Sunday, November 29, 2009

Duty To Rescue: How To Find Out Who Your Real Friends Are

So they've taken away your right to pursue happiness, but at least life and liberty are yours to keep . . . maybe. If you choke on a chicken bone or fall in an urban tiger pit, random onlookers can enjoy the show without the slightest bit of guilt while your life dwindles to nothing. Gays might be second class citizens but innocent bystanders are fully protected, for here in our glorious nation there is no duty to rescue.

Let's say your hair has erupted in flames after a tragic cigarette lighting incident. All your smoke-mate has to do to save you from a Michael Jackson-esque fate is to dump his Big Gulp over your head. Then again, he's his own man - and what have you ever done for him? Frankly, you can burn for all he and the United States government care. In Canada and many of our European counterparts, allowing someone to burn to death, be run over by a train, or drown in a 2 centimeter puddle of their own drool is at least a close relative to murder. Conversely, in the freedom-loving U.S. of A., we can watch our neighbors get mugged, raped or killed without even having to phone the authorities. Wouldn't want to interrupt tonight's episode of Two and a Half Men.

Allowing someone to die while your pick your nose is nowhere near as terrible as allowing gay marriage. Everyone knows the hierarchy of crimes: petty theft, molestation, manslaughter, homicide, consensual gay relationship. Remember that the next time you cross traffic.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Ice Bridge To Nowhere

Has the government's ban on gay marriage left you out in the cold? Now that our nation's most northern state has banned same-sex unions, the onslaught of a Maine winter could leave you feeling alone and isolated. The only solution is to build a 1,000 mile ice bridge out from under that love-avalanche.

Although everyone loves a good ice bridge, they are only possible for a small, privileged population. Every year, passages are created by layering man-made ice over barely frozen bodies of water in order to transport enormous amounts of fuel and resources to sequestered factories via, get this, 12,000 pound semi-trucks. That's right, the government has not only condoned but subsidized loaded semis to traverse a thin crust of newly-formed ice, all in the name of commerce. Surely this practice must be safe and regulated, since the government is only looking out for our best interest. Oh wait, this practice has led to dozens of deaths and hundreds of injuries, even when the trucks travel at excruciatingly slow speeds so as to not create waves below the brittle ice supporting their enormous girth? Shit.

You know who's really good at successfully negotiating across ice? Brian Boitano. Maybe he would help you if you weren't so fussy about gay marriage.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Just Hangin' Out, Noodling With The Boys

Noodling. Grabbling, graveling, hogging, dogging, gurgling, tickling, stumping ... catfisting? If you're wondering what these words have in common, it's not about last Saturday night. Apparently, all of these strange epithets refer to a very dangerous and barely legal fishing practice. You may not be able to marry the person of your choice, but the government had better not try to stop you from noodling a catfish.

Noodling is only legal in eleven states and is, for the most part, a subversive and guerilla practice. Allow us to explain further: a manly pack of shirtless, well-toned lads strip down to their jorts and submerge themselves in a shallow body of water (read: "crick"). Once the testosterone-heavy group is in the water, the alpha male finds the best "hidey-hole" in which to bury the better part of his arm. If he is lucky, his arm will be partially devoured by a catfish. Unlucky noodlers become a feast for beavers, alligators, snakes, or the worst kind of muskrat love. Once bitten, the noodler (lucky or not) triumphantly raises his trophy above his head like some kind of terrifying reverse-puppet for all the world to see: catfish, rodent, or bloody stub of an arm.

Although this is a highly dangerous, unsanitary and inhumane practice, pro-noodling states got it right: people should be able to stick their body down any dark hole and damn the consequences. This is America! So go out there and start punching through the gills of every unsuspecting catfish for the red, white and blue.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Strip Mining: The government says ‘Take your top off’

With all the bans on gay marriage in the United States (45 in all, in addition to the federal prohibition) you might be saying to yourself, ‘Gosh, I’m going to be unmarried for a long, long time!’ And you’d be right, except for one thing: Soon, sooner than many of us would have ever dreamed possible, people are going to come together to achieve a common goal: making human life impossible by wrecking the environment.

As we careen toward our own doom, one of the major practices contributing to our destruction is strip mining. Prior to the industrial revolution, there was no reason to mine for coal, which is the principle product extracted in the mining process. But, thank goodness for freedom (or free enterprise, in this case) national laws quickly adapted to the spirit of the times. Despite the calls from some corners that strip mining was a public health hazard and a moral outrage, excavators were soon clearing as much as 12,000 cubic meters of useless untouched wilderness per hour.

Now, I bet you’re wondering the same thing I used to: ‘Is it really that bad? Aren’t many of these mining sites reclaimed after the allegedly essential coal has been ruthlessly extracted?’ The answer is, ‘Of course not, you big silly!’ While federal and state mandates exist that require areas damaged by mining to be ‘reclaimed’, this term has been steeped in bureaucracy, wrapped in a thick layer of local provisions, and deep-fried in the interests of big business. After a mountaintop has been efficiently flattened, it can be ‘reclaimed’ in ways that include the construction of an airport, storage facility, golf course, trailer park, landfill, or penitentiary, just as nature intended. Who would even consider the option of planting quick-growing, non-native grasses when you can have convicts occupy the site instead?

Perhaps you’re thinking, ‘Ok, this sounds almost as bad as gay marriage…but it’s not like people actually die because of strip mining, right?’ Well, ask the family of Jeremy Davidson. You certainly can’t ask him: in 2004 a boulder dislodged in a mining operation rolled hundreds of feet and crashed into the house where the three-year-old was sleeping, crushing him to death. As far as our research indicates, gay marriage never rolled down a mountain and crushed anyone. It also never buried thousands of miles of Appalachian stream, poisoned anyone’s drinking water, or flooded a whole town out of their houses.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Busking: When Freedom of Speech Asks You For Money

What are buskers? You see them all the time on the metro playing their violin concertos or making life-size balloon animal replicas of the Statue of Liberty. Sometimes you wish you could grab your ukulele and join them, other times you wish they would take their one good tooth and sing in someone else's ear. I am referring, of course, to those shameless abusers: street performers.

Don't get it twisted, I love a good busk. I know plenty of buskers, in fact, some of my best friends are buskers, so you know I'm not prejudiced. I am not saying it's wrong, I'm just saying I don't want to see it. If these buskers want to practice their musical numbers or sword-swallowing, they could at least do it in the privacy of their own homes.

Never mind the fact that some of history's greatest figures got their start as buskers: Benjamin Franklin, Bob Hope, Robin Williams, Ani Fu*king DiFranco, Jesus Christ -- or is that the same person? These people have no sense of decency, parading around like they have the right. Oh wait, they do? Oh, it's a certain, inalienable right? Well, damn. Apparently, buskers are protected by freedom of speech. Free expression is a basic human right and buskers can do whatever they want, wherever they want. Forget marrying the person you love, at least you can mime in traffic, or sing karaoke on the bus. Try being suspended in an ice block for 48 hours above Time Square, or building an army of trash men. It doesn't hurt society the way gay marriage does.

Who wants to see a group of well-groomed dancers in MC Hammer pants scare the skinny-jeans off of L.A. hipsters, or witness the World Famous Bushman jump out from within a eucalyptus tree to startle San Francisco's population? And yet, day after day, captive audiences are forced to tolerate this perfectly legal, constitutionally protected practice. We should put a measure on the ballot to end this madness!

Looks like Bert is going to stay in business. Maybe someday we'll see the same level of flexibility and freedom granted to gay couples looking to practice their inalienable rights.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Private Prisons: For Fun and Profit

Times are tough. We're in a recession, in case you haven't heard. Especially since the government won't let you file a joint tax return with your same-sex partner, money is shorter than ever. The solution is simple: start your own for-profit prison.

Little did you know that roughly 120,000 of our nation's 2.3 million inmates are housed in privately owned and operated penitentiaries. These facilities keep both federal and state criminals and are often contracted by the United States government when space and resources run low. Without saying that it's a cheap and easy way to confine criminals, let's just say... it is.

Federal prisons are so passe. What's the fun in having a government funded and organized correctional facility when private prisons have a much higher rate bankruptcy? Additionally, as guards have a history of striking in these back-yard prisons it's much easier to have an Azkaban-style mass breakout. Not to mention the fact that these private prisons are rarely subject to the same scrutiny or standards as federal enclosures. Never mind that a number of these insta-prisons seem to be cropping up in vacated factories and warehouses of communities suffering from the industrial crisis. Or that most of them are owned by businessmen, moonlighting as wardens.

It appears the standard of security is as big of a sham as the standard of equality.

Getting an Eye-Full: Strip Joints and Where to Find Them

So, the government wants to keep you out of holy matrimony. As the old adage says "When in Rome, do as the Romans do." It's time to accept your life-sentance of singularity with a trip to the straight bachelor's traditional stomping ground: The Strip Club.

The last fifty years have seen a progressively more liberal take on what's legal and what isn't at these clubs, although certain lines have been drawn. The 1991 Supreme Court case Barnes v. Glen Theatre Inc. ruled that states have complete control over how much skin their exotic dancers can show. This ranges from fully nude, to topless, to a more conservative "no nipples" rule. Apparently, nipples are a state issue.

Meanwhile, some states don't care what you do in strip clubs, just where it gets done. For example, New York City and San Francisco have zoning laws that require half a mile in between your local skin palace and a residential district or elementary school. What may surround a strip clubs, you might ask? Again, it depends on the state, but bars, hotels and penitentiaries seem popular.

Some states really let it all hang out. In Florida, Rhode Island and Nevada the sky's the limit! Literally, there are no restrictions on anything that occurs within the walls of local strip clubs. The Ocean State doesn't have an age standard for dancers, allowing even underaged gals to parade in the nude.

Civil marriage for everyone might be off the docket, but your ability to get an eye-full is still protected.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Junior Marksmen: Annie Get Your Gun!

One of the greatest things about America is choice. You can choose to do whatever or be whatever you want. If our founding fathers had continued on with the old system of bloodlines and nepotism, George Washington would have been nothing more than a private in the army, John Adams only a country lawyer. Neither had the noble lineage to rise to prominence that would have been required of them in England.

Therefore it is your prerogative, if you so choose, to outfit your child with his (or her) very own rifle. You might be saying to yourself, what ten year old could possibly need a firearm? And you are absolutely right... Don't be silly, it's huntin' season! Between now and the first of the year there is plenty of time to bag as many deer, boars, turkeys, and cotton tail rabbits as a child's arms can carry. If you are wondering how a ten year old could have the strength to shoulder a 15 pound musket or blunderbuss, have no fear, Rogue Rifle Co. is a step ahead of you. They have a custom line of specially designed Junior Rifles. Twenty-two inches long and weighing only two and a half pounds, these high-powered weapons have charming names like the Davey Crickett or the Chipmunk. Colorful specimens, they are fun and youthful. Although most states require the young sharp-shooter be ten to twelve years of age, these rifles will fit your six year old perfectly. That is, at least, according to their marketing.

While many states require permits for Junior Hunters and Trappers, Maine, South Dakota, Oklahoma and Wisconsin send shooters as young as ten years old into the wilderness without the hindrance of a Hunters Education Program. The only restriction? No bear hunting. Wild turkeys? You can start on those at age nine. Local bobcat population getting a little high? No age requirement for those varmints!

So Annie, get your gun. Our equal rights might not be protected, but the sale and manufacture of youth firearms is totally legal.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Cage Fighting: Never Go to Bleed Angry

Now I’d like to discuss a tradition that’s as old as time itself, one that has helped bring order to our society and given its participants the stability vital to the nuclear family. This practice has been the same for generations, and changing it now could endanger not just our values, but our way of life. I’m referring, of course, to cage fighting.

What more fundamental right to do two people of the same sex have than to be sealed into a padded enclosure so that one can beat the other unconscious? Oh sure, no system is perfect, and people are going to get hurt or even killed, but there’s no denying the precedent. This is how people have been legally allowed to injure each other for thousands of years in every culture on Earth! And even if there wasn’t this longstanding tradition of smashing another person’s face in, it’s not for us to judge when consenting adults engage in behavior, even if that behavior includes obscene public violence in front of impressionable youngsters.

Now, I hear what you’re asking. “Isn’t this terribly dangerous, not just for the two people involved, but for their families who get saddled with caring for the injured and the rest of us, helpless spectators of a grotesque blood sport?” The answer is easy: This is what nature intended! To have us resolve our differences, real or imagined, through codified aggression in front of thousands of fans.

Of course, there have to be limits! I’m personally very uncomfortable with the laws in Missouri and Massachusetts that permit kids as young as six to engage in no-holds-barred, child-to-child combat. This doesn’t sit well with me, but I have to respect the fact that child cage-fighting law is primarily a states-rights issue. But I think we can all agree on some restrictions: it just doesn’t seem right to let a man fight a woman, or to let a woman fight a dog! That’s just unnatural, and it hurts more than the two participants; it hurts society.

Of course, this looks like it hurts quite a bit too:

Cage Fighting: Results in thousands of injuries a year, linked to numerous deaths, and legal before gay marriage.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Rodent and Insect Filth in Food:

That's right: Gay marriage may not be legal, but contaminated food sure is!

Once you've made the big decision to get hitched (in a heterosexual marriage, of course!) you'll face one of the most important elements of committing yourself for life to another person: the reception menu!

As Americans, we can rest easy knowing that the government is there to shields us, the citizens and consumers, from potential contamination in our food. Under the protection of the Federal Food and Drug Administration, we can be confident that these laws are enforced with our health and wellness in mind!

Should you have the desire to serve asparagus at your federally-recognised marriage, feel free to tell your guests that the spears certainly aren't more than 10% infested with asparagus beetle eggs or egg sacks. In deciding between chicken or fish, keep in mind that the FDA permits a mere 60 parasitic cysts per every hundred freshwater blue fin herring!

Does your wedding dessert happen to include blackberries? Enjoy the taste of no more than 10 whole insect bodies per every 500-gram-sized serving. And if the garnish includes delicious ground cinnamon, it will contain the bonus of 400 insect fragments in every 50 grams, or an average of 11 rodent hairs in that same amount! Yummy!

Insect filth, parasitic cysts, rodent hair, and beetle eggs in your food! All of it legal before gay marriage. Bon Appetite!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Chimp Ownership: Can't get gay-married? Purchase a Chimp Instead!

Did your plans to marry in the state of Maine fall through last week when voters decided to make gay marriage illegal? Fear not, my friends, for your salvation lays in something just as fulfilling: Chimp ownership. It is perfectly legal and promises the life-long love and companionship you have been denied.

If you aren't sure how to go about acquiring a chimp, there are a few regulations and petitions you should know about. While you may have to apply for a permit to own a pet monkey in the states of Delaware, Idaho, Michigan, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Oregon, thirteen other states have no requirements whatsoever! Just march into your local Pet Monkey's-R-Us and you've got it made.

I don't want to misinform you; there are some places where chimp ownership is illegal. Seventeen states have outright bans on those sweet little primate companions, which is almost as upsetting as the outright bans on gay marriage in 45 states.

Now you're saying to yourself, "Wow! Chimp ownership sounds like it's for me!" That's great. Think of all of fun times you and your pet monkey have in store. Think of the laughter, the cuddling, the matching. Monkey's also make great children, which would work out perfectly for gay couples who are banned from adopting in many states. Just don't get too close to your monkey-baby.