Isn’t this internet communication wonderful? We can instantly send a message, instantly get a reply and instantly blog the entire world with our mundane little thoughts. Unless, you have dial-up then you might as well snail-mail the stuff; it’s faster. Just kidding, of course. After all we are talking U.S.P.S. so you may never get it at all!
This past week, though, I have come across a very disturbing method of communication promulgated by what we call PAC (Political Action Committees) and I’m not intending to be partisan because all sides are capable of abusing our freedom of speech equally, but I was drawn to one instance which broke the straw on this camel’s back. I had previously encountered another example a few weeks back also and I’m quite sure many more like it exist in the realm of internet communications.
I’m sure most of you are all too well familiar with SPAM. You know, the offers to enlarge (insert your smallest body part here . . . figuratively, of course!) anything, increase your wealth to staggering proportions for only $9.95 (and if it were that easy why aren’t the solicitors spending more of their time doing so?), purchase wonder drugs for 1/10 the cost of store prices, and you know the rest, I’m sure. I just read that about 85% of all e-mail delivered today is SPAM. Maybe our wonderfully geeky virus creators could refrain from screwing up our lives with their junk and spend more time focusing their attentions on converting e-mail SPAM into real Spam and that would solve two other major problems: we wouldn’t have to listen to self-righteous multi-millionaire rock stars whining about how much they care about feeding the world because surely the converted Spam would obfuscate the need for them to spend their precious time away from their mansions and teeny-bopper entourages. And the world’s hungry would have a new source of nourishment that the dictators and despots could steal away from them. But at least we will have tried once again in vain.
Unfortunately, SPAM is a necessary part of lives these days. And in their infinite wisdom of caring to get the “necessary” word to the masses, our wonderful PAC’s have now embarked on the process in a somewhat inverted SPAM tact. And this is precisely why I’m looking into a new domain which could make communication easier for all of us in the same style our “caring and concerned” political demagogues among us. Free speech was intended to be a just way to communicate ideas without government interference or retribution, but now the propagandizing and plagiarizing have smacked our freedom full tilt under the guise of concern for the good of America. So http://www.imnotbitenough.com will be capitalizing on their ideas for the benefit of the non-political communicators in internet land.
Let me explain what has happened. If you visit certain websites (and I’ve only investigated the Left side, if you know what I mean) like NARAL, MoveOn, and others like it (You figure out how to get there. If you can’t, you won’t understand what I’m talking about anyway!), you now have the ability to become part of the political process and express free speech. Not necessarily your free speech, but free speech nonetheless. Doesn’t cost anything. You will have to learn how to spell your name and memorize your address. I guess that also implies you will have to learn to read also. And once you’ve done that you might need to acquire some government funding so you can buy a computer, then spend a few dollars a month on an ISP and they’ll provide you with a free e-mail address you can insert into the proper space on the sites since it is required so you can be spammed like every other American. (Just a little thought while you’re waiting for TigerDirect to deliver your E-machine: since you’re so politically active now, use this time to practice punching out your chads so our next election will not be “stolen” by people who do have a little more upstairs than you.) I know. You thought this was going to be easy. There is a price for freedom, though.
Once you have accomplished these heartless and elitist tasks, you’re almost home, that is, once you’ve figured out how to use a browser to get to the sites. My suggestion is you call the person who told you who to vote for in the last election and chances are they have at least an average knowledge of computer workings to get you through. Don’t call me. I probably didn’t vote the way you did. I’d be glad to help but surely the first time something would go wrong you’d blame it on the person I voted for last election and I don’t want to hear it, please. Besides Halliburton probably had something to do in the manufacture of your computer, so face it, they’re all out to get you. You can’t win. And it ain’t getting any better is it? That should tell you something.
Back to the issue. The PAC of your choice has taken SPAM to a level even the lowest on our food chain can successfully speak freely with. With the efficiency of Edgar Bergen and the political virtue of Michael Moore, the masses of the “politically” deformed will now be able to speak directly to their congressman (once they figure out what district they’re in, maybe even if they can remember what state they live in) and voice their valuable and cogent opinions in the spirit of freedom provided by our forefathers. Most of the PAC’s have made the process “brainless.” I can only wonder why they felt the need since people political involved should actually have thinking as a prerequisite. But that’s just me. And I don’t consign myself to most of these sites’ political beliefs so why should I be so bold to feel my rights are trampled upon when someone else intends to speak for someone else with someone else’s idea of what truth and the American Way is all about. If you disagree with me, fine. As long as you say it in your own words. Like I’m doing here, I hope.
Yes, America, you now have the chance to go to any of these sites I mentioned—and you can surely find more either Left or Right—and e-mail your elected official with “meaningful, heartfelt” demagoguery from someone else’s mouth since you obviously are not bright enough to form your own opinion. It’d be kind of like walking into Mickey D’s and having the clerk say “And you’d probably like fries with that!” and you respond “Well, sure.” The logical progression then would be that they eat them for you and absorb all the non-saturated fats and salts into their system, but sacrifice only goes so far. Some things you should have to do for yourself, right? Ideally, anyway.
On the NARAL site, the current topic happened to be the presidential nomination of Judge Roberts to the Supreme Court, a common topic for every talk show in America on air today. I heard mention of opposition by NARAL so I decided to see what they thought and why they thought it. Besides the warped “logic” and hyperbolic innuendo intended to break both knee caps of a distinguished jurist, I was stunned to see mindlessness even more exposed by the method they were attempting to employ in their campaign meant to derail the nomination. Mind you, my opinion of what they say is my opinion so I’m not trying to influence you on what to think about the Judge. I don’t care. But my horror came when I discovered the mindless, deceitful tactics devised to disseminate possibly manufactured opinions to the elected officials of our nation.
I remember statistics discussions many years ago where it was said that a chimpanzee given a typewriter and enough time (and I don’t believe he was employed by the New York Times or CBS News) could successfully type enough legible words that could be combined into a cogent novel. Obviously, NARAL and others have enough constituents of the same order that would make their campaign a successful one, presupposing they could figure out how to turn on the E-machine, anyway, you see. Exercising freedom of speech, this PAC has provided anyone who wants to “express” themselves the way to contact their Congressional representative by providing a template (complete with content) saving them valuable time and preventing them from getting a splitting migraine while thinking for themselves. You can fill in your name, address and e-mail address. Next you can drop down a little window, find your state and listing of your representative (Advil is not provided by the site so just pick anybody. It’s still a vote, right?) In fact, you can select a few representatives a mass mail them all. And in the message window:
As your constituent, I am urging you to oppose John Roberts, President Bush’s nominee to the Supreme Court.
If Roberts is confirmed to a lifetime appointment, there is little doubt that he will work to overturn Roe v. Wade. As Deputy Solicitor General under the first President Bush, he argued to the Supreme Court that “Roe was wrongly decided and should be overruled….”
Appointment to the Supreme Court allows unparalleled power and opportunity to shape national law and policy for generations. An anti-choice judge, if elevated to the Supreme Court, could tip the balance in many cases dealing with reproductive rights and other personal freedoms. Roberts, who has demonstrated hostility to the right to choose, will very likely be such a judge. The American public deserves a nominee that can be counted on to uphold constitutional rights.
How good can freedom get? Why waste time thinking about it? He’s a Bush nominee, so what more is there to say?
You may agree with NARAL’s position. But to influence the vote of a representative of the U.S. representative with inverted SPAM? That’s freedom? That’s propaganda straight out of Mein Kampf or the Communist Manifesto.
I used the opportunity to make use of this convenient template to contact my representatives. I just changed it a little as well as sending it to the NARAL contact. Here is what I said:
“It is quite curious that the intellectualism of your supporters is held in question simply from the fact that you do not have the faith in them to compose their own verbiage communicating their opinions with which to contact elected officials and influence opinion and legislation. Your provisions for force-feeding your clientele with pre-canned dissertations of well-worn talking points which they, no doubt, are incapable of formulating themselves simply because truth rarely needs clarification and, where as, lies can often become entangled webs which can hang the unsuspected, it is quite interesting that the phrases “leading sheep to slaughter” or the activity of lemmings leaping to their death from the heights of Britannia’s cliffs remind me of the shallow and manipulating tactics used by your organization to mislead people who ignorantly and childishly hold noble causes but are too robotic to realize that what an organization says and what an organization really values, in a political sense, are not necessarily the same in scope and content. Perhaps you would be much more effective in your campaign using one of the e-mail viruses that hijack addresses and do the bulk mailing yourself to ensure that your message will get to the officials in a timelier manner. With that tactic, you could save a lot of your supporters the necessary brain power of typing their name in your spaces with your mealy-mouthed pre-typed “thoughts” below. After all pressing the “Send” button could unintentionally cause their heads to swell thinking they are contributing to the welfare of the world which may generate a massive migraine causing them to take an unscheduled nap thus missing the next crucial campaign you generate for them to sign on to. And we really don’t want all that brainpower to go to waste, now would we?”
Is this what the founders meant by the word “freedom?’ That rumbling you feel may be my stomach churning from the thought of the gall of PAC’s to presume that putting words in peoples’ mouth is tantamount to handing out typewriters to chimps, but more likely it’s Hancock, Jefferson, Franklin and others shifting positions once again. And I’m not talking about their political views either.
So, as non-self-serving as many of you know me to be, I have concocted a way to help you, my treasured and valuable friends, to descend downward to the depths of mindlessness with a service I will provide to you free of charge to help you communicate to the most precious ones in your entourage on a regular basis. I call it http://www.imnotbritenough.com and I’m sure you can make good use of it on those occasions when communication in a timely fashion is vital. You just need to e-mail me your entire address book. At appropriate times (see below) I will e-mail your sentiments (actually they will be mine, but get in the groove for goodness sake) to the respective individuals and keep you dear in their hearts and minds with your (my) heart-felt emotions. Here a few examples:
• “I’ve been thinking of you a lot lately…” (This sentiment can be augmented with the phrases “And I really need to get a life because you’re really not worth the effort,” Or “Have you been thinking of me or that trashy little blonde hussy I last saw you with, scum bag?” Or “So send me enough money to cover my Prozac bill!”
• “You’re not getting older. You’re getting better…” (I’ll randomly add phrases like “with everything except hiding those advanced years.” Or “at lying through your teeth to cover it up, though.” Maybe even “but you still have a way to go to reach ‘human’.”)
• “I can’t wait until I see you again…”(Depending on how much I like you, I will insert “Cause I lay awake nights wishing I could beat the crap out of you!” How about “and don’t forget to bring the $100 you borrowed from me 12 years ago.” Possibly “because you’re the best thing that ever happened to me. Damn! I lead a miserable life, don’t I?”
All you have to do is sign your name on the dotted line and your true feelings will be zapped to your loved ones just like the PAC’s do it. Ain’t it great to be Americans?! Why waste time thinking when blabbering gets the job done just as well?
Next discussion: Voting absentee for you and all of your friends. Be a pal and fill them all out for free. (Chadless districts only, please.)