A Modest Proposal (5673rd Ed.)

“Well, I think they should attack things like that…. with satire. I mean, Ned Sherrin.  Fair’s fair. I think people should be able to make up their own minds for me.” [“Pepperpot,” Python, Monty; Book I, Chapter 5.]

Premises: Americans love violence. (See, e.g., Eastwood movies, Schwarzenegger movies, the NFL, the NHL (1917-2013), etc.)  Americans also love (a) guns and (b) sport.  (See id.)  Americans also love games of chance. (See, e.g., Powerball, Las Vegas, etc.)  Americans particularly love television shows where unknown people can theoretically win something. (See, e.g., game shows, reality TV, etc.)  Indeed, Americans love any television show on which one might appear (see, e.g., signs held up at sporting events where the broadcasting network’s initials are featured); this holds even for shows on which people might not actually like to appear, but provide some sort of thrill anyway (see, e.g., “Cops,” “The Maury Povich Show,” etc.).  And Americans’ love for things grows exponentially when combined.  (See, e.g., value meals, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, etc.)

TOTALLY NECESSARY CONCLUSION: The next mass-shooting must be the subject of a nationwide lottery, so that the location, and the specific victims, are determined in advance — and so that said town, and said victims, can be made the subject of a reality television series in the run-up to the actual tragedy, and the subject of post-event television specials, telethons, and all other kinds of opportunities to be on television, in ways that will allow the maximum amount of public sympathy to result, and that will allow the maximum number of people to royally cash in.

The benefits are obvious. But they are explained anyway, after the jump.

The lucky town is going to get a whole truckload of fabulous prizes.  You get an outpouring of support from average Americans who can’t be bothered to solve the problem (much less focus on it a week later), and from politicians whose job it is to solve the problem (which never gets done because you can’t get 41 senators to agree, even on what time it is).  You get to see the President, too, which is always fun.  You’ll get a nice declaration of sympathy from Congress (suitable for framing) and a terse press release from the National Rifle Association (also suitable for framing). Oh, and wacky neighbors from Topeka who wave “GOD HATES FAGS” signs at your loved ones’ funerals, for no apparent reason, will stop by.  (Because it adds tension, that’s why!  Tension equals ratings!)  And complete strangers will point at strawmen (video games, the music industry, the entertainment industry writ large, bans on prayer in public schools, etc. etc.) and blame said strawmen on cable for two weeks before they, too, get bored and go on to the next big thing.  But you’re the focus of the news media for TWO WHOLE WEEKS.  Score!

The best part?  The survivors — you get the greatest prize EVER.  You get to say goodbye to your loved ones, and tell them that you love them, well in advance of their horrific demise.  You get to tie up loose ends and — just maybe — break down any emotional walls (particularly useful for middle-aged men who never get around to telling their fathers that they love them) just before the unthinkable happens.

I’m all for this idea.  Particularly because I got the copyright Friday night.  Hence: as long as we are NEVER GOING TO SOLVE THE DAMNED PROBLEM BY DOING SOMETHING TANGIBLE TO STOP THIS NONSENSE FROM EVER HAPPENING AGAIN, somebody’s gotta make a buck.  And there’s no reason why that shouldn’t be me.  It’s the American way, you know.

[Eleventy billion apologies to Dr. Swift.  Even though he’s dead.]

19 comments:

5:03 pm • Sunday • December 16, 2012

Worst Lottery Ever.

It was also a Star Trek Episode.

5:15 pm • Sunday • December 16, 2012

Speaking of straw men, this is a Facebook post from my brother who has lived in Oklahoma City for the past 30 years. I replied that my mouth dropped open at the logical fallacy in his first sentence. What else can I say to this? I wish I could unread it.
“Our home grown terrorists have come about because they are indoctrinated with the theory of evolution:that they are the result of random chance,and are mere animals.That there is no right or wrong,no good or bad,just do whatever seems right to you.When I was in high school many of my friends had rifles in a gun rack in their trucks which they drove to school every day.Guns are not the problem.Criminals and psychoes can always get hold of weapons.”

5:30 pm • Sunday • December 16, 2012

@Dave H:
/scratches head/
/bounces head off desk/
/sighs/

5:55 pm • Sunday • December 16, 2012

My bet for the next school shooting? Utah State University (to block). That shit can build up for only so long ….

7:00 pm • Sunday • December 16, 2012

I am completely in favor of the above proposal as long as the lottery pool comes from the membership rolls of the NRA.

7:01 pm • Sunday • December 16, 2012

@ManchuCandidate: Here’s the Facebook follow-up from my sister, the retired MD. Can a 60 year old man divorce his siblings?
Saw a post today in form of a child’s letter to God. “Dear God, why do you allow so much violence and tragedy in schools. Signed, a Concerned Student. ” Reply, “Dear Concerned Student, I am not allowed in schools. Signed, God”. Something to think on…

7:32 pm • Sunday • December 16, 2012

@Dave: Your sister conveniently forgets that churches have been among the growing list of kill zones. One of the Wingnut Daily (WND) hacks listed them in 2007, and not surprisingly sees a satanic conspiracy that only a well armed flock can protect against. http://www.wnd.com/2007/12/45077/

9:20 pm • Sunday • December 16, 2012

@Dave H:
I would be strongly considering it.

9:48 pm • Sunday • December 16, 2012

As if to prove my point: there were THOUSANDS of tweets bitching about how Sunday Night Football was preempted by Black Eagle. This complaint came in the SEVENTH hour of continuous football coverage.

Thus: Americans really love sport. But we knew this already.

10:55 pm • Sunday • December 16, 2012

The president, the most brilliant and compelling politician of my lifetime, delivers an overwhelming address to Newtown. Heartbreaking.

11:19 pm • Sunday • December 16, 2012

Fact of the Day: Meet the Press invited more than 30 U.S. Senators with 100% ratings from the terrorist organization* NRA to come on to debate gun control, all of them refused. And then of course the morans criticized them for their liberal bias only featuring rational human beings who haven’t forgotten the second and third words of the Second Amendment.

@Dave H: Are you from Texas like me? I had to hide/unfriend/block half of my childhood acquaintances on the Book of Faces.

@Benedick: It broke my heart when he said the names of each child killed. Then I thought maybe he should be forced every evening to recite the names of every child and adult killed by guns until we fucking do something about the fucking guns.

@chicago bureau: Excellent post, slugger. Good to hear from you.

*only in Al-Qaeda’s wettest of wet dreams with 72 virgins could they have killed as many American citizens in the entirety of their existence as the NRA is responsible for in a month.

11:29 pm • Sunday • December 16, 2012

@SanFranLefty: Darling, he’s just the president. He’s not the dictator. But you know that.

12:17 am • Monday • December 17, 2012

@Benedick: Thoughts on the tie and knot?

1:38 am • Monday • December 17, 2012

@Dave H: A Just and Loving God always takes it out on the kids.

2:59 am • Monday • December 17, 2012

@SanFranLefty: This being, as he said, his fourth Massacre Speech, I think he gets it.

@Benedick: And while he’s only the President, only the President can cut into Sunday Night Football. Nobody can dictate the National Conversation like he can. He has to follow through on what he said tonight, put it on the governing agenda.

The NRA can resist, the NRA can even successfully resist, but the NRA must be seen to resist. The absurdity must be made manifest. The shaming must be public, and thorough.

We’ve done it before. As a nation. In my lifetime. They went by many names. One of them was Freedom Riders.

3:58 pm • Monday • December 17, 2012

It’s been three days–including two in which I stone-cold ignored the news–and I still feel physically ill. Is it possible for a KKKuntree to implode due to its own citizens’ inhumanity?

4:07 pm • Monday • December 17, 2012

@¡Andrew!: You don’t want to hear about the funerals.

4:20 pm • Monday • December 17, 2012

@chicago bureau: Here’s a counter-proposal: All applicants for gun ownership have to take a bullet. It seems reasonable if they expect a five year old or a mother of two to get shot in the head everyday so that they can have as many guns as they want, then the least they could do is take one in the arm or leg.

5:57 pm • Monday • December 17, 2012

@¡Andrew!: Have we learned yet whether Nancy Lanza was a member of the NRA?

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