Overthrowing the Banana Republicans | Vox Pop | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Overthrowing the Banana Republicans 

Suburbanites beware: We're taking you down with us

Look, you pink-flamingo-displaying, mall-worshiping, blond-and-blue-eyed, holier-than-thou, smug, superior Banana Republican suburbanites: Take your disdain for the city and stick it in one of your 18 cargo-pants pockets.

There's way too much singing and dancing in the 'burbs about the fiscal fiasco in the 'Burgh.

You don't have to be so damn happy about it. Do we come out and laugh at you when you burn the rib-eyes on the grill at your nightly neighborhood barbecue with Mr. and Mrs. Stepford?

State Sen. Jane Orie has Bette Davis eyes and apparently has decided to adopt the snotty persona of one of Ms. Davis' darker characters. Orie (R-Suburbia) worked WITH Mayor Murphy on the PGH 21 Committee last year, which led to Murphy's current bail-out-the-city tax proposal. Now she proposes to take Murphy "out of the equation" with her own bill, publicly dissing hizzoner with the same backstabbing relish of which everyone accuses Murphy.

Along with the relish, there's a little mustard on the side, in the form of Democratic Sen. Jack Wagner, who's joining with Orie in this legislation in his continued quest for revenge because Murphy beat him in a mayoral primary years ago, or some other perceived slight Jack can't get past.

For cryin' out loud, Jack lost to Lt. Governor Catherine Baker Knoll, and she's been dead for several years. But does he get all furious about losing to a dead person a la John Ashcroft? No, he gets over it and runs for Auditor General.

So why the endless grudge against Murphy? And why join up with evil suburban Republicans?

There's something lacking in the suburbs and its lawn-obsessing twits. It's called personality. It's called character. It's called eclectic electricity. It's called quality quirky. When you 'burbanites want to get quirky, you go to the CoGo's and eat some beef jerky. That's about as spicy as life gets.

And oh, look, what's that over there on that city street? I believe they're called black people. Perhaps you've heard of them.

The city is important, you slack-jawed mall zombies. Put down your Grande Frappucino, get your head out of your rapidly expanding posterior, and realize we're all in this together.

Your beloved Stillers are in the city. If you want any entertainment that remotely smacks of class, you've got to come to the 'Burgh. The best rock 'n' roll is here. As Sophie Masloff might tell you, Bruce Bedspring ain't playin' at the North Park Lounge. And by the way, there are millions of songs written by Springsteen and countless others about the heart and soul of American cities. Who ever writes tunes about suburbs unless it's appropriately derisive, dismissive satire? What could possibly inspire someone to write a song about Wexford?

"I saw Christina in the Starbucks today. / She looked a little skanky, but was ready to play. / I asked, do you put your cash with Mr. E.F. Hutton?/ She just stared at the bling-bling in her skanky belly button."

The only thing suburbs inspire people to do is shoot themselves to avoid becoming even more boring. Or you end up like Kevin Spacey in American Beauty, smoking dope and seducing teen-agers.

And how about food? You'll just be yankin' the chain restaurants in the 'burbs. Or are you one of those morons who think the Olive Garden is the best Italian restaurant?

You lawn-jockey losers need to realize you'd be nothing without the Steel City.
It'd be like rural Ohio, for Chrisakes. Is that what you want?

Have you seen those kitschy little statues of bent-over women on suburban lawns? I think they're supposed to be emblematic of what happens to suburbanites at tax time. They think they're getting a break because the local government takes 1 or 2 percent instead of Pittsburgh's 3 percent out of their checks, but when those high-millage school district property tax bills come due, bend over baby.

In the end, as repulsive as the mayor and some of his key staff can sometimes be, this ain't about them. It's about the city.

So now that you've all had a good laugh about the city's inept fiscal management, let's get down to work, stop being petty and vindictive, and save the only municipality in this region that prevents us all from being little more than one bad episode of the Brady Bunch:

"Here's the story, of a girl named Orie, who had better get her head out of her butt..."

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