“[T]hose who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their consciences.”
—C. S. Lewis
I’m sure you’ve heard the one about the New York City mayor who proposed a ban on sodas and other sugary drinks that are larger than 16 ounces.
In other words, Big Gulp—be gone!
Mayor Michael Bloomberg is rightfully concerned about the toll obesity is taking on society and has decided to do something about it. And I gotta tell ya, I’m so freaking happy that I’ve been farting multicolored confetti out of my ass since I heard about it.
Now, I’m not happy because I think it’s a good idea. It’s a horrible idea. But, see, I don’t drink much soda, and don’t live in New York, so I couldn’t care less about any soda restriction.
Wait, what’s that you say? I should care about it. You want I should support such concepts as freedom and liberty and individual responsi-blah-blah-bility. You urge me to heed the warning extolled to us by Pastor Martin Niemöller so many holocausts ago:
“First they came for the soda fiends, but I did not speak up because I do not drink soda….”
Well, screw you, soda fiends! You can suck the sugar off my Pixie Stick for all I care. Where were you when we were debating my freedom to smoke marijuana? Nowhere— that’s where! So now I’m supposed to care that you can’t have preposterously oversized Pepsis for the same reasons you said I couldn’t smoke pot?
“C’mon!” said House Speaker John Boehner (an unabashed sugar mainliner). “Don’t we have bigger issues than the size of some soft drink that somebody buys?”
“You can’t make this stuff up,” said Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan (a recovering Mountain Dew junkie), adding that you should be able to “do what you want with your life.”
“Can you believe this is what the role of government has become?” said Sean Hannity (who has been in and out of energy-drink rehab for the last 10 years). “I am capable of making decisions for my own body.”
You tell ’em, Hannity! It’s your mouth—put what you want in it! Except, wait a minute. That’s not what y’all have to say when we talk about marijuana decriminalization:
Hannity: “Why would we legalize something that would have disastrous effects to the health of people and society?”
Ryan: “Marijuana leads to many of the problems that affect our nation.”
Boehner: “I remain concerned that legalization will result in increased abuse of all varieties of drugs….”
“… and then they came for the donut addicts, but I did not speak up because I do not like donuts….”
I’m always amazed at the ability of people to self-hypocritize themselves into delusions of altruistic grandeur. Look, you can argue that the health of society trumps individual liberty, or you can posit that individual liberty is tantamount to a healthy society, but you can’t argue both. If your position on the big soda ban is that it’s not the government’s job to decide what is bad for you, then you can never argue that drugs should be illegal because they’re bad for you. Not ever!
The opposite is true, as well. You can’t argue that Bloomberg’s ban is a good thing because obesity is an epidemic, and then get your bonghole all in a bunch when a prohibitionist argues that drugs are unhealthy.
Ah, but isn’t it the same old story with these raging, self-hypocritizing do-gooder types? They cherry pick which unhealthy things should be banned and which should be left alone based on their personal preferences.
I guarantee that Bloomberg will never put a restriction on matzo balls, fatty as they are. I guarantee New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will never call for a reduction of pasta consumption, hyperglycemia be damned. And Mitt Romney will never campaign against magic-underwear wearing, which is confining and diminishes sperm count.
When I got my DUI, the court ordered me to attend a series of courses that covered, among other things, narcotics. The instructor was a leviathan. Although of average height, she must have weighed close to 400 pounds. Her complexion was clammy and pale; two dark, cocoon-sized bags of flesh hung below her eyes, and a network of varicose veins—on the blacker side of purple—bulged up and down her lower legs, which were about five buckets of fried chicken shy of amputation. Her name was Diana, but I called her “Di,” as in Di Abetes.
And, oh, how Di stood up there on her high horse: “I don’t drink or do drugs,” she proudly announced before launching into a 90-minute, holierthan-thou tirade on the health risks of narcotics— all while sipping on a colossal, 972-ounce Pig Gulp.
Now do you see? It’s because of people like her— and Boehner and Hannity and Ryan—that a confetti cannon is shooting multicolored ticker tape out of my ass. It’s because I’m finally realizing that this is what the country needs. It needs to start indiscriminately banning stuff—everything, anything that’s potentially harmful—so that, eventually, everyone will have something banned that they enjoy, and, finally, maybe, we’ll band together and do something about it.
“… then they came for my Whopper, and I said, ‘That’s enough! You can have my Whopper when you pry it from my greasy, fat fingers!’”