It's a New Day, Caulifornia

James BunoanYou know why Arnold Schwarzenegger won the governorship last week? No one could withstand the appeal of a big man saying, "I need your help."

Here was a big, big, super-sized man–who only stopped at Mr. Universe because they didn't have a Mr. Infinity and Then Some contest–made even bigger on the movie screen, where he saved planets, conquered nations, slaughtered entire police stations full of cops. (Boy, is it nice being white: Even now that Ice-T plays a cop on TV, do you think police organizations would forgive him for "Cop Killer" if he ran for public office?) Arnold also had vigorous sex with Sharon Stone. He sure didn't ask for our help then.

But as Candidate Schwarzenegger, he stood in front of the cameras, acknowledging his past accomplishments, but also pleading that this job was bigger than him and he needed all our help. It made you just want to hug that big Austrian meat tower and tell him everything was okay, that of course we'd help him get that big, pretty state he wanted.

And now that he has it, you can just bet that he's going to need our help saving it. The time for cynicism and obstruction is past, my friends. It's time that we rolled up our sleeves, hiked up our skirts and pitched in to help Arnold make California the way it used to be; you know, like before we all moved here, before his Republican friends paved it all over and polluted it and stripped its resources and foreclosed its family farms and deregulated its basic utilities. Sort of like then. So we'd like to offer a few things we can each do or help support.

Sell your voter's pamphlet on eBay. That's what my friend Mark Soden did, figuring that there are lots of people--Arnold fans, train-wreck fans, political junkies–who aren't blessed to live in California, and hence are hungering for our electoral trash. He was right. Folks are paying anywhere from $1 to $50 for ballots, mailers, placards and such. You can sell anything on eBay. I've seen people bid on human excrement, creating a market in which you'd think supply exceeds demand. If people will buy shit, you can just bet they'll buy Arnold's ads.

If you haven't already thrown all your election materials away, put 'em up on eBay. There must still be millions of pieces, and if we sold them all, that might realize tens of millions of dollars we could then donate to the state general fund. Millions aren't billions, but at least it would help pay for redecorating the governor's office in early Gold's Gym style.

Let Arnold act!Before he became Louisiana's governor, Jimmie Davis wrote and sang "You Are My Sunshine," and he kept singing it in office. Everyone has a special skill, something they do better or at least differently than anyone else, and they shouldn't throw a bushel over that light just because they're in public service. If a governor can crack walnuts with his teeth, let him, I say. Every little bit helps.

Many have insisted that Arnold not make movies while he's governor because it would distract from his important work in Sacramento. But in Arnold, we have a proven film idol. Rather than make him sit behind a desk, signing boring documents all day, how about, while he's on the state clock, letting him make movies that could add hundreds of millions of dollars to our coffers while also promoting the California lifestyle to foreign audiences? I mean, you can lecture people in theocracies until you're blue in the face that they shouldn't force their women to wear veils, yet years of that will have less effect than one Arnold movie, in which they can plainly see that a woman's veil might get in the way of shoving her head in a toilet.

So let Arnold act, and let all of California be his stage. We need to jettison the expensive restrictions on filming in the state to bring the industry back from Vancouver, B.C. Let them film in our streets, our skies, our homes. I see a three-year epic in which Arnold battles tax-and-spend cyborgs from Eureka to Chula Vista, pausing only to educate our children and maintain basic services.

Wear value-added slacks. Ladies, you know that you fritter your money away, paying more for one pair of Manohlo Blahniks than it costs to stock a classroom with textbooks and supplies. You could easily afford to skimp a bit and instead sock $100 away--in your panties. Now, we don't know for a fact that Arnold gropes women, but if he did, and if he pulled out a crisp $100 bill every time he did, we'd make that deficit go down lickety-split. Convince the Bush administration we're a terrorist threat. As the Bushmen kept telling us, Iraq is roughly the size of California. They know from the last presidential race that we pose a risk to everything decent they stand for. They know we have weapons of mass destruction, secreted at military bases all over the state. They know we harbor terrorists, who have been torching crucial Hummers. If we're not a threat calling for pre-emptive action, I don't know what is.

A governor wouldn't have to do much to push us over the brink into war: maybe rename San Francisco Faghdad, or get the UN to say we're complying with whatever. The next thing you know, the U.S. could be having its easiest war ever. They could enter the state unimpeded by paying Mexico to let them invade from there, avoiding the impassable agricultural checkpoints at the Arizona and Nevada borders. Once here, they'd find that we have measurably better infrastructure than Iraq; that many in the armed forces already speak our language; and that, unlike in Islamic states, the troops will find no shortage of liquor and women. And if Bush pours money into us like he did Iraq, it's bye-bye, deficit; hello, $100 billion surplus!

Charge admission. We already are one of the world's tourist destinations, with more attractions than you can shake a hot dog on a stick at. Now that we have an action-hero governor at the helm, why not just admit what we've become and name California the world's biggest amusement park? We could charge everyone admission at the border, even the liberating U.S. forces. Our cities could be linked by giant log-flume rides. We could end unemployment by making everyone park employees, or "cast members" as they'd rather we call ourselves. With each of us working eight hours, enjoying the park for eight hours and sleeping for eight, we will have finally achieved utopia. At our borders, we could have Arnold's mug on signs reading, "Hasta la vista, Baby" and, "I'll be back. I hope you will, too." Sell more naming rights. Why stop at arenas and stadiums? Along with Edison Field, we could have Krispy Kreme State Beach, Mount Verizon, the Citibank Freeway and even Governor Orville Redenbacher Schwarzenegger. Yosemite could still be called Yosemite, but only if the Yosemite Water Co. bought the rights. Eat more cauliflower. Ask for it by name. The more practice you have saying it, the better you'll be at pronouncing our state's apparent new name: Caulifornia.

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