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Friday, July 14, 2006 

Suburbanites At War

In Georgia County, Divisions of North and South Play Out in Drives to Form New Cities - New York Times

Hey! My home turf made the New York Times! And no leaks were necessary. (Performed, yes, but not needed.)

When suburbanites do battle over a cause, it's an often-hysterical exercise in unintentional humiliation. Something about carpools, happy meals, and soccer practice (full disclosure: all of which I participate in) doesn't exactly breed you for the all-in life of a hardscrabble hard-liner. So when these poor well-meaning but politically naive saps run up against professional bureacrats, there's always fun. Case in point--the article above. I live in one of the most demographically wack-ass counties in the state of Georgia, if not the nation--it's shaped like a vertical bow-tie, with affluent whites (and mucho development) up north, affluent minorities (and mucho greenspace ripe for development) down south, and the city of Atlanta representing the knot, in more ways than one, sitting like a giant bloodsucking tick right in the middle of the whole thing. Now, up near me, many of the folks who've seen their taxes get vacuumed out of their wallets and houses and sent down to places like Grady Hospital (best place in the city to get a gunshot wound treated--practice makes perfect) gets them a mite riled up. Naturally, the bureaucrats down Capital City way don't much want to lose the tax revenue from the suburbs, and spent the last 40 years mocking suburbanites' efforts to cut loose. That is, until Republicans (the preferred party hereabouts) took over the state Legislature and the governor's mansion--for the first time since Recon-freaking-struction--and declared that things were gonna change.

Emboldened by the idea of members of their foursomes now watching their backs in the Capitol, several locales have proposed the idea of cutting ties with the county altogether and forming their own little cities--the legislative equivalent of taking their balls and going home, so to speak. What's funny is how the ground war has progressed. The proposed city of "Johns Creek," as referenced in the article, has as its city center a Circle K and a Brewster's Ice Cream, and is still seeking the right of self-governance. Bully for them--they can look forward to inspiring Fourth of July celebrations on the steps of Moe's Southwest Grill. But anti-incorporation foes are spray-painting, knocking over, stealing, and--in one instance--apparently chewing the Johns Creek signs that dot the area, leading to no end of irate letter-writing to the local weekly suburban newspaper. It's like Israel v. Hezbollah, only structured around carpool times.

That's not to say I disagree with the folks seeking secession. But there ain't much funnier than a soccer mom screaming "No Justice! No Peace!" into a megaphone while her two kids sit in the minivan, absorbed in GameBoys and wishing mom would just shut up.

So endeth the political lesson for today. Take notes, there'll be a quiz at the end of the year.


Jay Busbee runs Yahoo! Sports' NASCAR Blog From The Marbles, Atlanta Magazine's Atlanta sports blog Right Down Peachtree, and the Southern sports/humor blog Sports Gone South. He also writes for damn near anybody who'll throw him a buck and a byline, and he's at work on the books The Quiet Dynasty: The History Of The Atlanta Braves' Championship Run (2009, Sports Publishing LLC) and God Is A Bulldog: Georgia, Florida, And The Greatest Play In College Football History (2010, Sports Publishing LLC). Click below for more info on his novels, articles, and comics.
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