Tuesday, September 18, 2018

The Unauthorized Autobiography of Jon Payne

by Jon Payne (writer), Huntington Beach, January 17, 2007

I piss off Conservatives with my social views, and Liberals with my fiscal views. But many people with different political views seem to be very curious about what is behind my libertarian views.

I debated and discussed politics quite a lot in college (and still do), and I have friends on all sides of the political spectrum, whom I love and respect. I piss off Conservatives with my social views, and Liberals with my fiscal views. But many people with different political views seem to be very curious about what is behind my libertarian views. Quite frankly, it was a misguided childhood (at least that's what I tell them). So here is a little autobiography about how it all came to be:

I was born on a stormy December day. The air was crisp, as it always was that time of year. I remember little of those first few hours of my life, except the constant annoyance of other children crying in the baby ward they had placed me in. Prenatal care was still primitive back in those days, and I came out malnourished with a slight hangover and chronic scoliosis. My mother named me Jonathan after the great biblical character. Although she attended church regularly, he was the only person she could remember in that long and tenuous book. Oh of course there was God, but she knew her son would have an enormous ego and she did not want to feed it by naming him that. I didn't fault her for her lack of biblical coherence. She was an intelligent woman, but she had a lazy eye, which tended to drift in and out of conversations.

My early years were filled with the normal playful banter and frolicking in the garden that many children enjoyed at that time. Unfortunately, we did not actually have a "real" garden, and none of us knew what the hell "banter" was, so my mother usually sent me on "scavenger hunts" for things she had lost: keys, checkbooks, the dog, her liquor license, her sanity. It was fun. We never found her sanity though.

Teenager Mutant Ninja Turtles entertained me as a boy and I grew up on a steady diet of Speghettios and Meatballs. My father played Rush Limbaugh constantly on the radio and would plan schemes to take down the Soviet Iron Curtain. He would have me type his dictated letters to President Gorbachov, which usually urged him to stop being a gay Commie bastard, or something of that nature. Gorbachov never wrote back, but my father said it was because the educational system was so bad over there, that their president was probably illiterate. I then turned five and began school.

Kindergarden was an enormous opportunity to network with other libertarians and discuss the issues of the day. Unfortunately, the teacher had a liberal bias and gave me a "D" on an excellent finger painting of Ronald Reagan. She said it was a "divisive" piece and lacked "artistic fervor." She also once suspended me for wearing a cross necklace to class one day. She said that religious symbols had no place in the classroom because they were divisive, and I should substitute it with something more unifying, like a "Dukakis for President" pin she had for me. I informed her that I would be voting for George Bush because I would benefit from the lower tax rates that Bush was proposing and felt Dukakis was weak on defense.

During recess, I delivered a speech to my classmates from atop the slide. It was a riveting piece of oratory about the need for quantifiable and sizable reduction in the bureaucratic elements of government. Some of them looked a little puzzled when I spoke of macro price fluctuations in the markets, but I tried to keep it in layman's terms. I then staged a massive sit-in to protest the liberal bias of the school administration, unfortunately we held it during naptime and went largely unnoticed.

The Gulf War began when I was in first grade and many of the boys feared a draft. Although I tended to support the war on a philosophical level, I had so much going for me at home that it would be difficult to leave. I just got a new bunk bed, was sleeping on the top, and was also learning to ride a bike. These are the things that are difficult to leave behind to go fight a war. The war was over before I received my commission though. Maybe they had gotten word of my flat feet and slight case of asthma.

Nevertheless, following the victory in the Gulf was also the collapse of the Soviet Union. My father saluted the television news and shed a tear as he finally saw the demise of his old foe. "The pen is mightier than the sword," he proclaimed. I do not believe my father ever owned a sword, and he may have gone to the pen by default, but I was still proud to know that his diplomatic correspondence to Gorbachov had finally paid off.

My love life in those days was meager to say the least. A few afternoon milks with attractive women that never materialized to anything more than casual conversation was all I could account for. What could I say? I was a sophisticated gentleman who needed a woman that could understand my complex nature. All they ever talked about were things like which New Kid on the Block was their favorite, what came with the McDonalds kid's meal that week, and would go on and on about "their little pony." It was mindless chatter, and I was quickly getting bored of the playground dating scene.

It was on one hopeless afternoon that suddenly my life was turned upside down. There she was, across the playground conversing with a couple of her friends. Her Rush Limbaugh free listener t-shirt read "certified ditto-head," and complimented her NRA tote bag perfectly. She was a work of art, and for the first time I felt a nervousness about approaching a girl. Suddenly I had an idea: I reached into my backpack and grabbed a flier I had of a Republican luncheon that would feature Pete Wilson and noted conservative celebrities like Tom Selek and…Tom Selek's wife.

We began to converse on the issues of the day. But just as she began to get into the negative economic ramifications of the Kyoto Treaty, we were rudely interrupted. "If it isn't the right wing wacko's club" came a shrill voice. It was the rabid second grade feminist Hillary. Hillary was as radical as they come. She once staged a sit-in to protest the suppressive symbolic nature of tetherball poles, which she felt were chauvinist phallic symbols. She also burned her sister's training bra in protest of the male dominated school board. She volunteered weekends at Planned Parenthood and constantly bragged about her full ride to Berkeley.

With her was her communist friend Chad. He was a white kid with dread-locks who kept talking about "the man." I had never met this "man" before, but Chad hated him. He always came up with conspiracy theories. Chad believed that the government was putting drugs in the cafeteria food. Poor kids ate the cafeteria food, and the drugs were making them dumb and obedient. The rich kids had packed-lunches, and without the drugs they would grow up to dominate and exploit the poor kids. "Fudge capitalism," he would say (his mom would not let him cuss yet). The drugs he was describing sounded more like the riddelin that he was taking for his "behavior abnormalities." However, he preferred to call it "recreational drug-use," and scolded anyone who judged him for it.

Just then Jamalique and Umberto arrived to see what was going on. Jamalique was a Black Cub, which was a kid's program that the Black Panthers had. Umberto was an ESL student that Jamalique wanted to be a Mexican activist, but Umberto hadn't learned English yet. Umberto's older sister Lupita was in the fourth grade and was already involved in activism. The teachers at the school discouraged make-up, and Lupita was angry because without make-up she had no eyebrows—although they couldn't really tell if she was angry without them. She staged a big protest but was shocked when the school turned down her request—although they couldn't tell she was shocked.

Needless to say, I learned much from the days of yesteryears gone passed. They were often tumultuous times where a brilliant political mind coupled with an iron will to succeed were all that could deliver me from the hands of the Stalinist infiltrated California Teacher's Union. If my childhood has taught me anything, its that --um well ok, no it hasn't. But hopefully this has been useful in explaining how a screwed up childhood can lead to libertarian tendencies. My liberal and conservative friends should be more empathetic to my situation post reading, since it was clearly a result of a misguided youth rather than an inherent evil nature. I value all of your opinions and thanks to all of you who take a light-heart approach to politics the way I do.

About the Writer

Jon Payne is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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