(Eleven hours later, kind of reminds me of the joke when I was a kid about Gilligan and Ginger and Gilligan asks if he can stick his finger in her belly button and she says “If Black Lives Matter”..)
I saw the mayor of Palo Alto speak Saturday. Not really, I got there too late to see the podium. I could barely hear the speakers. There were 10,000 people at Hamilton and Ramona, 250 Hamilton. I taped the mayor’s speech, using my smart phone, but I have not tried to listen to it. A friend of mine texted me that he was pretty bad. I said “Who is speaking?” And then “Adrian?” and then recognized his voice, barely. After a while people started chanting “De-fund Po-lice” Defund the police. They weren’t really shouting him down they just weren’t sure if he was still speaking. Maybe he was the guy who was about to announce the next band.
If I ever get the chance to speak to 10,000 of my fellow citizens. I would go, ad lib, like I’m doing here “Hello, Palo Alto! It is so good to see you. I recognize some of you, but I love all of you! Black lives matter! BLACK LIVES MATTER! MALCOLM X! YEAH! LADORIS CORDELL, YEAH! FRANK WILDERSON! (he’a an author, new book) YEAH! ANGELA DAVIS DOUBLE YEAH! GEORGE FLOYD! SAY HIS NAME!”
Something like that.
My friend said that Adrian Fine, a 35-year old Gunn grad and former Planning Commissioner chosen by his peers as the buck-stops-here-only-one-year mayor, instead said something about City Council will “debate black lives matter”. What could that mean? Debate? black lives matter, Black Lives Matter. The people have spoken. There is no debate. People could die while the bureaucracy debates.
Was he referencing the “Resolution” he will read to an empty chamber Monday night? It’s pretty good. It’s better that the “message of hope” that the city sent out the other day. But I wonder who wrote it. It’s not as good as what I just wrote, off the top of my head. It looks like something someone faxed us from another city. (OK, two drafts, this, but you get my drift).
I am thinking about a movie I liked as a kid, I saw on tv. It was a World War II movie, in the Pacific. A mix of comedy and suspense. A small boat with an iconoclast captain, maybe William Holden. It was not I don’t think “McHale’s Navy”. It was more serious that that, the movie.
There’s a scene I remember where they get a message:
YOU ARE IN A FINE AREA.
The captain is puzzled. He says “What are we, The PTA? (Parent Teacher association).
Someone speaks up: “Mine” not “fine”. Explosives. Danger.
Or as Mark Twain once said: the difference between having a Mayor of Palo Alto who can (find the right words, at once in a lifetime event) and having a mayor who is not sure if black? lives? matter? is the difference between life and death, Democracy and Fascism, you Clydesdale led to proberbial fountain of wisdom but read the label did not inhale.
Drop the mic, Adrian “fine”.
Maybe now is good time to resign from public service and work full time for large corporate day job.
Very dramatic would be to do so tonite. Waiting until closer to the election weakens it.
This is a dated reference but George Floyd is like the American Stephen Biko so our South African mayor Adrian Fine is sort of Botha or DeClerq.
And the remedy, if having 5,000 chanting to drown you out doesn’t do it then maybe listen to the Peter Gabriel version of Biko’s story.
America is an apartheit state now. But we can fix this. First step, Fine time to resign.
Meanwhile, a young filmmaker just died in an Egyptian prison – -he made a music video in which a rapper calls the despot leader “a fig”. Adrian Fine as a white populist leader of Palo Alto is a lot closer to being Mubarak than to being Ronald Reagan. Or as Winnie The Pooh said, find a parade and jump in front of it. Either lead it or let it run you over, young man.