Wednesday, April 2, 2008
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Here in the charming little town of Langley — Jack Daw lives a few miles outside of town with the other odd birds — we are beset by development pressures brought to bear by various money-seeking entities that believe it is their right to ruin everything in the cause of making money for themselves. A typically American approach. There is an online town forum in which tempers have become heated and rudenesses exchanged. One topic in particular has engaged much emotional energy. It concerns the redevelopment of the marina area, which has basically been allowed to rot for decades. In any sensible part of the world, this rotting would not have been allowed to happen to what should be a valuable community asset. If somehow it had happened, Jack Daw believes that a more clear-sighted and community-oriented approach to its restoration would occur than the ongoing clownlike palaver of special interests and private property owners that Jack sees in Langley. Yesterday, being the very special day that it is every year, Jack posted a satirical impression of the debate as it has unfolded on the Langley Community Forum. Needless to say, it was not well received by the satire-challenged powers that be and was promptly removed. Well, what's the internet for anyway? What follows are the two posts that were removed. Jack rules! So does satire!
The formation of the Langley platoon of the Disheveled Order of Peasants with Pitchforks is certainly making it easier for me to finish up writing the pilot for my TV series, Langley Loonasty. Well, I'm still working on the title. Maybe I'll keep it simple and just call it Langley Lunacy. The way the platoon waddles around yapping like annoying little dogs squabbling over a bone is quite amusing, although obviously the big laughs will come from the myths and pronouncements of The Fatuous One always to be found in his normal seat, which one must note would, like Archimedes in his bath displace a lot of water, perhaps enough to make the whole debate about the marina and what to do with it irrelevant.
Clearly, the sad and sorry state of the marina is the result of years of neglect, incompetence, and a complete lack of imagination — a metaphor perhaps for the larger American scene. Yes, I think the pitch will go well when I get to Hollywood, which always likes a good American tragedy tinged with tasteless laughs — "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." Not that I think I'm as good as Shakespeare or anything. Still, the screenplay is kind of reminding me of The Tempest.
I think I'll have to embroider the truth a little bit though with some more exciting proposals than the ones currently on the table. North facing caves? Offices? Conference centers? I don't think so. We need more spice than that!
For a start, the Edgecliff building will obviously have to become a high-priced bordello. It already looks like one — and I think I could write in a cameo for Richard Francisco. My people are also talking to Eliot Spitzer's people about a walk-on.
Now, about all that Josephson-Day nonsense. Obviously, we'll have to cut the pathetic references to Christopher Alexander and "A Pattern Language." Way over their heads and not really appropriate anyway. No, and equally obviously we must play up the terrible childhood days spent down in the dark filling sandbags to stop the shack from flooding. People like that sort of detail.
Actually, the whole thing lacks, well, drama — not enough conflict so far. I know! We'll tear down all the properties, they're as ugly as sin anyway. Better yet, the government will do it. It'll take over people's properties. We can have a siege scene, tanks, bazookas, flame throwers. I definitely see a cameo for Kathleen Waters here. So, the big bad government takes everybody's properties and they are left homeless and hungry on the streets in their old age and then the government makes, yes, a park for the animals! This is getting really good now. No people will be allowed there at all. It'll just be a wildlife reserve. We'll get some birds, maybe a seal or two, and put them in down there. The greenies will love it.
So, after this when the government is really bloated and greedy, can barely digest what it's got so far, it'll decide to tear down all those tacky shops selling nothing that anyone actually wants or needs on the north side of First Street over the bluffs and turn the whole thing into a park — but this time for people. Yes, it'll be a water park with slides and things for the children of rich Seattlites and trailer trash alike to come and play together in the summer. The demographics are looking really good now. Then in winter, and this will really stoke the demographics, we'll turn the whole thing into a winter sports park with a luge and a ski jump and everything. All the shopkeepers from the south side of First Street will come out onto the street and do a song-and-dance number about how their lives are now so much better because there are visitors to Langley in the middle of winter. And because it's Xmas something nice will happen to all those who lost their shops to build the park.
Okay, what else will stoke up viewers interest? I think we'll just have to have a riot scene where the artists get drunk at The Dog House, the only building left in that row from where the water park is now — but it's got a new yuppie name like The Whale Watchers Lounge or something. Anyway, the artists get plastered and decide to burn down the ugly excrescence growing behind the art gallery. Somehow they'll stop short of destroying the art gallery. I suppose they'll use water from the water park, or does salt water put out fires too? We could use up all the water from Saratoga Passage if we have any money left in the special FX budget.
Meanwhile, on the other side of town, we'll have to build a giant parking structure to accommodate all the cast and crew not to mention all the tourists who will come to see the fabulous location where Langley Lunacy will be filmed! I recall that a group of investors is already planning something up on Sixth Street so I think I'll just let the invisible and kindly hand of crony capitalism take care of that one.
Imagine Langley, indeed! It's a bright, bright future I see ahead of us here on this the first day of April! That sun is really making me feel perky!
Jack took a lunch with the showbiz moguls and returns to town with news, aka another post.
Good news! I just took a meeting with one of the other Jacks down in Tinseltown. Looks like we have a green light for at least the pilot with only a few minor script changes. The thing the money guys really want is more of a medieval angle. No problem with Langley I told 'em. It's as medieval as they come. So somewhere in there we're gonna have to build a real theme park, I'm talking Disney here — and when I say "in there" I mean in Langley for REAL. I mean we're talking serious bucks coming to town now. Proper economic development not just that bathtub of a so-called marina. Actual buildings, well, at least the facades — but also rides, virtual reality, the whole dang bang shebang of fame and fortune coming right here to the Little Village That Could. That's going to be the new official slogan for the town, no more Village By The Sea. The Chamber is on this like Jack on a starlet. I mean Orlando is pissing in its pants right now. They know the plug has been pulled on the whole state of Florida, but here in sunny Washington the tub is only just beginning to fill. North West Airlines are already working up an ad campaign for package deals, a flight, a room, and a pizza for the whole family for only a couple a grand.
Anyway, since I started with the news in this posting, I closed a deal with the City Council of Langley, no more of this big bad government stuff now, we're talking business and these guys like the grease as much as The Fatuous One. So, the deal is a 10 year lease on Pagan Lesbian Park, the one at Anthes and Second. We're gonna make it into a medieval theme park. A ducking pond for witches, a stake for burning heretics, some stocks for the publisher of the South Whidbey Record, some for the editor too, and all the reporters. Don't worry we'll pay 'em more than they're getting from Sound Publishing — we're talking serious economic development here, folks, not just serving All of South Whidbey. Serving 'em what you might ask. And who got rich serving anyone? And, of course, visitors will have to pay for the rotten veg to pelt 'em with. Star Store is going to do well with this. We've also been talking about some ritual sacrifice of virgins shows for the park, kinda pagan, you know? But we're not sure about the lesbian angle. Anyway, that idea seems a little ahistorical for the medieval bit, although I say what the hell? who's gonna know the difference? Ancient Egypt, Rome, Mesopotamia, it's all yesterday as far as I'm concerned. No, the real problem is finding any local virgins and the Feds have these kind of strict laws about importing them from other states. So that idea is on the back burner for now. Sorry if I got you too excited.
I gotta go. The limo is at the door. Finally, the deals are moving fast. Things are firming up. Right now, we're blasting past the Imagine Langley stage — except for the castle we're planning. That's still a bit imaginary. Dracula's Castle, that's what we're thinking. Seems to be some local talent for blood-sucking and in the film business of today local blood-sucking saves wear and tear on the gums. I'll let you all know when I'll be needing your blood. So, hey, don't go wasting it with silly bickering. Just creates a local shortage and drives up the price. And I could still take this whole thing to La Conner.
Wait, I gotta tell you about the bridge to Camano. First part is already floating in the marina . . . you're breaking up, I'm losing you. Later, baby.
Jack Daw is available to pitch to Hollywood moguls at any time of day or night. He is anxious to get out of town before the Peasants With Pitchforks catch up with him.