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Outsider

The writing's on The Wall

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Spent a few minutes the other day listening to the D-11 School Board discuss hiring a new superintendent. Such barely concealed mutual contempt! Such venom! Such hostility, primly veiled under a protective layer of political correctness! And to think, it wasn't long ago that school boards consisted of amiable, well-meaning, mutually respectful pillars of the community.

Those days are over. We're in the Age of Mean. The participants are nasty, the meetings brutish, the terms of office short. The Age of Reason is long past -- like the beasts of the jungle, we claw and scratch for any advantage.

So isn't it time, at last, to start anew, to see our world as it really is? Isn't it time to junk the so-called Constitution and come up with a document that more accurately reflects today's realities? Isn't it time to get rid of the fancy-schmancy Bill of Rights that just provides refuge for criminals, abortionists, porn peddlers, gun nuts and liberal journalists who ought to move to France?

I think so! And so here it is: a new, improved, thoroughly modern, 21st-century Bill o' Rights.

Article I. The Right to be Arrested and Imprisoned: The United States is governed by the Rule of Law -- many, many, many laws. Whether you know it or not, you're violating a bunch of them. Duly constituted authorities may at any time discover your multiple crimes and arrest you.

Article II. The Right to Inherit: Few choices are as important as your choice of parents and grandparents. In its benevolence, your government rewards appropriate choices by refusing to tax anything you may inherit from wise and thrifty forebears, thereby giving you an even more substantial advantage over those of your peers who foolishly chose to be born into poverty.

Article III. The Right to Consume: You have the right to spend as much money as possible on badly- made junk that you don't really need, and the corollary right to throw it away when it breaks.

Article IV. The Right to be Stupid: Being smart, well informed, and judicious in your beliefs and opinions is, for most of us, a total waste of time. Want to be rich? Predatory cunning beats smart any day. Spend your time scheming, schmoozing, flattering and stealing -- not reading and reflecting.

Article V. The Right to be a Jerk: Whether it's clandestinely dumping toxic effluent into a pristine waterway, roaring through a residential neighborhood on your Harley at 2 a.m., or just cutting a monster fart in a crowded theater, we all have the right, and the responsibility, to do whatever we please, whenever and wherever we please.

Article VI. The Right to Dodge the Bill: Applies to citizens whose family income exceeds $500,000 annually. Once you reach that magic number, you'll contribute proportionately less in taxes and benefit more and more from the poor suckers who help finance your lifestyle.

Article VII. The Right to be Swindled: If you're too scrupulous, too unlucky, too lazy or too dumb to get rich, you can still help! Invest in penny stocks, buy lottery tickets, play the slots, buy a jen-yoo-wine Dali print ... someone will profit, even if it's not you!

Article VIII. The Right to Party: Our birthright. Includes your right to consume massive quantities of alcohol, play highly amplified heavy metal music at 3 a.m. and throw up on your date's shoes -- which brings us to ...

Article IX. The Right to Malinger: Let others work like miserable dogs for peanuts. Especially if you're hung over, you have the right to work as little as possible. Look at your paycheck -- if it's not in six figures, why work? After all, you're worth so much more!

Article IX. The Right to Move Up to Big Money: This one trumps all the rest. Just Do It -- and just how isn't important! You don't have to tell ... and we won't ask.

So now you understand District 11 board members Eric Christen and Craig Cox. They're just part of an irrational, largely malevolent universe that has little to do with the luminous rationality of the Enlightenment. You'll understand, and it'll be OK, because you won't care about kids, and education, and school boards any more. You'll spend your days getting rich, and your nights partying.

We don't need no education

We don't need no thought control ...

Hey! Teacher! Leave those kids alone ...

-- johnhazlehurst@earthlink.net

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