We Apply to Be BARC's Top Dog. Plus: 10,000-person-strong tea party. maybe.

Highlights from the Blog at HOUSTONPRESS.COM

Political Animals

We think we have what it apparently takes

By Craig Malisow

With the firing of BARC Bureau Chief Ray Sim, Mayor Bill White has called for a "change agent" at BARC, according to the Chron's Lisa Falkenberg. Hair Balls hereby submits our application. We would have liked to talk about Hair Balls becoming that change agent (an expression we totally love, by the way) with White's spokesman, Frank Michel, but he hasn't returned our call yet.

See, we've been monitoring the situation at BARC for some time now, and we believe we have what it takes to get the job done. Actually, we're not entirely sure what the job is, since no one from the city will tell us what Ray Sim did (or didn't do) after two months that was bad enough to get him fired.

But we're confident it was related to something that happened after he came aboard, because it would just be downright stupid for a city to fire someone for not being able to clean up the years of lawlessness, neglect, abuse, apathy and cruelty that predated Sim, and will be waiting for whatever "change agent" takes his place.

In fact, it would be even more stupid to look at the constant and not the variable — why on Earth would you look at a person or persons who have been aboard BARC this entire time? We've never heard of anything more dumb. It's like a guy who gets married and divorced five times. Consistent failure certainly has nothing to do with him — it's always gotta be the wives' fault.

Hair Balls understands this, which is why we're absolutely perfect for the job. And here's a list of reasons why:

1) We Hate Animals: And we really mean it. Under our watch, we would not waste city resources trying to adequately feed and care for any animals in our custody. They probably are going to be euthanized anyway, so why throw away the taxpayers' money? You don't put a new transmission in a $500 used car, you don't give money to the homeless and you don't buy Alpo for a dog who's getting the needle the next day. Next.

2) We Hate Volunteers: Our first dictatorial mandate would be to fire all volunteers, having them physically escorted off the grounds by Pinkerton guards if necessary. No volunteers means no bad stories trickling out into the media, meaning we can go on with this business of being unaccountable without worrying about a bunch of sanctimonious vultures. We're a city agency, goddamn it — that means we don't have to do jack shit. The public is here to serve us, not the other way around. What part of that do people not understand?

3) We're Excellent at Obfuscation, Misdirection, Exaggeration, Omission, Concealment and Downright Lying: On the off chance that some bad news escapes the Fortress of Solitude (which will be the new official name), we won't give the media or the bloggers an inch. Our first response to any inquiry will be "Suck it." We will then proceed accordingly.

4) We Don't Step on Toes: As new Emperor of the Fortress of Solitude, we realize that just because our job may be mandated by law, that's no reason for us to actually do anything to upset the apple cart. What if, for example, we accidentally did something that safeguarded the dignity and well-being of animals in our care? Doing something like that might involve unprecedented paperwork, fiscal confusion or some other juggernaut that would be a real headache for the higher-ups. The key here is to maintain a low profile, not muddy the waters with progressive, independent thought. In short, we will perform fellatio on our superiors if it means keeping our job. Now that's the sign of a good civil servant.

5.) We Swear Not to Pick up a Phone and Call Non-Backward Animal Control Agencies in Other Cities to Find Out How They're Able to Do a Reasonable Job and Not Continually Do Boneheaded Things That Make People Question Their Integrity and Chromosome Count: Uh, well, that one sort of explains itself.

6.) We Will Continue This Bizarre Notion of "Stakeholders": We love the idea of a city department having "stakeholders" so much that we wish we had thought of it ourselves. For several months now, VIPs have been meeting in secret to discuss The Final Solution to the BARC Question. Now, a city much less enlightened than Houston might have some weird idea that all taxpaying residents are "stakeholders" in city government, but that's why those cities are inferior. Part Kafka, part Oliver Stone, part Orwell, the notion of a star chamber of handpicked elites deciding the fate of a public facility is just so far ahead of its time. In fact, it's so advanced that, right now, it looks insane, corrupt, classist and rotten to the core. But that's only because our bite-sized 2009 brains can't grasp its utter righteousness.

These are just a few of our qualifications. But we feel they're more than enough to show we're fit for the job — whatever it is that job might be.
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