Collision Repair

A snapshot image of Newark Ohio in 2011 would look little different than one taken at the end of 2014. The first image would show vacant lots, for rent store fronts, boarded up buildings, an absence of comprehensive public transportation, an absence of any rental property maintenance code, an absence/lack of development/employment, road/bridge and infrastructure deterioration. The contemporary would show pretty much ditto. These were all the main concerns in 2011 Newark and have been set aside, ignored or conveniently excused since. Who or what stands to benefit/cash in on such a continuous reproduction of status quo?

In the previous post (Inquiring Minds…) Analysis was puzzled that three “city leaders”, from the 2011 election, were in such a hurry to take out applications for re-election in 2015. Presently the media is caught up in the rhetorical frenzy of “the act of inflicting excruciating pain” being considered as “torture” when it is perpetrated by someone else and “enhanced interrogation” when it is by us. Ongoing since the Citizens United decision is monetary consideration given to influence the behavior of political operatives being considered as “free speech” or “contribution” rather than the bribery or corruption that it defines. Analogous to an HBO series, evidence of this runs continuously when it comes to the top of the political food chain. Analysis surmised it ought to be no different at the bottom. This turns out not to be the case.

Perusal of the financial disclosure reports of two mayoral candidates in 2011, as well as of the two PACs promoting their election, showed no such “big money” influence (that’s right, the L.C. Democratic Party Central Committee and the L.C. Republican Executive Committee are considered to be Political Action Committees by the L.C. Board of Elections). All of which leaves the questions “Who cashes in from policies that maintain a mediocre malaise?” and “Why are Hall, Ellington and Bubb so eager to be the leaders of this exercise in treading water?” Careful consideration of the 2011 financial disclosures revealed some holes, some surprises, but mainly an accounting for how and why there is such a need to be the first incumbent in line to declare candidacy in 2015 (and it ain’t “We’re number one!” Well, not entirely). One of the amusing revelations shared by both PAC’s financial disclosures was the quaint peccadillo of the individual PAC’s “contribution” to an individual candidate along with the individual candidate’s “contribution” to the PAC (All will loudly proclaim their “fiscal responsibility”). This is akin to one spouse paying the other while the other pays the one. Carefree fiscal PDA’s? No, something else is being “cashed in on”. When it comes to the bottom feeders, the food at the top is much too rich. Getting to the crumbs first potentially may explain it. But how? And what exactly makes up the crumbs?

Within the 21st century world of art, the artist is touted as an entrepreneur. “Good business is good art.” (Andy Warhol) The bohemian take on being an artist died with Jackson Pollock. Art programs at institutions of higher education such as CCAD, Denison University, or OSU encourage students to become/foster a brand. Brand association disentangles the created image or personality from the actual actor/creator/author, much as GE or Halliburton is disassociated from the actual CEO, board of directors, or even individual stock holders. PAC’s operate on the same premise, appealing to the same created image or personality while distancing the actual performance from any individual responsibility. The performance needs to entertain, captivate, and distract from any attention ever being placed on that performance’s individuals (after all, that is for history to decide, we are told). Analysis finds that this corroboration goes far in addressing how and why three residents of a community could “cash in” after an abysmal and mediocre performance intended primarily to ensure the reproduction and maintenance of the status quo. Currently the PAC that promoted their original election is on a roll. Being first to cash in on this “brand” affiliation negates any primary challenge. Brand marketing stifles any conversation about inaction, absence of results, lack of leadership. It distracts from the obvious, that the before and after collision repair photos look the same (if not a bit worse).

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