Saturday, June 25, 2005

HOME IS CASTLE

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Serfs really don't own anything. Indeed, no one in the Middle Ages really owned anything, everything was contingent on everything else at first. This is why it was called "feudalism". Same as feud, like in, fighting all the time over territory and such. One swore fealty and in return, got to occupy lands and terrorize serfs at will. Once a lord, an old English word for "loaf of bread" got his hot hands on real estate, he would strengthen his defenses so he could fight off all comers especially his feudal overlord. Heh.

Castles sprang up everywhere.

The fall of the aristocracy came with the invention of expensive cannons that blew up castles. This is why my ancestors came to America. Their castles were literally blown up by Charles II. So we became capitalist revolutionaries. Heh again.

The king had a problem overseas: stomping into undefended homes to do what he pleased was difficult for everyone was armed and irritable. One of the grievances given for the Declaration of Independence was the issue of quartering troops in homes. To this day, it is illegal.

Once American rule was established, many property owners rushed to have their rights set in stone. In the Northeast, deeds are very specific about this. I, for example, own all the 24 acres of mountain surface, all the dirt underneath and all the way down through the mantle to the core of the earth, it is all mine, bwahahaha. I also own all the airspace above, too, but that is violated already with impunity by my government that flies not only way up there but sometimes skimming my tree tops! Scaring the horses! I resent this but can't stop them unless I get an anti-aircraft battery set up.

So I put up with these unhappy intrusions.

Now the hamfisted Supreme Court comes along and tries to reduce my rights to zero. I resent this greatly. I don't care what someone wants to do, my land is mine. I own it. MY HOME IS MY CASTLE. Out west, no one owns anything below 2' on their properties. If oil or mineral wealth resides there, tough luck. The Feds and the Real Rulers own it all. But not at my home, yet. They can evict me now.

This has happened before! I lost my home!

In 1973, a car was illegally parked in my driveway and I called the police to complain. "You don't have to worry much longer," the kind lady said at the desk, "We are going to build a big parking lot down there!"

"What?" I said in shock. "I live here! Are you telling me this is going to be a parking lot???"

"Oh dear, I wasn't supposed to tell you this!" she cried and she hung up on me. I hopped on my bicycle and zipped down to city hall to confront the mayor. We argued, I declared war on him and we then went through a huge year long battle over the properties. He was forced to buy out the neighbors, one by one, openly instead of secretly. Secretly, he got cheaper prices.

This pissed the city of Tucson off. The tightwads also didn't understand, this was a historic neighborhood built before Arizona existed as a state. We were all renovating the old houses. My house was on the city's informal register of historic houses, it was built by the first architect to graduate in Arizona and I knew his sister, Miss Julie, who was at that time, 108 years old. She lived down the street from me.

One by one, they tore down all the houses around me. I didn't move. One day, the mayor told the military to do a tank demonstration on this lot. I came out when my rooster went crazy and confronted the Army. "Get that tank outta here!" I yelled. They were shocked. The mayor told them no one was living in my house! In apology, they let me ride around in the tank for fun. I suggested we visit city hall in it.

Then one day, after my daughter was born, I had a dream. A jet crashing into the neighborhood. The next day, I settled with the city and left.

Several years later, I was cooking dinner in NYC when my mother called, screaming at me, "Are you all right?" I turned on the TV to see a fighter jet burning away where my neighborhood used to be. Six unfortunate car owners were killed. My mother was on the roof of the Meinel Optic Center when the burning jet flew low over the roof. She suddenly forgot I no longer lived there and rushed into the office to see if I was still alive.

Well, the city of LA illegally demolished my grandfather's house while he was in the hospital. We sued and won that case. The city manager went to jail, too. Grrr.

My home is my castle. And I hate having jets fly overhead.
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