Oh beautiful for spacious skies… …Gone with the wind!

Wind energy seems practically free, but what a cost! Gone is the scenic farmland of the American plain, raked for ethanol, fracked for gas, pumped of oil, then plumbed for air, to power transportation. As if leaving the mess was the be-and-end-all of why the pioneers settled the west.

Is Palin writing for SNL or vice versa? Who are this election’s screenwriters?

Remember when Sarah Palin gave her infamous 2008 Katie Couric interview? Palin’s disordered responses were so Miss Teen Carolina that Saturday Night Live writers didn’t have to wring out a parody. Instead Tina Fey brought down the house by repeating Palin’s folksy schtick verbatim. Essentially SNL added a laugh track. Every week the entire country tuned in to SNL in anticipation of Fey’s mimicry act. Eight years later Palin has come out of the wood paneling to endorse fellow freak Donald Trump. Immediately everyone is salivating for the SNL instant replay. Hmm.

It seems Sarah Palin has reprised her role as fount of Ugly Americanisms and I have to wonder. Maybe SNL’s humorists hadn’t caught a break after all. Maybe they had been hard at work in preproduction. Working on Sarah Palin as season pilot. Gag writers didn’t have to write a Palin parody because they drafted the original jokes.

We like to think of our comedians as authors of their own brilliant wit, yet we know their TV talk shows employ gaggles of writers. It’s true from Comedy Central to the Tonight Show. Why do we give a village idiot like Sarah Palin credit for her seamlessly funny imbecility?

Or Donald Trump for that matter? Trump has yet to miss a single sour note or plumb an inoffensive punchline with his every gutterance.

If we recognize the American two party system and its lesser of bogeymen false choice as an unchanging melodrama, we must consider the show has its screenwriters. Palin and Trump and Hillary and Bernie are reciting lines already tested on focus groups, seasoned to our taste, to manufacture consent for political continuity.

And how about casting directors? Somebody is deciding who gets the screentime. Why is anyone asking Sarah Palin’s opinion about Trump or anything for that matter. What qualifies Palin to opine at all? She’s been neither public figure, candidate, governor, nor mayor of Alaska’s meth capitol, since she came and went two elections cycles ago.

Political kingmaking is frequently attenuated by media gatekeepers but clearly the casting decisions they make are based on viewership ratings.

If there’s a show with cast and crew, there’s a showrunner. Elsewhere in TV-land the spotlights is regularly turned on them. I’m not talking about campaign managers or party heads, they are the stage managers or Don Pardos at best. Showrunners are the real auteurs, if that word doesn’t lend excessive dignity to their oeuvre, which is crap.

Team Obama 2008 won advertizing’s most prestegious award for that brand’s successful campaign. The Cleo is an industry award, generally outside the public’s viewshed. Of course the awards should have been Emmys.

If you want to see the real wits behind the scenes, it’s time to unmask the twits. Exile them to Reality TV where they belong. Let us accept or reject the showrunners if you’re going to pretend this is a democracy.

Colorado Springs IQ ranking

This weekend’s Gazette reported that Colorado Springs ranked 16th among America’s brainiest cities.
Although that may not be saying much in light of the US intelligence quotient these days, I still find the story hard to believe.

Other indicators: driving aptitude
According to local traffic systems professionals, the traffic lights at Colorado Springs intersections are adjusted by CDOT to a very slow rate. This setting provides for longer yellow lights in general as well as a longer gap between stop and go. They do not call this a remedial measure, but it is the lapse from when one direction is given red to when the perpendicular direction is given green, basically the space of time during which both directions sit simultaneously before a red light. Engineers set the timing according to local driving proficiency. Perhaps it’s just me linking that factor to IQ.

Colorado Springs level of idiocy is reflected in other local regulatory agencies. Although the area receives considerable revenue from Pikes Peak or Bust tourism, residents oversee everyday the ongoing destruction of their mountain view, their single natural resource.

Visual reflex impairment
The Snake Canyon Quarry continues to deepen and widen, within everyone’s focal range of their famous single peak. The Springs even has an older depleted mine, a similarly shaved mountain a couple foothills north which is tersely called “the scar.” It’s supposed to be a reminder of what we don’t want to do again. But Snake Canyon continues to dust our furniture and pit our windshields yet we refuse to seek our simple aggregate elsewhere. Other cities don’t have mountains to appropriate to sand their streets in the winter. They have to dig discrete pits at the outskirts of town instead. Apparently we don’t mind looking at our open pits. It’s more expensive to dig than it is to shave.

Likewise, El Paso is the only county in Colorado which permits building on mountain ridgetops. Ridgetop homes create erosion problems for everyone beneath, from the silting of the creeks to landslides to flash floods to lost vegetation. And it spoils the Pikes Peak viewshed. Within plain sight.

Colorado Springs residents have also accepted recent cuts to their parks services. Park toilet facilities have been boarded or demolished and replaced with Port-a-let plastic outhouses because they’re cheaper to maintain. So are latrine trenches, but would we abide them? Well, maybe.

City officials have also decided they cannot afford to maintain the boulevard medians. They are selling the opportunity to local businesses in exchange for a posting “maintained by” advertisement. This at the same time the city utility overpays its executives and installs televisions in their elevators.

Impaired empathy
Colorado Springs has demonstrated its simplemindedness to the nation at large. We’re famous for our idiocy, though your judgement might depend on your politics. Our city was the epicenter of the Amendment Two debacle. This was where religious extremists attempted to deprive homosexuals of their right to minority protection. The measure was overturned in state court, but it got its healthy start here.

We are home to Dobson’s child spanking doctrine, Ted Haggard’s military-theocracy incubator, and multiple christian fundamentalist publishing houses. Anyone can open these books or tune into the TV broadcasts to sample our inanity. Again I’m equating inanity to IQ.

Colorado Springs is also staunchly Republican. We excuse this to mean Conservative, but Bush’s run of things in DC has put the lie to that claim. Colorado Springs’ Republican representatives have supported the most cockeye, transparently thieving policies that our corporate lobbyists have concocted. Colorado Springs voters are dumb, perhaps the percent that vote are not the percent winning accolades for being brainy.

To be accurate, I should admit that by “brainiest,” the Gazette meant the most educated. They were citing a CNN Money Magazine study based on census records which ranked cities of over 250,000 by the percentage of their populations which held Bachelors Degrees. Maybe this doesn’t indict Colorado Springs exactly. Maybe this says something more about the accreditation of our colleges, I’d guess the Colorado party schools. Go in dumb, come out dumb too. Of that, Colorado Springs is proof.