Don Kahle, Man of the Future

Whenever the stresses of the real world start to get me down, I feel comforted by the certain knowledge that Friday’s RG will provide another of Don Kahle’s inspiring flights outside the box of common sense. Whether he’s sucking up to a local official, implicitly identifying himself with the cultural elite, or just drawing an utterly inscrutable analogy, Don rarely fails to ease my mind.

Last week found Don doing the best Thomas Freidman impersonation I’ve seen from him since that time he lauded the closure of the cheap theater out at Gateway. The demise of that theater, Don assured us, was welcome sign of an increase in the velocity of money that would finally raise Podunkadunk out of its provincial funk. Granted, maybe Don had failed to foresee the rise of Redbox, Netflix and all the rest, but we can’t really blame him for being out of touch with the low-brow tastes of all those boobs and rubes who don’t even know a single architect or judge.

Undeterred by lesser minds, Don has come out strong for the creation of a 98,000 square mile hotspot at public expense, so that people could telecommute from the most remote, scenic, locations. Need to send an annotated PDF from your ice cave near the summit of South Sister? Thanks to the new WiFi tax, you’ll be covered. Torn between that Pacific Crest Trail trip you’ve been planning and keeping up with your commitments on Farmville? Not a problem, thanks to a massive public expenditure that, DK sez, will make Oregon a vision of the future, just like Disney’s Epcot; where, over 30 years ago, visitors first glimpsed the undersea cities that are now nearing the norm.

It may seem like absolute lunacy in a state that can’t even afford to pay its teachers, but Don dares to dream of a world where people can get online almost anywhere. Just imagine…

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