By Norma Damashek / NumbersRunner
Dog days of summer — they’re scorchers.
So what do some people do when it’s too darn hot? They organize a midnight fandango in the heart of Balboa Park. They squirt water guns, hoot and holler, trash the gardens, befoul the waterlily pond, kill some fish, break the pipes, trample bushes, and booze and smoke themselves silly.
Not quite like the old days when sweaty families uncapped the corner fire hydrants to cool off with communal dousings.
If you haven’t seen it on TV news you can read about last Saturday night’s ‘happening’ in Balboa Park here. This was no spontaneous event. Rather, it was a vigorously-publicized invitational extravaganza to entice thousands of unchaperoned, unsupervised, unpermitted revelers to come on out and wreak some mindless havoc on a landmark piece of public property. ”Load your guns,” broadcasts a Facebook page (now expunged) “and join us for the 2nd Annual Midnight Water Gun Fight in Balboa Park!” (Anyone out there know who organized the first Annual Midnight Gun Fight?)
Of course boys will be boys. And even bad boys with miserable judgment, bullying tactics, and a recurrent pattern of irresponsible behavior have every right to parade around as fun guys when the agenda is a free-for-all-water-gun-battle. But when boys grow up to be irresponsible men and develop delusions of grandeur about occupying the San Diego mayor’s seat, the story becomes menacing.
As I wrote in my previous post, Carl DeMaio — the man who would become San Diego’s next mayor — is tightly enmeshed with businessman Johnathan Hale. I suggest you reread Sex, Lies, and Videotape, specifically part II. Why? Because it happens that the squirt-rave in Balboa Park this past weekend was organized by associates of Johnathan Hale and promoted through his Hale Media outlets (www.sdgln.com and www.sdpix.com). The connections are hard to miss.
Surely Carl DeMaio’s right hand should be aware of and take responsibility for what his left hand is up to.
The initial response cited in the LGBT Weekly, “Neither officials at District 5 City Councilman Carl DeMaio’s council offices, nor at his campaign headquarters are commenting on the fact that DeMaio’s life partner’s media company helped publicize a midnight water-gun battle that became a crime scene in Balboa Park” has been superseded by vigorous protestations of innocence from both DeMaio and Hale.
But it seems no one is taking responsibility for much of anything connected to this much-publicized, officially unauthorized event. Does anyone know why the SD Police Department went AWOL during the midnight festivities while a thousand-plus water gun squirters recreated on public park property? And does anyone have a clue to the whereabouts of the private security guards, paid by the city to patrol Balboa Park, for the whole time that the funsters were roaming the Prado?
I conclude this strange tale with an observation and a warning:
* Something really screwy is going on in our city; and
* HEADS UP, EVERYONE!
Norma Damashek is a long-time civic activist and past president of San Diego’s League of Women Voters. She publishes her own blog, NumbersRunner.