Tuesday, July 26, 2005

I once wrote a conservative column

No, that is not a typo! I did once serve the minions of the right.

Allow me to explain: in the Spring of 2001, I was enrolled in a News Editing class. Our final project for the class was to create a publication. Though we had to satisfy certain requirements (such as the inclusion of a "mission statement" and the listing of a targeted demographic), we were left to our own devices otherwise. Other students did such projects as architecture journals, sports magazines and parental journals. You can just imagine what I did, can't you?

Note: All of the images you see below are poor reproductions of the full-color pages. I only have half of the finished product in print, and my files--including a never-seen second issue featuring Timothy McVeigh--were the victims of a hard-drive holocaust in 2002.

My magazine was called The Screaming Icon. I conceived it as a bitingly satirical magazine covering politics, entertainment and sports. Sections included "Constant Clinton Coverage," which detailed a trip to the bathroom ("Before leaving, he washed away all evidence of his stay."); "Discs of All Sorts" (in which I reviewed the covers of Britney Spears and N-SYNC albums); and "Retro Vision," in which I showcased an old picture and pretty much trashed any concept of "the good old days." A fake ad for "Cinema 1939" does the same thing, with management requesting that "negroes sit in the balcony." Click here to see one of my favorite fake ads, taken from the back cover.

But perhaps the most chillingly prophetic page in the magazine was a mock movie-poster for Gulf War Part Deux: Back in the Habit. Granted, even in early 2001 it didn't take a genius to figure out that Bush was going to start some static in Iraq somehow. But I can still say with hubris that I beat The Onion to it by a year (they did "Gulf War II: the Vengeance" on March 13, 2002).

I rounded out The Screaming Icon with "The Other Wing," a conservative column written by one Joseph Covington III (though that's obviously a nom de plume). Inspired by a recent debate on education, I decided to air my dirty laundry to show that I can think outside of the box.

The Miseducation of Capitol Hill

Greetings, fellow patriots!

Occasionally, in one of my many fits of flag-waving, I reflect upon the principles and people that made the United States of America the most magnificent nation in the universe. Whenever I fall into one of these spells, an Undeniable Truth always makes itself known first and foremost: without our emphasis on education of the masses, the miracle of America may never have materialized.

After all, a major tenet of the oppression of societies throughout history has been an illiterate, untrained populace. Caste-concentrated and slanted schooling leads to slavery and entire disaffected, impoverished regions; two aspects, I'm happy to declare, that have never blemished this great land!

Unfortunately, in the ever-evolving timeline of history, all once-promising ideas left to their own swell and wreak havoc like cancer. Government remains the perennial example of this. Government has become so toxic of late that everything it touches contracts fatal contagions. What was once our guiding vessel to enlightenment and success has become our most malignant tumor.

Public education, as any true red-blooded American will tell you, exists these days as little more than a government tool to perpetuate propaganda regarding who to like, how to think and what to believe. I say this sheep mentality must stop immediately! Public schools are instilling in their students pointless and irrational ways of life and that is why organized religion must reclaim the system at once!

One excellent method through which certain counties across the states are doing this is through a system euphemistically referred to as "vouchers." Frankly, I am puzzled as to why proponents continue to hide the theological ramifications of this scheme, when they should be bragging! Maybe if the true beneficiaries of our voucher dollars, religious schools, would be given a greater spotlight, then more citizens would support the transfer!

My hero and personal savior-on-Earth, the very Rev. Pat Robertson, claimed at a Christian Coalition conference in 1996 that vouchers would lead to the very collapse of the public-school system as we know it. "To which we say, 'so what?'" he unforgettably theorized to thunderous applause. Robertson said this at the very peak of the Dole-mania that swept the country that year, which was tragically cured by those evil liberal scientists before Election Day. Dole himself knew what we needed to do but, being products of government schools, a majority of the voters were apparently too ignorant to realize that!

So what would privatizing schools bring to the grand table of American prosperity? Well, for one thing, there would be no more of this individuality garbage. In recent years, millions of kids have killed their peers just so they can steal their prized fashions; trends such as "grudge," "hip-pop" and "casual Fridays" have not helped. Mandatory uniforms will immediately raise the conduct bar while getting all students to wear the same, expensive, 1950s-style frock clothing. And of course, the values of the 1950s should be the goal of any right-thinking American.

Additionally, uniforms eliminate the fashion hostilities that many kids face. Clothing styles come and go, but taunting is forever. We all know that kids are less worthy without the right clothes; the last thing they need is to receive constant reminders of this from their peers. With uniforms, students need only to worry about coats, shoes and jewelry. And as anyone can tell you, the margin of trendiness and cost difference in any of these items is negligible.

Looking beyond the everyday benefits to the bigger picture, let's not forget just who is currently in charge of our republic! For most of the 1990s, the United States suffered through a continuous and hedonistic orgy, the innocent mistress America herself seduced by the charms and raw sexual energy that was the Clinton administration, as Clinton's breath of prosperity wafted down the thin veil covering her ample bust, the veil eventually falling to the ground as she lowered herself to feed at his manly budget surplus...Wait, where was I going with this?

Oh...right! My point is that, because of Clinton's numerous sinful wrongdoings, people had no choice but to spend every moment enraptured in sex, sex, SEX! What does this have to do with education? Uh, well...there's sex education now, so I've heard. Travesty!

But have heart, fellow patriots! As the Great Elections of 2000 and 2004 proved, God runs this nation now. By the way, by God we mean the Almighty Fundamentalist Christian GOP God, for all of you heathens out there. All right, I know what you liberals are saying to wonkish selves: freedom of religion is the cornerstone of liberty, blah blah blah.

Just remember that our Founding Fathers never specifically mentioned Buddha, Moses, Mohammed or Kurt Cobain, so you should darn well know who they meant! Liberals, don't forget to look on your money the next time you buy the latest Al Franken book--"In God We Trust," it tells us! God is the glue that keeps this nation--and this world--together!

So when it comes to schooling, private religious academies are the way to go. Not just for those who truly believe, of course, but for everybody. Wait a minute, I hear you asking, won't this diminish the faith of those who choose to go of their own free will and accord? I say, who cares? Faith is not just for those who want to believe and who utilize it as a source of inner strength. It should be a requirement to get a job, a diploma or even a milkshake! Just like in the glory days of 17th-century England! America would do right to learn from that model of government.

Moreover, the freedom to choose the people with whom you associate is a God-given right of all Americans. Private schools would give students and their families the utmost choice in which ethnicities and classes of people with whom they choose to speak. Training for real life, that is!

As my gifted and superior mind has now enlightened you, private schools are the white, er, right choice!

(I made an A+ on the project.)


ccgirl said...

This is not a conservative column, but a blatant caricature of one. The condescension which you obviously feel towards conservatives and Christians drips like molasses from this piece.

Ian McGibboney said...

Yes, I know.

Mikel said...

The vast majority of high school students today(whether they actually graduate or not) enter the work force. Not college. In my day, many of us joined the military to "see the world" (I saw Vietnam) Anyway, all of these 17-18 year olds leaving high school have no where to work because they do not have a clue how to do anything outside of household chores, mowing lawns, flipping burgers,drive-bys, drug selling, getting pregnant, summer job stuff. High school has always been a place to prepare for college,(if your smart or rich) not the blue collar work force. Trade schools - same as college - after high school and still the vast majority of teens leaving high school hit the work force not trade schools. Our public school system does need to be revamped. Vouchers to help private schools, I don't know. How about working on the idea that since most high school students are not going to college and we have a public school system already in place (to prepare our youth to face the real world) why not concentrate our efforts toward enabling the majority to be better prepared for life after high school. Most schools have shop classes. How about vouchers to public schools to enhance their blue collar training programs. Learn a trade in high school. Go to work in their chosen trade and support the children they had while in high school. Illegal immigrants can be given jobs in the our National Guard and who knows maybe they will be stationed in their own country.

Flamingo Jones said...

ccgirl's comment made my whole day. Seriously. I love a good giggle.

Nick said...

Illegal immigrants should not be given jobs. If they want to help our National Guard, which would certainly be noble of them, FILL OUT THE IMMIGRANT PAPERWORK!!

Ian McGibboney said...

Nick, the way things are going, the National Guard may begin outsourcing its recruitment. It's already lost its purpose as a domestic force.

Mikel said...

Nick, the National Guard thing was meant to be humorous because our "National" Guard is in Iraq. We should just round them up send them directly to Iraq and they can return to America when they FILL OUT THE IMMIGRANT PAPERWORK!