KITTY: California Dreamers Call Newsom on Gaslighting
by Choupette Bateaumouchoir ©
The Golden State Gaslight
Have you seen the movie ‘Gaslight’ which depicts gaslighting in operation? It’s very instructive. You can watch it no charge at Roku:
This is during the 1944 classic’s ending, on the roof:
Ingrid Bergman: “This night will be a long night.”
Joseph Cotten: “But it will end. Starting to clear. In the morning when the sun rises, sometimes it’s hard to believe there ever was a night. You’ll find that too.”
We are currently in the long psychological night but we are beginning to see the dawn. When I saw the word gaslighting I always just considered the act of gaslighting itself, which is a form of lying. But I did not consider the long buildup to an end. Watching the movie, I was struck by the narrative and the similarities between the heroine/victim and the citizens of California, and the villain and the vested interests, typified by Gavin Newsom.
In the movie, (apology for the spoilers) the Victorian heroine, dreamy and vulnerable, is first won over by a very attentive and concerned man. He pays great attention to detail and only voices his own desires in passing as dreams. After the heroine is hooked , they marry, and he gains his desire, which is living in her house, he begins to notice things ‘wrong’ with her that he criticizes or corrects.
He appears to be solicitous but does not help reverse her psychological decline which she thinks is her own fault. Her dream turns into a nightmare as she becomes mentally worse and worse and physically in the dark exemplified by the gas lighting which inexplicably goes down and off at night, when she is most vulnerable and alone. She is saved from a terrible fate by a detective who knew her aunt, and discovers that her husband, motivated by greed, has concocted the marriage and engineered her mental decline just to gain entrance to the house to find priceless jewels hidden by the aunt.
We as Californians had a dream and welcomed a governor who could help us better ourselves and our situation–at least some of us did. Various problems were causing us to decline but the breaking point started with Covid, as we were sequestered and ordered around as if we were at fault for everything, the disease, its spread, its consequences.
But when we started to see that our governor had done sleight of hand with us–clearly shown by the French Laundry incident–our guilt started dropping off and our anger began to build. Now that our detectives–Kevin Kiley, Larry Elder, talk show hosts, Internet writers, and others–have pointed out the machinations, we are ready for a divorce or a parting of the ways.
The California Dream
Please note that Newsom is constantly talking about the future, the future, forget the past, as the villain in Gaslight does. Only the fact is, the past is valuable to us, as it was to the movie’s heroine. The past contains treasure that informs the future.
What is the California dream? It has changed over time but here is one definition from Wikipedia:
“[It is] the highest possible standard of life for the middle classes, and indeed for the skilled blue collar workers and farm owners as well.The California Dream meant an improved and more affordable family life: a small but stylish and airy house marked by a fluidity of indoor and outdoor space, such as the ubiquitous California bungalow and a lush backyard—the stage, that is, for quiet family life in a sunny climate. It meant very good jobs, excellent roads, plentiful facilities for outdoor recreation, and the schools and universities that were the best in the world by the 1940s. Cultural phenomena which have fed into the California Dream include the rise of the Hollywood film industry, Silicon Valley, California’s aerospace industry, the California wine industry and the Dotcom boom.”
On the state website, compliments of Gov. Newsom, it reads:
“The California Dream — the idea that every person can achieve a better life, regardless of where they start out.”
Pretty bland and not striving at this point, although net gain is something.
Reviving the California Dream
All of the difficulties facing California can be reversed, although this will be a long haul, not easy. On the plus side we still have a magnificent and productive landmass abutting glorious mountains and a vast sea. We have highways and airports and seaports, cities and farms, entertainment, sports, parks and diversion.
Our existing water infrastructure can be repaired and replaced; other practical alternatives developed. Our forests can be maintained and reseeded. Our businesses can thrive again, especially small ones, by dismantling much of the needless bureaucratic impediments and extra taxes. Our tax structure can be revised. Our bureaucracy can be cut.
Our commissions can really perform. Our sleazy pols can be voted out and replaced with better ones. Our educational systems can be pared, expanded to include alternatives, and staffed with thinkers other than the far left dominators now in place. Our legal and police systems can be improved. Perhaps most significant, our housing stock which provides us with the basis for our wealth can be invigorated by paring down laws, encouraging builders, supporting infrastructure for new developments, and seeing that the homeless have roofs over their heads, with appropriate services. We can’t give this up.
This will take extra action for most of us, not simply voting but participating in the needed changes, either with money, sweat equity or both. It’s worth it and that relaxing drink by the poolside or watching the sun set over the ocean will be the sweeter for a day’s work well done. If you think this is corny, well it is. Corny is defined by Merriam-Webster as: “mawkishly old-fashioned : tiresomely simple and sentimental.”
Sometimes the simple is a distillation of the truth into a phrase. But it has to mean something. Sentiment is feeling. At its best it carries the values of the good. Old-fashioned is not the trend in California which overwhelmingly values the new. But in truth many old values are still solid. So let’s be corny and revive the California Dream.