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Friends, I have often been asked how I would save the economy, reduce government spending, cut taxes, raise employment and create Utopia! Friends, it’s simple! It’s the “Spirit of Christmas”, practiced in our own inimitable North American style year round. Or at least until tax time.
There’s no denying it, friends. We do need government. But do we need so much of it? It costs an awful lot to look after all these civil servants. And why are they there? Because of the socially disadvantaged. And why are the socially disadvantaged “socially disadvantaged”? Primarily because they are economically disadvantaged. They don’t have full employment. Therefore, the government has to take money, create agencies, programs, etc., to make sure that the economically disadvantaged receive benefits in an effort to make them less socially disadvantaged (or more socially acceptable, if you will). Trouble is, friends, it doesn’t work! And rather than come up with a solution that does work, they (the government) create task forces, agencies and other forms of bureaucracy to find out why what doesn’t work doesn’t work! However, all this costs more money, which means more taxes and so on, of which very little seems to get into the hands of the economically deprived. Friends, I can say this with some authority, because even the least astute moron can see that there are just as many disadvantaged as there ever was. In fact, their numbers seem to be on the increase, in direct proportion to the latest government benefits package created to effect their decrease!
So, friends, how does the Spirit of Christmas enter into this? The fact is, most store keepers will tell you that their most prosperous time, their peak profits, come at Christmas time. This is why Christmas has been expanded to include the week before Hallowe’en, the entire month of November and the first twenty five days of December.
Unfortunately, Christmas is only an incentive for obscene spending if you are a Christian. What is required is this: the creation of an economic opportunity that would be equal or greater than Christmas and would, over and above, appeal to all races, colors and creeds, regardless of ethnic origin. Call it “Merchandisemas” or the like and celebrate it for as long as it is wished – only it must end on the Tax deadline.
This is how is works: Everything – absolutely everything – that you spend your hard earned money on, friends, - food, entertainment, clothing, housing, mortgage, rent, whatever - is tax deductable, so long as the object of the purchase or expenditure is made in the U-nited States of America! The only thing that will remain taxable is what an individual actually has left in liquid cash at the end of Merchandisemas. And that would be taxed at an extremely high rate. All other taxes, with the exception of a nominal sales tax, would be abolished!
You can see instantly, friends, what a panic of purchasing would ensue. Goods and services would be demand as they never had been before! In order to meet this demand, and keep in mind that the money must be spent in the U-nited States on goods and services made by our proud citizens, established factories and services would have to increase their staffs on an unprecedented scale. New businesses would blossom forward and full employment would be achieved, all created by the Private Sector. All those government agencies previously pondered here would become redundant – there is a downside to everything, friends – but the benefits of splurging would flow into the Capitol’s coffers like Niagara Falls and they would be able to look after things that really need looking after. Like dealing with those civil servants who, unfortunately, would be unemployed, being skilled at nothing in particular. Perhaps we could export them to Canada.
There you have it, friends. Another problem solved by Willy the Weasel. Vote for the Weasel and you know what you will get. And don’t forget to keep those receipts!
The idea of towing an iceberg to some drought stricken region is nothing new, my friends. Trouble is, it’s very expensive and there is very little iceberg left by the time it gets where it’s going! Not only that, but the success of this method depends on the recipient to be in a parched area that is also practical to access! However, there is a solution to all of this, at least insofar as we, the U-nited States, are concerned. And the very solution could be adapted to other areas of concern with a bit of thought and bit of old fashioned entrepreneurial daring!
A glance at the map, friends, shows how strategically located James Bay is. In fact, it plunges itself farther south than any other major northern body of water. Despite this southerly reach, consider too, that the beach resort business there is nothing short of dismal, as the water temperature at the best of times would turn most things to icebergs, rather quickly. But most important, friends, is the fact that icebergs are already a common species in this bay, so getting them to landfall would not require a great deal of towing. In fact, they may even drift ashore on their own accord. All this is nature. It’s at this point – beaching the berg – that modern innovative thinking and a bit of innovative industry takes over. That is to say, the iceberg has to be melted.
The first thing needed to do is the preparation of an artificial lake-bed of sufficient size – which is likely to be quite large. And while the initial construction might prove upsetting to the local flora and fauna, the long-term impact could be nothing but beneficial. The local indigenous population will benefit from start to finish and beyond from the increased income potential attached to this project, the end result being the biggest man-made lake in the world, a veritable tourist attraction in itself. Naturally, the lake will be surrounded by huge artificial mountains, resulting from the excavation, and these mountains will be lush with regenerated forestry, creating new animal habitats and year-round recreational facilities to exploit them with. All that’s needed is the water – and that’s where the iceberg comes in.
The bergs are melted at the bay-shore site, with the water being channelled to the waiting lake -bed. As one would with a swimming pool, it is filled to the desired depth. Stocked with fish, even.
What has been created, friends, is an extremely large “kettle” lake, whose levels can be kept up in two ways – naturally, from the run-off in the artificial mountains surrounding it, as well as the spring break-up, or by simply towing in another iceberg and melting it down as required. What has also been created is a governable source and supply of excess water, there for a reason – to be sold on the market, very much like oil. And like the oil from the Alaskan fields, this water is delivered by pipe-line to parched patches all over the country. Spills and leaks, unlike the oil, would not prove environmentally hazardous, either.
A massive project, to be sure! Expensive? Of course! But in the long run, the benefits – or the alternatives – must be weighed. Certainly, in the benefit column, the environment and the economy have been helped, not hindered. Indeed, so has the lot of mankind. The country, as a whole, would be in a more enviable position that the middle-east oil empires, becoming as we would, the water barons of the world. And we would never fear our fields being set on fire!
Now, one minor problem exists between the implementation and the actualization of this undertaking, friends, which is the fact that this precious resource is actually under the control of a foreign government, but by merely annexing Canada, this problem disappears as if by the magic of Manifest Destiny.
Yes, folks – yet another problem solved by Willy the Weasel. Vote for the Weasel, because you know what you will get!
POWER FOR THE PEOPLE: A SHOCKINGLY SIMPLE SOLUTION!
It’s the electronic age, my friends. This is not an astute observation or a remarkable revelation! It is, however, the irreversible fact.
Consider, for a moment, your lives without electric power. The probability is that the bulk of the population would become non-functional in a flash! Without electric power, society would soon be in the dark ages – literally. But friends, the problem is posed: from whence will we acquire additional sources to power our obsession with living better electrically? The forces of Niagara, the Hoover Dam, Churchill Falls are not infinite and even the employment of every mouse, hamster, squirrel and weasel turning treadmills would not pick up the slack. Windmills depend on wind and solar panels require the sun to shine. Nuclear facilities are fraught with danger for the attraction they present to evildoers. Fortunately, friends, there is an obvious and innovative solution!
One need not be a student of geography to realize the abundant amount of rivers that flow within North America. And even though many amount to little more than brooks and creeks, all present a potential source of power. Note that every one of these bodies of water have their origins well above sea level and you can see the solution taking shape. For example, the reason Niagara is effective, electronically speaking, is that the water plunges with a great degree of force, due to dropping over a precipice of considerable height, as the flow finds its way to the sea. By merely recreating this situation at sites requiring elevated levels of electricity, we can solve not only the power problem, friends, but several others, as well – and in the process, create whole new industries and livelihoods heretofore nonexistent!
Take for example, the Hudson River and pick a point way upstream, a point several hundred feet above sea level. With an undertaking not equalled since the New Deal, an artificial precipice could be constructed, creating a shear drop down to sea level that would dwarf Niagara. The rush of water that would result would not only create enough extra megawatts to make electric company meter readers dizzy with delight, it would enhance both employment and the environment!
Environmentally, the immediate benefit is that the ensuing rapid flow of the river sweeping down the newly formed chasm would wash all the garbage and sludge currently inhabiting the river back out into the ocean, where eventually, it can become someone else’s problem. Economically, the raised river level of this fake fjord now in place would submerge many areas in drastic need of redevelopment anyhow, freeing up funds to be applied to other pressing problems (such as the relocation of displaced populations, but here, too, I have a plan). Think, too, of the finished product and the vast influx of visitors that would arrive from all over the globe to vacation at this new tourist attraction. No doubt it would soon outrank Niagara Falls as the “Honeymoon Capital of the World”. And the economic benefits don’t end there, friends, because opportunities for new amusement parks, hotels, motels and casinos also beckon and abound in the playground created by and for power.
Yes, friends, the solution is shockingly simple and it can be applied anywhere, creating a bright future for all! So vote for the weasel, folks – Willy the Weasel, because you know what you will get!
By Willy the Weasel
Friends, as one who has spent a great deal of time grovelling in dirt, I can say without reservation that farmers have my deepest admiration! That is why I am proposing a plan to make farming profitable once again.
We need all the good farmland we can get, but at the rate we are building executive housing, warehousing and industrial parks, pretty soon we will have very little usable farmland left. This, of course, will be a boon to other countries – they can feed us and make a fortune! With all those executive houses and industrial parks, we’ll probably be able to afford it. But in industrializing our agricultural belt, we put our less productive regions at risk of being as dependant on foreign food sources as some third world hell hole. Indeed, the likely scenario is that all the foods we used to grow on the land occupied by executive mansions and shopping plazas will have to be imported. Either that or we will have to take the lead in the hi-tech, corporate development of synthetic food technologies, just to be able to continue to “do lunch”.
There is, fortunately, a solution and it is this: if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em!
Yes, friends, what I propose is that all the farmers sell their farms and join together as an incorporated company. Coming together in such a manner would make you an economic force to be reckoned with and the capital raised from the sale of the lands as acres of affordable housing for ever expanding cities will allow you to fund the future of farming.
Before you say that the weasel has gone wonky, friends, think about this,: industrial parks seem to go up every time one looks around. Everywhere, new factory space is coming on the market. The economy seems to be booming, even if not for you, personally. But if that is the case, how is it that so many have “for rent” and “for sale” signs on them, years after being built? And what happens to the “old” factory space?
Can a country that “enjoys” less than “summer” temperatures in large parts of its territory for up to ten months per year agriculturally afford this waste of space? Why should our governments exhort us to compete in the hi-tech computerized hub-bub? The Japanese do that better, anyway. Besides, what will our scientists eat? What will the rest of us eat? My friends, wouldn’t it be better to develop technology that would allow us to create orange groves in the Yukon? We can do this. All we have to do is turn those acres of new and used factory space into indoor farms. And as a big co-op conglomerate corporation, you would have the power to pull that off.
All these buildings have water supplies in place when they are being built. With some modifications, these systems can be employed to release water into the ground the edifice occupies, while the soil, instead of being the usual mixture of building debris, can be up-graded to suit the planned crop. These buildings also have sprinkler systems in place – in other words, a guaranteed source of rainfall. When the buildings are constructed or renovated, as the case may be, it would then merely be a matter of installing solar panel roofs, resulting in absolute acres of usable all year round, climate controlled farm land. It’ all there – rain, light, heat – no matter what the exterior season is, good things could still grow in Ontario, or Idaho – or anywhere else, for that matter.
The history of our age can be said in three words: agricultural, industrial, informational. A hundred years ago, we were a nation of farmers. With the development of machinery, we became an urban society and with the concept of the computer, we have become an informational society. The leading edge, however, friends, is going to go to those who can effectively feed their minds and their bodies. What goes around comes around or goes to pot!
Vote for the weasel, folks. Willy the Weasel. You know what you will get. Remember to turn off the lights and water the plants, before you leave for home.
Friends, the problem with poverty is that, while it is a growth industry, it has proved, at least for its practitioners, to be massively unprofitable. Programs for the unemployed and unemployable create a seemingly never ending need for reports by highly paid experts to ruminate upon and an ever expanding necessity for social science graduates to be added to the public payrolls. But their solutions for the afflicted usually boil down to having them fill holes in the roads with funds that come through a hole in the ceiling and flow out through a hole in their pockets. It’s all justifiable, of course. You can’t help “them” unless you help yourself. Despite the increase in self-help programs, however, the poverty problem persists.
Poverty, we need not tell you, breeds crime, lowers living standards and erodes education. It draws lines in the dirt – the “haves” on one side, the “have-nots” on the other. It can turn concrete canyons into masonry mazes of terror and city blocks into jurisdictional jungles. Entire urban areas become like tumbled down tombstones in a cemetery city populated by victims in waiting.
My friends, it does not have to be like this! The solution is right before our very eyes, hidden in plain sight! The solution is to take a page from a project that works. And while there are none to be found in the pages of the Social Service record, there are plenty in the private sector – most notably in the world of high profile theme parks, such as Universal Studios and Disney World. Here people can experience for themselves all the thrills and spills portrayed in high-grossing action adventures – thrills that will last a lifetime! Thrills that will make your adrenalin level blast off like a rocket into space and your bank balance plummet like a rock into water. Suppose these thrills were transferable to areas of urban blight? That if entering these areas of gut-wrenching poverty meant a heart pounding “high” instead of a heart-stopping death? What if all these areas were all turned into thriller theme parks?
If you think about it, to be a “survivor” is not just a wonderful feeling, it is also an experience that is sure to be enhanced in countless cocktail party retellings! Disaster and adventure go together. The chance of survival is slim in a slum, but if you do survive, it is a tale to tell forever! Come with me now into the theme park that solves the problem by commercializing crime!
You can be propositioned by a prostitute or mugged by marauding murderous maniacs. Thrill to the experience of being suddenly caught in a crossfire! Buy colourful souvenirs from bag ladies, winos and degenerates, conveniently located on every street corner. Tour a tenement that’s so dilapidated your dog wouldn’t live in it. Take part in a violent domestic dispute and help the police identify the body. Have your picture taken with a rapist, a robber or a cold blooded killer in the Rogues’ Gallery, or have your outline done in chalk by one of the talented street artists. Top it all off with an evening walk through the park. If our high crime areas became high profile theme parks, you could do all that and never risk anymore than the price of admission! Whatever that is, it is cheaper than the price of fear! Imagine! People lining up, paying to get into Central Park as the sun goes down! Safe in the knowledge that they are secure. No one is really getting hurt. It’s all an act. The “victims” and the “violators” are all actors. Everyone goes home at the end of the day. And city governments can relax in the knowledge that big or small, every municipality can share in the profit potential of poverty with their very own theme park!
Now picture, my friends, the economic results for the former residents of these run-down dumps. Picture them on a subway from the suburbs rattling through the early morning hours destined for the downtown. Each of the cars is packed with people mimicking sardines reading the stock pages. But these people are not wearing blue pinstripe three- piece suits. They are dressed in glad rags, dew rags and just plain rags. They are on their way to work. There are already several bus loads of Japanese tourists with cameras geared for action at the gates of VIOLENCE VILLAGE , where muggings happen not only at the turn-style but at every turn and the victims get to keep on living!
So vote for the weasel, friends, Willy the Weasel. You know what you will get!
Many of my fellow candidates have said, not just on a few occasions, and not confined to this particular contest, that they and their plans for the future would bring hope to the people and give them the opportunity to realize their dreams! Are they telling us that the general populace is hopeless? Maybe they are saying that these people are currently oppressed – or for that matter, depressed and need someone else to plan their lives for them! (It has also not escaped my attention that the word “them” is more than a little ambiguous. Are they talking about the people or the politicians?)
Friends, I know what people want and it is this: they want to be happy! Now the question is what, exactly, will bring them this elusive and cranial commodity. Happily I have the answer, and as President of North America, I, Willy the Weasel, can make it happen.
Ask anyone when they were at their happiest and invariably they will refer to a time in the past. Depending on the age of the person, this could have been almost anytime within the past 100 years. Depending on a person’s perception of the past, our happiest times could be beyond the ability to remember – 150, 200, even 300 years ago or more! In other words, our happiest times could have been a year ago, twenty years ago or so long ago that no one could tell you if those times were particularly happy or not! Well, friends, they can now, because I have a plan for the past!
Even with no intervention by government in the interests of the population’s well being, thousands of people travel through time each and every weekend of the year, seeking serenity in distant decades, unencumbered by the woes of their modern welfare. During these sojourns, they don’t fret because a friend’s house is better than theirs. They are happy to have a tent to call home! Nor do they worry that they are not wearing the latest logos. They are happy to wear wool and homespun. Even when it’s one hundred degrees and one hundred percent out of current fashion! They do not need newspapers or televisions to inspire imaginations! Stories and songs around a campfire suffice for fun. The women and children busy themselves through the day with healthy chores, like chopping the wood, starting the fire, and cooking the meals, while the men engage in tasks like shooting at targets, shooting the bull or shooting each other. At the end of the outing, they return home - happier than ever - to get a bath, a soft bed and clean clothes.
Friends, you can plainly see there is a great deal of happiness to be derived by living in the past! But maybe going back 100, 200 or more years might be more ecstasy than you can stand. That’s where my plan comes into play - and I must say here that I was inspired by my brilliant approach to the solution of crime in the community - I propose a network of major theme parks where people can actually re-enact any period of their pleasure! These time-line parks would be designed to allow patrons to be totally immersed in the era of their choice, to experience once again those happiest of moments so well remembered in the recesses of their minds: the joy of watching television in black and white on screens so small that viewers must sit within inches of the instrument in order to visualize the video; the comradery of the community rushing to the fall-out shelter; the raucous street riots and neighbourhoods nearly destroyed by malevolent mobs. They will be thrilled to relive the good old days of food and fuel rationing, beside themselves with the news of emerging mad men and continental chaos, or cars that can go from zero to sixty within the confines of a calendar year, or wrapped from head to toe in togs from a tailor’s nightmare!
Yes friends, these parks would be the population’s ticket to paradise – providing the opportunity to relive the past-any past- any time you want, right here in the present! The experience will invigorate all who partake, as they realize that while some things never change, these are the good old days! And they can only get better with inventive ideas from Willy the Weasel.
Vote for the Weasel, friends – you know what you will get! And don’t forget to check your baggage at the door!
Friends, you have probably wondered why I haven’t posted anything of late. The answer is simple – I’ve been waiting to hear what the other candidates have to say, just in case they say anything worthwhile that I can – in my own weaselish fashion – appropriate as my own. I fear both you and I are to be disappointed in that undertaking. Indeed, it seems to be the reverse! All of you who read my brilliant and well thought out insights realize that I am the only one with anything remotely resembling a plan! But you won’t read about me in the New York Times or the Boston Globe, nor will you hear about me on Rush Limbaugh, Dennis Miller or Larry King, CNN, FOX, or MSNBC.
Let me repeat that: you won’t hear about me on Rush (Limbaugh), Dennis (Miller) or Larry (King).
Note: The above personages – Rush, Dennis and Larry (that’s Rush Limbaugh, Dennis Miller and Larry King) are mentioned in the belief that if you are looking for the wit and wisdom of any of these pundits, the repeated use of their names will show up on your search engine, thereby leading to you to the wit and wisdom of WILLY THE WEASEL, giving us the chance to show you the error of your ways if you are thinking of voting for anybody else but WILLY THE WEASEL, whose campaign you have not heard about on the shows hosted by Rush Limbaugh, Dennis Miller or Larry King. If we have missed out on some other talk show hosts, it is because we either don’t consider you important, we’ve never heard of you or we don’t know how to spell your names.
We urge you all who come to this site to tell your friends about it and strongly recommend (without getting violent, unless you have to) that they at least consider voting for a real weasel instead of these other wannabees!
(And now a new proposal from Willy the Weasel)
Friends, I am moved to make a policy proposal of some seriousness. Hardly a day goes by that we are not subjected to yet another atrocity involving the use of concentrated explosives.
Those old enough may remember that airline hijackings used to be fairly commonplace at one time. Anyone who wanted to go somewhere simply pointed a gun at the stewardess and made his demands. You actually didn’t even need a gun – the airline cutlery was good enough! But then terrorists got into the act.
The usual result was that these idiots would have the plane flown somewhere, sit it out on the tarmac and make their demands. Scores of television crews would arrive to cover the negotiations – a ruse played out only long enough to make it a newsworthy event for all involved – and then soldiers or commandos or whatever would swing into action, release all (or most) of the hostages (sometimes things departed from the script) and kill all or most of the terrorists. This scenario worked rather well until the terrorists found their ranks diminishing at a rapid rate and the news media found the story somewhat repetitive. But then, that’s what progress is all about – you reach for a new plateau, play it for what it’s worth and go on to the next plateau. In this case, the object became not to just simply abscond with the aircraft but to blow it out of the sky!
I do not mean to make light of the situation, but how do you prevent such a thing!?! Now it may not be very sensitive of me, but I do have a plan.
You know those contraptions they send your luggage through – the stuff you intend to take on the plane with you? What they have to do is make those things bigger – like the containers on bomb disposal trucks. In fact, that’s what we’re talking about here. They send your stuff through there, past some ultra high frequency signal, guaranteed to set off anything explosive. I’m sure they have that kind of thing. If they don’t, then there’s a huge incentive to invent one. We’re talking millions of dollars worth of airplane, not to mention passengers and lawsuits. All the big luggage and cargo should go through these too. In fact, you really can’t tell about the passengers any more, either, so they should take a walk through as well – single file, one at a time. You don’t want to get the innocents, but it would be no loss if blew up a bad guy.
These, uh, “security monitors”, they should be set up at the point you actually get on the plane. Mostly they seem to be set up just in front of the passenger departure lounge. Such a placing, if a bomb were discovered, would almost certainly facilitate an early departure for everyone under the current application. With my modifications, these monitors could be used effectively at entrances and exits in all sorts of edifices.
In the event that this method of terrorist bomb and weapon control is running ahead of modern sensitivities, there is, happily, an alternative – they send the luggage, every last bit of it, by another plane. A drone plane. Cargo only! That way, if the thing blows up, costs are kept to a minimum. Now you may say that would present a certain inconvenience and delay to the traveller. Well I say “What’s new?” Most airlines specialize in inconvenience and delay already! But it is, in fact, safer and more efficient! You know in advance your luggage is probably headed for some place entirely different from where you are. And that could be Kingdom Come!
Check your sanity at the door, folks. Vote for Willy the Weasel – you know what you will get!
Remember, as I open this policy paper, that sleep should not be taken for granted. Yes, friends, I am once again writing those words by which future generations will live, breathe, grow old, and eventually die with tubes sticking out of embarrassing places, at, let’s see now, 12:33 in the morning. Of course, my alarm clock insists that it’s 12:36, but that’s only because it can’t stand not to have its own way. I suspect that sometimes when I’m not looking they engage in savage catfights like you see on those horrible soap operas wherein talentless women wearing makeup thick enough to decorate a cake with stare at an area just to the left of the camera and emit a fairly high-pitched whine for upwards of half an hour. Oh, look, it’s 12:39, or 12:37 by my computer clock. Isn’t this fun, being an insomniac? Doesn’t it just fill you with oodles of joy to know that I, a very important politician, stay awake at night thinking about the consequences of eliminating potential Mexican terrorism, should there ever be any Mexican terrorists, by stopping authentic pińatas at the border and filling them with hamster cage waste? Next thing you know, I’ll come barging up behind you in the supermarket with a tin foil hat and start wrapping myself with strings of those plastic bags they have in the produce section! Wow! 12:44! Doesn’t time fly?
Anyway, as many of you know Toronto has had a rough time the last few years, having been plagued by SARS, two major child abductions, and Richard Simmons every time that LifeFest thing is in town. All of these things were devastating to the community, but we have managed to pull through, through good times and bad, by staring, almost zombie-like, at 24-hour cable news networks for longish parts of the day. No matter how equally devastated and distraught they appeared to be, the news channels loved that stuff. Ate it up. They were all probably mentally cheering to themselves, “Yes! Now we don’t have to put on that public interest story about the pet squirrel who knits sweaters for orphans!”, which is just the kind of story that turned me off from local news in the first place. Local news has gone above and beyond just reporting the news. It’s now enabling the community, whatever that means, and has gone out of its way to tell you which stories should affect you. Like one about a bunch of people in an apartment complex who don’t have a garden outside of their building, so they each invested in and gardened a thin strip of grass outside a chain link fence that didn’t technically belong to them, so they’re now in this huge battle with the city to try to get official control over it and not let it be removed. It doesn’t matter whether or not you care about this particular story. Because the local news teams are going to MAKE you care, dammit, and if you don’t like it you can be tied up and have cement poured over your feet just like that unfortunate man who happened to send a letter to the complaints department and was found three days later in a car impound lot having been crushed into a cube. So when something really exciting happens, they jump all over it, launching extensive investigative reports which try to get at every possible angle of the story, even ones they had only seen in hallucinations during out-of-body experiences caused by eating Indian food. This is, to a lesser extent, what the big cable news channels do as well. The problem with these channels, such as CNN, is that they’re basically just repeating the same stuff over and over while they wait for something to actually happen. In the days before major hurricanes in Florida, which by now occur so frequently that industry-standard timetables have been printed so that no two hurricanes ravage the same district at once, everybody just talked about what various experts from meteorological institutes thought would happen to those areas (“They’re gonna get hit by a hurricane!”) and checking in every three minutes or so with on-the-spot reporters struggling to talk amongst the howling wind and rain and giving their own descriptions of exactly what was going on (“We’re gettin’ hit by a hurricane!”). They did this over and over for several days until the hurricane actually hit, after which they talked to the same experts and the same on-the-spot reporters for the following week and a half about exactly how bad it was and why, despite multiple obvious warnings, this had caught every totally off-guard. Maybe, with the obvious exception of hurricane Katrina, there really wasn’t any other hurricane. Maybe they all ran out of news to focus on and decided to play tapes of last year’s hurricanes, which were re-recordings of the previous year’s hurricane, and so on, and so on, until the newscaster announces that when they return they will have more on this exciting potential “Cold War”.
Anyway, that’s enough about the media. Looking back to see exactly how I got to this point, as far as I can tell it started out having something to do with Toronto, which is where we now begin. Toronto has been plagued by gun violence, which as everybody knows starts from gangs, who are currently in the parking lot behind my house pretending to play basketball. I know they’re really there to shoot small rodents, which is a skill they will need when it comes time for them to establish a New World Order. (I know that’s actually militia, but it’s close enough.) Generally, this is how it works: A black person, or a white person who wants to be a black person so he won’t look like a total dork when during the course of a rap song he uses the word “balogna”, is suddenly designated, for whatever reason, to be “cool” enough to “hang out” with a group of people called a “gang”.
Gangs are people who stay up all night vandalizing buildings and shooting basketball and smoking cigarettes and basically being total thugs. It doesn’t matter how long you wait for them to leave the nearest parking lot, school or mall. Unless they have something better to do, such as vandalise a building, they are going to stay put. Sometimes more will even show up and turn their speakers up from “10” to “Meteor Impact” so that the entire tri-county area can hear 50 Cent talk about drugs and crime and prostitution accompanied by an annoying repetitive beat. You can’t try to “wait it out” because they never leave, and you can’t sleep because the horrible music is blaring at just one decibel less than would cause you to go instantly deaf.
That’s not even counting the ones who do nothing but race down your street in the middle of the night blaring music by a hip-hop artist with a name like “Acid Convulsions”. On Victoria Day they also fire firecrackers out the windows, but that’s a story for another day, such as when I am finished treatment for last Victoria’s Day’s third-degree burns. It’s not that these people never get tired like normal human beings. It’s just that the city streets, not to mention late-night television and about 500 MTV’s, have gradually caused these gang members to become nocturnal. Who needs to sleep at night? they wonder. There will be plenty of time to do it in high school remedial class.
So how do we stop this problem and dissolve the gangs? Simple! We just release the mimes! Everybody hates mimes! If the gangs are all off shooting mimes, they won’t have enough bullets left to shoot us!
Of course, there are still some problems with this plan. The big problem with this is that it’s illegal, immoral, and is basically, in the words of Toronto Mayor David Miller “a big no-no”. Also, it could ricochet off the mime’s five hundred layers of makeup and strike an innocent civilian with an actual purpose in society, such as “restroom attendant”. But I have a solution. It basically works the same way as one would “play the race card”.
Prong one: As everybody is aware, African-American people can play the race card to get out of any largely minor offence even if it’s amazingly obvious that they are guilty. For example, if a black person is speeding at 120 miles per hour down residential streets with the blood of innocent crossing guards on the hood and is stopped by a white police officer, he can call the officer racist in a court of law and get off scot-free. This can sometimes even apply to parking tickets, even if the person in question has never met the officer who gave the ticket, and is, for all he knows, a black person himself. If the officer was also a mime then the jury will let him off even if he shoots the mime right in the middle of the courtroom. “Let the record show that nothing just transpired,” his lawyer would say, “and also that we’re going to need a mop and a wheelbarrow.” (Of course, there have been some variations of these procedures. For example, instead of playing the race card, O.J. Simpson insisted that there was a “real killer”.)
Prong two: With the obvious exception of animal cruelty, these days anybody can call anything art. In the early twentieth century somebody, I don’t remember who, actually signed a public urinal and called it art. I don’t know if this was planned or not. If it was pure spontaneity then I can only just imagine the look on people’s faces when he carried it out of there.
Prong three: If you have ever seen a mime perform “Walking Against the Wind” you will want to kill them on the spot and nobody will blame you.*
My solution, therefore, is to call it art. Mimes, being the overly dramatic freaks of nature (or, as they probably would prefer it, performers who react to an unseen world, not that that makes it sound any better) that they are, will act very dramatically as they die. If a gang member dresses up as another mime and shoots him, it can just be called art and classified as part of the act. And if he is arrested by anyone the gang member can play the race card to get out of it. The only danger to him is that he might get shot by another gang member dressed as a mime who has mistaken him for a real mime, who could get shot by a gang member dressed up as a mime, and so on. If this chain of events happens then it could prove to be even better plan than before, with only one gang member left in the entire city, all thanks the magnificent properties of art!
Who says that good culture is dead?
*As you can tell, I sort of have it in for mimes.
Over the past few decades, some disturbing trends have emerged. It seems like every day that we read stories which claim that children aren’t reading enough, or that your average 10-year-old can’t spell “cat”, or that teens surveyed had a hard time naming state capitals without losing control of crucial motor functions. The main message is: Children are getting stupider.
And this isn’t just something you have to take my word for: it can be tested at any time, right near your area. Just walk up to a group of teenagers and ask them two simple questions. If they can name ten celebrities who have played vampires, but cannot name the core principles of gauge theory, then it will become quite apparent that they have the mental acuity of roadkill. Also, you should probably not announce this conclusion to the children you survey, or else remember to wear a bulletproof vest.
However, there might be a perfectly good reason for this. Did you ever stop to consider that maybe it’s not our children’s fault? That maybe it’s the system that is to blame, due to gross mismanagement of education over the past few decades? Of course you didn’t, because you’ve heard the sort of music they listen to. So, basically we’re back to square one, having to deal with kids nowadays being drooling morons. Sadly, there’s nothing we can really do about that, apart from maybe fitting them with saddles and using them for transportation, guiding them from place to place by dangling a stick with a cell phone attached to it. So let’s just pretend it’s the system’s fault. What the hell, we have time to kill.
Back in the early days of civilization, education was hard to come by. There were no textbooks; no desks; not even the most basic placard about diversity. Education only existed in the form of a few nomadic encyclopedia salesmen, almost all of whom were trampled by mammoths. The only thing close to a teacher would be a tribe’s elders, who would attempt to teach the rest of the tribe knowledge passed down from generation to generation.
Of all the lessons a chief would need to learn, the ability to make fire was the most important. For this, he would need to consult the elders, who would sit around and grunt incomprehensibly. This was because language had not been invented, so the chief would get absolutely nowhere, and spend the rest of his time sulking in the den, banging rocks together in the hopes that this would make fire. It should be noted that these people had brains the size of walnuts. Come the next ice age, all the tribes had died out apart from the ones with enough sense to go down to the store and buy some matches.
During the ice age, education evolved somewhat. Human beings now had primitive languages, which encouraged the pursuit of intelligence by enabling them to be really snotty about each other’s grammar.
They were also learning to record their knowledge. For years, just about the only thing anybody thought to paint on a cave wall was some generic four-legged animal they had managed to subdue with rocks. But one day, some brilliant caveman realized that these walls could be used to communicate actual information, including newfangled concepts such as words. The introduction of a written language was a monumental breakthrough that would forever change the society of primitive humans, who showed their appreciation by subduing the clever one with rocks. This gave birth to another staple of the education system, which was not seen regularly again until the establishment of high schools.
Several thousand years passed until the Romans occurred. One of the first great civilizations, they had made many advances in the field of education, such as inventing the dunce cap and expanding the old Greek Sex Ed. course to include relations with women. They also invented Latin, which is a language used by snotty people to show you that they went to a good university.
At some point, man had also invented counting, so the Romans found themselves in the unfortunate position of having to record the amounts of things before anybody had thought up the concept of numbers. To this end, they dug out an old box of letters they weren’t using and decided that certain combinations of these could form numerical values. This proved very entertaining for ten-year-olds, who used to giggle themselves silly at the number 509. The use of this number soon became something of an informal staple of mathematical education, until it was made redundant by the invention of the pocket calculator and its unprecedented ability to spell “BOOBLESS”.
After the fall of Rome, a long period of history occurred, and damned if I can’t name a single thing that happened in it. So, to cheer ourselves up about the whole education situation, let’s just pretend there were dinosaurs.
Soon enough, it was time for the Renaissance, which everybody was really pleased about until they became annoyed by all the film crews showing up to make period dramas. What’s more, the education system had grossly declined since Roman times, thanks to a period called the “Dark Ages”, which was caused when a pterodactyl escaped and ate all the knowledge. This meant that, for the average person, their city had been transformed from a squalid, lice-ridden dump into a squalid, lice-ridden dump full of ponces and poets and men who wore tights. It was no wonder, then, that people wanted to get the hell out there and colonize America.
Once they got to America, they discovered that it was full of squatters, calling themselves “Indians”. This struck many people as odd, because India is nowhere near America. It was a full thirty seconds before the first plucky explorers realised that these Indians must not have a very good education system, and so they were cleverly able to get rid of them by buying their lands for about the price of a submarine sandwich. This taught the Indians the value of mathematics, and those plucky explorers were really kicking themselves for it several years later when they lost all their money to Indian Casinos.
Eventually, the 20th century arrived, and by this point the education system had fleshed out to include many important subjects, such as geography, political studies, and how to crouch so as to avoid being hurt by nuclear weapons. Unfortunately, the Sixties soon arrived and rapidly changed society with the introduction of hippies, who were groups of hairy drug users who rejected materialism as an excuse for being poor. When they weren’t combing lice out of their hair, they spoke of peace, equality and loving your fellow man. Clearly this sort of anti-American garbage just wouldn’t stand, and despite numerous attempts by the police, eventually the government had to implement the Seventies just to get them to shove off.
The effect this had on education was disastrous, leading to a pathetic, namby-pamby sissy system in which students were steered towards pathetic skills such as home economics, and away from good ol’ fashioned manly American skills, such as hunting game. I proposed at the time that we compromise by having our children shoot the hippies, but this was turned down due to what I can only assume was flagrant granola-induced bias.
So that’s basically where we stand: A grand, ancient system designed to help our children learn valuable skills, such as how to make fun of dweebs, degraded to the point where students would rather “tweet” things during science class than rip open a frog and poke at its insides, like a normal person.
So far we have established that: (a) the education system was ruined by the sort of people who wear ponchos; and (b) children are too stupid to absorb any of the actual information they’re being taught. And they said cell phone radiation was harmless.
Now, if you put these two facts together, you might leap to the conclusion that clearly the education system is an enormous waste of money, and we might as well just disband everything and declare civilization a failure. Well, hold on there, Mr. or Mrs. Quitter! Just because the system is useless, it doesn’t mean we should abolish it. The school system is the closest thing we have to putting our young people in a kennel, and without it, the only place they could go is out into the rest of the world, where their shrieking and squeaky-voiced stupidity pose a serious risk of annoying me. Also, the teachers’ unions would eat us alive. I think there is a better way.
Clearly our children are not being taught the right things. The current curriculum contains worthless elements such as “facts” and “historical events” that have no impact on everyday life. You would think, from the way schools act, that these events would matter in every important aspect of life, especially in politics. However, I have personally consulted my personal consultants, and they assure me that the vast majority of people in history are dead, and are therefore not a demographic worth targeting. The only exception they could find was Senator John McCain, whom carbon dating reveals to have originated during the same period as granite, but he’s hardly a swing voter. So, clearly, if history does not apply to such an important field as this, then it must logically be useless.
Facts, too, are worthless in solving any real world problem. When your sweater begins to fall apart and dangle long threads as you walk, and these threads catch in the closing doors of a bus, and this bus proceeds to take you on an impromptu journey of three, maybe four city blocks, just about the last thing to pop into your mind will be: “The wetlands of the Boreal Forest serve as mating grounds for over twelve million water fowl.”
About the only time when facts are useful is when you are a contestant on some trivia-heavy game show like Jeopardy!, and even then you’ll probably be too distracted trying to figure out what the hell “potent potables” are.
So this knowledge is effectively useless. And, worse still, it puts one at a great disadvantage during the only event in which you are likely to use it: Pointless arguments. You would imagine that facts and events would help you in this area, but they don’t. Only one thing really matters during an argument: Being right.
To this end, I’ve worked out a new type of lesson plan, one that will teach our children the valuable skills needed to debate collaboratively, in aid of achieving, by consensus, the projects and ideas that will help to craft a new, more enlightened age. As an example, here is an excerpt from Lesson One, “How to Be Right by Lying”.
Let’s say, for example, that you find yourself in an argument about the state of the Amazon rainforest. Your opponent’s position is that the rainforest should be protected because it contains a number of horrifying creatures that need to be saved from extinction, even though you suspect that this person would, if they woke up to find one crawling across his or her face, beat it to death with their shoe. Your position is that the rainforest should be torn down and replaced with something actually useful, such as a 600 000-car parking garage. This would give Brazilians the advantage of easy parking, and you the advantage of annoying tree-hugging celebrity twerps like Sting.
Unfortunately, since this is a topic your opponent cares about, they will undoubtedly know a great deal about it, whereas the sum total of your education about the Amazon rainforest involves blowing your nose on a World Wildlife Fund leaflet. The only way to dislodge the booger of truth from their nostril of righteousness is to completely undermine them. This means you are going to have to “improvise”, which is the polite way of saying “kick verbal ass”.
Let’s say, for example, that your opponent tells you how many acres of rainforest are lost every day. This number is clearly wrong, considering that we’ve had this same number repeated to us for several decades, and if we really were losing that many trees then by now all we’d have is a big empty space with a little sign reading “AMAZON APARTMENTS – PHASE I”.
However, it is likely that this fact is backed up by some important scientist goober, so there is no use trying to talk reason into them. In the mind of the naïve arguer, facts have special powers that render counter-arguments useless. If you phrase your response in a way that even slightly indicates that you’re not the utmost authority on the subject, your opponent will hide behind their fact and blow raspberries at you in an argument-winning manner. The shame of your defeat will echo throughout your community. Everywhere you go, people will whisper about you behind your back. Also, your parents will claim you were adopted. If you were already adopted, they will claim it was by somebody else. Clearly, this will not stand.
If you are to refute your opponent’s point, you must be able to beat his fact. To do so, simply take your central point, such as “the rainforest should be torn down”, and insert an accredited source at the beginning. You might get, for example: “According to a 2009 paper by Dr. Joseph Carter of the University of Washington, the rainforest should be torn down.” You might further augment this with very specific details such as, “According to Dr. Carter, despite a localized deforestation rate of a million billion acres per day, at least 83% of that figure is regrown, year-on-year. He went on to explain that the forest was very happy up there in Tree Heaven.”
Unable to disprove anything, your opponent will be forced to accept such a plausible display of evidence. This method can be adjusted based on how arrogant or zealous your opponent is. (“According to a 2010 study by Prof. Phil Shane of Johns Hopkins University, you suck.”)
Should you follow this technique and still lose the argument, never fear! There are still many other professional arguing techniques to learn. Also, I know the number of a guy who can make your opponent “disappear”.
By now, you’ll naturally see the enormous value of these sorts of skills, and why it is vitally important to teach them to our children while they still have enough working brain cells. Arguing skills will better serve our students in life than study of the Boreal Forest ever would. This can, of course, be expanded into a full curriculum, covering everything from childish name-calling to the all-important “your mother”. It is my firm belief that, if we work hard to change this failing system, we can provide for a new generation of young people, a generation that is cleverer, more effective, and angrier about sports.