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Sat Jun 28, 2014, 04:22 PM

The Town of Democratic Underground. We've had over 215,000 citizens. What a great place to live.

Last edited Thu Jun 11, 2020, 09:41 PM - Edit history (1)

7 years ago last April I posted the original of this.....essay? That can be read here I made a few minor changes and added a much needed acknowledgement. I have often thought of DU as a little town. Surely it doesn't have 215,000 residents, more like 10 or 15,000 regulars with the rest having either left or just come into town on occasion. But still...this is how I saw it 7 years ago.

Perhaps this can serve many of the newer members to understand how many of us old timers thought of DU before the '08 election. I've been a member of DU since August of 2003. Not as long as some, longer than many. I hope you will find what I wrote enjoyable and interesting.




Hi.

Welcome to our town. Care to take a little walk with me?

I've lived here for just shy of 11 years now and I like it just fine. It's very diverse, vibrant, active and fairly peaceful. Oh, we have our differences but for the most part, everyone gets along pretty well.

We have several Churches; A Catholic Church, a small Episcopal Church, A Baptist Church, a rather large non-denominational Church as well as a Synagogue and a Mosque. Oh, and a fairly good sized Unitarian Universalist congregation too as well as a vocal and passionate non-religious group. There are clubs and civic organizations to meet all tastes and a very active GLBT community. Here on main street is where many of our inhabitants work, whether it is in the small businesses they own or for some of the national chains that have decided to adhere to our strict zoning laws and scaled down from the large, big-box stores they set up elsewhere. We have a Mall on the edge of town where others work. Very few folks from outside town come here to work but quite a few commute to the city. We have a thriving Industrial park on the other side of town where many more of our inhabitants are employed. Seems to me our unemployment rate is about the same as the national average.

We have a few folks on the outskirts that have rather large properties, a cattle ranch and a few hobby farms, some orchards and several large vegetable producers. The folks that live here come from all walks of life and do almost anything you can think of. We have several Banks, Restaurants, a couple Brokerage Firms, Real Estate offices and Insurance companies. At the end of the block is a gun shop that has a shooting range inside and there is an active group of hunters. There is a Golf Course, a Bowling Alley, Hair Salon and a Barber Shop. Oh....and the Bars. We have several of them. There is quite a lively night life here. In fact, one street is referred to as "The Lounge" because it is lined with Cocktail Lounges and Bars of all types. If you stray over there, make sure you take a serious sense of humor with you. You'll find most are very accommodating and you rarely have to buy your first drink if you are new in town.

The age range is from teenagers to the elderly. I know there are small children here because I can hear them but I never see them. There are a few celebrities, a number of published authors, several filmmakers and quite a few cranky old farts thrown in for good measure! It is rumored that several of our quietest residents are famous in politics and the arts, but they don't say much, they seem to just watch the town through the windows of their homes. All of these tend to add style and color that we quite frankly would miss if they were for some reason to leave our fair city. We have Truck Drivers, Pilots, Sanitation Workers, Waiters and Waitresses, Carpenters, Bricklayers, Craftsmen, Clerks, CPA's, Attorneys, Stockbrokers, a Veterinarian or two, Doctors and Nurses, Cooks and Chefs, Seamstresses, and maybe a Tailor. I haven't met him yet but there is his shop, right over there.

Often the national media, be it a Newspaper or a TV Network reports on what goes on here. We think thats fine. It's good to know we get noticed.

One thing you'll find out right away is that there are conversations that spring up on almost every street corner and in every business about any number of subjects at all times of the day and night. Our residents LOVE to talk. Sometimes, the conversations are just between 3 or 4 people about something as silly as what shampoo to use on a cat. Other times, huge crowds will gather with dozens shouting their opinions. There can be two or three very loud, raucous conversations about the same subject going on at once. It can get rather lively. Usually when it gets to be really big, it draws several of the cops to circle around and stroll through the crowd, looking to stop anyone who might be ready to throw a punch. Once in a while there is a push or a shove and on occasion a punch is thrown. Rarely is the injury any more severe than a bloody nose or damaged pride. More often than not, when tempers flare, the antagonist or protagonist will just walk away. In the most severe cases the same participants of a conversation will call upon the residents of the town to participate in a jury. That jury will decide whether or not to break up the conversation completely and make everyone leave. They do, but sometimes it is just down the street a little where another conversation will start again. It is usually the case that the jury will take a specific participant out of the crowd entirely, and that person is not allowed to speak in that conversation any longer. It serves to keep things a little more civil, though the system has it's flaws. Often these conversations last for days and days. There's several big ones going on right now. You can tell the ones that get heated as they tend to drift up to the top of the street, near the Courthouse, while everyone is sweating and there are several cops in the crowd.

We have a small Police Force, maybe less than 100 Deputies, a Mayor, a Sheriff and a Marshall. The Deputies volunteer to be assigned to a specific street and they rotate out every few months so there are no career cops. They carry no guns but they have a weapon no other Police Force in the country has; the magical ability to make someone shut up! It seems to work pretty well. It is rumored that the Mayor, the Sheriff and the Marshall are the town fathers, but I think they just hung a phone on a post in the woods, stuck a flag in the ground, named the town and within days, this town started to grow, but that's just my opinion. I wasn't here then, but I passed through this area before it existed and it was just wilderness. The Mayor is a decent sort, very opinionated but firm in his convictions. The Sheriff writes an occasional column in the paper that is widely read and the Marshall...well....he stays out of sight. I think he sits in his study, playing with electrical devices all day, trying to create a time machine maybe. Who knows? Sometimes an outsider will come into town and start conversations or enter into them and cause nothing but trouble. Then, all of the sudden, he or she disappears. There is a special team charged with catching those trouble makers before they get a foothold in town. They seem to do a pretty good job. I know. I was on the team for a while. (Tip - Watch what you say)

Our history has had it's share of serious problems. Soon after the towns founding, hundreds and hundreds of people came rushing in to the area, trying to tell the Mayor that he had no business setting up a town here, that he was a maniac, that the water was poisoned (or that it WOULD be if he didn't leave) that the grass would die, that no one would come to live here, etc. As you look around, I think you can tell those predictions were all wrong.

Is it a perfect place to live? Surely not. But what place is perfect? We have clean air (we see to it) clean water (that too) good schools and good food. We have births and we miss those that pass away. New folks come to town all the time. Some stay for years, others leave soon after they arrive. Some, for some strange reason, insist on telling everyone they are leaving. This often gathers a crowd of either well-wishers or smart Alec's or both. I could never understand that, but there you go. But all in all, it is a wonderful place to live. Just walk down the street and listen in to the conversations. There is so much to learn and so many incredibly intelligent people that live here. I learn something just about every minute of every day!

Just remember, when you come across one of those large conversations that seems to have drawn a large crowd, try and listen in for a bit. You don't want to say the wrong thing and get the cops pissed at you. Trust me, I know. I was escorted almost to the edge of town at least once!

Well, I hope you enjoyed my 5 cent tour. I'm heading home. Have a good time and I'll see ya around!

33 replies, 7275 views

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Arrow 33 replies Author Time Post
Reply The Town of Democratic Underground. We've had over 215,000 citizens. What a great place to live. (Original post)
A HERETIC I AM Jun 2014 OP
enlightenment Jun 2014 #1
CaliforniaPeggy Jun 2014 #2
A HERETIC I AM Jun 2014 #20
malthaussen Jun 2014 #3
Tuesday Afternoon Jun 2014 #30
Diclotican Jun 2014 #4
A HERETIC I AM Jun 2014 #13
Diclotican Jun 2014 #16
muriel_volestrangler Jun 2014 #5
A HERETIC I AM Jun 2014 #9
muriel_volestrangler Jun 2014 #24
Aristus Jun 2014 #6
A HERETIC I AM Jun 2014 #7
Tuesday Afternoon Jun 2014 #31
TransitJohn Jun 2014 #8
A HERETIC I AM Jun 2014 #11
butterfly77 Jun 2014 #10
Laelth Jun 2014 #12
A HERETIC I AM Jun 2014 #19
TheCowsCameHome Jun 2014 #14
A HERETIC I AM Jun 2014 #18
calimary Jun 2014 #15
A HERETIC I AM Jun 2014 #17
Uncle Joe Jun 2014 #21
A HERETIC I AM Jun 2014 #22
Nye Bevan Jun 2014 #23
A HERETIC I AM Jun 2014 #25
pinto Jun 2014 #26
A HERETIC I AM Jun 2014 #27
mylye2222 Jun 2014 #28
Shrike47 Jun 2014 #29
A HERETIC I AM Jun 2014 #32
KoKo Jun 2014 #33

Response to A HERETIC I AM (Original post)

Sat Jun 28, 2014, 04:28 PM

1. Interesting read.



Technically, I think DU is a city. Population notwithstanding, it has its own government, ability to collect "taxes" (voluntary ones), and a responsibility to provide "services" to its inhabitants. I suspect that it is incorporated, as well!

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Original post)

Sat Jun 28, 2014, 04:29 PM

2. I love your essay about our little town!

What a cool place to live. After all, we ARE a community. A large and very diverse one, to be sure.

Thank you for this!

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Response to CaliforniaPeggy (Reply #2)

Sat Jun 28, 2014, 07:42 PM

20. Thanks, and you're welcome! n/t

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Original post)

Sat Jun 28, 2014, 06:11 PM

3. So where's the hookers and bars?

Oh, yeah, the Lounge. Of course.

-- Mal

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Response to malthaussen (Reply #3)

Sun Jun 29, 2014, 01:01 PM

30. excuse me.





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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Original post)

Sat Jun 28, 2014, 06:16 PM

4. A HERETIC I AM

A HERETIC I AM

I would love to live in a place like this - where you can be a part of the community - or be somewhat more in the shadows if you want to do, and just do around doing your business...

I discovered DU in the dark days of the Bush administration - lurked here for a while, and deiced to settle down here - it was not easy at first as english is not my native language - but I got a few, well many good friends who insisted I should just tried to use my english - and I guess it worked - as my english is far better today than back in the days when I started here... And it is absolutely a diverse community - some I agree with - some I disagree with - some can not stand me - and I guess I also have a few I can not stand to much - but in all it have been a nice community - with challenges as every community have - but in a good way for the most part

Diclotican

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Response to Diclotican (Reply #4)

Sat Jun 28, 2014, 07:02 PM

13. I remember when you first started posting, Diclotican.

And yes, absolutely your English has improved dramatically! Still, the day you first posted your English was better than my Norwegian!

It is Norway, right?

Your patience with us dopey Americans is worthy of a medal, if nothing else!

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Reply #13)

Sat Jun 28, 2014, 07:33 PM

16. A HERETIC I AM

A HERETIC I AM

Yeah - I guess you was one of the few first one to encourage me to continue write - even if I also was experiencing the grammar police who hit me hard when I started to comment here on DU..

And I suspect my english today IS better than back then - as I think I have learned a few words - and I do had some base before I started to be active here... As we learn english rather early on in school... But I do know that my english is far from great - but I improve - and is expanding my words as I learn it better

And I guess I still know english better than you know Norwegian - and yes I'm from Norway

Well - I live in that belief that even americans can see the light - and be as smart as the rest of the world Just kidding - I think many in america is great - kind and caring as few - but It looks like you have your share of nut cases to be sure.... People who is elected to office in the US would have been put in a padded room and given a lot of medical need as they are seen as utter mad from our side of the atlantic... I seriously doubt any of them would have ended up in a elected office here in Norway at least - and I also doubt they would have had any power in public airwaves - as the rules is rather strictly enforces... And we have not any 1 amendment in our country - even though we do have freedom of speech - with that freedom it also is some responsibility - and that does the trick...

Diclotican

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Original post)

Sat Jun 28, 2014, 06:41 PM

5. And about 1% of us have been one single person (nt)

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #5)

Sat Jun 28, 2014, 06:59 PM

9. If by that you mean....

That 1% of us are still using our original names and have never left and come back as a sock...then I suppose I am in the group too.

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Reply #9)

Sun Jun 29, 2014, 03:39 AM

24. No, I mean 1 person has signed up about 2,150 times (nt)

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Original post)

Sat Jun 28, 2014, 06:54 PM

6. Well done.

In addition to the medical team of doctors and nurses, we have at least one Physician Assistant.

You forgot to mention the vacant lot on Lounge Street which used to be the site of the Lounge Grotto. A no-holds-barred meeting place for scantily-clad (and un-clad) residents looking for erotic adventures. After a few months of joyous debauchery, it was closed down by the town fathers, demolished, and then paved over.

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Response to Aristus (Reply #6)

Sat Jun 28, 2014, 06:57 PM

7. There are certain parts of this town I have never been to.....

and with good reason!

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Reply #7)

Sun Jun 29, 2014, 01:03 PM

31. Honestly, I think he and Mal (above) have had too much to drink.

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Original post)

Sat Jun 28, 2014, 06:58 PM

8. It's also been like Survivor at times, with several purges

and is rife with hokey factionalism to this day.

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Response to TransitJohn (Reply #8)

Sat Jun 28, 2014, 06:59 PM

11. As I said, it's how I saw it 7 years ago. n/t

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Original post)

Sat Jun 28, 2014, 06:59 PM

10. Kick&Recommended!

 

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Original post)

Sat Jun 28, 2014, 06:59 PM

12. Nice. Well done. n/t

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #12)

Sat Jun 28, 2014, 07:42 PM

19. Thanks. n/t

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Original post)

Sat Jun 28, 2014, 07:12 PM

14. It takes a village.

Who was it that said that?

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Response to TheCowsCameHome (Reply #14)

Sat Jun 28, 2014, 07:42 PM

18. Someone named Hilly? Hilarity? Hillary? n/t

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Original post)

Sat Jun 28, 2014, 07:14 PM

15. This is terrific, A HERETIC I AM!

Like it a lot! I thoroughly enjoy living here, too, and built a second home here very quickly as soon as I got a taste of the fresh air and wonderful climate! I've lived here ever since I found myself lost in a very big, very scary, very desolate desert fairly early in 2001, and needing to find a safe haven. Found it here, in a warm and welcoming community with lots of friends, great thinkers, analysts, activists, wonderful writers, researchers, and teachers - BEST research library I've ever found, anywhere! No murder rate, no guns in our faces, no school massacres, very low cost-of-living, the weather tends to be consistently great - AND we have one great rock band! I doubt I'll be moving out, anytime soon.

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Response to calimary (Reply #15)

Sat Jun 28, 2014, 07:41 PM

17. Glad you liked it, Mary! N/t

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Original post)

Sat Jun 28, 2014, 07:52 PM

21. Kicked and recommended.

Thanks for the thread, A HERETIC I AM.

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Response to Uncle Joe (Reply #21)

Sat Jun 28, 2014, 07:54 PM

22. You're welcome! n/t

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Original post)

Sat Jun 28, 2014, 11:27 PM

23. The best part is our Olive Garden. (nt)

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #23)

Sun Jun 29, 2014, 12:23 PM

25. I thought that was torn down when we changed the town to the new DU! n/t

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Original post)

Sun Jun 29, 2014, 12:31 PM

26. Neat piece. Thanks for the post, re-post.

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Response to pinto (Reply #26)

Sun Jun 29, 2014, 12:39 PM

27. You're welcome, old timer!

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Original post)

Sun Jun 29, 2014, 12:42 PM

28. Great piece!

 

We are also a multicultural town. Most of our citizen are English natives, but we do have some ESL persons, from Europe and various other places of the world. The town is quiet, there is everything you need, neigbourhoods are calm and secure.

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Original post)

Sun Jun 29, 2014, 12:49 PM

29. I love this town, myself. Lots of big trees and few leaf blowers.

Very nicely written piece, thank you.

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Response to Shrike47 (Reply #29)

Sun Jun 29, 2014, 01:05 PM

32. Glad you liked it! n/t

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Original post)

Sun Jun 29, 2014, 01:09 PM

33. Missed the first post....great to read the Re-Post

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