Our summer of discontent

If there were ever a job you really wouldn’t want—except occasionally—it would be that of a local elected official.

Who would want to endure the bleating of an obsessive activist or the strong-arm tactics of a big-business lobbyist? I tried as a reporter to endure those city-council meetings that ran as long as a cross-country flight, but I would often get the head jerk that comes right before full-blown sleep.

That said, boy would I like to insert myself into the process on occasion and slap some sense into those politicos who can’t follow their conscience for fear of either pissing off big-money donors or not getting re-elected. One instance would have been last Thursday night at the Sacramento City Council meeting regarding the arena.

That fear of the powerful is probably behind the fawning over the Maloofs and big business in the city’s attempts to get a brand-new arena with beaucoup luxury boxes that we’ll never sit in. Somehow, the council thinks all the Kings fans will revolt, and the team will move, because we wouldn’t give the billionaires an extra $400 million dollars (see our editorial, “Leadership, of course”). Hey, the Kings are fun to watch and follow, but let’s not get strong-armed in the deal.

And speaking of occasional jobs, please give our cover story a read (“Our 10 worst summer jobs”), as a whole host of writers recount their slaving during the summer.

Some people have summer jobs that aren’t so terrible, like artists. For a show now up at East Sacramento gallery JayJay (see “From Bushmiller to hubcaps”), 21 artists were invited to choose from one of three categories—“cut-up,” “readymade” or “color fact”—before creating a piece tailored to fit that selected category. Their works, if you want to call them that, exude a sense of play. Whistle while you work, indeed.