Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Hello, neighbor!

First, obvious question... Scarier: Martha Stewart or Muqtada al-Sadr?

Before you answer, consider: al-Sadr is waaaaaaaay over in Iraq. Martha Stewart? RIGHT BEHIND YOU!

Ha, kidding. You shit a little though, didn't you?

She might not be actually haunting you in the way only ghouls and people from Connecticut can, but she is suddenly all up in my face and I don't know what to make of it.

I've seen billboards around here with her face on them, but I just sort of dismissed them as a public service in the vein of "Beware!" or "Dead of Alive!" or even "Dead of Alive?" You know, just to keep us aware of the threat Martha Stewart generally poses lest we forget. The onslaught of scrapbooking and brioche has pushed us as a nation right to the brink of collapse. Compared to that, her possible zombie-hood is almost an afterthought.

Turns out that in the space on the billboards around her big scary face, there were words and those words pronounced the imminent arrival of what has now immediately arriven: Martha Stewart's designer community in Perris, California.

Holy fuck: Perris?!

Here's the blurb from the press release: Perris is located in the heart of Southern California, between San Diego and Los Angeles. The community is close to the city of Riverside with shopping, dining and entertainment nearby.

First of all, I would like to point out that it is true, we do have shopping, dining AND entertainment in Riverside. They just built us a Cheesecake Factory!

It's that or Arby's.

Second, I find her choice of Perris puzzling and more than a little troubling.

I know a little bit about Perris. I used to live in Perris (and this is true) in a trailer off a dirt road. Using my experience to help you get a feel of what kind of community Perris is, it's the kind of place where people live in trailers off dirt roads.

Mind you, this was not the windswept, hardscrabble pioneer valley in 1870. We drove in our internal-combustion engine motor vehicle past perfectly well foundation-ed houses on unremarkably paved streets to get to our trailer off a dirt road, but my God, it was 1980-something and dirt road trailers were an option.

I recognize this is still true in many parts of America today, but this is southern California. Martha Stewart has her pick of 100+ communities, nearly every single one of them with more demographic, economic, non-dairy-farm appeal as Perris. Something about this deal just doesn't smell right.

It's possible that the smell is just what usually wafts off the pestilential brew that is Lake Perris, but I mean there's something else, a little more brimstone-y, a little more... metaphorical. You know, smell-wise.

People don't bypass Newport Beach when they have Martha Stewart money to come to Perris without a really compelling reason.

Remember, Martha is a convicted felon. She spent time in the Joint. The Big House. The Can. The Cooler. The Vertical Smile. The Silk Purse. The Bearded Clam. I slipped into euphemisms for "vagina", haven't I? I meant jail. She was in jail. Although it was a girl's jail, so she probably spent some time in the other thing as well.

As anyone who's ever seen Oz knows, prison is a place where petty criminals go to learn how to be 'roided-out sociopathic mega-criminals, usually right after they've been raped by Adebisi. This was before he found Jesus on Lost and then got killed the anthropomorphized exhaust cloud from an old yellow school bus.

Of course I allow for the possibility that Martha's prison experience was more in the Shawshank Redemption mode wherein the transformative power of human empathy and platonic hetero love-bonding transcends all social ills, where prison actually works in the opposite direction turning murderers into mere embezzlers.

But come on. Probably not, right? This is Martha Stewart. If they get Cybill Shepard to play you in the movie of your life, how good a person could you really be?

Prison, my Republican friends tell me, usually in a whisper and waiting until they are sure no black people are around, is where criminals go to learn the ways of Advanced Criminaility. Pickpockets and cut-purses go in, absorb information from the more sophisticated collegium of ne'er-do-wells, lift some weights and come out unstoppable, raging for the blood of white people.

I think this has happened to Martha Stewart. She went in an inside trader and has come out looking to make The Man pay. Regular people with no resources might smash up a house or even kill a guy. Someone like Martha? How about buy a whole town just so you can burn it to the ground.

Why Perris? Why Perris indeed.

Incidentally, she has my full support.

This post on the Narcissus Scale: 8.9



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