Down Goes the Plaza and So Goes the Country.

I just emailed my brother and my parents and told them that the Parks & Rec committee decision to rename the town plaza in my home town after a rabid Cesar Chavez follower was the final straw. I have no immediate family left in Watsonville, so I don’t need to go back there, and I won’t. That plaza was donated to the City by the Rodriquez family 150 years ago and the deed stipulates that it is to revert to that family if the City ever decides they don’t want it anymore. No one could find the deed and it seems to me the Rodriquez family should have had a say. WTF? I’ve called the town a s@#thole ever since I left in 1992 and this doesn’t change my opinion.

The town has been going down the tubes at least since the earthquake, if not before. I was there for a couple of days over Christmas 2008, after not visiting Watsonville for a good decade, and it was clear to me that it has never fully recovered. I don’t think it ever will.

Unwarranted political correctness is what’s doing in this entire country. God forbid one of us says something that might piss someone else off. Today’s politicians will say anything to get the vote, then turn around and pursue their own personal agenda. Of course people, heart, and location will be taken down by that. And that’s a damn effing shame, which brings complete and total dishonor to the foundation this nation was built on. Watsonville, like so many small towns, represents a tiny microcosm of our country. If the microcosms go down, so goes the country.

Our ancestors all came to this country from their individual countries of origin and busted their asses to make their own way. They cared for whatever they gained and passed that ethic on to their descendants. If we paid attention in history class, we know that this country was FOUNDED on busting your ass to make things better.

But somewhere along the way, a generation, in every culture, sprang up that believes it’s all about entitlement and has nothing to do with merit. I will always respect those who put some effort into things. Those who sit back and say “gimme, gimme” like spoiled, bratty children can go pound sand.

But the real problem isn’t the spoiled, bratty children…the problem is our society, which indulges and rewards this poor behavior. If bad behavior is rewarded, where’s the incentive to change?  My God, hasn’t the time come to say enough is enough?

[Update – 10/15/10: The Watsonville City Council, specifically the Mayor, dropped the idea of changing the name of the town plaza from the agenda.  Apparently, the local residents were so up in arms and executed such a tremendous petition drive, the elected officials were quaking in their boots.  We CAN fight City Hall!!]

© Hilary Clark and “Pining for Poetry & Prose”