Get Out of Town, County Commissioner Anne Hajek

No offense to the bar or its patrons, but news coverage of last month’s cage fighting matches at Sidewinders was bound to be full of unintentional humor. It didn’t disappoint, but it wasn’t because of the lack of hygiene, teeth, or full-blown mullets (of the fans). I’m kidding.
Instead, the real humor of both the broadcast and newspaper reports was the presence of a couple of local pseudo-celebrities – city councilors De Knudson and Vernon Brown. No two people have ever looked more out of place.
Of course, they were shocked, shocked, shocked. How could people act in such an uncivilized fashion? Why would anybody want to watch such decadent behavior when we have the Washington Pavilion? They should be enjoying the two-block Phillips to the Falls! Oh yeah, I forgot – unwashed young adults aren’t allowed downtown after dark. We don’t want to scare those old ladies from shopping at the old lady stores.
Distressed by what they witnessed, Knudson and Brown went to work. They quickly proposed an ordinance regulating these sorts of activities, and although most of the rest of the council yawned, it’s scheduled to be heard once again next week.
But Knudson and Brown are now joined by another member of the morality police. Last night County Commissioner Anne Hajek attempted to introduce her own ordinance to ban cage fighting. “I know this is a voluntary thing,” she recently told the daily paper, “but when the whole purpose is for someone to get beat up until they can’t stand up, then government needs to step in.” Please excuse me for a second while I gag.
It turns out that it’s not really the actual act of cage fighting that has angered Hajek. Hell, she had never spoke of the activities until this past weekend. What has actually made the subject worth pursuing was a recent New York Times front page article that profiled the Sidewinders event. She told the Argus that this was not the image she wants for the community. “Reading that article was quite disturbing to me,” she was quoted as saying.
So this is the state of our local government – it’s officially run by the Department of Tourism. Anything that can remotely be regarded as embarrassing to our state must be immediately outlawed. Well, I’m embarrassed every time I turn on my television and see that sleazeball Pat O’Brien. I used to be extremely embarrassed every time our former Governor would make an appearance on a national news program. And shouldn’t we all hide our heads in shame with the reality that our second most well-known tourist trap is a knick-knack store that gives out free glasses of water?
I read the article in question, and I found it well-written and humorous. I doubt if anybody reading it took it as anything more than a funny human-interest story, and I definitely don’t think there’s a person in the world who would cancel a trip to our state based on a first-person report of a reenactment of the wildly popular movie Fight Club. If outsiders are swayed that easily, then we better do something about the bike rally.
For quite some time I’ve been waiting for the right moment to give Ms. Hajek a big boot out of our fine city. I guess this is the week…and luckily cooler heads on the commission agreed as they decided to do nothing for the time being. But Ms. Hajek must be made to understand that not everybody is entertained by officially sanctioned events or high society forms of entertainment. Cage fighting may not attract a huge number of people, but the long-running history of success for these events certainly indicates that there is a market for a good ol’ fight. (Yes, these shows have been going on in our city for a few years before the do-gooders decided to save us from barbarism.) As long as the promoters provide the necessary safety precautions, Ms. Hajek and her ilk need to find better things to worry about.


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