As visions of henna tattooed fairies (complete with wings and hula hoops) dance in my head… Telluride, here I come!
In the great State of Kansas, a less-than-competitive race for Governor is brewing, with the presumptive winner being current Senator Sam Brownback. In recent campaign stops, the good Senator has proposed something he is cleverly calling The Office of the Repealer. The job of said office would be to scrounge through reams of state regulations and redact those that, presumably, are not favored or impose some unwelcome burden. According to the New York Times, Brownback says:
“People just love this idea. They feel like they’re getting their brains regulated out of them.”
Upon further questioning by the Lawrence Journal World, Brownback apparently hasn’t the foggiest where he would recommend the Head Repealer start the hatchet job. Setting aside things like Constitutions and courts and legislatures and all that silly business, I’m getting a jump on Brownback and opening The Palaver Office of the Repealer. It wasn’t my idea, but he who acts first eventually gets credit! Having no need to bother ourselves with petty elections here in Palaver Nation, I offer you a proposed set of five repeal targets.
1) American Idol – I recognize that I’m about to unleash a s***storm here, but that’s the way deregulation goes sometimes. My basic argument is this: American Idol is little more than a well-financed karaoke contest. The show has made a bad pop music situation much worse by suggesting that the Music Machine can turn any old set of pipes and a bit of stage presence into a star. It seems to go unnoticed that the most successful and durable artist to come off the show is a country singer (excluding William Hung and the Pants on the Ground guy).
To set the scene, millions of Americans gather several times per week in front of a TV to observe a number of over-coached, semi-talented singers galavant through a series of rehearsed (and regularly poorly chosen) cover songs so that the viewing audience can revel with glee as a group of dubiously qualified “music professionals” (Ellen Degeneres???) can judge them. Later in the process, this judging task is summarily turned over to the wisdom of the masses with access to text messaging capabilities. Raise your hand if you own a Fantasia record!
Additionally, the prima donna acting out by the judging corps, the encouraged preening for drama-filled camera time by unsuccessful auditioners and the shoddy “theme-based” nature of some episodes all make this absurd display Candidate Numero Uno for Repeal. Other reality TV shows that escaped the chopping block in this segment include The Bachelorette/The Bachelor and anything left on Bravo. But I’m keeping my Repealer eye on you.
2) Air Hand Dryers – I am in favor of doing all that we can to preserve the environment. I am also in favor of insuring that public restrooms are generally sanitary and lessening the tremendous burden already imposed on the average convenience store employee. However, I’m afraid the hot-air hand dryer must be repealed. It just doesn’t get the job done. Consider… you wash your hands, you approach the hand dryer, activate it and wave your dripping hands through the jet blast. The dryer shuts off and you… wipe your hands on your pants! Happens every time.
3) Unqualified Travelers – You know them. You’ve been behind them in line, sat next to them on planes, and had their luggage dropped on you. They have annoyed, inconvenienced, and generally wrecked your own travel experience. They try to take water bottles and 25lbs. of hair products through security. In exchange for their lives, they could not produce any form of ID or the ticket printed out for them mere seconds ago. They purchase the smelliest food item in the whole airport and let it fester in the rear seat pocket for half the flight. They talk to you while you are wearing earphones. These people are simply unequipped to move from one destination to another in the proximity of others. I repeal them.
4) Jam Bands – That’s right… I’m looking at you Widespread Panic… I’m looking right at you. I admit that it’s possible that I’d really RATHER repeal fans of jam bands, but I’ve decided to go straight to the source. I am also not phased one little bit by the irony that I’m about to attend a bluegrass festival. Sayonara Phish! Oh how we loathe thee.
5) Vacuum Lending Limitations – It has come to my attention that the City of Denver has a regulation that forbids the lending of a vacuum cleaner. While this particular “fact” runs through the interwebs with impunity, I suggest that, lacking a citation, this little triviality may not actually require the services of the The Repealer. Therefore, I’m leaving this one on the books and instead banning the Internet. You may pick up the next version of the Mountain Palaver at your nearest corner newspaper dispenser.
Things that didn’t quite make the list, but are candidates for the next round: a) the discrepancy between the number of hot dogs in a package and the number of hot dog buns in a package, b) sweaters on pets, especially dogs, c) blogs and d) Sam Brownback.
Despite my urgent request and significant web statistics indicating that many folks other than my wife actually read this blog, no Palaver readers suggested any plugs last week. Therefore, you are stuck with my predilections again today. I suggest you read this about the “industry of poverty” from the Atlantic.
The Mountain Palaver
PS – Daily Blogs from Telluride start tomorrow! Be on the lookout.