Archive for November, 2009

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I believe that liberals are wrong about black people. Liberals are also wrong about white people, brown people, yellow people and red people. If NASA announced tomorrow that it had discovered a distant planet inhabited by purple people, anything that liberals believed about purple people would be wrong, too. Liberals are not only wrong about race, but they are also wrong about economics, crime, poverty, religion, science, war, marriage and foreign policy. In fact, as evidenced by their global-warming hysteria, liberals are wrong about the weather. Insofar as there is a ‘liberal consensus’ on any particular subject — including movies and sports — then the truth is likely to be the exact opposite of whatever liberals say.

The Other McCain

My Career as a Humorist

Isn’t it funny how one day you can wake up and remember how it used to feel to have something to live for? I don’t mean that life isn’t worth living; on the contrary, life is worth every penny. But really, think about those times that made it seem like it was true; those days when life seemed to be going the way you wanted—too bad I rarely wake up with that feeling. Most of the time I’m stuck working a job that makes me feel sick to my stomach. You know, I wish I didn’t have a conscience; it would make things a lot easier. But really, my job requires that I don’t; it’s written in the description on page two, right around line three sub-paragraph six. If my boss found out about mine, I’d be fired in a second.

So you’re probably wondering what it is that I do, because I know I would be curious. In a few words, I find ways to sell you stuff that you don’t really need, but are willing to spend thousands of dollars for—going in debt along the way—in order to get that momentary sense of elation. And don’t pretend like you don’t know what I mean. We’ve all sent in those three easy payments of $19.95 for the Ronco Rotisserie Oven in the hopes that we could make as juicy of a game hen as Ron Popeil did; those blasted infomercials. But, I’m basically charged with creating the same kind of campaign. The kind of advertising that makes you drool. Makes you want to lick that roasted duck on the television screen; tricks the hell out of you into buying the product that’ll never get used, and will definitely never create the five star dinner the ‘normal’ chef on the tele made—but it sure looks tasty. Don’t get me wrong, though, it’s a great job. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be on the inside? Not that most people don’t catch the techniques we use—on second thought, eighty percent of the American public will definitely never catch those techniques—but I certainly do.

So I have to lie a little about the products to do my job—what’s wrong with that if I can make a quick buck in the process? It’s pretty simple really, a few pieces of currency exchange hands for goods slash services and everyone is happy. No harm done; its not like anyone really expects their Dyson Cyclonicon Pro Vacuum to do a good job. It has moving parts; it is bound to fall apart sooner or later. Right? I guess if you want to get technical, I’m not actually doing the lying, I really only pick the colors and typefaces that trick your eyes into looking at the ad. A little kerning here and a leading adjustment there and we’re all set to ship it off to the various magazines that’ll print the marketing department’s little white lies for thousands to consume—provided that my designs are approved.

Seriously, though, who wouldn’t want this job? You sit back and get to create all day—really, you get to problem solve and figure out what solution will best fit the given advertising situation. How? By helping to create the little lies that get your mommy and daddy to purchase that brand new Lexus LS 300M Mark II with a base MSRP of $45,699; pretty nasty when it comes to financing, since they’re already stretched so thin they can no longer afford to make timely payments, but what do I care? My little contribution to the ad was so small it isn’t worth mentioning or even attributing to their need for the vehicle—but I’ll tell you anyway. I adjusted the kerning on the word “the” next to “all new.” So maybe my contribution wasn’t glamorous, but I had a hand in the final ad. On top of that, I was always quick in getting the art director his morning cup of coffee, which I’m relatively certain sets me up for the next promotion in the office. I’m crossing my fingers on that one, but it’s a lock. Really, what could be better than earning that Assistant to the Artistic Creditor position? I definitely don’t know.

What would I be doing once I land that promotion, since I most definitely will? I get to take notes and pour cups of coffee for yet another person; boy, I’m pumped about that one. I can’t wait to hear, “Hey you, can you get me another tall mocha espresso latte, with a double shot of the espresso? Yeah, thanks. Make it quick, alright?” Seriously, this is my dream career; in another five years I’ll have enough experience to start designing entire campaigns on my own. Mind you, they’ll be immediately ripped apart by the art director, and then completely redesigned or even ignored, but I’ll get the ball rolling on the process and that is what truly matters. Hell, by that time I’ll have learned to lie so subtly you might not even trust me enough to have a conversation with me, let alone befriend me—you really always have to have a goal—and won’t that alone make life worth living? I think so.

Really, the chance to influence others easily, albeit without their knowledge, sounds like the dream of every man with a Napoleon complex—and I get to do it every day. It seems to me that Disney didn’t lie. Some dreams really do come true. Sure, you spend most of your professional life catering to higher-ups, but what is that in the scheme of things? Not much. The bottom line is a career in marketing and advertising is the way to go, and it’s the best job I’ve ever held. Hell, I guess I must be learning something since I got you to believe half the stuff I just wrote.

Letter to the Editor: Response to the Moral Argument

In this paper, and among other sources, I have read the claim that the most moral action would be the passage of universal healthcare; and while, from the perspective of some it would indeed seem to be a moral imperative to ensure that the less well off are cared for, it is difficult to claim that the most moral action is a government run program.

From a certain perspective, what is deemed moral is that which is seen as the “greatest good for the greatest number of people.” Though the act of passing universal healthcare is done with great moral intentions, it will ultimately impact the greatest number of individuals more negatively over time, and will serve to help the fewest at inception.

What negative impact would such a program have on a greater portion of society than that which it is designed to serve? Simply, its costs will become increasingly astronomical and undeniably unaffordable over time, and in such a way as to cause catastrophic collapse unless a change is made in expenditures or in tax collection.

And while we are, in sum total, the wealthiest nation on earth, a great deal of this wealth is built on debt, from the car or house many own to the ever increasing debt of the federal government built year after year on deficit spending for various social programs and military expeditions.

This is not to say that those less well off should be left to wallow in misery; it is simply the role of societal institutions, and not government, to ensure individuals are cared for, and seemingly the most moral way. And so from this interpretation of morality it is difficult to say whether the passage of a government program designed to assist such a small percentage of the population is truly the most moral path to take.

But, of course, the issue of morality is complicated. Our tradition of governance is not; it is about negative liberty, or rather what the government will not do in order to maintain an individual’s right to life, liberty, and private property.

Passage of universal health care, or the passage of a similar program, diminishes this tradition by creating a sense of entitlement in a population looking for positive liberty—or what the government will provide—at the expense of an individual’s right to property, by increasing taxes, and the liberty one enjoys when deciding how to provide their own health and wellness, by supplanting that with a system designed to mandate what qualifies as quality care rather than that which is based on an individual’s needs.

Mike Mattner
Benton Harbor, MI