Monday, January 9, 2017


By Juan Montoya
Once upon a time some years ago, a troubadour of warm fuzzy feelings and sky-blue hues traipsed into this backwater of a town.
He brought with him a pious message of images and civic pride and painted them on cardboard signs that appeared on almost every corner of the realm. Everywhere the people turned, the signs had sprouted and urged them to "Believe in La La Land."

Before that, another troubadour had coined a similar phrase "Imagine La La Land."
The slogans made everyone feel good.

The "Imagine La La Land" purveyor eventually got all the public offices in the small kingdom abutting a dirty river to hand over $1 million to him to put together a book of fairy tales that promised just about everything to everybody. The sick would get health, those without sidewalks, sidewalks. If they wanted a world-class university to co-exist with their community college, then B;golly that's what they would get.

Those who wanted good-paying jobs would get them. Those who wanted world-class port, why, that's what he would give them. Didn't want a road and a hike and bike trail instead? They promised that no darn road would clutter the landscape and instead they painted surreal landscapes where brush and mesquite once flourished on the brochuers they passed out to get elected.

But there were a few catches. To get the world-class university, his confederates in Higher Education demanded the assets of the little college or else they would leave.
And if the residents of the little burg by the river wanted to have the Institution of Higher Learning, they would need some of the best real estate available and didn't want to be charged for it. As a matter of fact, they wanted a park and wanted to give the people and children of La La Land another piece of property next to a stinky sewer plant in return.

The "Believe in La La Land" troubadour readily agreed and committed the little town to give the Big Boys the real estate in return for A Place At The Big Table with the Good People. In fact, he wanted to show the Big Boys that he really wanted them here that he bought some real estate from his buddies for an inflated price (at the expense of the Little People of La La Land, of course) in the hopes (he said)m that the Big Boys in Higher Education might just want it.

After years passed and the Big Boys showed no interest, the property languished and many Lesser People Without Homes used it for shelter and the town used it as a warehouse for materials when they were working on other projects recommended by the "Imagine La La Land" crew.

Then one of the elected representatives of the Little People thought the natives were getting a little thick around the middle and thought it would be a good idea to help them get slim and trim, as Good People do. She spent millions of the Little People's dollars to build bike and hike trails around the little city with a lot of people, oblivious to the fact that most Little People were working too hard and paying too much money to fill the city money barrel to afford to buy a decent $300 bike riding outfit or to plunk down $1,000 to buy a bike that they w
ould be proud to ride in public.

Another thought the some of the Little People were not being responsible pet owners, as she was, and thought maybe law with teeth could help straighten them out. She passed a city ordinance that said that everyone who owned a pet in the little town by the dirty river should pay to implant a chip under their pets' skin in case they were lost. If a pet was found on the street, the owners could be fund and – after they paid the $250 animal-loose fine, their pets would be returned. Those pets of those people who could not be found because they had no chip could kiss their furry tail goodbye. That'll teach 'em, b-god!

Then someone hit on another idea. Why not spend millions of the money the Little People paid to light their homes and flush their toilets to build a Huge Power Plant That Would Knocka Your Socks Off?

But wait, a few of the Little People said. We have enough power around and we really don't need the $500 million plant. Why don't we just buy from our neighbors and keep our light and flushing toilets cost down?
Why, that's your problem, said Mr. "Believe in La La Land." You Little People have no Vision. Can't you imagine our little town as a House Upon the Hill? We are going to need more light to make sure our Vision remains bright. And he convinced the representatives of the Little People who were going to pay for his Vision to approve his plan.

Meanwhile, the troubadour who came up with the "Imagine La La Land" plan recruited some Like-Thinking Good People to join him and form a group outside of the representatives of the Little People to "remove the burden of government" from them and "present a forum" for the projects that might benefit the Good People. We'll call it "United La La Land," he said.

And the troubadour at "Believe in La La Land" agreed and the "United La La Land" bunch started tapping into the taxes paid by the Little People who didn't know any better to fund their Vision.

Concurrent with the Master Plan put together by the "Imagine La la Land" (now United La La Land), they started thinking about bringing a Major Fireworks show to La La Land to impress the inhabitants of the burg. Why not give Big Bucks to the Rocket Man to launch rockets to Mars?, they thought. They even paid the cousin of a local politician Major Bucks to come up with an ingenious slogan called "Ignite La La Land."

And so they gave Big Bucks to the Rocket Man and everyone waited for the Big Show to begin just they had waited for the World-Class University, the Big Power Plant, and all the other Big Projects that the Big Boys had promised.

After all the Big Bucks the Little People had given the Big Boys who knew better than them, they looked around and saw the same old backwater of a town next to a dirty river was still the same.
And so the Little People in La La Land wait...


Anonymous said...

The little people of la la land remain poor but a lot of people connected to the projects by united la la land and imagine la la land have gotten rich while few shovels have been hoisted on any of these "imaginary" projects. And who continues to pay for this fraud, waste and abuse....the poor tax payers of la la land. And, at the same time other areas of the RGV flourish and grow. No leadership in la la land.

Mr Shrimp said...

Come on, I told you so

Anonymous said...

It is like the story of "Stone Soup", without the sharing part.