Friday, September 2, 2016

Another Country

Sometimes a story happens that is better than anything a scheming story teller could make up.  Maine is fertile ground for stories anyway, as it is a foreign country at the edge of America.  I wonder if our Governor, Paul LePage, ever thought about building a wall along the New Hampshire border, as his friend Donald Trump has promised to build along the Mexican border.  The Maine wall would keep out the black drug dealers from Connecticut and New York named "D-Money, Smoothie, and Shifty" who besides doing their evil business impregnate white girls.  Just a suggestion. Might try the Canadian border later.

Mainers are softies most of the time, but gun ownership and matters about race, they tend to brick.  One day two "persons of color" not named D-Money or Shifty attended a town meeting held in North Berwick in which the Gov happened to be present. These two young men, whose presence at a town meeting in Maine caused issues aside from the story, had made a bet about which would succeed in getting under the Gov's skin most successfully.  This, of course, is easy, as he always looks constipated and he is incredibly thin-skinned.  Actually it didn't take much.  One of the young men Andrew Ritchie, a vacationer in Maine, asked the Gov: "Given the rhetoric you put out there about people of color in Maine, calling them drug dealers, etc., how can I bring a company here given the toxic environment you create?"  A succinct question, Mainers are succinct, but I don't think he made it to the end. Questions about bear baiting came up suddenly--a comic Maine interlude.

At that point one thing led to another. The Governor rewarded us with a voice mail to Representative Gattine which he was proud enough of to suggest publishing in the papers. Apparently nobody sees anything wrong with the threatening comments made afterwards.  And so on.  There was a flap and furor, but Maine is to this day a rural state.  The smart kids who are able to get an education disappear.  I stay because I love the big woods.  Any wise young person who has made an investment in an education, couldn't stay.  They may love the big woods but they couldn't stay for that reason.  So they leave, and guess who stays. Other people have curious, hard to understand reasons for moving to Maine and staying in the woods. They spend most of their time slightly batty.

The point is that nobody is enough in touch to feel any particular shame.  I find that troubling. The rest doesn't bother me. Oh sure, Paul LePage is crazy, gone south, a racist and the rest, besides the unhealthy appearance, gravelly voice and thin skin.  Like his friend Donald Trump the Governor has no problems with anger and he doesn't drink or abuse substances in fact he is fine. That's his opinion.  He cares about the State of Maine and the 95% of white people in it.  That he doesn't act exactly right is because he "has the sin that he is bluntly honest" like his wife says.  You can feel that your guns are safe and as long as he is governor the cops will go after D-Money and not the white boy on the corner who has been dealing drugs in the neighborhood for years.  (White boys get away with it.  All that stuff comes from the top.)

Hell, I was raised in a family of construction workers.  They didn't have any problems either. They'll tell you that any time. But you get inured to it after awhile.  I hope eventually to take a vacation and spend a few weeks in the Allagash.  As Andrew Ritchie says: “There’s also this kind of like performance element that appeals to me as a comedian, that you can walk up and - LePage is kind of a thin-skinned angry man that has these horrible values. Trying to get under the skin of this thin-skinned man in this very public space is just hilarious.”  I agree, it is hilarious.  But to a point, and then it is not hilarious. Mainers must like to suffer.

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