It’s Always Amateur Hour Somewhere, Part II

“I’ve always considered writing the most hateful kind of work. I suspect it’s a bit like fucking—which is fun only for amateurs. Old whores don’t do much giggling. Nothing is fun when you have to do it—over and over, again and again—or else you’ll be evicted, and that gets old.”
—Hunter S. Thompson

So…I had lots of great plans for this essay, but they all gave way to a brutal onslaught of sloth (ironically, itself brought on by a month-long crazed fit of workaholism). Yeah, I wanted to write about lots of other, more momentarily interesting things—the ongoing side-project/supergroup war between Jack White and Josh Homme, the vile vagaries of purposefully testing active server pages in, uh… Linux environments, the sheer Solomonic conundrum of judging portfolios of the most talented young graphic designers, and the totally rad band reunion/rehearsal I had back in March—but I never got around to doing that.

No, never strapped on the sack to pontificate about Man/Miracle, (my new favorite band), the first-place (!) San Diego Padres, or the recent stumblefuckitude of the Capistrano Unified School District. Hell, I didn’t even want to write about me, which is what any self-respecting narcissist would do by default. So here I am, falling back on the old stand-bys—quoting a writer that I and everyone else have already quoted and aped and diluted to death —when I finally have a stray second to piece together coherence.

What? No, no—fuck that, I’ve got a story to finish. Yeah, the promised finale in the Epic Saga of the Weelykta Party, or something like that. Well, all I’ve got is this stuff, and in the spirit of sloth (which, Universe Willing, I will shed sooner or later), I will now foist it on you all.

Anyway, like every overblown mythological saga (cough LOST cough), this one ends with a whimper. See, Frank Weelykta, the great Prohibition-hater, never saw his dream of Repeal come true. Sadly, like all great activists FTW was doomed to crash and burn in the wake of his own previous brilliance, cast off and forgotten by those who trampled him to climb their own stairway to eternal glory. It turns out that the Weelykta Party’s relative success happened without its fearless leader:

At the height of the 1924 convention, Weelykta had bequeathed all administrative and managerial privileges over to subordinates, deciding at the last minute to take direct action outside the political process. His namesake political party continued to prosper without his input, bending the ears of influential politicians of all stripes (including future president Franklin D. Roosevelt), and frustrating traditional Prohibition supporters at every turn, including the infamous “Klan-bake” incident of 1925, when Weelykta Party Treasurer Smedley Robinett (armed with only a candle and a jug of ethanol) faced down the entire Anaheim, CA chapter of the Ku Klux Klan outside a busted Silverado Canyon distillery.

Weelykta, for his part, ran fast and loose in 1925 and 1926, disappearing into Mexico for weeks at a time only to return with a fleet of rum-runners, supplying all California with glorious booze:

Civic leaders and local businessmen shunned him, but Hollywood celebrities and rich eccentrics treated him like a pet tarantula. At the height of his fame, Weelykta could count on the support of not only the Wrigleys and Dohenys, but also the Bogarts and Mitchums of the world. He soon based his entirely illegal operation on San Clemente Island, a convenient halfway point between Tijuana and Los Angeles (as well as Wrigley’s Catalina Island). Naturally, this enterprise made Weelykta a hated enemy of the U.S. Coast Guard, but he was initially able to slip through their fingers on several occasions, until one day in early 1929 when his flagship, the Choicest Hops, was forced to run aground at Monarch Beach.

Whappo! How the mighty, desperate, and insane fall into ruin. But wait—it gets worse:

According to contemporary police reports, Weelykta’s crew fled up Salt Creek into the sparsely-habited canyons of Dana Point, where the great man himself was finally brought down in an epic gun-battle among the lima bean fields. The grisly incident spelled doom for Weelykta Party electoral fortunes, but by that time the party’s platform had already been absorbed piecemeal into FDR’s broad coalition of fearless booze advocates. When Roosevelt himself finally gained the Oval Office and celebrated Prohibition’s repeal, saying “I think this would be a good time for a beer,” the President honored the original speaker of that quote—none other than FTW himself, the late Frank Weelykta.

The great man was later revealed to be survived by four daughters, all from unwed unions scattered around the country. The Weelykta name thus died out immediately, but Frank’s legendary DNA runs rampant in the genetic makeup of Southern California to this day. I know this to be true because my source is impeccable—Weelykta’s great-grand-daughter, one Olivia Maria Garcia. Yes indeed—Garcia, the half-Latina daughter of Chicano power activist Gordo Garcia and noted SLA munitions expert Bonnie Boomhauer—loved to talk, and I learned all about her volatile family history, back through her grandmother Winnifred Talulah (“Winnie”) Finklestein of West L.A., who just happened to be the out-of-wedlock-daughter of—you guessed it—Frank T. Weelykta.

It took a while to get the complete details about “WTF, daughter of FTW,” but that was understandable considering the circumstances (Liv and I were two neurologically-underdeveloped students scraping by in the nubile cesspool of Isla Vista, CA), but she was an excellent historian beneath her hard-partying exterior. It may sound pathetic, but I still hold great respect for her research despite the fact that, back in 1997, she dumped me without a second thought for some alpha-male asshole from Theta Chi.

But enough about all that silly Weelykta shit—you can only flog a stupid pun and its attendant lame acronyms for so long, and I sense that the story itself is ultimately sad, dumb, and unimportant, like 99.9% of all the other tangentially-political malarkey that passes for activism these days. So sloth won out again, I guess, for now. Goddamn, I need to get me a new Power Animal—too much more of this sinful gibberish and I’ll be written off with even more extreme prejudice than before.

I had you going for a split-second there, though, didn’t I? Eh? Ehhh.