Blowing Trash 

Out where 'defile' is 'de life'

"It's the latest illustration of tension between residents of the West and the federal government over management of public lands."

The preceding sentence, from an Associated Press report printed in the Idaho Statesman a couple of weeks ago, contains a glaring semi-truth that a more precise writer would not have made. Do you see it?

The "latest illustration" part is fine, referring to the incident on May 10, when a clutch of rebellious Utah hillbillies showed their defiance not only to Bureau of Land Management restrictions by throwing an ATV hillbilly parade on a trail that had been closed to ATVs, but to hundreds--possibly thousands--of years of archeological treasure and the appreciation that people of a much higher quality than them would experience by knowing such physical history is being preserved and kept safe from the likes of those hillbillies.

Nor can we find anything objectionable about the "tension ... over management of public lands" part, as we are aware that in loosely civilized provinces like Utah, Nevada and, of course, Idaho, we have neighbors who want to be free to do any despicable thing they are so inclined to do to any part of the landscape it suits their hillbilly fancies to do it to.

Furthermore, we are aware that all too many of these hulking nincompoops with the minds, moralities, sensibilities and scientific acumen of spoiled children have risen to positions of local and regional leadership, often by blaming the federal government for not allowing them and their natural constituencies to go out and shit at will in the very nests that we all own a share of. This attitude has of late run rampant in everything from the refusal of Nevada ne'er-do-well Cliven Bundy to comply with BLM grazing fees, to our own ridiculous governor crowing in his campaign ads how he resisted the EPA's standards of the water we put in our mouths.

It is an attitude only bound to grow in intensity as the accumulated conservative vermin that infest so many legislative chairs, county seats and town halls in these hayseed zones continue to challenge the people of the United States of America--as represented by the federal government--to let them be the ones who decide what happens to some of the last remaining natural refuges in America.

So overall, the quote is accurate enough, except for that one glaring semi-truth--the one that would lead the reader to believe this tension is between the feds and "residents of the West." Yes, in large part, it is "residents of the West" who constitute this simmering rebellion against federal management of publicly owned lands. But 1) the statement as written neglects to consider that there are also "residents of the West," large numbers of them, who believe it would be insane to hand over such huge tracts of that which we inherited, and that which we must pass on, to the most self-serving, self-indulgent, intellectually-limited and greed-motivated people in our population, and 2) we can be assured that much of the fuel powering this noisy engine of state control is coming straight from the pumps of ALEC (the American Legislative Exchange Council) and other hothouses of rape-and-pillage capitalism, and has a lot less to do with "residents of the West" than the corporate pimps would like us to believe.

Let us save the shadow of the Koch brothers and other plutocratic vultures for later consideration, as it's certain that with the kind of politicians we elect in these rubelands--men and women more than eager to lick the salt from a billionaire's scrotum--the grab for Western lands by those scavengers will not go away anytime soon. Let us for the rest of this examination consider only the rubes, the hayseeds, the hillbillies, who would insist to the point of lawlessness that they have the authority to drive their white-trash mobiles through what remains of a 2,000-year-old culture.

What must go through their mushy minds as they leave their ATV tracks all over the reverence of other people?

Why is it so important to them that they be allowed to go to that spot to piss on the laws and flaunt their Yer-Not-The-Boss-O'-Me! ignorance? Can they really have so little respect for the wishes of the original people, and for the desire for the rest of us to learn all we can about what came before us, and to leave as much of it as it is and has been for centuries?

In short, are they, those masters of the mud-covered machines, really so low-life that nothing matters to them as much as their hillbilly pleasures?

Yes. Yes. They are really that low-life. There really are trashy people--everyone but the trashy people knows that--and nowhere are they hogging more spotlight than in the West.

Still, it's worth remembering that whenever a few "residents of the West" come out to show off their weaponry, their cammo grunge and their "Gimmee! Gimmee!" defiance, several million of us other "residents of the West" don't attend. That's you and me, brother and sister, along with all those Westerners who believe the motorized hillbilly brigades already have enough desert and forest and mountaintop to go pollute with their very presence, without giving over that little stretch of pueblo trail in Utah to their thoughtless ruination.

And brother and sister, it will have to be us who stop the trash--in elected office or out--from turning the West into one big junker, rusting away on cinder blocks in the side yard of America.

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