I was aware of Muse for awhile, but didn’t start listening to most of their catalog until the end of college. The first few songs to catch my attention were some of the odder ones, namely “Apocalypse Please,” a densely layered arrangement of piano, guitars, high-pitch vocals, and high-speed drum fills. These weren’t the songs that made me a fan though. Songs like “Hyper Music,” “Plug In Baby,” or “Knights of Cydonia” had unbelievably catchy main riffs that weren’t terribly hard to play and sounded great. That’s what hooked me on the band — guitar-driven rock that was just plain fun to play. That was really all I ever wanted or expected from the band. Read the rest of this entry »
A thought experiment occurred to me after I heard news of another round of “tea parties.”
I thought, “hmm, these folks are so dead-set on not paying taxes, I say, let’s exempt them from taxes.”
How, you might ask, could we exempt these right-wing foot soldiers from their duty to pay for the services they enjoy? Simple: stop including them in these services.
But how could we exclude them effectively? I mean, no one would voluntarily give up the privilege of driving on the roads, public education —well, maybe some of these Bible-thumpers would be OK with that one — enjoying the protection of the armed services, Medicare, Medicaid, etc., etc.
So, then I thought, why not just gives these whiney, wannabe tax-cheats their own country, you know, the part of America that consistently votes Republican.
But what would this look like? I mean the last time part of the country seceded from the other part, didn’t that turn into a national disaster, and didn’t the conservative, backwards part of the country get thumped bad and forced to reintegrate? Who would comprise the Conservative States of America?
Well, we can lose these tea partiers right off. I mean, tea parties are for little girls, not gainfully employed adults with a sense of responsibility.
But who else do we lose? Creationists. Still, I’m thinking good riddance.
I can see test scores improving already. There will also be much less people with Confederate Flags, people telling me that “God hates fags,” and almost no pro-lifers.
Things are really looking up for the Blu-Nited States of the East and West Coast of America (and parts of the Midwest)
But, the real pain is going to be that we will lose large portions of our armed services, and a lot of rich people. This could be a blow to the B. S. E. W. C. of A. (and parts of the Midwest).
But maybe we’ll get by. I mean, there will be less federal and state government employees, who come to tax-funded jobs Monday through Friday, and then attend tax protests.
We’ll have achieved what conservatives wanted all along, and shrunken a bloated, ineffectual bureaucracy. Hmm, still looking up. Maybe we’d even be able to cut taxes, too.
So what will the Blu-Nited States look like? Well, we’ll have universal health care, most of the Hollywood elite, the “main stream news media,” artists, the gay, lesbian and transgendered members of the military, I would imagine pot would be legal, everything would be unionized, and women’s bodies would be their own business.
We’d also get D.C., so there would be no need to relocate the nation’s capital. Hmm, not too bad.
But who gets Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and the other defense contractors? Well, they tend to go with the highest bidder, and since the Blu-Nited States would still have the nation’s richest states, I think we’d be OK there, too.
But what would life be like in the no-tax, no science, states’ rights CSA? The way I see it, kind of like the bastard child of Franco’s Spain and the Confederate States of America.
While roads, and other public works projects are completely unfunded, and all services are privatized, but staffed by a relatively incompetent pool of workers, the quality of life for the average person will comparable to a third world country.
The military will be a national one, paid for by levies upon the public. I say levies because they won’t call it taxes, even though it essentially will be.
The rich will live in great manses, guarded by private security forces to keep the roving bands of the poor, uneducated and drunk from entering. They will still fly Leer jets and secretly do business with liberal rich people in the Blu-Nited States, while chanting demagoguery lifted from the Dark Ages to the masses. There will be no roads after about two years from the strain of the SUVs driving on un-funded highways, but this will be fine because “we’ll make our own roads.”
If you get sick and can’t afford insurance, well, in the words of the now-immortal cyborg Dick Cheney, “fuck you.”
Broken bridges covered with ivy will stand as monuments to an ancient civilization of wonder at every road crossing the Mighty Mississippi.
The clergy and business interests will still collect money from the masses in the form of tithing, and a largely feudal state will emerge, the conservatives’ wet dream since Joseph-Marie, comte de Maistre (look it up.)
Jobs will largely consist of the option to work at McDonalds, or the option to work at Wal-Mart.
And while the liberal-socialist paradise of the Blu-Nited States, with its relative affluence, top-class entertainment, sexual liberation and free-wheeling attitudes towards drugs will produce a contented culture, the repressive authoritarian culture of the Conservative States of America will require an outside enemy.
Without anyone to hate, the uneducated, superstitious and aggressive populace will turn against each other.
Churches will compete over who can be the most ridiculous in their rejection of fact and hatred for those who are different. Rednecks, without any gays, blacks, or really any brown people besides Ramesh Ponnuru, will turn against each other in a nation-wide orgy of bar fights.
Anarchy will erupt, even in the completely, monistically homogenous society, because, let’s face it, conservatives need something to hate in order to get out of bed in the morning. And who would be better than the queer-loving, Godless socialists next door.
A cry will rise from a jail cell somewhere in Alabama, a book detailing the struggle of the white working man to succeed despite a government that doesn’t tax him or question his supremacy will be written, tea parties thrown, brown shirts donned, and war will be declared against the Blu-Nited States, because the CSA needs “breathing room.”
And the overly-militarized CSA, despite its lack of innovation, will still have numerical superiority in the longest, bloodiest land war in history.
Rednecks with M-4s will mow down pot-addled college students, given a divine sanction by the Southern Baptist Convention. George Clooney’s head will adorn the pike of a small, toothless child wearing a shirt proclaiming “Lucky Devil.”
Eventually, Premier-for-Life Obama will have to nuke middle-America, dooming the remainder of us to a nuclear winter in socialist paradise.
So, go ahead and have your tea parties, bitch about the taxes you have to pay without reflecting on the services they provide for, and threaten secession. I mean, we Democrats may want a socialist paradise, but we’d still get the nukes in the divorce.