LOS ANGELES - A funny thing happened on the way to the not quite yet official completion of the United States 2010 Census, and its carefully envisioned plan for a semi-accurate state of total enumeration of its current, bulging-like, super-sized general populous.
Bingo! That's right, something besides the usual you-know-what couldn't help but hit the fan, in our clean, well lighted, safe-at-home, USofA world at large. And well, don't look now, but from here on in, we're all going to be swimming up stream in whatever comes of this latest particular mess, whether we want to or not.
But then, what do you except from something that's based on we, the people, remembering where we hung our hat (along with our world weary head) as of April Fool's Day of this here year of our most recent collective-like past?
In other words, any obvious, yet strictly unintended, hilarity isn't coming about because of what usually tends to happen whenever an un-designated would-be in-house scandal of sorts finds a way to somehow rear its particular ugly little head. Typically for all to gawk at and quickly pass the buck on. At which time any rushed through quick trigger follow-up attempts to make after-the-fact nice-nice are all too often viewed as something potentially suspect.
All the more reason, I suppose, for anyone caught up well within this temporary dust-up to keep walking the squawk, while, of course, still making with just enough of their hot and bothered concern to further jeopardize (or, worse yet, fully compromise) the primary intention of this rather admirable (yet highly unrealistic, given the wide, suspicious nature of America's current croc pot of ethnically enriched diversity) federally sanctioned, every ten year endeavor.
You know, before someone upwind, along the right now rusty chain of government fools, finally either wakes up, gets wise, and/or tries to make more promises (they don't intend to keep) to look into things before the next available pumpkin arrives.
Or, so it seems, wide awake in spite of our dreams. Especially as currently stirred up and foisted upon us once again by some, I'm sure, essentially fine, totally committed-like, well meaning folks deep within the partly cloudy confines of the oh so determined U.S. Department of Commerce. Which, even at this late date, remains (other than, of course, the Defense Department, FEMA, and the Treasury Department's Alcohol and Tobacco Tax & Trade Bureau) one of the few areas of government least likely to either have a clue, or be willing to admit to being reasonably aware of where in the woods the bear just was, and/or, if by chance, the Pope is all through doing what he's got to do in there, as well, if only just because.
Which, I guess, is only as it should be. But, then again, side roads are only swell when your GPS system is plugged in accordingly and not just used as another road trip toy to sit on while you're busy searching for the nearest Stuckey's and/or the least traveled Wall Drug turn off.
All of which means, of course, at least this time around, that instead of the more traditional complaints - that more than just a few U.S. census workers (particularly in many of the less-fluoridated regions of Arkansas, Georgia, and Kentucky) are in noticeable violation of the mandatory "three tooth" minimum; or, once again, as expected (especially in Michigan's notorious St. Clair County, which seems to always lead the nation in this category) way too many in-the-field workers are not observing the all important, previously agreed upon, "No Mullets" rule - this year's big Census Bureau bugaboo is centered on matters of a more pressing, and (as luck and a certain amount of hot-button/knee-jerk fate would have it) an increasingly more elevated, common place, politically incorrect style of miscalculated ("D'oh!") wherewith-not-all.
In other words, yes Virginia, once again we've somehow been dealt ye olde "Race Card," and all that seems to want to tag along, for the pure (fun as all get the "F" out) hell of it.
And therefore, in the true spirit of our nation's already well entrenched, totally compromised (short sight-tested/ fubar-approved!) running scared heritage, anyone currently nose up in the soup must either sink now, or forever never again hold up their head (or any other fill-in-the-blank piece of to be named later) and, of course, then do as not exactly politely instructed; and hopefully, somewhere along the way, get semi-sort of used to the totally gummed up fact that, for all intents and purposes (despite the obvious points of unlit aggravation which divide many of us) the big nudge here is still going to only wind up being nothing more (and/or, just as likely, a whole lot less) than a mere (oh mirror, upon the wall) matter of close tabulation of the counting heads kind.
Which, no matter how you slice it, is, in the long run, much better than letting most, if not all, of the more peskier ones free to set sail off accordingly, in order to make room for any shoes yet to drop off, shuffle off to Buffalo, and/or skip to ma lu (so what else is new?) all along the more troubling, well-traveled southwestern parade route.
Then again, bottom-line, added up (carry the two, divide by three, minus the square root of all evil), what's not to like? Okay, okay, not everybody at once!
In still other words, due the somewhat glaring, sticky-like presence of items #5 and #6, as carefully spelled out in the company store's 2010 U.S. census questionnaire, the subject of racial recognition is once again piled high atop the should be accommodating (or, is it?) level playing field surface of our "united" nation's all together now family entertainment table of sorts. For it is in these particular questions that government sponsored inquisitivity appears to go out of its anything but subtle minded way to single out those members of the "Hispanic," "Latino," and/or "Spanish origin" communities, who might otherwise be confused by, or unfamiliar with, the already established, yet not exactly well-documented fact that the current U.S. 2010 Census does not recognize either of these particular designations as being a "race" worth noting, or advantageous enough to otherwise record.
No doubt armed with an ample supply of legitimate anthropological findings, observations, and, supposedly unmotivated, apolitical, evidence to support such views - which theoretically precludes their arrival at such a contrary conclusion - the current architects of the U.S. 2010 Census would seem to prefer a more text book approach to the world's state of racial reality rather than one based on anything that is otherwise driven by mutual perceptions along the frontlines of our assorted diverse and variously co-existing, inter-mingling societies.
All of which, when ultimately formulated with respect to any ongoing tabulation activities as respectfully instituted by those among the 2010 Census outreach forces, seems to suggest, if not exactly prefer, that the primary racial option for those peoples who so willfully identify themselves in categories ranging from "Hispanic," "Latino," to, and including, those of a "Spanish origin," and who, may or may not be further identified by any number of the resulting sub-groups within such an expansive and expressive ethnically enriched field, such as, Mexican, Mexican American, Chicano, Puerto Rican, and Cuban, yet may also be required to include, for reasons of obvious regional clarity, "Argentinean, Colombian, Dominican, Nicaraguan, Salvadoran, Spaniard, and so on," would, for lack of any other choice regarding the matter, be so boldly, designated now (and in all future perpetuity) as, well......yeah, sure, why not, "White?"
I mean, if the zapato fits, or, what the hell, you do the matematicas.
Or, so to speak. (Don't mind if I do.)
Which may (or may not) be what any good doctor worth his or her current healthcare mess of a salt and pepper shaker may have seen fit to order ("Stat!") as the prescribed path to pursue in matters such as these - at least at this here more or less on-going contemptuous, moment or two (try three) of present tense tea party fueled time, when (through everyone's fault but thy own) perpetual miscommunication, and poor, if any, preplanned common sense/good judgment, seems, as a rule, in the end, to be just one more aggravating country-wide thing directly shipped (along with the heaviest of hearts) straight down yet another fork in the road into the nearest (hell no, we won't) "no spin zone," of the pre-supposing, moaning along for the ride, unlike-kind.
But is, thank God (No, wait, it's been requested that her/he be left out this here foray, so - what the huh? - that must mean we's all doomed to be in this mucky wuk all alone, as in like, together - Ahh-ahh!) as such, as of now, something all the assorted 500-pound-gorillas (either still in the room, roaming about the china shop of their own choosing, and/or presently in the anything but delicate process of insisting on trying to look the other way while others attempt to remain semi-comfy under the sea to shining sea spread sheet covers that protect them) must do what they can to get used to, in order to look smart, and, of course, smell so nice and fresh all throughout the soon to be morning after.
Which, when all is said in fun (in a nutshell, of course) is the taking-the-scenic-way of explaining that, due to the aforementioned questionable racial-centric portions of the current U.S. Census 2010 Enumerator Questionnaire, pre-ordained, face-the-music, Census Department Field Supervisor C. Honk'ay Runnymede, has apparently now been assigned (lucky him!) the tricky chore of trying his corduroy head best to set the public record straight before anything else too far out on a limb comes back to haunt and/or otherwise cramp the so far/so not so good efforts of all those still responsible for sorting things out accordingly in our big, unkempt, multi-national sock-like drawer.
Consequently, during a quickly assembled mid-afternoon news conference held today in the shadows of the legendary Pink's Hot Dog stand in Hollywood (mainly because the lid to the dumpster facing the limited parking area dividing it and a nearby undistinguished flower shop, was stuck wide open, and also because, well, it's Pink's, and governmental employees and the citizens either monitoring their actions, or just in the every day process of trying to avoid them, have to eat, too, you know), Mr. Runnymede -- looking a lot like the "Maude" version of the late Bea Arthur (except not as manly), sounding a little too much like grumpy New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick (after a tough loss to the New York Jets), and, for reasons unknown, casually outfitted in the same sort of free-flowing robe/ ultra-tight speedo combo worn by Alfred Molina during his over-the edge cameo as the hair-trigger off-his-nut drug dealer in Paul Thomas Anderson's "Boogie Nights," -- made quite the impression (and more than a few new friends, especially with assorted journalists in town to cover the left over fall out from Eva Angelina's failed attempt to get strategic portions of her impressive platform all over this year's California Primary Election ballot) during his long look down the inquiring barrel of all those hankering to get to the bottom of what really gives during this unintentional momentary lull in the current U.S. census gathering proceedings.
Although unlike more traditional, open-ended news conferences, otherwise choreographed to nip whatever excitable concerns might, at the moment, be seemingly dominating, for better or worse, the assorted thoughts, notions, and, more often than not, unfortunate misunderstandings, which, at the time, may or may not, or forever thereafter, be whatever it is that's fueling the hearts and minds presently among those that are looking on, either in a professional capacity, or, as a reasonably wide awake innocent bystander, otherwise accounted for, due to a non-specific variety of collateral-like purposes, this particular Commerce Department news conference showcasing Runnymeade, as the point man in the U.S. Census Department's initial go-round of community-based defense postures, was not without it's own set of peculiar conditions.
All of which meant that rather than fielding random, unfamiliar questions related to the pressing subject, Runnymede was only made available to the press to issue a lengthy public statement, which was then to be immediately followed by an already set limit of three questions. Two of which, were to be pre-chosen, and thus, properly prepared for, so as to better avoid any unnecessary opportunity for a follow-up ambush to surface, or quickly develop. While the third and final question would be up for grabs, so to speak, and, as carefully relinquished, invariably allowed to whoever was able to respond the quickest, after having just digested whatever information had previously been so far provided, more as a privilege, as opposed to anything else more generously assumed, either prior, during, and, more importantly, following its well-worded delivery for public consumption.
"Let me just start out by saying that, at no time, was it ever the implied, or miss-implied intention of anyone currently associated with the U.S. 2010 Census, for anything like this to happen," Runnymede said quickly, in a cool, calm, and trance-like manner, reading from notes he'd apparently just prepared on the back of an unopened envelope containing information concerning the low cost availability and easy no-fuss one-step installment process of a somewhat popular, yet entirely unreliable satellite TV service.
"Nor at any time" he continued, with little, if any, outward acknowledgment that just several yards away from were he stood atop an overturned milk crate, an equally impressive crowd, comparable to the one eye-balling him, had by now noticeably turned their collective attentions to the lunchtime spectacle of a young male diner (reportedly, an off-duty Fairfax High School Substitute Geometry Teacher) already well into the process of wolfing down a virtual mountain of 10" Stretch Chili Dogs, "was it ever, in any way, shape, or unintentionally misconstrued form, assumed, requested, and/or otherwise expected that, due to any unexpressed written, spoken, whispered, or semi-intelligible - yet clearly mumbled - consent of anyone, either now, or, at any other previous point in the recalled, or carefully understood, more or less, mutually inclusive past, would one's geographical point of initial birth time arrival - no matter how distantly situated either above, beyond, or below the legitimately assessed legal boundaries of one's present day to day homeland, including the current, specific, as designated domicile of permanent residence herein, forthwith, for now, why not, just because - be subject to anything other than the basic curiosity needed to determine any existing, or pre-existing, human-like origins, with respect to any already supposed, imagined, and/or self-fulfilling prophesied barriers of both a cultural and ethnic nature, with regards to race, and all that it may, or may not consciously be aware of, determined by, or forced to reconsider, from time to time, or whenever the mood strikes, either randomly, or as a result of an extraordinarily complex set, or series, of personally motivated whims, that, at times, exist for no other reason than for the understood, primary purpose, of never being otherwise discounted, and/or ceremoniously ignored."
Runnymede paused for a moment, or two, as the crowd watching the Geometry Sub cheered his final choke down of Chili Dog #12, then quickly added these follow-up thoughts in conclusion, "In other words, what we have here, and what clearly is all that should be allowed to be concluded, at this point in time, with respect to any other points, left unsaid, or otherwise disturbed in the course of any resulting unwarranted confusion, is, to put it simply, another case of all things being what they are, or were, when, at the moment of inception, it seemed, for lack of a better word, like a good idea at the time. So, there you go. Now you know. Because, we, that is us, via me, as explained by I, just told you........so. So?"
So, sure, it took a while for most of Runnymede's split-level monologue to sink in with anyone looking with a reasonable amount of unblocked blood still traveling to and from and/or all about their individual brain powered life forms. But as is often the case during these trying times, when stimulated members of the media are given the chance to respond - no matter how limited or controlled their response may be effected by those dictating the terms of their agreed upon allowable need to know - certain aspects of the news, and, of course, the all important facts surrounding those making it - or attempting to once again ride roughshod over it, through it, and/or, better yet, around it - can, and will not, escape the scrutiny of those entrusted with the power of the public to pursue it, and, in the end, hopefully, to the best of their ability, ultimately absorb whatever prickly essence is there just waiting to be coaxed to the forefront, accordingly.
Consequently, Los Angeles Times reporter Karen Kaplan's leadoff follow-up question (at the behest of noted celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred) concerning the thought, or lack thereof, behind the obvious absence of appropriately designated racial options for two of Ms. Allred's more uncelebrated clients (a burqa decorated Saudi Arabian unwed teenage mother who was denied an opportunity to play for her high school softball team, and a surprisingly in-shape Serbian housewife/wedding cake decorator who still entertained anything but realistic dreams of becoming a thoroughbred horse racing jockey) was responded to about as good as could be expected.
Especially since all three overly empowered women were there as semi-upright visual motivational reminders of our current government's lackluster approach to receptive, open-minded, inclusiveness, and the fact that Runnymede's somewhat abrupt, yet quick to the point, pre-advanced response left no doubt where he (and/or whoever pays his freight these days) had no intention of traveling while in search of a more clear and otherwise understandable response to the question as given.
"Considering the already well established don't ask/don't tell/just-keep-walking-through-the-metal-detector approach, we among the federally employed wish to presently maintain, with regards to matters of a more Arabic, and/or, as of now, unbalanced Middle Eastern flavor, time will only tell if this was either a wise, or just temporarily prudent move on our part," Runnymede said, just as several nearby reporters scampered off in separate directions to complete their dueling 911 calls in order to secure any sort of emergency service response for the overstuffed Fairfax High sub who by now was leaning face first into the aforementioned jointly used dumpster behind Pink's.
"As for the Serb question, what are we talking about here?" Runnymede asked, while trying his best to keep up with the nearby cue cards then being semi-graciously fumbled through by his low level assistant/hair & make-up associate, Claudio Roccoforte. "I mean, it's not our wish to deny any of them their rightful place, at least among some of us. But, aside from the usual suspects, Ana Ivonovic, Milla Jovovich, Peter Bogdanovich, Darko Milicic, the late Pistol Pete Maravich, maybe Cy Young winner Pete Vukovich, I guess Emir Kusturica, and, of course, Academy Award winner Karl Malden - he's still dead, too, right? And, oh yeah, Gavrilo Princip, you can't forget him, so why try and start now? Besides if it weren't for him, there's no telling where things would have gone, had the world at the time been otherwise privy to all the after the fact scuttlebutt surrounding Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his occasional off-kilter Bohemia chateau shack-up arrangement with the ever-so exotic Nazimova, prior to her coming out sewing circle days, when she was still, apparently, a whale of a one way and down there, underage spitfire for Stanislavski's Moscow Art Theater. So, as far we're concerned, the answer to that would still have to be no. Or, at least will remain, as such, in the negative camp, until the disappointing preliminary numbers for McDonald's latest multi-national niche effort, the McSarma Meal, can be otherwise possibly skewed to seem otherwise."
As for 710 ESPN reporter Beto Duran's out of left field two-parter, which carefully linked the question of Manny (Rameriez) being Manny, for this year's L.A. Dodgers, with at least one previously unaddressed, yet seldom forgotten matter related to the 2010 Census, namely its common (although somewhat questionable) practice of including large documented portions of even larger undocumented segments of today's urban strongholds as grounds for further federal funding, as well as an obvious and more substantial increase in regional representation, both state-wide, and in our nation's capitol as well, any gloves previously left on when discussing these matters in the past, were suddenly nowhere to be found.
"As always, 'unfair' is an all too convenient way to describe the disgruntled reaction to whatever is currently clouding up the eyes of the supposedly put upon. Only here, in these particular instances, maybe a little more so," Runnymede said, as a sudden, noticeable twitch began to highlight his otherwise perfectly acceptable (despite the obvious overabundance of perhaps a wee bit too much mascara) bulging left eye. "Fact is, to actually play 'fair,' at this anything but opportunistic time, would now only seem to undermine the already well established legacy of our nation's overall 'unfairness' past performance heritage. And thus, only disrupt our, at present, commitment to further install and insinuate such spin-friendly options within the, as hoped for, unrestricted boundaries of any available, or not yet exactly pre-conceived immediate future. And thus, only put us deeper into a severely limited position that would, of course, disallow us any chance to sufficiently benefit from what has either been pre-achieved, or designed to somehow unfold accordingly as a result of our longstanding goal to ride this thing out and, by all means, stay the course."
Despite Runnymede seemingly having no obvious trouble successfully navigating his way though anything at this point in the proceedings, it was still nice to see him eventually finally tackle a well delivered, face-off finale, creampuff question, as offered up by Dave Denholm of "U.S. News and Porn World Report," who seemed maybe a little too anxious to find out what sort of response current high-ranking 2010 Census Department heads might in fact be required to make, should, due to the present highly charged, racially restless, situation in Arizona, a scenario develop that might find such Latina Porn Divas as Jasmine Byrne, Luscious Lopez, or Sativa Rose (or worse yet, all three) getting pulled over for questioning (at least to start out with) by authorities in Tucson just because of their burned-out tail lights. Or, something like that.
"Uhhhhh," Runnymede said, hopefully loud enough for everyone to hear over the roar of the paramedic vehicles as they rolled up in response to the now touch and go emergency situation involving the in-progress revival of the somewhat lifeless overfed Substitute Geometry Teacher, currently then almost half way to the light at end of his particular obtuse-like tunnel. "I'm not sure, but I'm guessing that's something we'll have to look into."
As far as I know, there's already quite the line. Or, so the police said.
Meanwhile, although Runnymede clearly failed to get a chance to address any existing concerns - related to, of course, the steadily growing belief by some that the preferred choice of "White" for those citizens admitting to be either of "Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin" was specifically designed that way so as to more readily effect the perception, and thus, the outcome of what was initially envisioned as an appropriately pre-conceived power play demographic, which, if woven properly in web-like fashion, would then thereby inflate any already as recorded "White" portions of the tabulated percentage so as to invariably suggest that their "adjusted" numbers might actually still exist, for reasons of predomination in at least several strategic areas within our national borders where such a controlling interest, with regards to cultural and ethnically enhanced dynamics, is needed for both the establishment, and eventual proper maintenance of any already existing, or soon to be unleashed community based agendas - he'll no doubt have a chance to go toe-to-toe with assorted matters coming from that direction at next week's already scheduled press gathering in the courtyard of perennial notorious Hollywood hot spot, the Cat and Fiddle Pub on Sunset Boulevard, in order to celebrate the announcement of a law suit against the U.S. 2010 Census Bureau by a disgruntled, local mother of two, currently in the process of attempting to respond to federal charges that she refused to provide nothing more than just that information pertaining to the age, gender, and current residential status of all those - including her deadbeat, fantasy-driven spouse - presently affiliated with her (as of last week) still anything but fun and/or decidedly non-tense proof Mid-Wilshire area household.
In other words, what's not for dinner? For here, and to go.