Trash Talkin’ and Dirty Dancin’ in El Norte

By: Bill Whaley
1 March, 2020

Las Cucarachas y El Raton

So, you thought you’d retire to El Norte and enjoy your espresso with the pristine breeze from the west blowing cross the sage, punctuating the arid beauty of the high desert. You warm up in the golden morn as the sun emerges above the white-capped peaks. Drift through the day and settle into cocktails and nightcaps at a local bistro. Watch the fiery orb turn the west mesas into an orange-red valedictory on a day well-lived. Still, even if you’re a Native, or native newcomer or local vato loco, the land of enchantment plays you for a pendejo.

Just as Bernie burns up progressives and sleepy JOE rallies the Biden liberals in a Trump stop-gap, so the New Mexico homies, Lujan-Grisham, Udall, Heinrich, Little Ben Lujan have set their sights on expanding LANL-NNSA by some $5 Billion in the next five years for the national sacrifice zone.

(The Atomic bombers poisoned El Norte’s WWII generation, now they’re sending for the grandchildren.)

The staff at the Santa Fe City Different negotiates behind closed doors to install a second campus of LANL because the Pajarito Platea is plateaued out as manufacturer of Nuclear “Pits” in old decrepit buildings. (Read Greg Mello’s “Los Alamos Study Group” newsletter.)

An ill wind blows down into the Taos Valley from the home of the “Pitmakers,” a suicidal cult (Remember Heaven’s Gate, origins in Taos). Though we may not all be born under the sign of Cancer, we can die of it.

Welcome to our world.

Make the sign of the Holy Cross above our bodies and bank accounts. As the golfing buddies from TSV and Taos County push “the hospital,” the one managed by another “failed” cult (See Robert Silver’s pithy analysis lo’ these many years ago). They want us to throw good money after bad medicine and prop up a medical center that needs urgent care.

Since I turned 70, I have toured, due to coincidence and chance, with friends and self in search of medical counsel, diagnoses, prognoses, surgery, and cure from Holy Cross to Los Alamos Medical Center, from Presbyterian in Espanola to UNMH in Rio Rancho and Albuquerque. By chance and recommendation, I discovered the joys of first world practice at the five-star Anschutz Cancer Pavilion − University of Colorado Hospital in metro Denver.

At HCH I have seen minor improvements: they can (sometimes) take blood and, more or less, (sometimes) insert catheters, and even do the minor surgery. (They ran off the jive-ass urologist). But HCH charges an arm and a leg, several months later, three times the cost for one-third the expense (see UC Colorado Hospital for comparison above) for a relatively minor operation. They stick it to us taxpayers and locals.

Meanwhile HCH has also run-off Hispanic native nurses to Espanola while paying RV travelers. Where hita and hito go, la Familia follows. So, management whines and the county commissioners refuse to put out a “Request for Proposals” from a bonafide New Mexico success story like Presbyterian or UNMH or even the clinic on Paseo del Pueblo Sur.  They stick us the way the errant aides stick our veins or dicks (truth be known).

Here in the Town of Taos, I voted early, number 282 on Friday afternoon, flipping a coin to determine who would dance for the town manager. We’ve got an out-of-town mayor with a job in Santa Fe and home in Lower Las Colonias and a refugee from “Homelessness” for Town Manager. (I guess he still rents from Dan and Della.)

Six-hundred Vacation Rentals in downtown Taos? No wonder I never see my friends around. Some have fled south to I 25 on their way to the Duke City. Others elevated and are watching from above, shaking their heads at the Barrone-Bellis gentrification of Taos.

So, I go up to ski on Kachina Peak, over 12,000 feet, where I  get high. I get a little closer, not to God but to Juma’s Barber Shop and see how the Witness Protection Program has transformed Geno and Arsenio into angels (who look pretty silly with their wings).

Then I drive back down into the valley and deal with the man-made devils from Los Alamos to Taos and for relief, bowl at Shelly’s joint, Gutters, with Walter and the Dude (Big Lebowski) against the nihilists.

T’was always thus.