The Passing Parade: Cheap Shots from a Drive By Mind

"...difficile est saturam non scribere. Nam quis iniquae tam patiens urbis, tam ferreus, ut teneat se..." " is hard not to write Satire. For who is so tolerant of the unjust City, so steeled, that he can restrain himself... Juvenal, The Satires (1.30-32)

Thursday, June 08, 2006

DEMOCRACY IN ACTION: Let me just say at the outset here that I am not one of your typical Vampire State Upper West Side snooty elitists who thinks that they are better than everyone else and doesn’t mind who knows it. No, indeed, I stand foursquare and fourscore behind the premise that all men are created equal and that our Creator has endowed us all with inalienable rights, which has nothing to do with extraterrestrials or their rights or so people tell me, so I guess that we can treat them like crap if we feel like it, provided we would do something like that to an extraterrestrial before he/she/it/they blew us to hell in a hand basket with their trusty Acme patented disintegration ray gun. This always makes me wonder why Marvin the Martian’s stuff from Acme always seemed to work just fine, while Wile E. Coyote always wound up with the company’s defective equipment and not a customer service department 800 number anywhere in sight; did Acme just not like Wile E. Coyote or maybe they had no use for coyotes in general, in which case Wile E.’s can hit those guys with a first rate civil rights case on top of any product liability thing he might have going on now.

But whether the government has a constitutional obligation to protect the rights of extraterrestrials is neither here nor there; all that matters here is that I support our system of government and I believe, in the words of Winston Churchill, that democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others, and that you can solve all the problems of democracy with more democracy, to paraphrase Al Smith. And what is democracy? It is government of the people, for the people, and by the people, as Lincoln so eloquently put it. Our Constitution begins by announcing the sole legitimate source of all political power in this country: We the People of the United States. Yes, in this country the people are sovereign, the people and only the people. This is the beauty and greatness of democracy, this is why men fought and endured the hardships of the Revolution, why they froze at Valley Forge during that horrible winter, why they risked their lives and their sacred honor to found this our Great Republic.

Beauty, of course, is in the eye of the beholder, and it is almost always better not to look at some things too closely; a great many things, whether we would like to admit this or not, are better off in the abstract, and the people are one of these things. Even here in our happy little burg, where the smallest and grimiest ragamuffin in the streets can deliver a ten minute oral report on his Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights worthy of publication in the Harvard Law Review at the drop of a policeman’s hat, once an editor removes the obscenities about the policeman’s mother, one sees any number of people whose very existence makes the impartial observer think that if these are the people whose liberty the soldiers of the Continental Army suffered through Valley Forge to secure then those guys froze their asses off for nothing. There is nothing like seeing some of the people up close and personal to make you wonder if universal suffrage is such a good idea. The people, after all, elected Jerry Springer mayor of Cincinnati, and I don’t know about you, but I find the very concept of Jerry Springer holding elective office anywhere in the United States to be utterly frightening, and all the more so since Cincinnati is in Ohio, which has always struck me as a fairly mature and sensible state, unlike Massachusetts, say, which freely allows known Red Sox fans to wander the streets of Boston engaging in their loathsome rituals before the stunned eyes of decent men, women, and children. That the Commonwealth of Massachusetts permits such public grotesqueries to go unpunished is a stain on that state’s otherwise pristine reputation for public probity.

An outraged populace is a terrible thing to behold, a political fact that I became aware of only the other day, when a woman came into our egregious mold pit looking for a voter registration form. She was not happy and she let us know it in no uncertain terms. She was sick of seeing people on television whose gender she could not identify. She always wrote “biologically female” in the gender box, as if merely marking off female were not enough in and of itself. She railed against people with plastic breasts and other such deceptive practices; she was sick of it, she said, and she intended to vote for anyone who would put a stop to it. She left the building then, clutching her voter registration form in one hand, happy to be taking the first step in liberating this our Great Republic from the stultifying hands of the plastic surgeons.

I may be wrong about this; I make no claims of omniscience and I am as clairvoyant as the next guy, assuming the next guy isn’t Nostradamus, and frankly I think old Nosty was full of toads’ gonads; but I do not believe that ending breast augmentation in this country has the necessary mass appeal an issue needs to make inroads into the American political consciousness. Certainly this decidedly different agenda will go nowhere in California, where the state’s famed beaches and those lying upon them are monuments to silica in all of its physical manifestations. But what of the deeper ramifications of this program on the American body politic, which, and this just my opinion, you understand, could use a little liposuction along the sides.

It seems to me that our patron’s task is quixotic at best and potentially dangerous at worst. If we start eliminating such practices, where do we stop? If today we can stop breast augmentation, then tomorrow do we end root canals? Do we deprive citizens of their franchise simply because they’ve had a couple of cavities filled? Forbid it, Almighty God, I know not what course others may take, so long as it isn’t the special of the day because that always costs more and I am not paying for a glutton fest here, but as for me, give me rhinoplasty or give me death!!!


  • At 1:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…


    The thing about Acme... I always had the impression it was part of a larger conglomerate -- Road Runner Industries -- which was why the Coyote was always getting hosed. Corporate espionage.

    Mark Alger


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