Spring "Rush" in Branson

Redbuds, Dogwoods, Mobil Home Rental Ads and Rush Limbaugh must be spring in Branson, America's whacky little carnival town that makes a living celebrating 19th century values, for 20th century  "right wingers",  terrified about adapting to the 21st century.  Lest the minions of $9 per hour part time employed Ozarkians get distracted from their passion to live third world lives.........well, they but need turn an ear or an eye.  Yes, the "Rush", whose adaptive attributes have carried him far from the "4th quadrant" Ozarks, will daily remind them that they are not to blame for their generational misfortune.  So long as there is one remaining elitist liberal dining  alfresco at the club, The "RUSH" will rant that  it is they who are to blame for the 4th quadrant's  misery.  And yes, Branson will listen, and they will be satisified, and they will find a new/used mobil home for $395 per month, and they will get a liberal agency to pay for their outrageous utility bill, and they will think about calling Parmelle Law, but they WILL NOT understand that it is they who are paying for the "Rush" to live a far more elite life than those that he bludgeons.    


Branson Watches "Tainted Taney Tribulations"

Unless the Tri-Lakes News totally fabricated this weeks Pennel/Strafuss/Strahan "call-out" story, there is for sure something very rotten down river in Forsythe.  What isn't clear is which of these adversarial "County Leaders" is a modern day Baldknobber.  The "tweet take" is that "Leader A" paid an engineering invoice  billed to Taney County without proper approval.  Why the engineers didn't just return the unapproved payment was not reported.  What was reported was that the "payment error" totally pissed off  "County Leaders B & C", who demanded investigations, reprimands, censures,  and from the tone of their quotes,  upcoming, the guillotine. Leader A, according to the report, tried to sooth their  ire by personally funding the errant payment back to the Counties Account, but to no relief. The County wouldn't accept his payment.  As the Tri-Lakes story went to print, Leader A had paid for a "Lie-Detector" test to validate that he was not a garden variety municipal thief.  It certainly doesn't sound like the typical "money gone missing" profile, but maybe there is more to the story.

 I bring attention to this local "intra-council face-off", because unless there is much undisclosed  incriminating  evidence against "Leader A", then any prudent observer would have to conclude that "Leaders B & C", are some pretty heavy-handed dudes with hidden agendas!       


Selling China in Branson----Twice!

Here in Branson, the Ozarks Capitol and  "Americana Values Mecca"  we stand firm against all things foreign, but when it comes to "cashing in" on the nine million tourist flocking here to experience "3 days of yesteryear", well, it a horse of a different color.  Like in any tourist location, our prices are high and our quality is low.  Yes, we all know that most of the souvenir/craft/antique products offered around the world in those charming little indigenous shops are actually manufactured in Shanghai/Beijing, but we have a sense that it is OK, because the shop keepers have obviously been enterprising in locating and transacting to buy the imported "crap".  

Sadly, I report that we have now moved into a new "tourist crap paradigm".  In today's complex multi-layered culture we maintain an economy where most of the people have no idea what most products cost most of the time.  This is particularly true in non familiar markets, like destination resort areas.  For Branson's shopkeepers this new economy offers some attractive possibilities.  There is now no need to assess changing retail trends, finance inventory, or promote unique products.  All shopkeepers have to do is haunt The Landing where name stores like Kirklands and Belks are selling China products at "rock bottom prices" just trying to cover their lease obligations.  Shopkeepers are in numbers buying this crap that Kirklands purchased from China and  reselling it to tourist who missed Kirklands in favor of visiting their cute little indigenous shops.  Now that's Americana Values!

                         Kirkland's price times one point five....... it keeps me and ma alive!


Branson Serves High Tea In Low Places

It was a beautiful Spring day in the "Ozark's Capitol".  Just the kind of day for a "Tea Party".  And, indeed we did have that party, complete with food vendors, flags, costume, inflammatory signs, semi-revolutionary rhetoric and wannabe politicos. The 1000+ gathering was held "complimentary"  at the Dick Clark Theater's  Area 57, a natural amphitheater area down the hillside from Branson's famed Music Road.  No Dick Clark, but present was the ubiquitous Andy Williams, Dean Martin's daughter, and a few others CM celebs.

The attendee profile was classical Tea Party, white couples between 50 and 70, appropriately dressed, driving 2-5 year old American cars and showing restrained "pissed" on their faces.  It seemed that there were more wives than husbands waving their "standard theme signs", protesting taxes, health care, and deficit spending.  My sense was that many of the grayed husbands were pretty much there to patronizing wives, who were, both anxious about the eroding of their "golden years" resources and ego driven to flaunt their surviving virtues of decency, frugality and compliancy.  The husbands, to the contrary, showed mostly resignation in there subordinate/supportive expressions.  

There was very little, if any, religious  evangelical expression, although there were many audience instances of "adoration trancing" during an unusually emotional rendition of "God Bless America".  There was no liberal "counter-protest" presence, other than a few "Ron Paul Devotees" seeking to draw attention to fiscal arguments and away from broad brush "Obama Bashing".  

There were three invited speakers, each of which did about 20 minutes of what appeared to be rehearsed "party line rhetoric" all laced with clever sarcasm.  The first, an all-american looking young man, recited the standard Tea Party "take back America" anthem.  The second speaker, a black activist from St. Louis, who apparently had garnered some celebrity for having been the victim of a black attack  consequential to his anti-Obama rhetoric.  I suspect that this very articulate man, whose name I didn't hear, was the only black activist in America who yesterday spoke in a 99% white population town to a 1000+ gathering where he was absolutely the only black guy present.  Surprisingly he used his exposure to complain, concurrently about racial injustice and Obama's socialistic agenda.  To me it seemed like a hard-sell, but the Tea Party was prepared to eat up anything anti-Obama.  The final speaker was a young "country mom" turned blogger/radio host who appeared to be working on build a personal reputation as an Angela Davis styled revolutionary dedicated to neutralizing the insurgents....they being Barack, Joe,  Nancy, Harry, Janet, Tim and all of their comrades intent on destroying America.  She was dressed in tight black and spiked heels, somewhere between Trinity from The Matrix and a biker chick; not exactly what you might expect on the podium at a Saturday afternoon gathering of retirees in the Ozark Mountains.  It was hard to tell whether the crowd cheered her ditribe because they shared her confrontational spirit, or because they were entertained by her theatrical performance. Regardless, she also seemed to be a hit.

 In closing, the Branson Tea Parties Spring Convention was a fun event filled with high rhetoric and high emotion.  Unfortunately these highs were, I though, diminished by the low brow content shouting from signs, speeches and candidate pamphlets.   Expressing opinions is healthy but not as healthy as expressing opinions after having thoroughly examined the facts at issue.  There were lots of opinions, but educated opinions...... not so much! 




New At Branson McDonalds! "McTaser"

Getting Saturday morning coffee at the Downtown Branson McDonalds is always tough and during "springbreak" even tougher.  This morning some dude, who must have had a bad night in a cheap motel, turned impatient with the 16 year olds serving the counter under the supervision of the 17 year old managers.  It wasn't clear whether he first got his "premium roasted coffee for a dollar", or he got TASERED and dragged to a police car by a half dozen of  Branson's Finest.  I do know that after the legion of Officers used three police cars to barricade the McDonalds exit while subduing the guy with no coffee, the drive-thru window operation turned into a one could get in and no one could get out.  Fortunately none of us caught in the "dragnet" lost our temper and had to be TASERED. As I found my way to the 248 McDonalds, I remembered an old Kris Kristofferson song that clarifies........."six squad cars came screaming to the rescue and hauled old Billy Dalton off to jail, cause the laws is for protection of the people, a rules a rule and any fool can see, we don't need no drunks like Billy Dalton scaring decent folks like you and me, at Mickey Dee, no Siree!"