The things that never change

Yet another year is upon us.


As a young boy growing up in southern Ohio, on the banks of the polluted Ohio River, the idea of the 21st century seemed so far away I seldom thought much about it.

And now, in a blink or two of my aging eyes, I discover that we are four years into what science fiction writers in the Fifties called: The Future.

Much has happened in the five decades since my boyhood.

Man has walked in space.

Women have governed American states.

Black folks not only play competitive sports with whites, they often dominate the games we pay to watch them compete in.

Television and movies have supplanted novels as the way most thoughtful people engage the world (this is a pity, but true).

The Polar Icecap is melting after holding frozen fast for eons.

Japan and Germany are our allies in trade.

Russia is allegedly democratic.

But as much as many things change, some other things stay the same.

Washington State Ferries recently announced some serious cuts to the Southworth ferry schedule for the upcoming winter.

Since white men (and women) came West and forced the Indians surrounding Puget Sound off their lands, the best ferry service has always gone to Seattle and its wealthy Kitsap outpost (Yes they are part of us despite their worst wishes!), Bainbridge Island.

Hey, the powers that be in Olympia have evidently thought, since time immemorial, that if you are dumb enough to live in South or rural Kitsap, you’ll take the ferry service they give you. And like it.

And don’t expect any help from our beloved state senator, Bob “Narrows Bridge” Oke.

They aren’t going to name a ferry after Bob, so he ain’t interested.

Just take a book, or one of those pocket-size DVDs to Southworth and wait.

Who do you think you are anyway?

You’re just a lowly Kitsapper and that’s the way it will always be.

Another constant in the world south of Bremerton is that despite endless blather about “good” families, everybody and their brother it seems will be charged with child molestation sometime in this century.

Cops, coaches, whomever...if they are in authority here and around your kids, it might behoove you to pay close attention.

Another constant is the bigotry displayed in this paper’s letters to the editor column.

Said bigotry, since racism is no longer approved above the board at least, focuses mostly on homophobia.

Recently some guy wrote to this newspaper to express dismay, disgust and disbelief concerning the fact he’d evidently recently discovered that some men would sleep with other men and some women with other women.

I’m straighter than JFK, so don’t start.

It’s disgraceful, all right.

Not the sleeping arrangements, but the pathetic letter writers.

What do you care who sleeps with who?

And don’t tell me it’s God’s Word, that pathetic excuse whenever a bigot wants to cover his or her ignorance in a socially approved manner.

What with 30,000 kids dying of starvation around the world every day, and American boys being blown up in our undeclared war in Iraq every day, and AIDS spreading faster in heterosexual populations now than in the homosexual community, I don’t think God is worried all that much about who might be sexing up his or her neighbor.

He (or She) has got some real problems on The Divine Plate.

I’m hoping the Divinity solves world hunger and promotes a little world peace before He or She starts focusing on who boinks who...or is that whom?

Finally, I was not surprised to see that county commissioner Patty Lent reversed her field on impact fees.

This summer Lent, a Republican, voted with Democrat Chris Endresen to implement said fees.

Republicans howled about Lent’s “betrayal,” and those same folks are now applauding her position reversal.

I don’t know why anyone doubted she would reverse her field.

Kitsapper politicians always vote the party line.

It wasn’t that long ago that Democratic Commissioner Tim Botkin (since ousted by Lent) joined Endresen to keep the chair of the board of commissioners out of the heavily manicured hands of Republican Jan Angel.

Both local parties act as if an independent vote is akin to supporting the reinstatement of Saddam Hussein in Iraq, once he gets a badly needed shave, and a haircut.

It’s a sad but true old maxim, at least where South Kitsap is concerned...The more things change, the more they stay the same.’

Dennis Wilken is a former Port Orchard Independent reporter

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