[AP] EUGENE, OR:Leading scientists across the globe announced yesterday that they have confirmed the irreversible failure of the American experiment in liberty and self-rule based upon their observations of University of Oregon Student Senate Vice President Miles Sisk.
"Pack it in, we're done here," snapped University of California Professor Emeritus James Clyden, who helped announce the scientists' findings at a grim press conference. "It's all on Canada's shoulders now," added Clyden, shuddering.
Sisk, recently appointed to his position, is nominally heir to an American tradition that includes the 1781 Siege of Yorktown, the bloody 1965 Selma to Montgomery March, and the moon landing. Recently, on October 22, Sisk warned mean bloggers on the internet that he would have them silenced disciplined by authorities if they kept making fun of student government:
"What is happening on these blogs is cyber-bullying and I believe that this is a crime. The people running these blogs are criminals,” Sisk said. “Frankly, I’m done with it.”
Sisk went on to announce that he will be taking firm action to ensure that the blogs are terminated.
“In response to this, I have communicated with a friend of mine. He has acquired the IP addresses of those blogs. If these blogs are not shut down within the next 48 hours I am turning these in to the administration. They are able to connect these IP addresses to the people running them.”
Sisk has not provided any evidence that the mean bloggers have made threats of harm as opposed to trite gifs and memes about banal student politics. "If a privileged kid who is a student leader at a good university feels he has to demand that the state protect him from criticism, what possible hope do most Americans have of governing themselves?" asked Yale historian Margaret Scott. "Freedom is hard. Self-governance is hard. Living together without resorting to tyranny is hard. Our founders pledged to each other 'our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor' to achieve those goals. This kid won't pledge to put up with someone mocking student government with a Parks & Recreation screencap."
Scientists agreed that Sisk's lack of fortitude — which was described as "pusillanimous," "snivellingly serfish," "contemptibly spineless," and "typical for a sophomore" — marked the rise of an American citizen unable to carry the burdens of representative government, individual rights, or unregulated daily interactions with other humans. "It's not just his craven thirst for totalitarian rule," agreed Duke professor Wil Trent. "It's also the abject ignorance. Running a society together requires a baseline of civic literacy. When even a student leader at a good university is ignorant of the most basic rights of other citizens — game over, man. Game over."
In addition to some basic civil knowledge one might reasonably expect mainstreamed fifth-graders to possess, liberty also requires at least primitive-hominid-level common sense, confirmed Trent. "This guy says critics are criminals, gets no result because of the rule of law and a hundred years of unbroken constitutional tradition, and then whines because of the bad publicity," Trent said, his voice cracking. "I renounce my citizenship," he continued, rending a dog-eared pamphlet copy of the Declaration of Independence.
As Trent suggested, Sisk has expressed what scientists called a "hamster-like befuddlement over cause and effect" when his threats did not produce the desired results:
“The student government has such a negative image already that the existence of these blogs makes it even worse, and it’s hurt and they are saying hurtful things about people,” Sisk said. “And the fact that they are now being reported on, it’s apparently going over to other organizations, the news about these is really the exact opposite of what I wanted to do, which was just make them stop. Now everybody knows about them.”
"People can't govern themselves if they're that stupid," shrieked Trent.
At press time, a spokesman from the Foundation for Individual Rights In Education was screaming and slamming his head repeatedly in an elevator door.
"Patrick Henry said 'give me liberty or give me death,'" said Princeton University professor Wayne Jacobs. "Nathan Hale said 'I regret that I have but one life to give for my country.' This guy is saying 'I'm going to hold my breath until police use the criminal justice system to protect me from satirical Pokemon GIFs.' And this is the future of America?"
"We're so fucked," concluded Jacobs glumly.
Last 5 posts by Ken White
- Free Speech Triumphant Or Free Speech In Retreat? - June 21st, 2017
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- Free Speech, The Goose, And The Gander - June 17th, 2017
- Free Speech Tropes In The LA Times - June 8th, 2017
- I write letters - June 1st, 2017