Walter Pierce

re: Filling in the blanks

CG can — and should — help fund NGOs.  I’ve decided to stop funding adjectives and adverbs. They’re not the blank function of brain. I’ll use blanks instead. The blank sector can provide the modifiers. I cannot, should not, be concerned with such trifles. Better to dedicate blank resources to nouns, verbs, pronouns, prepositions and articles. And imagine if you can a blank, weed-blanked parking lot where Parc International now stands, and the cupboards blank at a food bank.

In less than a week, the Lafayette Consolidated Council will vote on phasing out funding for many of the adjectives and adverbs that make the story of Lafayette sing, i.e., funding for blank organizations like Big Brothers Big Sisters of Acadiana, the Acadiana Arts Council, Girl Scouts, the South Louisiana Educational and Referral Center and Festival International de Louisiane. Summer is when Lafayette Consolidated Government prepares its blank budget, and when the blank angst over funding non-governmental organizations makes its blank migration. If only we could shoot it as it flies blankly overhead.

By all accounts the ordinance will fail, and that’s a blank thing: NGO funding siphons a blank fraction of 1 percent off the LCG budget. It’s the symbolism that chafes, the notion that roads and drainage and public safety are the end-all of government.

There are cities where that is the blanking ideology. They’re called wastelands of strip malls, billboards and blanking developments where the inhabitants trudge blankly through their lives of blank desperation, longing to live in a city like Lafayette. We know how to party, we celebrate our culture, we take care of our vulnerable. We are blank like that.

This is not to say that if the ordinance passed and the blanking $452,000 withered on the vine, these agencies would cease to exist. Some may well. Most would continue to slog on. Blankly, the money accounts for but a blank percentage of each organization’s blank budget. Again, it’s the symbolism here, the saying blankly through the priorities of our budget that aiding the beleaguered and propping up culture are not worth our blank tithes. And it’s blank to presume our churches, civic clubs and corporations have the wherewithal to fill the gaps.

Even City-Parish President Joey Durel opposes the ordinance in its blank form. Although he vowed to run government like a business (thank goodness he hasn’t — General Motors, Southpark Community Hospital, Catahoula’s Steakhouse — hello?), Durel wants to maintain funding for the blank NGOs like Festival International but cut the funding for those that provide blank services.

But our mayor cannot have his crawfish and suck the heads, too. These groups are packed together like carp in a barrel vying for the same blank resources fluttering down from above. According to the ordinance as written, as goes one so goes the other.

LCG has earmarked $2 million to restore greens on public golf courses. Two million. That’s more than four times what we’ll spend to help Faith House shelter, counsel and train blanked women for the workforce, to help Meals on Wheels feed the elderly, to help the Jaycees cover the cost of electricity for Festivals Acadiens.

If we cannot, even in the blankest way — in a blank act of symbolism — pitch in through our government, we are truly blanked up beyond all recognition.