I need a break from the insanity. The world is full-on cray-cray. Extremists have taken over a police precinct in Seattle and declared themselves to be an autonomous zone. It’s a move for a caliphate on our soil. Because our rules suck the CHOPAZ folk are going to make their own rules. The mob in control of the Capital Hill Autonomous Zone had a moment and decided that they wanted to be called CHOP. Autonomy has so much responsibility. And I mean, Starbucks on Pine Street is out of coconut milk.
Maybe this is the normal that I’ve been pretending isn’t normal. Maybe the world always was this cray-cray and I’ve just been in denial. Whatever. I need a timeout.
I know why they decided that they wanted to be called Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP). The utopian scorched earth, start over from nothing idea feels so awesome. Clearly everybody else in history was a complete idiot who was fucking clueless when it comes to running utopia. Nobody got it right so the best move is to start from nothing and build it properly.
Clerical Nats for CHOPAZ
Once you do it there is a cloud of concerns buzzing about your head that demands attention. Suddenly stuff like a noise complaint becomes a huge thing because you kicked out the cops. You are bombarded with stupid shit you don’t normally worry about because somebody else takes care of that. Who the hell cares that CHOPAZ is out of baby formula!? Breastfeed! Seriously. So annoying!
These novel lefties who feel so good about themselves are making a classic yungin mistake. They forget that they/we are a node in a vast network of interrelated support. The world is profoundly relational. We need each other to make this shit show work. Throw everything out and decide to rebuild from nothing and you also lose the relationships that make your first world life possible. It’s not fair.
The vanguard of the new age isn’t just making the mistake that they don’t need anyone else. The other mistake is that history is bougie and bougie is evil. They don’t need no stinking history. What they need is to start from nothing and build their utopia the right way. Besides, those other Utopian Revolutions didn’t do it right. I mean, that thing about insanity being a rinse repeat of the past and expecting different results–that’s bullshit, right? Those other guys just didn’t try hard enough. They didn’t do the real Shining Path. These guys will get it right this time.
Next, some of these problems are timeless. God’s Eden before the fall wasn’t complete. His first couple was unable to understand the consequences of their actions. Everything was confusing. Adam couldn’t understand why shitting in the nest he slept in last night would piss off Eve. So, maybe what Eve did was evil. Maybe it disrupted an untenable life.
Free Will is Hard for CHOPAZ
We have had free will and the knowledge of good and evil since then. Did this obviate the possibility of evil? No. Two black men were shot by cops recently. Riots broke out worldwide in response,. Most of our news headlines tell the story of one more evil done. Yet CHOPAZ is led by folk who believe they can get it right this time.
Already in the short life of CHOPAZ the homeless folk they invited in as pets stole their food. A local gang leader assaulted them when one of the CHOPAZ residents decided to paint graffiti on a local business. CHOPAZ kicked out the cops so no help there.
CHOPAZ will not survive. These kids in charge don’t want the ugly work of running a village. Already they decided to change their name to CHOP. This way they can try to get municipal services while mugging evangelists. Village admin and ops work is ugly. This work will go unattended. The backlog of ugly work will become overwhelming.
CHOPAZ Wants to Have Fun
Once the misery gets bad enough CHOPAZ will collapse. It’s not fun being autonomous. CHOPAZ just wants to have fun.
So . . . yeah. I need a break from CHOPAZ, Black Lives S’matter, AntiFa(ke), Angry Creamsicle, Sleepy Joe, Mama Pelosi, Chuck You Schoomer, and all the rest. I need a vacation in Paradise.
There is an IRL Paradise Valley, NV. My Paradise isn’t that. It is, but like the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, it exists in a kind of augmented reality only possible if you have a key to it. Inger has a key. I have one. There are others in the hands of people loyal to its crime lord, Saito Genji (Gene).
Gene in Paradise
The town is too small to need much in the way of municipal services. Most of the buildings run on wells and septic tanks. The most common internet connection is a jailbroken Hughes Satellite. Nobody pays for cable tv. They steal it. The town is too far from Winnemucca to make laying copper lines cost-effective. Cell service connects by a microwave tower to Winnemucca. One of Gene’s grandkids moderates the cell phone and internet connections.
No, you don’t have a right to free speech in Paradise Valley. Not for free. Gene’s friends enforce the law as they see fit. There is a magistrate that comes from Winnemucca once a month. Gene sees to it that the magistrate’s biggest decision is the size of the steak he’ll eat while in town and which girl will take care of him.
Gene is simple. Behave, pay him a bribe, or die. His definition of criminal assault is hurting any of his people at all. His sentence usually results in a 90-minute ride to Winnemucca to get patched up. Or the same ride in a body bag. Criminal assault for anyone else is decided on whether you are bleeding or ambulatory. If you are not bleeding and you are ambulatory then it may have been assault but it isn’t criminal. He doesn’t care about the seven deadly sins as long as he can make money on it. With no real municipal authority, there are no local taxes. Gene does extort protection money from independent businesses. He keeps that fee down so it’s affordable. Unless you piss him off. Then the move is to fold your business and leave town–walking as a first choice but on a stretcher otherwise.
We Don’t Need Cops
There is a volunteer fire company. Gene likes American Fire trucks so the town’s equipment is always less than 3 years old and top-notch. Ditto the ambulance. One of Saito’s friends has a cop car he uses to scare outsiders into paying a fine for “speeding” on the town’s only road. The friend is a lifelong BJJ and Hyoho Niten Ichi-Ryu disciple. This friend isn’t a cop. But this friend is also someone you want to respect and comply with.
The magical realist aspect of Paradise Valley comes in how you get there. If you take a road trip to the IRL Paradise Valley you won’t find Gene and his friends. To get to my Paradise Valley you need a special tsuba. This tsuba is a key that opens a portal to Paradise Valley. There is a portal in my living room closet and other places around the country and Japan. These tsubas are closely guarded by Gene. Thieves that steal one are hunted down and killed.
Paradise Valley is a refuge for outliers, criminals, adventurers, addicts, and crazies who just want to be left alone. Most everyone there has some sort of scarlet letter past that got them jail time and/or shunning. There is a Father Thomas, who is one of the priests accused of having sex with underage boys. He lives in a manse on the property of a former Baptist church. Father Thomas is guilty of publishing apologetics that ran cross to his cardinal. The cardinal was the one with a taste for young dick. No matter, Father Thomas needed to be gone so . . .
Would CHOPAZ folk be allowed in? Saito-san sells tsuba to tourists so they can come to get high, drink, gamble, fuck, and eat. These tsubas are tracked and once the money is gone or the reservation expires they go dark. Gene’s staff sees to it that the tourists make it home safe. Those that resist get a ride in the ambulance—sometimes in a body bag. So as long as CHOPAZ can pay and behave they would be allowed to visit.
Viva Paradise Valley
Paradise Valley is like a magical realism Yakuza Las Vegas. It exists to empty your wallet by offering you a walk on the wild side. There is no pretense of utopia in Paradise Valley. Saito-san cares about cleaning out your bank account. He needs the things that locating himself in Nevada brings him. He’d shoot anyone who suggested seceding from ‘merica. Saito-san has no problem sourcing coconut milk.
One more thing. Genji Saito (斉藤源次) is a graduate of Kyoto University. He is an accomplished calligrapher and bonsai (盆栽) practitioner. Paradise Valley is staffed by Japanese trained in hospitality and hotel management. If you have ever been to Japan you understand the level of obsession with artful attention to detail. Paradise Valley is gorgeous and runs like a beautiful Seiko watch. As long as you stick to your lane you’ll have an incredible vacation.
Paradise Valley is the setting for part of the murder story I’ve had in my head for about five years. It’s the one that is launched by the discovery of a human finger on the back seat of a Cadillac Escalade abandoned in front of my house. One of these days . . .