po-lar-ize: to divide into sharply opposing factions, political groups, etc.
I learned something last week. I learned that a lot of people in Chico have the same sense of humor that I do, and I learned that a lot of people don’t read things before slapping down their opinions. Just a few words setting up our April Fool’s joke on the Life in Chico Facebook page sent a ton of people in a swirling tailspin of hatred, intolerance, and vehement negativity. They launched their opinions like Angry Birds over the interwebs, assholes aflame with anger about nothing. Don’t get me wrong; it’s not the presence of opinion. It’s the lazy way they go about forming it. So bollocks to those guys, they look super dumb, and hurray for the people that read it, you’re thumbs up in my book. Jokes rule!
Speaking of big jokes, Toby Schindelbeck petitioned the City Council to consider a resolution supporting the 2nd Amendment last week. And much like Schindelbeck’s run for council, the majority told him to stick it. Dan Kelley — a retired old police so & so — even pulled a rockin’ grandstand move in front of the council, asking everybody to rise in support of the 2nd Amendment and then promptly patting himself on the back for his ability to command a room before he went back to mumbling incoherently.
But rather than allow themselves to be backed into the polarizing corner of doom, where you either side with the granted constitutional right of the people to bear arms or you’re a goddamned freedom-hating communist, Vice Mayor (and possible living incarnation of King Tut) Scott Gruendl offered up an elegant solution. “I’ve taken the oath of office nine times…I think our affirmation of our oath of office is something that we are confronted with on a regular basis and the 2nd Amendment is part of that, but it’s not the only part of that,” he said. “I appreciate the request that is before us today but it’s more than just the 2nd Amendment, so I would move that we reaffirm our oath of office but that we’d reaffirm our oath of office in its entirety, to protect the constitution and ALL of its amendments.” Then, Ann Schwab and her jaunty scarf seconded Vice Mayor Gruendl’s proposal. Everybody hear hear’ed it, and the motion to ignore Toby Schindelbeck was passed. May he go quietly into the night.
Note: I misspelled Councilmember Sporkensen’s name last week. I appreciate the email correction and his super great sense of humor.