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Over the Rainbow with Brian Burns: Shut It Down

Photo: Juliette Luchini

Photo: Juliette Luchini

Poorly produced horror movies aren’t really my thing so I try and avoid Fox News as much as possible. And when my sources of information at E! and Despierta America! dry up, I turn to CNN. I watch Wolf Blitzer when in need of a reaffirmation of my life-long desire to be Jewish, Piers Morgan when I want to hear about foreign policy squeaking through the tightest of Anglo-Saxon sphincters and Anderson Cooper when I’m in the mood for spontaneous ejaculation.

If CNN is trying to lure its targeted audience into a state of uninformed bliss via the steely gaze of its hunkiest anchor, mission accomplished. I try and stay abreast of the issues in Syria and the latest dumb things Michelle Bachman said but as soon as His Royal Silver Fox starts whispering sweet sound bites, I enter a drool-dominated dimension. So if I lack a solid understanding of the current government shutdown, I know exactly who to blame.

For over two weeks, the federal government has been even less productive than usual. Congress failed to enact a continuing resolution for the 2014 fiscal year—an issue complicated by the politically-polarizing Obamacare, which had many of its measures take effect on the first day of this new fiscal year. Essentially, the Republican-led House of Representatives and Democrat-led Senate are turning Washington into the world’s biggest sandbox with Harry Reid burying dead squirrels in one corner as John Boehner urinates in another. And you don’t even want to know what Nancy Pelosi is up to.

I’ve never been one to put too much stock in the government. I go out and rock the vote because MTV tells me to and I have a shrine dedicated to Hillary Clinton’s power suits but, beyond that, I realize that Capitol Hill is just a Mecca for megalomaniacs. However, I decided to use this shutdown as an opportunity to become one with my country…by giving up on anything and everything that didn’t go exactly my way.

I started off in the classroom where my teacher decided to give out study guides in anticipation of a test. I proposed the idea that they be handed out only to the smartest students in the class and that the rest fend for themselves—remember: I’m trying to be American here! When the professor denied my request, I grabbed the guides, incinerated them by sheer force of patriotic will and prevented Dr. Socialist from teaching anything for the rest of the hour. Stick that in your cap and call it macaroni, Yankee Doodle!

From there, I moved on to my social life. Pitting two friends with the strongest personalities against each other, I forced them to compromise on an Affordable Alcohol Act. Conversation that began with some cordial “Well, we can all go in on it but I only have a twenty dollar bill. Do you have change?” soon escalated into retaliation in the forms of shot glasses to the eye and whole bottles of Burnett’s being poured out of windows.

But what screams “government shutdown” more than shirking any and all occupational obligations? So, taking a page out our representatives’ book, I decided to show up to my job as a front desk attendant, demand to be paid and yet not fulfill any of my actual duties. Why bother logging in visitors to the residence hall when I can just stalk people on the security cameras and coo a seductive “thank you” to the hottest of upperclassmen as they flash me their identification? Needless to say, my boss tolerates a lot less than the American people do.

So I may have considerably stretched the truth of my own personal shutdown but, at the end of the day, which one is more ridiculous?  The most my shutdown accomplished was a hangnail and a checking account balance that remained firmly at 23 cents. Meanwhile, our government is taking the American people on a one-way ego trip to Debt Ceiling Land where attractions include a ravaged American dollar and a full-blown Depression. Help us, Anderson Cooper, you’re our only hope.

Brian Burns is a staff writer for the Hub and may be reached at burnsb@emmanuel.edu . Follow him on Twitter @burnsing_up732 .

Posted by on October 16, 2013. Filed under Around Campus. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.