Times of Trouble

We are, concededly, in troubled economic times. Mortgages are being foreclosed. People are losing jobs, homes and, for many, opportunities for educational advancement. The state has imposed a hiring freeze. The governor, after naming nine new judges against the advice of our Chief Justice, has prevailed upon new and old members of the judiciary to each donate a day's wages to the general fund. Not content with that she has also, with the legislature's help, purloined $2 Million from the Client Security Fund, from monies specifically set aside by lawyers to protect clients who were ill-served by their lawyers. The Federal Government, having poured billions into AIG and other entities, now struggles with executives who believe there is a constitutional right to obscene bonuses. People are upset with their government. They don't know how to respond.

It is in these times of trouble that, absent the arrival of Mother Mary, we all look for a ray of hope, a diversion, a sign that things will be better in the future. Well, friends, we in the Nutmeg state have received that sign. And there is no question it signifies better days ahead. Jerry Springer---yes, the Jerry Springer-is bringing his entertainment juggernaut to Connecticut. He is leaving the City of Broad Shoulders to take up residence in our very own Stamford, the City That Wants to Be in New York. There's no question we will all be better for it. It's a sign of good things to come.

The reason for the move, as reported by the ever-shrinking Hartford Courant, is the tax break our state offers on production and infrastructure costs. The move, they claim, promises to bring more than 150 new jobs to the State. Never mind that the people who now hold those jobs in Chicago, according to Jerry, will be coming with him to the land of steady habits. But that's just a little of the good news.

The real good news is that all the good that show represents will become part of the fabric of our hitherto mundane, vanilla lives. The Jerry Springer Show-an electronic side show of pederasts, philatelists, mud wrestlers, numismatists, thespians, tattoo artists, concubines, Bolsheviks, carbuncles, cuckolds and chainsaw jugglers---has singlehandedly done more damage to the standards of acceptable conduct than the designated hitter, Flavor Flav and the adult film industry combined. It will continue that contribution from within the borders of our state. It will be a Connecticut icon, something we're proudly known for and identified by, replacing Pepe's, shade grown tobacco, Hummels Yellow Tag Franks, Foxwoods, the Charter Oak and the Sub Base in Groton. Connecticut will have a prominent place on the national entertainment scene.

Of course, Jerry, now far from the back streets of the Windy City, will have to resort to local resources. Fewer trailer parks and hillbilly transplants means that the things that make the Constitution State special will get national exposure. I can see a day when Jerry's shows will feature "The Secret Lives of the Greenwich Garden Club", "The Day They Didn't Rake the Sandtraps in Weston", "The Dirt on the Darien Day Care Center" and "The Wandering Wives of the Weston Whist Club". I have an image of neatly groomed Episcopalians in pink shirts and blue slacks with red embroidered lobsters shaking fingers at each other crying "Tsk! Tsk!" while Jerry stands bemusedly by, waiting for a commercial break. And his black-shirted musclemen, so used to separating karate-chopping siblings from irate mothers-in-law, will be relegated to dispensing cold compresses to hyperventilating suburbanites.

Well, maybe, now that I think of it, this isn't such good news. No one wants to watch the handwringing of the affluent. No, we need something new, something that will really stir emotions and get our citizens excited and interested in participating in government again. I've got it. How about we have the legislature threaten to take over the finances of Connecticut churches? I bet people would be riled up about that. Naah, I can't imagine anyone would be foolish enough to propose that.