Thursday July 7, 2005

Suck It Up, Jesse

[Contributed by Steve Klotz]

It’s always fun to cheer for the underdog, even when the underdog is a manipulative weasel. But perhaps we’re getting ahead of ourselves here.

It took 4.95 million taxpayer dollars—that includes some of mine, and a few of yours—to buy out Jesse James Hardy. Hardy has been perched amid the Everglades for 3 decades in a house of his own making (he claims) with electricity powered by a generator, and gas from a propane tank. The land itself is a failed development that was to be called the Southern Golden Gates Estates; it was gridded and partially dug out before it was abandoned. He bought 160 acres in 1976 for $60,000. Not a bad rate of return.

The state pressured him to leave, claiming the area he lives in is a critical part of the Everglades Restoration project, and should be flooded to restore fresh water flow. But standing on his inalienable rights as a property owner, American citizen, military veteran, and stubborn fly-blown self-aggrandizing redneck cracker, he ain’t going anywhere, damn your eyes. The hell good is this country when a red-blooded white man like himself is forced to sacrifice his pigsty paradise just to preserve a unique and irreplaceable ecosystem for a mere $4+ Million profit?

There’s always something distressing when an entire government brings its weight down on an individual or a select group. Essentially, it stinks of everything wrong about the abuse of power. And whether or not it’s a lifestyle we’d choose for ourselves, he chose it. It’s not like he was doing anything as horrid as breastfeeding at Starbucks.

But none of us really owns the land we live on. Ownership is a convention, an agreement, and as earthlings, a terribly temporary arrangement. It was wrong to even start construction on this ill-begotten Levittown-by-the-Landfill; it was wrong for him to dig a limestone quarry there; it was wrong for the state to encourage cluster-fuck development; it was wrong to treat the Everglades like plumbing in a drain-field, and it’s wrong for him to stay there in light of this last-inning, and perhaps futile attempt, to repair a century of damage.

So quit your goddam whining, Jesse. Five million bucks buys a lot of DEET and deodorant. If you had played this differently, you might be called a genuine hero today, not some selfish symbol of flag-waving right-wing zealots, who are using you as a stick to beat evil commie environmentalists. Pack up, move on, and fade from memory. The mosquitoes will find something else, and maybe better tasting to eat, and the rest of us will get over the money we spent to flush your ass away.

[See all Articles by Steve]

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  1. Merkin    Fri Jul 8, 10:28 AM #  

    Evidently you never lost something of extreme, personal value, or had your entire life put in jeopardy by forces so much bigger and more powerful you start to question your own existence. Nice to be privileged, which this guy ain’t. After 30 years, would you give up everything you held precious and sacred for a crummy 4 million dollars? Yeah, me too. Never mind.