For good or ill, I’m going to do one more about Paul Tay. I figure if the sunk cost fallacy is good enough for the US government, it should be good enough for a Tired Blogger as well. I’m going to go into just a very little more detail about who this dude is, I’m going to explain a little more plainly why I bothered to write about him (other than simply because it was a reader request), and then I intend to compare our eccentric Independent to another politician.
I’ll try to find some valid yet entertaining sources that were not in the previous posts.
The internet can be so frustrating. All it really wants to show you is last month’s news. Still, I was able to dig back to 2003 and learn that people were already irritated with his protesting twenty years ago. According to a News on 6 article, “He made a name for himself when he ran for mayor of Tulsa last time around. Campaigning from astride a bicycle and a cart he pulled along behind.
“Well, Paul Tay is on the streets campaigning again. It’s a campaign against the war using an inflatable male genitalia, and naturally, it has folks riled up. News on 6 reporter Rick Wells says Tay’s efforts are difficult to ignore.”
But the US Supreme Court at the time had ruled that his inflatable was protected under the first amendment. He was called in hundreds of times, but “police say he’s legal. So is his inflatable, bicycle ordinances allow him to ride on the streets, as long as he keeps moving and stays on the right, their best advice just try to ignore him.
“Police say, as angry and frustrated as this may make you, there is little they can do. Unless Tay is on private property and refuses to leave or violates traffic laws, his riding on city streets carrying a sign and his inflated display is legal.”
Twenty years later I have the solution. Just tell the police that the inflatable is a protest of the vaccine. Wait what? That is Canada I’m thinking of? You guys really need to start getting me correct information! What about his tag? Is it in the right spot? Because they can bigod pull you over if it is in the wrong spot because some thief (that they can’t stop) will steal it if you have it in the window. What if I put my tag on an inflatable of an erect penis? Would the Supreme Court protect me?
Somehow, I doubt it.
If you watch the video, he actually had a wonderful idea. Let’s make the mayor’s race a reality tv show. Bring in millions of dollars of Hollywood money parading around town with a penis on their forehead. If we elected him, he could do a show where people compete for city positions. Maybe we could get sixteen candidates from the applications sent in and divide them up into two teams, and then they could compete in various different contests, and the losers could be eliminated from the competition, and the winners could become Municipal Treasurers, City Sherrif, Animal Control (to Major Tom). But that is a pretty radical idea. I mean, I can see why people think of John Tay as crazy, not because of the protests and the penis and beating and raping women, but just because that is a crazy idea that would never work.
Tulsapeople.com has this to say about Paul Tay and the time he attempted to bypass the debate moderator in 2016. “Video of the bizarre event was plastered across Facebook, accompanied by Tulsans’ liberal use of the “like” and “haha” responses…The Frontier posted Mayor Bartlett’s 911 call from the debacle. Tay personally commented on the myriad, reiterating his belief that politicians “need to entertain voters.” Local comedian Dan Fritschie asked Tay if his plan was to “fight bullshit with batshit.”
“For Tay, batshit is the name of the game. Apart from running for mayor more times than he can remember, he’s famous for bicycling on the B.A. expressway during rush hour while wearing a Santa suit, towing a giant inflatable penis with his bike, and generally accosting motorists and cyclists in feverish outbursts.
“Tay was far more mayoral than usual when we met on The Hunt Club’s patio. Leaving the Santa suit and dildos in the closet, Tay wore his now trademark cowboy hat, dress shirt, tie, and western duster (despite the 80 degree heat). This new, more reserved look is a nod to mainstream politicians, and his hat was inspired by former OK political hopeful, Virginia “Blue Jeans” Jenner.”
In the years before he was arrested for alleged rape and kidnapping, Paul Tay was actually beginning to grow a small independent following. Tulsapeople.com wrote about him in the years between 2016 and 2020 with much more respect than any other news outlet I’ve come across.
“Tay wants to remodel all of our city parks after the Tisdale Food Forest. “We had a question on Wednesday night,” he said of the debate he interrupted, “where they asked about the mowing cycle. I thought ‘why are we paying to mow our parks when we can plant and let food grow on them instead?’” If elected, he says he would hire a Secretary of Education, and a Secretary of Cyberspace. “We’ve got a super-computer in City Hall, and that thing oughta be cranking out algorithms to make city processes work more quickly,” he said. He’d also require police to carry liability insurance, divert the war on drugs to a focus on rehabilitation, and increase cycling safety.”
Maybe not the most professional platform, but it honestly sounds profoundly less insane than the other things I’ve read about his platform as a candidate for governor of Oklahoma. I began to see why people might actually have voted for him before the frightening allegations of rape.
Two advocacies he stood for more or less disavowed him. The cyclists felt his protests made them look bad, and the marijuana advocates were equally embarrassed.
“Dean Franklin Grove II is a board member of marijuana advocacy group Oklahomans for Health.
Though Grove feels Tay’s efforts delegitimize medicinal marijuana in the eyes of mainstream Tulsa, he nonetheless plans to vote for him, “simply to try and force a runoff in this broken electoral system.”
“A growing number of Tulsans have similar plans to Grove’s, and, if not planning to vote for Tay, are at least praising his Discordian campaign. His political piss-take is a growing pastime in an era when the parodic City of Tulsa Parking Enforcement can win “Best Tulsan to Follow on Social Media” from this newspaper’s readership for telling the official @cityoftulsagov Twitter account to “suck my balls.”*
The original article was written in 2016. I wonder if Grove would wish to vote for him now. I wonder what happened to my Agents of Chaos novel?
Why is Paul Tay Important?
There are three reasons I believe Paul Tay is worth looking at.
- First, it should show the level of desperation we have fallen to that he would end up getting 15 percent of the vote (I misspoke in an earlier post, saying he never did better than 9%. He made it to 15 before he was charged with rape).
- Second, is it just me, or did bicycling awareness become a big deal after the Mayoralis Interruptus?
- Lastly, does the whole story that he met a woman on Craig’s List, was incarcerated for a year on her testimony, but yet her testimony wasn’t good enough for a conviction…the story stinks to high heaven.
If you haven’t noticed, your Tired Midnight Blogger (what blogs at midnight) is no fan of either political party. My memory is foggy about who I’ve voted for in the last few mayor’s races, but I know for a decade now my ballets show more and more independents and Libertarians than ever before. More and more of us are so disgusted and weary of the modern political machinery grinding our lives into sausage, we would be happy to vote for almost anyone except the status quo. I know a fair number of my readers are from OKC, so you wouldn’t know, but the election where Paul Tay made his name was so bland, so disappointing, I think a lot of us were starting to feel ashamed of being in Tulsa. Thank goodness though! Harry Potter defeated P. T. Barnum.
As usual though, the parties have taken the wind out of the sales of independents. People were listening to Paul Tay about marijuana? We’ll simply allow medical marijuana, proving there is no need for independent voting. People were listening to him about bicycling? We’ll do these weird new stripes on the busier streets, so it looks like we are helping out the bicyclers. Good job Harry Potter!
And yes, I know the official story is almost certainly the true one…but am I the only one who is thinking “How convenient that right as he starts to get a real following, someone accuses him of rape”? Perhaps my criticism will be too minimalistic, but all I have to say is “the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State” (6th Amendment to the US Constitution). And on the other side, “Women do not get raped because they weren’t careful enough. Women get raped because someone raped them.” One or both of these statements is totally relevant here. One way or another, this was a travesty of justice. Either an innocent man was in jail for a year, or an innocent woman was raped but our system failed to convict the perpetrator. Comments welcome.
The reason I write about this man, besides the fact that a reader wanted me to, is the fact that we independents are lumped together as a bunch of stupid, impractical Paul Tay types. “Oh my Gawd! You vote independent? Don’t you know you are throwing your vote away?” Just what the hell do you think you are doing if you vote for either Democrat or Republican?
Ok, one last little thought experiment and then I am calling it a night.
I want to do a very quick Tired Blogger comparison of Paul Tay, and a true American hero. I would like to share with you…Vermin Supreme.
Sadly, my work computer will not allow me to access most of the websites that talk about this supreme politician. But allow me to make a few quick points.
Both are masters of the art of amazing head gear.
Both demonstrate the absurd by being absurd.
Both have had abysmal campaign success but have also had some amazing political…well…victories might not be the right term, but both have surprised the talking heads a time or two with some higher-than-expected voting numbers.
Both claim to have paved the way for Trump.
Both would appear to be a joke. But one is a finely crafted self-aware joke, the other, tragically, doesn’t seem to understand the lyrics of great BJ’s songs. “Oh, if I’d only seen…that the joke was on me!”