Diary of a Mad County

Wednesday, March 9 This just in: final election results show Ted Crisellhas come from way behind to defeat a field of 11 and lose the LA mayoral election. Crisell, well-known to Orange County poll watchers—and you know who you are—as a man who can lose with the worst of them, edges out rival BruceHarryDarianto take absolute last in the race. Darian had the decided disadvantage of running as a member of the Federalist Party, which has had little electoral success since JohnAdamswas elected U.S. president, much of it owing to the fact the party dissolved over disagreements about the war—the Warof1812.With a detriment such as that, Darian was able to garner 471 votes—0.13 percent of the vote—a seemingly easily surmountable tally. But even Darian, whose campaign centered on the classically Hamiltonian Federalist principles of a strong central government, protective tariffs, care of the polar icecaps and using prisoners to repair potholes, was no match for Crisell's uncanny ability to not connect on any level with voters while also seamlessly being unable to communicate a vision, focus or plan. Crisell edged behind Darian, and when all the votes were counted, only 355—0.09 percent—had been cast for Crisell. While the Crisell result wasn't surprising to anyone who has listened to him and wondered if he had anything sharp in his pockets, it was surprising it would happen in the LA mayor's race, since all of his previous losing was limited to Orange County, where he started not winning at 21 when he ran for an Orange County school board seat. After that, the Crisell formula of comparing himself to AbrahamLincolnand hinting that Congressman DanaRohrabacher(R-Huntington Beach) may have had something to do with the assassination of RobertKennedyhas proved virtually beatable. And so followed his landslide loss to Rohrabacher in the 45th District Congressional race of 1999. He was to run against Rohrabacher two years later but pulled out mid-campaign, adding another element to his victorless streak: humiliating defeat. Crisell, who has threatened to lose races for secretary of state, governor, president and emperor of Alaska, also lost a race to become chairman of the OC Democratic Party, a position ideally suited for him.

Thursday, March 10 Spaniardsobserve a moment of silence for the 191 people who died in a terrorist train bombing last year. One of those not observing silence or even on the premises is frequent OC house guest and prime minister at the time of the attacks, JoseMariaAznar,who was in Mexico at the time, perhaps looking for his soul. Spain eventually pulled its troops out of Iraq, which eventually led the South Orange County Community College District, under the equally soulless thumb of former local Republican jefeTomFuentes,to cancel its study abroad program in Spain. While this will have little to no effect on Spain, it is yet another humiliation for Orange County, which seemed to be emerging from the hick/wacko shadow of the likes of BobDornan,BillDannemeyer,JohnSchmitz,JohnBirchand WallyGeorge.In fact, Orange County's reputation has taken such a hit that the likes of Mississippiis looking down on us. Missifuckingssippi! Prior to this, the only place Mississippi has been able to look down on is pre-wheel Mesopotamia.Quoted in the school paper, SusanOliphant,director of the University of Mississippi's study-abroad program, says, “We will not let politics decide where we have our programs.” Ole Miss political scientist AliceCooperalso said something that wasn't worth noting, though it was worth noting that the University of Mississippi has a political scientist named Alice Cooper. Hey, Alice, welcome to our nightmare.

Friday, March 11 If you're one of the people who's enjoyed the weekly antics of Orange school board member SteveRocco—didn'tyou love the latest episode, in which Steve was convinced that supermarket chain Albertson's was trying to kill him and had two dates for the big dance—you may have found yourself wondering, “Are the people in Orange high?” Well, the answer is a resounding “And drunk!” Robert“Bill”Lewis,a former school board member, is charged with felony child endangerment after he allegedly allowed his 13-year-olddaughterto drive him home because he was too drunk to do so. Hey, Don't drink and drive, Do drink and drive—make up your minds. Fortunately, everything turned out okay, and no one got hurt, except the 11-year-oldboyin the crosswalk. Through his lawyer, a Mr.Hutz,Lewis claims he was simply teaching his daughter how to drive, you know, to give her a three-year jump on the competition. Lewis is nothing if not an overachiever: while the legal blood-alcohol limit is 0.08, prosecutors said he was blowing a 0.13.

Saturday, March 12 A glorious day.

Sunday, March 13 Robert Igeris named to replace MichaelEisneras head of Disney,which would have been really big news 10 years ago when the company couldn't seem to do anything wrong, but then spent the past 10 years proving how very wrong they could be. Iger is seen as a continuance of the management style and direction of Eisner and has been called “Eisner-lite” by some while others refer to him as a “low-fat alternative to snacking with a zesty smack of Cheddar.”

Monday, March 14 Well, we're about two weeks away from finding out what will happen to Indie103.1.If you haven't heard—and if you listen to Indie, you're used to not being able to hear—recent changes in FCC rules regarding ownership of radio stations has meant there will be an end to the business relationship between ClearChanneland the FM station's owner, Entravision,that has allowed Indie to exist. Clear Channel can no longer sell advertising for the station without facing fines for essentially owning too many stations in the LA/OC market, leaving Entravision with sole responsibility for Indie, something the primarily Spanish-language media company probably has no interest in continuing. So April 1 may be the end of this trailblazer, which not only made former Sex Pistols guitarist SteveJonesinto this generation's thick-tongued, heavy-breathing, methadone-addicted CaseyKasem,but also played new music and classic old punk long-ago discarded by alternative giant KROQ.And what kind of Damien deal with the devil has KROQ made that causes every competent challenger to meet with some unseemly end, whether it be through mismanagement, FCC rule changes or getting hit in a crosswalk by a 13-year-old?

Tuesday, March 15 Gays can marry. Next thing you know, they'll want drivers licenses. And when they have them, what happens to the sanctity of the driving experience? What's more, what happens to the sanctity of the driving experience for the 13-year-old kids out there? Is anyone thinking of them?


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