Friday, January 28, 2011

State of the Union, a coupl'a joints, and a waste of money!

The Spring semester just began, and, as has happened far more often than I care to admit, I didn’t quite have my materials in order.  There was still some work left to do on the syllabus, the Blackboard menus weren’t formatted, and I hadn’t spent all that much time thinking about what I would do for the first class.  Ultimately, however, I was fortunate in that I was able to leave my day job a little early so as to make it to the college in time to do a little brainstorming and give the appearance at least that I had invested hours upon hours of time crafting this first day’s lecture and discussions.  And, as is often the case, I think things went pretty well.  Indeed, I don’t think I’m alone in saying that instructors tend to do some of their best work under a modest amount of pressure.

Leaving the college just after 9:00pm, I turned to C-span Radio to catch the first part of the President’s State of the Union address for the short drive home.  When I got home, I watched the rest on Television.  All in all, I was pleased with the speech.  Hell, I really can’t remember the last time I hadn’t enjoyed a State of the Union Speech, regardless of the person giving it.  Maybe I’m all on my own for this one, but the State of the Union is always a good ego booster; it really gives you a kind of “fuck yea’ I’m an American!” feeling.  And, I really wasn’t too surprised by the content.  Paraphrasing:

“We’re the best fucking people on the planet!!”
Thunderous applause.
“We can do any goddamn thing we put our red, white, and blue minds to!!!”
Even louder thunderous applause.
“Let’s build big shit!!”
Heavy applause!!
“Let’s train our citizens in math and science!!”
Out of their seats clapping.
“And let’s pay for it!!”
Not even a cricket.

After the speech I poured a scotch, lit a cigar, and unfolded that morning’s paper.  Once again, the headlines were all about how much people seem to hate spending: “Obama to address spending crisis,”  “Republicans to respond with cuts to wasteful spending.” Just as I was constructing my own appropriate headline in my mind, something like “Republicans suggest balancing budgets by drowning poor people in bathtubs and repealing the 13th Amendment,” I heard that old familiar song:

Bad Boys, Bad Boys, Whatcha gonna do  

Not having seen COPS in godknowshowlong, I just had to watch.  It was just like I remember.  The cop pulls up to some people sitting in front of their own house.  Yes, I know, pretty fucking suspicious.  Well, the cop runs up, they all scatter, and he eventually catches one and slugs him a few times.  He then drags him back to the car and empties his pockets. 

SCORE!!  THE FUCKING MOTHER LOAD!!!  A whole ounce of pot!  According to the cop, it was worth a gazillion, trillion fucking bucks on the street.  By this time there are about ten cops there for this hella bust.  They’re each looking around, asking questions, and being idiotic jerks. 

Needless to say, the next 15 minutes of the show proceeded just like first.  More people were suspiciously standing around, tackled to the ground, and sent to jail for a couple joints.  So I started doing the math in my head.  Seeing as how everybody in the country seems to think that we have absolutely no money, how much does it cost to pay the salaries for all these officers, the gas for their patrol cars, and the jails for these “criminals”?  But, before I could whip out the ol’ calculator I realized I was fresh out of scotch and my cigar had long since gone out. 

Oh well, I guess we’ll just have to drown poor people in their own bathtubs!  

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