ON THE AVENUES: During our State of the Gahanaissance Address for 2018, feel free to resort to hard liquor. I did, and will.


ON THE AVENUES: During our State of the Gahanaissance Address for 2018, feel free to resort to hard liquor. I did, and will.

A weekly column by Roger A. Baylor.

Oh, but don’t mention love
I’d hate the pain of the strain all over again
A rush and a push and the land that
We stand on is ours
It has been before
So why can’t it be now?
And people who are weaker than you or I
They take what they want from life
— The Smiths

If by “resistance” we are implying a principled opposition to idiocy, cupidity, mendacity and persistently bad writing, then the resistance begins right here at home, in your New Albania.

Let’s take stock of the civic miasma (sorry, Shane) as Our Era of the Soulless Weighted Anchor begins its seventh interminable year. Note that by contrast, Drumpf’s been around for only one.

Spoiler alert.

In 2018, there’ll almost surely be monthly reaffirmations of Gresham’s Law, meaning that any “good money” we find lying next to a clogged storm drain will be instantly displaced by the inevitable arrival of bad pennies.

In a dysfunctional organization, a “leader” with poor leadership skills will hire a bunch of yes-men and women to surround him so he doesn’t look as terrible as he is. Anyone who raises the bar or excels gets pushed out by the company, or sometimes even shunned. Thus, the organization gets worse and worse, and little to no progress is made due to peoples’ egos and power trips blockading and stonewalling innovation.

Ouch. That’s an apt summary of insidious (and infectious) Gahanism. Did the author used to live here or something?

It hasn’t even been three weeks, but 2018 already has yielded joyfully unanticipated manna from heaven in the form of a citizen’s video showing our agoraphobic mayor at his most robotically dismissive, facing a well-informed group of principled property owners in the aftermath of a shambolic, potted public spoon-feeding, and finding his pitted needle skipping over corroded vinyl.

See for yourself. It’s both addictive and repellent.

Orwell’s grave keeps levitating, and you expect a Roger Waters concept album about encroaching totalitarianism to break out at any second, except the damned party chairman keeps playing the same old song.

On the public housing front, it’s been all pain and little gain for the mayor’s toiling demolition minions. The louder they scream in paranoiac repetition about enemies, enemas, heebie jeebies and false information, the more it seems they’re hiding something.

Never before has Gahan managed to unite so many onetime supporters, now turned against him in disgust with the putsch. For that, we’re thankful, but will they follow through, take command of the ballot box, and punish the DINO-in-Chief?

Only time can tell.

In the interim, NA Confidential has delighted in examining the small-fish powerbrokers Gahan put into place to preside over the NAHA’s dismantling, and unsurprisingly found numerous donors to the mayor’s campaign war chest.


They’re the same rusted sycophants, over and over again, and now that regime’s end draws ever nearer, they’ll be fighting like the proverbial junkyard dogs to preserve those ancestral beak-wetting privileges ensuing from the DemoDisneyDixiecratic Party’s slush-packed hegemony in the municipality.

Concurrently, we’ve also come to understand that former NAHA director Bob Lane had a powerful and far-reaching plan to further affordable housing in New Albany; moreover, it has become increasingly obvious what a mortal threat this plan posed to Gahan.

Not only would Lane’s plan have failed the typical 50+-year-old NAHS politician’s mythological imperative of halving the number of public housing units, but the result — a tangible renewal of neighborhoods and their reattachment to the street grid – stood to be something of value that Gahan could not claim personal credit for achieving.

In which case, plaque off, jack.

It’s crystal clear that if Jeff Gahan can’t usurp a project or a person for his own political self-aggrandizement, they’re worse than dead to him, which leads us to the mayor’s ongoing effort to convince us he’s perfection personified.

Most of us know better. The recurring question: does he?

Egomania may be a harmless eccentricity within the confines of one’s own household, but it becomes considerably more disturbing when the test-tube shaters, and the ensuing toxic cloud spreads far past placid, suburban Eastridge Drive.

Will Gahan’s surreal and absurd cult of personality continue expanding toward ultimate Ceausescu-esque Champale Supernova dimensions, or will terrified party members persuade him to shrink the self-aggrandizement (for heaven’s sake, Jeffrey) before one of them gets hurt?

Definition of cult of personality: a situation in which a public figure (such as a political leader) is deliberately presented to the people of a country as a great person who should be admired and loved.

When Gahan returns to the wonderful world of veneer on January 1, 2020, his primary legacy will be this bizarre attempted personality cult. It has included verbal grandiosity …

Mt. Tabor Road Restoration and Pedestrian Safety Project
Downtown Grid Modernization Project

… and a loving embrace of the anchored-into-place symbol (see Mark of Duggins), currently breeding through town like Viagra-engorged bunny rabbits, so as to mark territory in precisely the same way as that gangland graffiti we spend so much time scrubbing off garage doors in our alleys.

Then there is the rampant self-glorification, as when Mayor Jeff M. Gahan presents the sunrise, the sunset and all the random acts of photosynthesis occurring between dawn and dusk.

The personality cult benefits when taxpayers foot the bill for social media feeds depicting Dear Leader scaling mountains, performing piano concertos and defeating Romeo Langford at H-O-R-S-E. They also pick up the tab for the surreal mayoral selfies on Kroger shopping carts.

When you start believing your own city-as-fiefdom press clippings, that’s when you call the fire department to change a friend’s tire — although on second thought, why not utter a curative incantation, or in a real pinch, just do it yourself?

It’s why the Mt. Tabor video is so welcome, because the stammering reality and inability to improvise put the lie to the endless public relations gloss ’n’ dross.

Gahan’s as much of a ruling party hack as any sclerotic Soviet luminary who ever wobbled unsteadily atop Lenin’s Tomb, watching through glassy eyes as the phallic missiles roll past.

In the Taborite Revolt video, Gahan’s menace can be seen gradually building, and you know the usual 3:00 a.m. phone calls will be going out to career-minded underlings who value their paychecks more than their spines.

But why aren’t they all being rewarded with a doubled pay packet, like Gauleiter Duggins was?

Will these apparatchiks eventually rebel against the robotic, self-indulgent rudeness, the harassment and the ill treatment?

Probably now, but I’ll write no more now — ’til I get a drink.

In case there was any remaining doubt, NA Confidential proposes to fight it out on this line, if it takes all summer – or, the next 656 days. Let’s all work together to end this reign of error, shall we?

Recent columns:

January 11: ON THE AVENUES: Return to sender; decency is such a lonely word … the sounds of silence reign o’er me.

January 4: ON THE AVENUES: Opposition? It is defined as resistance or dissent, expressed in action or argument, and in New Gahania, now’s the time for it.

December 28: ON THE AVENUES: It’s the beginning of the end of insipid Gahanism, so let’s look back at the Top Ten columns of 2017.

December 21: ON THE AVENUES: Truth, lies, music, and a trick of the Christmas tale (2017 Remix).