Monday, October 12, 2015

California Dreamin'

“California Dreaming’” was the name of a famous Beach Boys hit (originally written by Michelle and John Phillips of The Mamas and the Papas). But what can we say about California other than the fact that it’s a kook fest. Esperanto might be the universal language, but it might also be an adjective used to define the locutions of a state which are totally impenetrable to cynical realists from say New York. Remember California led the way in passing an affirmative consent statute requiring campus couples to spell their intentions when they're about to have sex, though New York would follow in its footsteps (“Cuomo Signs Affirmative Consent College Sex Assault Bill Into Law,”  Huffington Post, 7/7/15).  Voltaire’s Pangloss would have been right at home with this kind of meshugas. Nothing is left to the imagination in California where soft talking and old-fashioned seduction may someday lead to a jail sentence. But you never really know what to expect next from Californians. The Times reported that a Huntington Beach lawyer named Matthew G. McLaughlin was only 365,880 signatures short of passage of the “Sodomite Suppression Act” (“Gays Targeted in a California Initiative,” NYT, 3/24/15), which the Times described as “mandating, among other things, that any person who has sexual relations with someone of the same gender be ‘put to death by bullets to the head.’”  One of the points the Times piece was trying to make is that in California, “It is voters, and not the legislature, who have put into place major laws dealing with everything from property taxes to crime to Proposition 8, the 2008 initiative that banned same-sex marriage.” With such a liberal approach to government, one wonders why Mr. McLaughlin's proposal is receiving so much flack. Surely there are even more tendentious ones in the pipeline. How about for instance the  “Freedom to Cry Fire in a Crowded Theater Act,” “The John Wayne Bobbitt Act,” which allows jealous wives to cut off their husband’s penises,”  “Justin’s Law,” preventing Justin Bieber from performing in concerts for the duration of his natural life and finally the SSRI Act which allows California’s diminishing water supply to be treated with Prozak and other anti-depressants during the a period of drought like the one the state is currently enduring.

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