Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Things We Don't Want to See (or Hear) Anymore in '09

Thomas Beattie, Bend's Pregnant Man, made Arianna Huffington's long list of people and things she'd like to never hear about again after this year is

Posted By on Wed, Dec 31, 2008 at 9:51 PM

Thomas Beattie, Bend's Pregnant Man, made Arianna Huffington's long list of people and things she'd like to never hear about again after this year is over. That inspired The Eye to make up our own similar, though less extensive, list.

The Lemon Buses. Yes, in its start-up phase Bend Area Transit bought some second-hand buses that turned out to be lemons. Yes, it was a mistake. Yes, it was dumb. But it's over.

We're tired of people using the lemon buses as supposed proof of the utter incompetence of BAT in general, of city government in general and even of government in general. NEWS FLASH: The private sector has been known to make mistakes too. (See Lehman Brothers, A.I.G., Wachovia, Washington Mutual, Bear Stearns, Fannie, Freddie, GM, Chrysler, etc, etc, etc.)

To repeat: The Great Lemon Bus Scandal is over. Finished. Done with. Let it go already.

The Extra-Special Specialness of Bend. You'd think the bursting of the real estate bubble would have demolished this bit of insanity, but you still hear some diehards expounding that "Bend is special" because of its "unique lifestyle" that makes "people want to live here."

Yes, people want to live here. People want to live in Southern California and Florida and lots of other places too. Many other places also have nice lifestyles. Some (dare we utter the heresy?) are even nicer than Bend's.

But that doesn't mean people are willing and able to pay ridiculously overinflated prices for homes in such places, or that such places are immune from the supply-and-demand law of the marketplace. Build more houses than you can sell and price them so high that nobody can afford them and the market will collapse. It's that simple.

"40 Is the New 60." This inane catchphrase has gotten (pardon the pun) really OLD. It's also really bogus. The Eye has been 40 and The Eye has been 60, and let us assure you: 60 is NOT 40.

Sixty also is NOT "middle age." Think about it: How many 120-year-old people do you see out there?

Enough of the baby-boomer perpetual-youth, denial-of-aging kick. We're getting old, we're going to get older, and eventually we're going to croak. That's life. Let's grow up and deal with it.

The people who keep telling us that "40 is the new 60" are the people who want to make us keep working until we're 85 or drop dead, whichever comes first.

Kent Couch the Lawn Chair Balloon Man. Couch, who aside from The Pregnant Man is Bend's greatest celebrity, was the main attraction of a media circus last summer when he flew a lawn chair fastened to some big helium balloons all the way to Idaho.

He reportedly is contemplating an even bigger stunt someday. According to his website, "Kent says he will not be going that way [to Idaho] again now that he has met his goal, but did not mention giving up his passion for cluster ballooning."

It's time to pack up the balloons, Kent. Enough is enough. You made your point; you had your day. Kick back, rest on your laurels and run your gas station.

Bill Sizemore. Although he consistently provides great blog material, Oregon's professional anti-tax, anti-union crusader has become a major liability to the state. His loony ballot initiatives waste time and money for the state and their opponents, and hold the potential for serious damage.

Wanting Sizemore to go away is mostly wishful thinking on our part; he's got a good little racket going for himself, and odds are he won't give it up unless he's in prison or his 82-year-old sugar daddy Loren Parks dies.

Joe the Plumber. Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher, a sometime unlicensed plumber and full-time publicity hound, became the icon of blue-collar America after complaining that Barack Obama might tax the $250,000 income that he might someday, theoretically, possibly earn.

Anti-government, anti-welfare Joe has a judgment against him for not paying Ohio state income taxes, and his parents were on welfare when he was a kid.

Joe has had his 15 minutes of fame and then some. It's time to go, Joe. Go away happy, go away angry, but just go.

Sarah Palin. With her sneering disdain for "elitists" (anybody who can read above a fourth-grade level) and the parts of the country that aren't "the real America" (any town with more than one traffic light), her primitive brand of Christianity (she thinks "The Flintsones" was a documentary), her strident class-baiting and borderline-race-baiting rhetoric, her beauty-pageant-queen chirpiness and a voice that can peel paint, Caribou Barbie is the apotheosis of everything that's gone wrong with the GOP over the past 30 years.

If she and Joe the Plumber don't go away, maybe they can get their own morning talk show - sort of a far-right-wing version of Regis and Kelly.

George W. Bush. George W. Bush. George W. Bush. George W. Bush. George W. Bush. We never, EVER want to hear that name again. Unless it's in an indictment.

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