ON THE AVENUES: Four more years? Heaven help us all, but there are five reasons to be optimistic.

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“The only thing you learn from history is that no one learns anything from history.”
— Otto von Habsburg

There was a time in the late 1980s, only the briefest of moments after Raygun had gone out to pasture, as Bush the Elder became heir to the nuclear code, when it still seemed as if Madonna wasn’t calculating and cynical ALL the time.

Don’t get me wrong; I’ve always greatly admired and fully appreciated the Material Girl exactly for who she is, a savvy musician and performance artist with an amazing head for business.

But even as late as 1989 Ms. Ciccone could toss out a bouncy ditty like “Cherish” and you’d pause for a moment, smile and think: “Wow, what a sweet chorus, and it really hasn’t been that long since ‘Borderline’, has it?”

Speaking of defining lines in the dross, since the conclusion of the municipal election cycle in 2019 my love (for Nawbany) has been pushed over the borderline, clearing the top of the guardrail, and come to rest at the bottom of a shambolic sinkhole once used as latrine and landfill by immigrant Gahans arriving here on the Mayflower.

Or was it the Titanic?

But that’s all right with me, because my innate stubbornness eliminates the possibility that these kingpin nitwits will ever govern MY head space. Rather than dwell on the dipshittsian dysfunctionals, let’s see if there is a case to be made for this municipal glass being half-full with our delicious Pilsner Urquell, rather than half depleted of their Bud Light Mang-o-Rita pet shampoo.

Because I promised … here are FIVE POSITIVE TAKEWAYS FROM THE NOVEMBER 5 ELECTION.

5b. City council addition by subtraction.

David Barksdale (at-large) wagered it all on the luxury Reisz Mahal, eagerly abetting Dear Leader’s megalomania but annoying one too many Republicans in the process. Thus hemorrhaging credibility, the votes he lost from his own tribe cost Nanny Barksdale his bid for re-election.

Credit Gahan for divining Barksdale’s buildings-not-people Achilles heel and smacking it constantly with a baseball bat, then pushing the dazed ex-councilman aside to congratulate the candidate, pretend-Democrat Jason Applegate (see below), who beat him.

Maybe someday people will see Gahan for who and what he really is, but until then, it’s #HisNA business as usual.

However … counter-intuitively, Barksdale’s fall might actually make the anti-Gahan resistance stronger by removing its weakest link, while at the same time freeing Barksdale to return to the unelected sector, where he can do better works for the city than merely roll over and play dead for the pay-to-play Democratic vandals.

5a. On January 1, 2020 the city of New Albany will be rendered utterly decaffeinated.

Dan “Councilman Cappuccino” Coffey has retired from his council seat after two decades representing the 1st district, otherwise known as Westendia. Previously we have thanked Coffey in perfect seriousness for his long years of service, and irrespective of one’s “side” when analyzing his legacy, it cannot be disputed that Coffey has joyfully played the role of Freud’s id on council for all these years. His absence removes the scream from the body’s primal. Maybe Pat McLaughlin can pick up the slack.

On second thought … no, that’s highly unlikely.

4. Coffey’s successor will not be a Dickeyite pushover.

The 1st district race in 2019 pitted woman against woman. Has this ever happened before? Both were excellent candidates, but only one could win, and Jennie Collier (D) did. The Green Mouse says Collier is no friend of the mayor’s, and is likely not to be the rubber stamp Gahan demands his sycophants abase themselves to be, that she’ll think for herself and perform more as an independent than a boot-licking lackey of McLaughlin’s caliber.

If so, a cooperative bloc of Collier, three Republicans (Al Knable and David Aebersold, both at-large, and newly elected 5th district councilman Joshua Turner) and independent 6th district incumbent Scott Blair could thwart the more egregious of Gahan’s harebrained schemes.

3. Joshua (JT) Turner won in the 5th district.

Not only is this an automatic energy boost of epic proportions, particularly compared with Turner’s somnolent apparatchik of a predecessor, but it bodes well for the future of the district. Once solidly Republican, the 5th has gone Democratic in recent years, although the races have been very close.

Team Gahan’s effort to buy the 5th with its Colonial Manor fix-is-in plan miserably failed, exposing the mayor’s comprehensively clothes-less attire, and Turner flipped it. Meanwhile the junta will find a way to reward loyal servant Matt Nash with a few farthings more, and all will again be well in papa Warren’s interior world of ethics-free cajoling.

Turner is going to be a hard-working, open-minded public servant. Keep your eyes on him.

2. Let us join together in Extol.

Newly elected at-large councilman Jason Applegate somehow passed through an entire municipal election cycle, occupying a whole calendar year, without ever once being questioned by even the first self-satisfied, card-carrying progressive member of the League of the Beautiful People about the word “conservative” appearing as his political identity at his Facebook page.

Thousands of times they pilloried those nasty conservatives, and every single day Applegate hid in plain sight by describing himself as one. The woebegone Buttigieg Belt never noticed — well, they noticed but chose not to.

So yes, we all know that Applegate has been a Republican his entire life until encouraged to run for office (Q: Which office? A: Who cares?) and it’s equally obvious that he has attached himself to Jeff Gahan’s perfumed hip more slavishly than Terry Middleton, almost certainly because Big Daddy needs an economy-sized heir apparent.

We all grasp the unexplained switcheroo respectability thus afforded the chosen at-large “Democrat” … but maybe, just maybe, the “conservative” moniker acts like a guilty conscience to lead him on widely scattered occasions to push back against Gahan’s ruinous indebtedness and mind-boggling expenditures, or to at long last contemplate that cooperation with David Duggins’ “blessings in a backpack” approach to NAHA administration is tantamount to loading residents onto cattle cars headed for Greenville — as well as being an unmitigated crock of shit.

1. New council blood means a different balance of personalities.

In the final analysis, a juggling of chemistry is the most important outcome of the 2019 municipal election. Apart from council’s three intellectually exhausted returning Democrats, now purged of all pride, idealism and brain-matter to function as grim power-brokers for the oligarchs (Bob Caesar, McLaughlin and Greg Phipps, henceforth to be known here as the CMP, or “consent management platform”), there is at least a possibility of the body being a genuine mechanism of checks and balances, with legislative creativity thrown into the mix.

Actions resembling this description won’t emanate from the kept Democrats, who are kept on a tight leash by Squire Adam. However, if that bloc of five bipartisan council members arises, it might yet be interesting.

Did you hear the one about Gahan phoning McLaughlin at 2:00 a.m.? According to the Green Mouse, here’s how the councilman answered the call.

Life is a mystery, everyone must stand alone
I hear you call my name
And it feels like home


When you call my name it’s like a little prayer
I’m down on my knees, I wanna take you there
In the midnight hour I can feel your power
Just like a prayer you know I’ll take you there


I hear your voice, it’s like an angel sighing
I have no choice, I hear your voice
Feels like flying
I close my eyes, Oh God I think I’m falling
Out of the sky, I close my eyes
Heaven help me

Recent columns:

December 21: ON THE AVENUES HOLIDAY SPECIAL: Truth, lies, music, and a trick of the Christmas tale (2019 Remix).

December 19: ON THE AVENUES: These parents oppose their children’s exposure to the PURE Initiative as part of the NA-FC Schools curriculum. Here’s why.

December 12: ON THE AVENUES: He who fights and runs away will live to fight another day.

December 5: ON THE AVENUES: Ladislav’s language, 1989 – 1990 (Part 2).

November 28: ON THE AVENUES: Ladislav’s language, 1989 – 1990 (Part 1).

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