Saturday, December 12, 2015

When I'm the King Of America... (No. 2)

...I'm going to bring back Sunday blue laws. I've stated in a past post ("The 6.5 Commandments") that I don't support blue laws, but I've changed my mind. With no disrespect intended to any Type A types that thrive on the hyperactive pace of our current culture, or at least claim to, I suspect most of us would like a chance to catch our breath, smell the coffee, read the book, watch the game, etc.

Please Note: Sunday sports, particularly professional football and the enormous industry that supports it, will be exempted.

I'm not a sports fan. In fact, there's a false rumor loose in the realm that claims I've stated that if Lenin were alive today he would say that sports is the opiate of the masses. However, I firmly believe that professional sports serve a vital function -- as (mostly) harmless entertainment. ISIS, ISIL, Daesh, DAISH, Da'esh, Daech, Khilafat, the Islamic State -- or whatever their being called this week (just don't dare say Islamic terrorists) -- openly embraces murder, kidnapping, slavery and posting beheading videos on the web. In spite of Mr. Obama's assurances that his policies are shrinking this tumor, common sense seems to indicate it's still growing. Dr. Crank prescribes escapist entertainment, lots of it. Particularly on America's newly minted official day off.

Also, football, particularly American-style football, serves as a (mostly) harmless outlet for the violent tendencies we've inherited from our evolutionary predecessors. They are alive and well and living in comfortable apartments in obscure, but safe and long-established neighborhoods deep within the homo sapien brain. Ignore them at your peril.    

Irony Alert: American-style professional football, our most popular sport, often criticized for how violent it is, is played by highly-paid, elite professionals and the violence is (usually) limited to the playing field. Professional football in most of the rest of the world, a sport approved by eight out of ten moms because it's allegedly not a violent sport, is played by highly-paid, elite professionals, and the violence is (usually) limited to the spectators. Occasionally, people are killed.

Now, having promised in the past to be a benevolent tyrant (BT), a promise I intend to keep, I hesitate to reimpose Sunday blue laws. I believe the playground should have as few rules as possible, just enough to maintain order, maintain the playground, and neutralize the bullies.

(Incidentally, I consider bullies to be not only the thugs that seek power over others by physical force or social dominance. Bullies are also the kids that are prepared to cheat, steal, lie, etc. -- to engage in whatever unethical or immoral behavior is necessary to win at a particular game. The kids that don't play fair. You've been warned.)

However, as your king, 'tis my duty to keep a wary eye on the big picture. This includes monitoring the emotional health of the subjects of my realm. After all, since God him/her self (a BT must acknowledge political correctness lest they rouse the rabble) has bestowed this office upon me I must do all in my power to keep thee happy, and well adjusted.

Aside: The preceding paragraph perfectly illustrates why the concept of rule by divine right is so popular with me and my fellow kings. Note how easy it is to justify my being the boss of you while acting like I'm doing you a favor, and hinting that being the king is a divinely mandated burden that I'm willing to deal with for your sake. While the world has mostly/sort of/technically moved beyond kings there's no shortage of kings in disguise. I once had a boss that was a saint on Sunday and a scheming weasel the rest of the week. He honestly believed that his McMansion and well-fed bank accounts were earthly manifestations of divine approval. Otherwise, God wouldn't have gone to the trouble of personally supplying him with so many "blessings."

Now, if thou wert behaving thy selves, I wouldst not be forced to intervene in thine humble but busy little lives. Busy, busy little lives. Hence, we therefore proclaim that...

(It was at this point that my muse, thankfully, administered a psychic slap to the back of my head. This served to jolt me out of the embarrassing slide into kingly pomposity on display in the preceding paragraphs. We SMACK! I, apologize.

I'm going to bring back Sunday blue laws to give my subjects an excuse to take a day off without feeling guilty, having to worry about your competitor being open, to discourage your boss/employee/bill collectors, etc., from calling you. Please think of it as a gift and not yet another rule imposed upon you by The Gubmint, or the gubmint, for your own good. A committee of prominent citizens appointed by the governor of each state will decide on the rules; public opinion will serve to keep them in line so they reflect the wishes and values of the citizens of each state. Obviously essential services will have to be provided but a Sunday premium will have to be paid to reward those who have to work while letting the free market do its magic to minimize the amount of people that have to.

Sample Rule: Donut shops will only be permitted to open until noon. Churches are encouraged (but not required) to have only two services, 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m, that are no more than one hour long so that those attending the later service have time to purchase donuts on the way home. Recommended dosage is no more than two donuts for each person living in a given household.

Let's be a shining city on a hill the rest of the world looks to for guidance.

(The following sentence will be more infotaining if you have enough imagination to hear it spoken with some sort of foreign accent, in your head. Warning: Speaking it out loud may lead to a charge of political incorrectness, for which King Crank accepts no responsibility.)

"Those crazy, greedy Americans! The only reason they have the largest GDP on the planet is because they work their asses off 24/6 -- but they sure know how to take a day off to enjoy it.

Have an OK day.                                                                                      

©Mark Mehlmauer 2015

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