Amy Roberts: The Utah legislature finally admits it really is tone deaf |

Amy Roberts: The Utah legislature finally admits it really is tone deaf

It appears Utah politicians have finally caught up to 1990.

In case anyone was concerned the Beehive State would lose its grip on being America’s favorite punchline, last week a group of our esteemed legislators firmly cemented Utah’s reputation for being laughably out of touch.

In an effort to “reach the youth,” this group of lawmakers parodied a “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” rap song to explain how a bill becomes a law. That’s right — to better connect with teenagers, a handful of all white, middle aged, mostly male conservatives, dressed in their Sunday best (with one wearing a sideways Make America Great Again hat), and rapped to a song from a TV show that aired 30 years ago.

Let that sink in.

A lack of words that rhyme with “chamber” was the least disturbing part of the whole thing. I can say with certainty that everything Eminem ever did for white hip hop artists was undone by this video.

While I applaud efforts to engage with high schoolers and get them interested in civics, if the method of doing so is going to be so embarrassingly outdated, at the very least, the actual content should be accurate. Unfortunately it is not. For example, the video doesn’t show even one representative taking a bribe from a lobbyist. And not a single lyric mentions first talking to the bishop. And let’s face it, we all know those are the ways a bill actually becomes a law in this state.

Which makes me wonder if it was the church, or an oil lobbyist who recently whispered in Gregg Buxton’s ear. The Republican from Roy sponsored a bill that prohibits local governments from banning plastic bags, something Park City did last year.

Considering Americans use an estimated 100 billion plastic bags annually, and about 12 million barrels of oil are required to manufacture those bags, the Park City ban is a mere drop in the proverbial bucket. But at least it’s a drop. One less bag wrapped around a fence post on a windy day.

But Buxton’s bill proposes to eliminate even the smallest amount of progress, stating:

“… a local government entity may not regulate, prohibit, or restrict the use, disposition, or sale of an auxiliary container (such as plastic bags); or impose a fee …”

Utah Senators passed the bill, and it’s now in the House for consideration.

Given this, all I want in life is for our City Council members to respond to Buxton with a rap song. I’ve even taken the liberty of writing the lyrics, which absolutely must be performed to the instrumentation of “Gangsta’s Paradise” by Coolio.

As we walk through the valley we can’t catch our breath,

We take a look at the sky and all we see is death.

You keep calling it an inversion and tell us not to care,

But even our mammas tell us not to inhale that dirty air.

How can you be so in love with bags of plastic?

It’s choking our wildlife, rivers and oceans so drastic.

You always hyperventilating about federal overreach,

But when it comes to state law it’s total control you seek.

We really hate to point out your blatant hypocrisy,

But we’re so tired of your backwards theocracy.

Your little Mormon homies want clean air and water too,

That’s something even Joseph Smith and all his wives knew.

We’re on our knees in the night, saying prayers in your hazy moonlight.

Chorus: Leave Park City alone and let us spend our lives living in our alpine paradise.

Look at the situation you’ve got us facing,

We can’t live a normal life, confined by your rule.

You love Trump and don’t want science in school.

Your brain don’t work in all that smog,

What’s next? You gonna make us leash our dogs?

You think we’re just educated fools with money on our minds,

But climate change is real, and we enjoy our wine.

You try to make us pure, but you should know,

We ain’t ever gonna spend a day down in Provo.

We hope you lose your seat, that you ain’t re-elected,

And to your stupid ideas we won’t be subjected.

How many kids you have, 23 or 24?

Stop reproducing, don’t have no more.

Tell me why are you so blind to see,

That the ones you hurt are you and me?

Chorus: Leave Park City alone and let us spend our lives living in our alpine paradise.

Amy Roberts is a freelance writer, longtime Park City resident and the proud owner of two rescued Dalmatians, Stanley and Willis. Follow her on Twitter @amycroberts.

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