and a few other Midco staffers a few weeks ago, I’m kind of hesitant to give these morons any sort of publicity. You know, people like Neil Tapio, who has no reason to be in the news yet always manages to say something outrageous just to further his own self-interest.
But I can’t help but rant about this week’s victim. The story begins this past Monday. As you remember, this was two days after Wild Bill’s tragic adventure, and we still didn’t know much about what happened. I was listening to Greg Belfrage’s show that afternoon, and to his credit he was only allowing people to comment on what was known to be fact. There was no speculation allowed.
Greg was consistent in cutting off anyone who would provide second-hand info or just plain guessing as to what happened at Trent-aquidic. Around halfway into his broadcast, he received a call from a listener babbling uncomfirmed theories about Randy Scott, the victim of the tragic accident.
This gentleman was babbling about alcohol use and the driving speed of Scott, arguing that he had to be speeding or else he wouldn’t have flown as far as he did. He agreed that nobody should be speculating about Janklow’s actions, but for some reason he should feel free to do the same about Randy Scott.
Two days later came reports that a gentleman by the name of James P. Wainscoat, of Viborg, had been quoted at the scene of the accident by a Washington Post reporter as being hired by the Janklow family to “gather information about the accident and the cyclist”. The supposedly former Metropolitan Police Department officer from the District of Columbia, also was quoted as saying “even if you run a stop sign and somebody iskilled, there can be mitigating factors that help your defense. My job is to find those factors”.
When the story hit the papers, Wainscoat then called the Associated Press and denied that he had been hired by Janklow, and that he was “working on his own to scour the accident scene for evidence because he thinks news reports about the crash have not given enough information favorable to the Congressman”.
Further reports also stated that he had actually visited Janklow’s residence and tried to talk to Janklow’s wife, Mary Dean Janklow. He was quickly asked to leave, and Janklow even made his first and only comment since the accident – “This guy’s a liar and he’s invented this. It isn’t just a matter of denying it. It never happened…I don’t even know who he is”.
Thursday afternoon, Wainscoat, who turned out to be the insane guy who called on Monday, once again called Belfrage’s show. The Washington Post story came about because three days after the accident he had traveled to the crash site to investigate. He claimed to have found a Coke can that reeked of alcohol, and when he called out to someone to witness his find the Washington Post reporter responded. Asked who he was, Wainscoat admittedly told the reporter that he was on the scene on behalf of the Janklow’s….not investigating on his own but in behalf of Bill.
In his call to Belfrage, he also claimed to be investigating Scott’s background by visiting the liquor establishments in his hometown. All of this despite the fact that investigators had already concluded that Janklow was speeding, had failed to stop at the stop sign, and that neither driver had consumed alcohol. But this Coke, again found three days later, was supposed to lead investigators to retest Scott’s blood alcohol levels.
What a moron. As Belfrage said on his website, these are “reckless allegations. Wainscoat has not only harmed Congressman Janklow with his actions…but his brazen arrogance only deepens the wounds suffered by the Scott family.”
As if this wasn’t enough, it turns out that in November, 2001, Wainscoat was arrested in Omaha after climbing atop a fountain on the University of Nebraska at Omaha campus and burning a flag bearing the likeness of Osama Bin Laden. According to the AP, “Wainscoat, clad head-to-toe in fatigues, defied police for more than two hours as he waved an American flag atop the fountain, then burned what he deemed a Taliban flag.”
This guy is obviously short a few marbles, and needs to leave immediately. I’ve got a few suggestions for his next gig. Maybe the unsolved anthrax found in Daschle’s office? Oh yeah; wrong political party. Or the Laci Peterson case probably needs a few more nutjobs. Isn’t OJ still searching for the real killers? No, I got it. Let’s send him to Iraq to search for Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Get Outta Town August 13

(August 13) Every now and then, the scope of the Get Out of Town segment must be expanded so that I can rant and rave about non-Sioux Falls topics. This is one of those weeks.
But what should I call these sorts of essays? Get Out of Town just doesn’t work if it’s not in Hudsonland. Usually, when I bitch about out-of-jurisdiction topics I can justify things by saying they somehow affect some people in Hudsonland…but today is not one of them. So what works – Get Out of Here? Go Away? Please Kick Me in the Ass?
I’d rather not babble about today’s topic, but I feel that I must. A grave injustice is turning into a crazy circus that would have seemed impossible just months, if not years ago. An entire state is starting to look ridiculous, and will probably look worse in days and weeks to come.
Yes, I’m saying goodbye to California. It pains me to do this, it really does. It may be trendy to say one loves New York, but it’s California that has always had a place in my heart. I’ve been out there a few times in my life, and have always had a great time. California is the place where I first spoke to a hooker…no, I didn’t indulge. It’s the first place I saw full nude strippers. But these are other stories for another time.
On a more “chamber of commerce” vibe, California has Disneyland and Knots Berry Farm for the kids. When you get older you get art, music, film. You’ve got warm beaches just a few miles from snowpacked ski resorts. And at any age you have hot babes running around with very little clothing…and any place that offers lots of toned skin is alright in my book.
But there always has been a bit of a darkside to the state. My god, it’s also the state that has produced the Grateful Dead, Charles Manson, the Beach Boys, Altamont, and hippies.
Why am I bitching about this fine state? Well, if you don’t know then you haven’t been following the news. California has become a mockery of this nation, even more so than Florida, by this recall election engineered by a multi-millionaire with nothing better to do.
Before we begin with the details, let’s remove any affiliation with political parties. Both sides of the fence have their share of ignorance, and despite what many people may think I would be against this no matter who was in office. I know very little of current Governor Gray Davis except for what I’ve read regarding this recall.
This saga started earlier this year when the state found itself with an almost 40 billion dollar deficit. Is this the fault of the current Governor? Partly…but let’s take a look at what has gone down in the state over the past couple of years. First we had the tech stock meltdown, causing plenty of bankruptcies and a shattering increase in unemployment. Then we had those bastards in Enron manipulating the energy markets, costing the state anywhere from twenty to forty billion bucks.
And if that wasn’t enough, California has been one of the states that has been referendum-crazy, passing scores of bills and bond issues that costs the state tens of billions of dollars every year. It’s been estimated that Davis only has approximately 10% of the state’s budget to work with every year.
If these details weren’t bad enough for even a great governor, one must also keep in mind that the state has on its payroll a non-partisan financial analyst whose job is to predict the financial health of the state. According to various reports, as late as last fall this person was predicting that the state’s budget would be very close to balanced.
So everything that could go wrong went wrong, and Davis certainly has to take his share of the blame. But that wasn’t good enough for some people who saw an opportunity to eliminate someone not of their ilk. Instead of waiting for the next election to change the guard, this person started a one-man crusade, utilizing an obscenely easy law that only mandates that 12% of the people of the state need to sign a petition to stage a recall.
If you think this is fair, hear me out for a second. Is there any politician anywhere in this country that has a 88% approval rate? Does Bush, Janklow, Daschle, Johnson, Munson, Kant, Staggers enjoy such popularity? Hell no.
And if that California law isn’t silly enough, the rules for a recall were seemingly written by a five year old. One only needs a few dozen signatures plus $3500 to find themselves on the recall ballot. Which brings me to the candidates.
The most famous, and supposedly the most popular, is one of the worst actors with the worst accents in movie history. Yes, Arnold Schwartznegger. The admitted dope-smoking, steroid-taking over-the-hill action hero went on Jay Leno’s ass-kissing talk show to announce his candidacy. Did he talk about any issues? Hell no. He just reprised a few of his clichéd movie lines to incite bogus applause…a tactic he’s used in every interview since his entry into the race. Please, please, please. Anyone but Arnold.
Not that the other candidates are any better. Besides an admitted witch, a dog, and a housewife, there are strippers, porn stars, a cheap cigarette chain store owner, former Saturday Night Live writer/actor Don “Father Guido Sarducci” Novello, Hustler Magazine’s Larry Flynt, and Bill Maher’s buddy Arianna Huffington. Oh yeah, and Gary Coleman.
Personally, I’d choose porn star Mary Carey. I found an interview with the star of such acclaimed movies as Cheerleader Pink, Thumpin’ Melons, Decadent Divas 17, and Double Airbags 11. She’s got a lot of great ideas, including taxing breast implants. “From Beverly Hills alone, we should bring in millions in tax revenue”, she says. She also wants to make lap dances a tax deductible business expense to help stimulate the economy. She also wants to wire the Governor’s Mansion with live webcams for subscribers, hire porn stars to help negotiate better electricity prices, and start a “Porno for Pistols” program, where gun owners can swap their weapons for X-rated films. “If guys had more orgasms, they’d be less violent,” she claims. And her solution for global warming? “Wear less clothes.”
Ok, she wouldn’t be the best Governor in the world. But would she be much worse than Ahh-nold?
Finally, here’s what really pisses me off about this whole process. When people go in to vote on this issue, they will first see a page that asks if you want to recall Davis. Regardless of their decision, they then get to choose who they would want to replace him. There are almost 200 people on these pages. Thus, it is possible for Davis to get the support of 49.9% of the voters, yet lose to a person who gets less than 10% of the vote. Seriously, is that fair?
So, California, have your silly little election. But don’t come running to the rest of the country when your new, untested Governor does an even worse job than your predecessor. Maybe you can have another election and pick someone even better. How about choosing between Snoop Dogg, Suge Knight, Drew Barrymore, and this year’s Penthouse Pet of the Year?

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

Get Outta Town August 6
(August 6) Although I am the first to realize that this segment is amateurish and seemingly written by chimps, I actually do put a lot of time and effort into my weekly rant. Sometimes the choice is pretty obvious, like when the City Commissioners did away with the Bill of Rights and made it illegal for certain groups of people to congregate.
Other times it’s like pulling teeth to decide who to kick out of town. There are always candidates, but there are times that none of these morons have done enough damage to send them packing.
This week is unusual – I have two strong candidates. After all, there are two huge events occurring in this state this week. In Sioux Falls, we have the Sioux Empire Fair. Normally, a prime candidate…I’m sure everyone listening is expecting me to rant and rave about has-beens such as Chicago and Eddie Money or the fact that one of the days is being advertised as KELO day, complete with seminars on storm chasing. Or the charming carnies trying to hook up with naïve small-town clems.
But that’s just too easy, and truth be told, there’s something to be said about an event that gathers all of the white trash at one site. At least the rest of the city is relatively safe when the Fair is in town.
Maybe I should fear for my safety, but I’m going to verbally attack a cluster of folks that are heading across the interstate for the Black Hills. Hey, Cade, cue up a little Steppenwolf.
Before the lynch mob storms out to this studio to castrate me, I have to immediately mention that I’m not kicking out all bikers. True bikers are an American institution, a modern day version of the old Wild West.
Really, I’m all in favor of real bikers, despite the fact that they ruined the Rolling Stones’ free concert in 1969 at Altamont. And that event became Gimme Shelter, probably the greatest concert movie of all time. But bikers are supposed to be tough guys; imposing presences with skin so weathered it actually matches their leather jackets. A real biker has a lengthy, enthralling story for every scratch and scuff not only on their machines, but on their bodies.
You’re supposed to be intimidated by these guys. And if you happened to know one, you never had to worry about being beat up, and probably have access to good drugs.
I’m here today to dispense with a new sort of biker, derisively called RUBS by real bikers. What’s a RUB, you ask? RUB stands for rich, urban biker. Professionals by day, show-offs by night and weekends. They have not only the most expensive bikes, but the noisiest thanks to unnecessary add-ons that have absolutely nothing to do with their performance. And they have nothing but the nicest clothing and accessories.
And that’s the main, pardon the expression, rub to real bikers. They don’t wear glasses to improve their vision; they wear them because they’re expensive and look cool. Their leather gear isn’t to protect them on the road; it’s to make sure everyone knows they’re a biker.
I could go on and on. There’s the fact that most of them use trailers to haul their bikes to their rides – sometimes pulled by minivans. There’s the stupid looks on their faces when they drive down the street. “Look at me, I’m cool!” And the overly shiny and endlessly chromed out appearance of their bikes – proof that they are just part of a laundry list of toys and not an intrinsic part of their lifestyle.
It’s all too manufactured. Bikes are supposed to be an extension of their own personality and not the representation of a bottomless bank account. It’s not unlike the white high school basketball players who believe if they listen to Dre and Snoop Dogg they’ll be able to dunk like Michael Jordan.
A real biker is pure Scootertrash and is the first to admit it. In fact, they’re damn proud of it. They were the ones riding before owning a brand new Harley was the thing to do. They wrench on their own bikes, sometimes all night long to get ready for the next day’s ride. Their bikes are a part of the, not just a nice ornament used to impress their neighbors and other bikers.
And they truly earn their bikes. As one anti-RUB website states, one is only a real biker if they A) built it themselves, B) inherited it from their father after he passed away in the slammer, or C) look big enough, and inclined to violence enough to kick my ass.
And if you still don’t know the difference, just ask. It’s the best way to not only tell who’s a RUB, but also other segments of the culture. If you call them a RUB and they kill you, they’re outlaw. If they just permanently maim you, they’re a club rider or an independent. If they squeal, look to companions for support, or push over your bike in retaliation, they’re RUBS, and it’s ok to set fire to their house.
So if you’re on the highway sometime this week, pick and choose who you ogle or give a thumbs up to. If they’re a little roadworn, and the driver looks like a roadie for ZZ Top, smile and give him a thumbs up. If their bikes are being hauled behind a SUV driven by a soccer mom, feel free to flip them off, cut in front of them, or just ignore them. Please don’t give them the satisfaction that you think they’re cool. They’re not.