The Business Of Disrupting Government

I have a sick pleasure. I love watching local city council meetings on cable access because the public comment part of the evening is some of the best entertainment on TV.

It's like "open mike night" at a comedy club, except it's funny. Once, when Circuit City was trying to build a store on a weed-strewn vacant lot near my house, the public outrage expressed at the Planning Commission meeting would have made you think crack dealers were moving into town. One guy dressed in cammies declared he would NEVER go into the new store (I bet he was first in line when it actually opened).

There were many residents fighting the proposed store in favor of preserving the land as "open space"--a patch of dirt which always turned into a muddy swamp every time it rained. And one woman described the buildings on the other three corners of the intersection as beautiful apples, while the proposed Circuit City "is an orange!" Even though architects had designed it to look exactly like the other buildings, er, apples.

Even years later, we still use the line, "It's an orange!" whenever we see a building that looks like all the other buildings.

So you can imagine what a kick I got out of this video from Michael Lehrer, a writer and performer with The Second City comedy troupe's now defunct Las Vegas chapter. He decided to practice some improv at the local city council meeting. What's so brilliant about his performance is that it doesn't seem like a performance at all. This is undermining government at its best.