Dear Arnold, or "chaparito," as the girls at the In-N-Out here in town dubbed you when you visited us once during your first campaign, good-bye "Shorty," we loved you well. You were a magnificent obsession, nearly as good as the Great Ronald Himself. You took our minds off our problems. You distracted us from the bad news of our collapse. You were the ultimate Man Without Qualities, the nostalgic memory of the Austro-Hungarian Empire's special gift to poor us. Those of us unfortified by the magnificent, 1,500-page, unfinished comic novel by Robert Musil, which would include a very comfortable majority of us Californians, were putty in your hands.
How were we to imagine that after your ridiculous terms as governor, you'd be rushing back to Hollywood to write the novel of your life as the basis of the film script? My very own Greedy Hun. I salute you. We will never be rid of you, it seems. You will be in our face forever -- a jerk, a joke, both.
It was as if you tried to turn California into Osterreich in the brilliance of your primitive, Euro-trash, weight-lifting brain (if we can call it a brain). Glossed andgilded by Hollywood funds, you were inevitable -- all our weakness for fantasy in oneguy. "But he is so short," the girls from the In-N-0ut commented, giggling. Yo, VictorDavid Hanson, disgrace to American classics, failed Fresno farmer, neo-con mouthpiece outof Stanford's Hoover Institute for the Promotion of White Race TotalitarianismEverywhere, yo, Victor, thank God this state is being remorsely taken over by the Hispanic culture, which is both revolutionary and has a sense of humor.
Farewell, my Hun. Reagan won in 1966 by turning this valley on the line, "black welfare mothers driving off from the Welfare office with 10 kids in a gold Cadillac." It played with the Okies, driven to idiocy by the hardest work. You, my Hun, rippled your muscles at us and we succumbed to oiled abs and biceps and the "Terminator" roles.
We Californians take "historical vacations" whenever they are offered.
We adored you. We are so stupid. You conducted what passed for your business on a porch outside the governor's office, under a canopy, where you could smoke your cigars. No woman lobbyist or legislator could resist you, except maybe the state's School Marm, state Sen. Lois Wolk, who actually represented the Delta, which you intended to destroy.
The wake of some great men attract people of substance and talent. You attracted whores like Phil Isenberg, chairman of your "Delta Vision" committee, and state Senate President Pro Tem, like Isenberg another Sacramento politician, Darrell Steinberg. Whores. Members of the Parasite Class, well trained and educated by wise Greek developers in their home districts -- Tsakopoulos, Angelides, Kamilos, and by the shadows of their money men.
The entire capital of the largest state in the union, anywhere from fifth to eighth largest economy in the world depending on the year you chose to check it, had been bought and sold before you, my precious Hun, came to power.
You were magnificent in your utterly barbaric Hollywood style. You treated state government as it deserved to be treated, as an off-off-and-off-again Broadway show, you and your empressarios from Los Angeles and Wall Street. Fire a board, appoint another, change the script. It was all just theater, all Hollywood.
Only a jackass with nothing but muscles and greed could diminish drama to what you did as governor of California, my precious Hun. Drama, my rippling Hun, is the greatest teacher of politics of them all. Hollywood, on the other hand, is mainly crap that doesn't teach anything worth knowing at all.
Those of us who remember Jerry Brown were completely charmed by the most commonly posted photo of him, his wife holding her family's Bible as he takes the oath of office, to see Jerry as an elder but happy and committed husband of an actual woman, rather than another lost, bolemic Kennedy. We could not help but have a little hope -- that concept so completely trashed by President Obama -- for Jerry, an old guy now, yet really married at last.
We don't know what Jerry is going to mean for us. The Hun contributed to the downfall of the state, as did his predecessor, Jerry's former chief of staff, Gray Davis. Somewhere along the line, perhaps beginning with former Gov. Pete Wilson, California government, rather than raise taxes, began selling the state to Wall Street with bond acts. The process is much advanced and extremely limiting. Jerry will not have much freedom of movement. But maybe he is wise, which would be a remarkable occurrence these days, and better than the 40 million people of the state deserve, the majority of which are constrained to vote for their property values alone for fear of going so far upside-down on their mortgages the only rational choice is to walk away from the house, an investment rather than a home.
In our peculiar state, the largest and among the most likely to go bankrupt, we cling to the "hope" our governor will be wise and can explain to us why, when, what, and how. A decent leader could be of immeasurable help to us now. Jerry has already fired Lester Snow, former czar of the state's totally corrupted water policy, and appointed in his place, former Assemblyman John Laird, D-Santa Cruz, an openly gay guy of luminous intelligence who earned great respect in legislative committees during his tenure in the Legislature. It was a quiet, brilliant appointment, getting rid of Snow, a state bureaucrat of unfathomable corruption. Laird is an honest man. Only the worst cynic in the world could stand back from the battles he faces on water as the new chief of the state Natural Resources Agency. The game wardens at the state Fish and Game Department will grumble, but when Jerry was last governor nearly 30 years ago, he supported Fish and Game like no other governor ever did before him, including his father, Pat Brown, father of a great deal of which the son has taken two cracks at undoing.
Farewell, my Hun. You seduced us. We were simply wild about you.
But you were so full of the well-known substance that, had we not been so dazzled, we would have realized we never saw the whites of your eyes.