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)

Saturday, October 13, 2007

BEER AND FRANKENSTEIN'S RICE: Now you have to understand that this news means very little to me personally; beer might as well be Midol for all the use I make of the stuff; but I now that there are those among you who take an interest in such things so I figured you might want to know this. It appears that a well-known American brewing company, which shall remain nameless here because they haven’t paid for the advertising space, has started using genetically modified rice in the production of the insipid fluid this company palms off as lager beer on the complete unsuspecting American beer swilling public. When this news broke a few days ago, consternation swept the length and breadth of this our Great Republic and the hitherto inchoate voice of Joe Sixpack resounded clearly from sea to shining sea with the demand that this brewer cease and desist this loathsome practice immediately.

To emphasize their disgust, massed contingents of beer drinkers from New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago are even now descending on St. Louis by bus in order to picket the corporate headquarters of this zymurgical malefactor; contingents from Boston, Phoenix, and Cleveland will join the protest one by one as the baseball postseason progresses. Unlike the first three cities, beer drinkers in the latter three cities still have to perform, one that demands their complete attention for the next couple of weeks. But although they must wait to join the protest, these beer drinkers support the cause overwhelmingly. Few things in recent American history have so united the beer-drinking world as much as this, joining friends and enemies alike in a common bond. Clearly, if the North and the South can heal the division that tore them apart, if black and white can try to bridge the racial divide that has afflicted this nation for centuries, then the denizens of Yankee Land and the inhabitants of the Red Sox Nation can work together in peace and amity to further a magnificent cause, at least until Opening Day next year when we can drop the pretense and go back to hating those miserable little bastards with every fiber of our being.

And, naturally enough, in chaos there is opportunity. German and Belgian brewers are trying to cash in on this sudden revulsion with commercials highlighting the all-natural qualities of their beers and the really large breasts of the models they use to advertise it. I am sure all straight guys appreciate the sight of faux German beer garden blondes in incredibly low cut blouses on their television screens, especially the guys with high definition television, a wonderful device that opens vast new possibilities for the word jiggle, this constant harping on the all-natural quality of their beers is apt to be something of a turn-off for American men. For your average American, all-natural means something that your wife or mother wants you to consume because it is good for you or will help save the whales, who have never, if you don’t mind me saying so, done one goddam thing to save humanity ever. Did you ever hear of a whale offering to negotiate between rival sects of loony religious fanatics out to cut each other’s throats with a dull butter knife? I didn’t think so. All-natural means health food and for Joe Sixpack health food is something that unhealthy looking gray-haired hippies who haven’t figured out that the Sixties are gone for good eat while they go on and on about how this food is pure in its essence and won’t do anything to screw your karma up, unlike all the violence you’re stuffing into your face when you chow down on the hamburger that you really want for dinner.

And if this is the reaction corporate America can expect from ordinary beer-drinking people, the reaction of America’s youth to the possibilities of genetic modification will be positively cataclysmic, no doubt shaking Wall Street to its very foundations. What American child will ever eat a sugary breakfast cereal again after they discover that their usual breakfast candy is, in fact, genetically modified spinach, and that their dark and creamy chocolate milk is nothing more than asparagus run through the gene splicer a few times. Yes, indeed, the howls of fury from the hordes of deceived little brats over eating stuff that’s good for them will be loud and long, and heard from Wall Street to the very gates of hell itself.

I bring up the children—excuse me while I bite my lip in obligatory obeisance to the snarling little rats and their needs—because I paid my school taxes the other day. Paying your school taxes on a school day is almost always a mistake. The put upon taxpayer in such a situation cannot help but notice the discrepancy between what they are paying and the product that flows like so much proboscidean effluence in February out of the schoolhouse door and down the street at a quarter to three five days a week. I just shelled out three thousand dollars for the education of the children of our happy little burg, and I think I can say, without too much fear of contradiction, that I can flush my money down a rat hole better than the board of education can. I would probably enjoy it more, too—I wouldn’t mind buying myself a really expensive camera with that wad of cash—but this, I fear, is not to be. No, I have given them the money, making it possible for the board of education and their minions in the teachers’ union to better inculcate the slimy tenets of political correctness into their charges and pass off such indoctrination as education. I do not worry about this as much as some people seem to do, given that the broad mass of young people in the schools here in our happy little burg are no more educable than a quart of milk is, and therefore the constant pedagogical cramming of political correctness in all its nefarious forms into their thick skulls makes no more dent in their bovine consciousnesses than learning an actual subject would. It’s just that I would rather keep the money myself.

Still, you must feel some small iota of pity for these scholastic hostages. The only real way to guarantee that all children who want an education receive one is to institute a voucher system and then follow that up with the permanent end of compulsory education in this country. This will end the monopoly of the teachers’ unions and guarantee that the kids in the classrooms actually want to learn something. As for the hordes of young hooligans who will take to this opportunity to bail out of the education system forever, the state can sell nine to three hunting licenses for $2,000 apiece and a strictly enforced you shoot it, you eat it policy. This will help thin the herd of feral youths on the street looking for trouble at any given time and help finance the education of the children who remain in school. I have proposed this solution at a good many board of education meetings, but it has never really gone anywhere; I didn’t think it ever would, to be honest with you, bureaucratic intransigence to new ideas being what it is these days.

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