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Conservatives watching Stephen Colbert interview Amy Goodman (who played her part straight) believed he was one of them.  Liberals recognized the satire.  I guess it’s fair to ask whether liberals would recognize a deadpan satire of their own views.

This conforms to an old study about Archie Bunker where conservative viewers actually didn’t understand why people were laughing at his comments.  But in that study many liberals also said they were offended by Bunker, taking it as a glorification of bigotry.  What that study, and this old incident at UC Santa Cruz, proved is that the recognition of irony does not come naturally, and the educational system is failing its students in that respect.

I wasn’t there and I haven’t heard anything about it, but Heraldo has a detailed report with a lively thread well under way.

I’m working the KMUD pledge drive this morning, but I’ll add some thoughts later.

Addendum: Heraldo’s thread is worthy of a look, though I wish someone who attended on the HumCPR side would chime in.  Heraldo reports:

BTW, I counted 38 speakers at last night’s meeting. 25 were clearly for Alt. A, 10 were not and 3 were either unclear or I missed their specific positions. Most of the 10 were HumCPR/developer/Maxxam troopers: Christensen, Provolt, Horner, Poe, Schulte and Fennell.

I’m not certain if this anonymous poster attended, but I’d like to hear more about the allegations.

The real story that is starting to come out is not the fight about the General Plan per se, or that the urban Arcata crowd likes Alt.A and the rural folks do not. The arguably more interesting fight was alluded to in a few comments about the County deleting public records and holding illegal secret meetings. This points to a looming battle that could have far greater impact on the general plan than who had 25 comments and who had 15. If the allegations circulating the room last night were true we could be looking at a major redo of the whole process and replacement of county personel.

To which Heraldo responded:

Anyone who attended or watched the meeting on channel 10 knows it was not about the “urban Arcata crowd” vs. rural people. You must be uncomfortable with the turn-out last night or you wouldn’t tell such an obvious lie.

For the record, the primary issue for public discussion should not be the urban/rural divide (why are the slams all aimed at Arcata?), nor even whether there have been “secret meetings” or other violations of process.  These are important issues, but whether the GPU process finishes up this year or whether we “start all over,” ultimately the county has to settle on a plan, and I don’t see smart growth policies as being incompatible with composting toilets or grey water systems.  We need some limititations on rural development and we need more flexibility from what one of my clients has referred to as “the Department of No.”  Clearly a county planner should not see his/her role as an enforcer of minute prohibitions so much as a public agent whose primary purpose is to help make things happen.

If the speakers breakdown last night was as described by Heraldo, I hope HumCPR will move away from the framing of the issue as community vs. the Planning Department and realize that there are other elements of the community, not just “Arcata based environmentalists,” to whom they must reach out.  The well of conflation of growth and planning issues with Code Enforcement Unit excesses will only produce so much water.

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