By Allen David
Once again, startled awake by that question: Why do people fortunate enough to have become really, really rich so often have no higher priority than to become really, really richer . . . and leverage their riches so as to become really, really powerful . . . and measure that power by the extent to which they can decline to honor or participate in the basic standards and rituals of decency and respect—in other words, to become really, really big assholes? And then, once again, I slide back to sleep, which I guess is my answer.
THURSDAY, JUNE 28
Once again, startled awake by my lack of health insurance. It went the way of my full-time job at that newspaper that went out of business a little over two years ago. I applied to pay for it on my own. Denied. Pre-existing conditions: Achilles tendinitis (from years of distance running), elevated blood pressure (controlled with medication) and allergies (certain foods, house dust, pet dander). So, great to hear the Supreme Court has upheld President Obama’s health care bill. When is all that going to happen again? Because at the end of the day—literally—I go to bed unemployed and uninsured . . . once again.
FRIDAY, JUNE 29
Just past noon, a slim, well-appointed man in his 20s saunters into a Lake Elsinore bank and slips a note to the teller. The slender and handsome haberdasher wanted money, and he got it. How? Law enforcement agencies are withholding comment while the investigation continues. Meanwhile, the best theory comes from ZZ Top’s 1983 album, Eliminator:
Clean shirt, new shoes/And I don’t know where I am goin‘ to/Silk suit, black tie, I don’t need a reason why/They come runnin‘ just as fast as they can/Coz every girl’s crazy ’bout a sharp dressed man/Gold watch, diamond ring, I ain‘ missin‘ not a single thing/And cufflinks, stick pin/When I step out, gonna do you in/They come runnin‘ just as fast as they can/Coz’ every girl’s crazy ’bout a sharp dressed man.
SATURDAY, JUNE 30
Once again, startled awake, but this time by the answer to that question about the really rich, really richer, really powerful, really disrespectful, really big asshole. So, what’s on your mind, Paul Tollet? Getting rich as vice president of Goldenvoice and promoter of the Coachella and Stagecoach music festivals not enough? Pissed because some people in Indio are proposing an admissions tax on tickets to your festivals to help relieve an economic crisis that has forced huge cuts in city services and staff? Blinded by greed to believe that nobody else ought to get benefit from the annual hike in ticket prices? Threatening to take those festivals away in 2014—and forever—if Indio’s citizens are even given the chance to vote on the admissions tax? Yeah, I saw what you told The Desert Sun: “When I say there’s going to be no 2014, realize what I’m saying. The Coachella festival-goers have to bank on what I’m saying. I say no 2014, there are going to be people who set their wedding during April. I can’t come back in 2014. Once I say it, the dice are thrown.” Hmmm. Wow. OK. Uhhh, Mr. Tollet? Fuck you.
SUNDAY JULY 1
Wonderful news! I proposed, she said yes, we’ve set a date—April of 2014—and we’re inviting Paul Tollet! Where? Well, we’re thinking the Empire Polo fields in Indio ought to be available.
MONDAY, JULY 2
Since Marilyn Monroe hasn’t left downtown Palm Springs—hasn’t even changed her dress, the one that so memorably levitated in Some Like It Hot . . . yeah, the white one—since she arrived a month ago. Nobody gets away with that, including a 27-foot statue of Marilyn, who has gotten something red on her white dress—graffiti! Everybody spins into a tizzy—I mean, how do you get that out? Finally, somebody called city workers, who got some rags and wiped off the red marks. “It ended up being a modest and very minor event,” Assistant City Manager Tom Wilson told The Desert Sun, “but we are working, obviously, to keep [the statue of Monroe] secure and tag free.” And encouraging more diversity in her color palate.
TUESDAY, JULY 3
Happy Fourth of July Eve.