After Hillary wins big she can cement her legacy as the Greatest President Ever, over the course of next 48 hours, by instituting these simple bi-partisan reforms.
1. Reinstate the Draft—Immediately enact national service upon high school graduation or turning eighteen. Young people will be given a choice of two years community/social work with a stipend, or eighteen months at full pay in a branch of the military. Community positions include working in schools, hospitals, prisons, infrastructure upkeep, green energy initiatives, and supporting low-income communities so that millennial entitlement gets its first bracing slap of citizenship and community. Also, research will begin immediately on transitioning to an All-Gay Military. Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell will become Please Ask/Crow Loudly. Hey, straights had their chance to be the world’s policeman for a hundred years and the results are mixed. Besides, the two most formidable generals in history, Alexander the Great and Frederick the Great, were both gay. And Hannibal is said to have been bi-curious while leading the elephants through the Alps. So now it’s time to give our LGBT brothers and sisters an opportunity to soldier with pride, élan, and a new appreciation for how the rest of the world feels about being bullied by a grinning jock with nukes.
2. Tax All Churches Immediately—No more reserved church parking spots. No more exemptions from property taxes. Or state taxes. Or capital gains. Only expenditures that can be proven to be truly charitable will be exempt. Otherwise, churches have to cough it up just like the rest of us. The free ride collection plate for Creflo Dollar to get himself a Lear Jet is officially over. Did you know that under the Parsonage Exemption any pastor’s home is considered part of the church, and so is also tax exempt? This rule mainly exists because prior to the metastization of broadcasting and evangelism, most pastors lived in a small room in the back of the church. Hey, have you ever seen Joel Osteen’s house?
3. Declare Death to Apology Culture—A tedious shuffle to the podium seems to take place almost every day, in which an athlete or singer or reality star who did not successfully disguise a flash of prejudice of the sort that we all silently experience now and again is forced to make the perp walk by jeering internet scolds. The Very Bad Person then hits the late night talk shows and makes a self-deprecating joke or two before looking right into the camera to re-assure the masses of their purity of thought. After the commercial break, they assuage us with a few more platitudes and then, hopefully, tears. The intimation is that it’s somehow preferable to turn everyone into fearful, expert bullshitters who never reveal their biases, even in moments of stress or intoxication, than to allow them to say what they really feel. In a truly open society possible offenses can be risked and examined, instead of shoveled under some publicist’s carefully worded statement. A culture ruled by self-censorship and fear is a dying culture. Silencing as a critique of language ultimately entrenches regressive thought. Tolerance, justice, and equality are inexorable. Forced apologies and meticulously banal speech are worthless blinds that keep us from learning and evolving. It’s time to legislate the freedom to be stupid in public again, since open intellectual exchange is ultimately the only thing of value we possess.
4. Cell Phone Self-Immolation Lottery – Sure, the Samsung 7 keeps catching fire, grounding planes, singeing hipsters, and creating safety hazards worldwide. For some reason people seem to think this is a bad thing. Why not make it mandatory? From now on all manufacturers will be forced to install a small incendiary device in every 20th unit, a series of algorithms making it more likely to ignite if the phone is used in cafes, restaurants, or movie theaters. Also, a VU meter will trigger mini-conflagrations if voice decibel levels exceed a respectful whisper. Further, walking slowly/erratically while staring at a screen and holding up those behind you will cause white-hot flames to jet from the keyboard and roast fingertips like paprika-dusted kabobs. Sure, it’ll cause plummeting sales and drastic usage reductions, thereby depriving the world of clever tweets and endless poop emojis, but somehow we will soldier on.
5. Elevate Sports Czar to Cabinet Level—Pay all college athletes a regular salary. Take a percentage of shirts, hats, mugs, and other merchandise and invest it in a health insurance fund for all athletes for life. Outlaw the Washington Redskins’ logo, demand it be changed to Washington Gerrymanderers. Outlaw the Cleveland Indians’ logo, demand it be changed to Cleveland River Fires. Legalize HGH for rehab purposes. Cap pro sports salaries at 40x average fan salary divided by seat price + .9 % of owner’s Bahamian offshore account. Zero public funding for stadiums. Immediately return an NBA franchise to Seattle. No more designated hitter. Make NFL refs full-time employees. Reduce NBA season to 60 games, every team plays each other twice, once at home and once on the road. Pete Rose in Hall of Fame, gets special “Ten dimes on my team minus the points” wing. Reduce MLB season to 140 games. Discontinue NFL preseason entirely. No local areas TV blackouts. No Cialis commercials. Limit illegal blocking penalties to 88% of kicking plays. Roger Goodell retires to manage local Applebee’s, Tom Brady next commissioner. Permanently shutter the following teams: Charlotte Bobcats, Nashville Predators, Houston Texans, Tennessee Titans, Columbus Blue Jackets, Anaheim Angels, Jacksonville Jaguars, Sacramento Kings, Oklahoma City Thunder, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Tampa Bay Rays. Redistribute their players throughout respective leagues by supplemental draft. Outlaw Joe Buck. Force Curt Schilling to read three books. Ban commercial breaks before/after kickoffs. Limit NBA teams to four timeouts per game, period. Link NFL ownership/front office minority representation to a formula that reflects minority breakdown of players. And pardon Steve Bartman already, for god’s sake. Has there ever been a more heroic figure in the history of sports? The guy has been shit on by an entire city for a decade for the crime of catching a ball that twenty other people were reaching madly for. He didn’t argue, didn’t cash in, could easily have landed a slot on Celebrity Rehab or Card Sharks. Instead, the guy just kept his mouth shut and went on with his life. He should throw out the first pitch of the first Cubs game next year, officially and karmically forgiven.
6. Rescind Internet Anonymity—If a combination of free speech and an open society entitles writers and pundits to (mostly) say whatever they want in print or on television, it logically follows that random sociopaths, thirteen-year-old boys, and random sociopathic thirteen-year-old boys should be able to say (everything) they want on the internet. But is it really in their long-term interest? Or the interest of overall social progress? Do providers like Twitter and Reddit have a responsibility for curbing the worst excesses of their users, or are they taking a brave (profitable) stance by not getting involved? It’s likely that many of the present elements of both trolling and digital hyper-correctness will fail to be relevant and simply disappear once the next generation becomes so digitally isolated that the policing of opinion no longer matters. Soon apps like WinstonSmithMe and DworkinYou will automatically filter and eliminate content users don’t already 100% embrace, whether reading Salon or Drudge Report or Ulysses. In the meantime, the Clinton administration will pass a No Dick-Pic, Hitler Reference, or Ugly Slur Left Behind law, forcing anyone with an IP address to stand behind their words and opinions. You will no longer be able to connect to the internet without a verified identity. The hate can continue to flow in all its uncensored and cathartic glory, but InsideJob24 and DeplorableMike and PronounPolicewoman12 will have to own it. No more hiding.
7. Gun Licensing—Strict ownership laws and make/model bans are politically impractical. There are more than 300 million guns in America, and they will never all be confiscated, outlawed, or reclaimed as part of a buyback program. It may be time to admit that they are here to stay. In exchange, the gun lobby should be forced to admit that their weapons protect exactly no one from tyranny. No matter how well-armed you are, or how many weekends your militia trains, the government can take whatever it wants from you, whenever it wants to. Tyranny is a part of every single facet of all of our lives and no cache of semi-autos means you are any less powerless. So it’s time to get pragmatic and adopt the Car Ownership Model. From now on, to buy a gun you have to: 1. Undergo a rigorous criminal/mental heath background check, 2. Receive thorough training on usage, care, and safe storage, 3. Buy insurance for mishandling, injury, or crimes committed while using, and 4. Apply for a license that has to be renewed every three years, to be carried on your person whenever in possession a weapon. In addition, Open Carry is now closed, everywhere and forever.
8. End Political Hero Culture —Look, being president is impossible. It was impossible for Thomas Jefferson, it was impossible for George W. Bush, and there is no way Barack Obama could have ever lived up to the expectations we emotionally grafted unto him. Our leaders fail a healthy percentage of us, all the time, on every conceivable policy and issue. Yet we continue to hold unrealistic if not childish beliefs about what the next person in line can magically accomplish. If a) every lobbyist was kicked out of Washington today, b) filibusters were severely limited, c) majority rule was re-embraced, d) election cycles were shortened to four months, e) corporate political donations were outlawed, f) FOX News was shuttered and burned in an empty field like a burlap sack full of shit, g) rote obstinacy was de-incentivized by voting out people who refuse to compromise, and h) real campaign spending limits were firmly established–then and only then could we hold our presidents culpable for the major issues that plague us. Thomas Jefferson failed to scuttle the Bill for Indian Removal, George W. Bush played golf while Katrina raged, and Obama’s Justice Department has yet to prosecute a single bank CEO or mortgage lending company for the economic collapse of 2008. It takes a full 18 months for any new president to even figure out how to deal with congress and foreign leaders and the pentagon and the press. Then they have six months to accomplish something before two years on the road campaigning for an additional term. Heroic Rule is a fantasy that denies the limits of power, and the inevitability of even the most promising candidate being deflowered by the ugliness of actual rule.
9. Just Quarters—The Mint/Treasury will immediately buy back every penny nickel and dime in America. Nothing will ever cost $19.99 or $123.26 + tax ever again. All costs will come in increments of 25, 50, 75 or 00. That’s it. No more pockets full of useless change, no more fumbling at the cash register, no more jamming the condom machine with buffalo heads. The hoard of Worthless Coins will be stacked into forges, melted, and then shaped into a massive sculpture of Jeff Koons, before being sunk off the coast of Australia to replace the now-dead Great Barrier Reef.
10. Declare Evolution Officially Proven—Ever been on a cobblestone street somewhere, maybe looking down upon a Mayan ruin or Aegean column, and suddenly realize you’re ashamed to flash your passport because it’s abundantly clear the entire world thinks America is crammed to the rim with evolution deniers, like a tube sock full of butterscotch pudding, and that you’re probably one of them? Is it really possible in 2016, amidst the decoding of the pig genome, that a man who proudly dismisses evolution has an even Alf Landon-ish chance of (Mike Pence) being elected Vice President? After six months in office, when Trump unexpectedly quits out of sheer boredom + encroaching neurosyphilis and Mike Pence takes over, we will have to cease all travel due to the exhaustion of explaining in every Parisian café and Tokyo whisky bar that, yes, our leader thinks the Burgess Shale Formation is a plot thought up by Saul Alinsky. To this end, new Save Face Abroad/Please Don’t Spit in My Dim Sum legislation will now make it perfectly legal, when someone says “Evolution is just a theory,” to hit them over the head with a wooden mallet. Hey, 6000 years ago, right after the world was formed, our ancestors “debated” using Flintstone clubs and sharpened pachyderm ribs. If it was good enough for Ogg and Urk on the ancient tundra, it’s good enough for us now.
11. Prepare For The Revolution—The combined wealth of all the millionaires in the US is $38.6 trillion dollars, almost triple our deficit. One sixth of this money is hidden in tax-free offshore accounts. This number is expected to double in the next ten years. The top 1 percent of the US controls more than 40 percent of the country’s wealth, a figure that now exceeds even the pre-Depression Carnegie baronet/industrialist era. The top tier is not just obscenely well-off, their unprecedented level of wealth and leverage goes beyond the ability to influence legislation, it dictates legislation. Anyone wondering why the Republican party risked defaulting on the nation’s loans in order to protect the 15% tax bracket must now come to terms with the fact that it has nothing to do with policy of any kind, conservative or otherwise, and everything to do with being wholly owned by the financial services and banking industries. Which should terrify you no matter where you stand on stem cells or teacher’s unions. The American economy has become increasingly dependent since the Reagan administration on the success and support of these industries, although they produce nothing tangible. We escaped the Hanoverian dynasty by leaving England and sailing to America to foment a revolution–the only revolution in the history of man that was actually successful in the long term–and yet two hundred years later we have allowed a monarchy to reestablish itself. America is now ruled by kings, a royal class of Cash Money whose succession is ensured by a belief among the serfs that with the right luck, either the lottery or coding a killer app, they too can one day join the empurpled rich. But eventually all empires collapse. Royals have their throats slit, proles slam tankards of grog while singing about worker’s rights, and lavendered bodies are dragged through the streets. Sure, it’s all hyperbole–until you wake up with the gardener squatting on your chest, about to wipe his ass with your Tag Heuer. All good things come to an end, even after centuries of buying the courts, the guns, the police, the lobbyists, the congress, the media, the army, the judiciary, the best drugs, and three-fifths of any given presidency. So, the 28th Amendment will now stipulate that it’s fine to be wealthy, even ostentatious, as long as you pay your full tax amount without any write-offs or loopholes, since paying taxes is not only patriotic, it allows for an infrastructure of the sort that most of rest of the world goes without, and institutions which keep the less-fortunate from rising up en masse with machetes, storming the topiary, and dragging the 1% to guillotines assembled in Whole Foods parking lots every twelve years.
12. Replace Easter with John Coltrane Day—No candy, no bunnies. Everyone under twelve gets a free saxophone. Cellphones go dark for 24 hours. Families assemble on their front lawns, clap simple polyrhythms, get deeply modal, and hum the melody to “A Love Supreme” over and over until dawn.
13. Representative Government 2.0—Remove super majority and pocket veto for judicial, court, and cabinet confirmations. Declare zero voting restrictions and strike down all voter ID laws. Form bipartisan committee to enact immediate nationwide redistricting. Make Gerrrymander an anachronism. Restrict all administration figures from accepting lobbyist jobs for the entirety of the following administration. Change senate rules about population/representation – California has the same number of senators for 30 million people as Wyoming does for 200,o00. Pass immediate and massive increase in funding for the Arts. Limit campaign donations to $1000 per person. Ban candidates from taking money from any company who spent more than fifty-thousand dollars on donations in the previous election. Establish real-time reporting of online contributions. Shutter all PACS and SuperPACS. Limit fundraising calls to one hour per week. Eliminate both party conventions. Change congressional motto to: Is it more important to be a good campaigner or a good legislator? Eliminate every facet of running for political office that does not adequately answer that question.
14. Nationalize Cable, $50 Flat Monthly Rate For Everything– Fuck Comcast.
15. Make Hatred of the Government Seem Even Dumber Than It Already Is—Unless you’re an 1880s anarchist bomber with a waxed mustache, or Ernst Blofeld’s estranged grandson, railing against the Feds is the single dumbest form of protest there is. Fomenting populist anger against immovable institutions is the oldest ploy in the book, a calculated distraction from the fact that all forms of governance are ultimately ineffectual, unjust, and non-representative. Regardless of your personal politics, there is no monarchy, matriarchy, oligarchy, junta, plutocracy, dictatorship, theocracy, feudal system, collectivist farm, socialist experiment, utopian colony, or anarcho-syndicalist alternative that will ever address your concerns. Hating the government is like hating your neighbor’s oxygen. Railing about tyranny while knocking back a pint of Merlot and calling for revolution may have had some traction back in the fife-and-musket days, but it’s a purely masturbatory exercise now. Those who most stridently cry for smaller government, entitlement cuts, and overall self-reliance tend to air their grievances about what government isn’t the loudest. It’s pure narcissism to delegitimize institutions that you continue to benefit from, and refuse to compromise when compromise is the only way that government functions. Like Wells Fargo and J.P Morgan, America is too large to fail, which only guarantees that it will always fail to address a large percentage of its citizen’s needs. Totally victory does not exist, yet one party refuses to accept anything less. They fawn over the brilliance of the Founding Fathers while subverting their intent whenever convenient. Unlike a shiny new law or the nomination of a preferred supreme court justice, embracing Pure Governmental Indifference will instantly make your life 66% better. Get a dog. Work on your car. Learn to make artisinal cheddar in the garage. Buy a ukulele, volunteer at the children’s hospital, start writing letters by hand. You’ll be dead soon, just like everyone else, and no matter how many quarts of spleen you vented over the years, absolutely nothing will have changed. But if you really, really need to hate, go after something accessible. Like gun lobbyists, mortgage lenders, random people named Newt, health insurance CEOs, fantasy football, pharmaceutical reps, vote suppressors, retro jug bands, people who overuse the word ‘fascist’, plastic surgeons, Dennis Miller, Escalades, and/or factory farms.
16. Change The Primary Order—Iowa is a small, almost entirely white evangelical state that Mike Huckabee won in 2008 and Rick Santorum won in 2012. Did all the massive national hype for those votes matter? Santorum won Iowa with less than 30,ooo votes, which means he took a crucial battleground state in an election that could have changed the course of America with roughly the same number of people who bought a ticket to see Flo Rida at the Des Moines Enormodome. In any given election only 1 in 4 registered Republicans in Iowa actually show up at the polls, apparently because they know how meaningless it is too. The only presidential candidates Iowans have picked correctly in the last fifty years were both George Bushes. Starting on Wednesday, the state primary order will be rotated every four years, with names pulled out of a sombrero during halftime of the Super Bowl.
17. No More Abortion Debate—Fine, we’ll ban it. But first, every single evangelist, placard-waver, family values maven, reckless barebacker, and angry pro-life mom in America has to adopt at least two (2) children each. No exceptions. When there’s not a single child in any orphanage, juvenile detention center, or foster home across the country, the Pope will be sent a fruit basket and legislative wheels will begin to turn. In the meantime, while the senate passes No Child Left Behind II: There’s Still Space For Another Cot In Your Rec Room, the pro-life community, as part of a little-noticed legislative earmark, also has to legally embrace condom usage, mandatory sex education, and a refutation of abstinence as being anything but an early skills course on the most effective grip. Those who insist on protecting unborn children due to the dictates of a book handed down to a tiny percentage of the world’s population two thousand years ago by an omniscient god which, over the course of 800 pages, mysteriously contains no information in it except the meager knowledge particular to those people in that exact time and place, yet feel perfectly comfortable abandoning such protected children to their fate the second they’re born due to vague concerns about the deficit, entitlements, and costly school lunch programs, also have to spend four months a year volunteering in Calcutta orphanages.
18. Admit That None of Us Really Matter—It’s a virtual certainty that in a hundred years no one will remember anything you ever did, any thoughts you ever had, or emotions you ever felt. All your ideas, insights, and acquired wisdom will be gone. Every moment of singular importance may as well never have existed. All your searing embarrassments, roaring triumphs, loves and lusts and furtive little secrets will be forgotten. Almost every possession you cherished will be relegated to the dirt. And the statement of that fact is as meaningless now as it will be in the future. Because we are disposable. Because there have been more than one hundred-billion people who have lived on this planet since homo became erectus, an endless train of lives, souls, histories, ancestries, cultures, beliefs. And each one dof them thought—in the naive but perhaps cognitively necessary way humans do—that their interiority was of manifest importance. That their success was shepherded and maybe even predetermined by a higher power. That their existence was eminently worth recording and memorializing and celebrating for its uniqueness and gravity. All the way back to the end of the last ice age, fledgling human groupings were each sure that they alone lived at the height of civilization and accumulated human knowledge. They were certain their root pastes and cave drawings and flint arrowheads pushed the limits of medicine and art and warfare. They insisted their culture (with no conception that there were many cultures just like theirs around the world) was on the cusp of actualization and self-knowledge. Of the literally thousands of gods that have been prayed to since animists first worshiped stones and trees, each supplicant was sure that their belief system was superior. For millennia people lived and died and beseeched and sacrificed to Mithras, Tammuz, Orpheus, Isis, Dionysis, Julunggul and Zalmoxis. Those long-forgotten gods were just as real and fearsome and all-powerful to our ancestors as Jesus and Allah and Buddha are to us today. But our ancestors, caught in exactly the same solipsistic trough in which we’re now paralyzed, thought they alone knew how to interpret and proselytize the dictates of whatever meatball of appropriated fables and convenient edicts posed as their creator. Snake gods, sun gods, sea gods, Ishtar to Baal. A jungle full of Maya, a plains worth of Cherokee, a steppe teeming with Mongols, a Versailles full of French, a savanna elided by Masai, a inquisition clotted with Spanish. All positive. All wrong. Which means all of us have been wrong. A hundred million times over. Every plant, animal, insect, and humanoid that has ever lived has fallen back to the soil, inexorably crushed under the weight of geological history. The earliest of our ancestors, not to mention the animals they hunted and plants they ate and insects they were harassed by, comprise the subterranean biological tonnage that we now drill and use for fuel. And since almost all contemporary food is soaked with petroleum-based chemical fertilizers, it means we are literally eating the decomposed slurry of those who came before us. We are cannibals! But we’re also playing with house money, because if not for the utterly random collision of a monster asteroid with the Yucatan peninsula, the dinosaurs would never have died off, and there would’ve been no room for mammals to flourish, let alone evolve. It’s possible that we shouldn’t even be here. Who’s to say that dinosaurs weren’t the superior species, let alone the chosen people? We are, after all, grossly weak and fragile, with our plodding, unsteady legs and easily split skin, our soft teeth and poorly-protected brains. And then, of course, there’s the combined evil of our collective behavior. It’s highly likely that the main reason homo sapiens as a species rose to dominance on the planet is that we systematically killed off every possible competitor. See any Neanderthals hanging around your local J. Crew? Any Homo Habilus smoking Marlboro reds by the pinball machine? It’s because our forbears killed them off sixty thousand years ago. A systematic genocide just like any other. It’s even possible that they hunted down and ate one another. Protein was a rare commodity back in cave painting days. Which is a fine thing to think about when you’re laying in bed late at night. Ultimately, it’s vital that we recognize the lack of importance of politics, which will never be a source of happiness or comfort. The messy, inexact, and mostly unjust governance of 300 million people managed in such a way that prevents a succession of bloody revolutions or endless civil wars is the best that can be hoped for. Succor can only be found in art and literature and music, in family and friendships, and in caring for strangers. All else is delusion.
19. Overpopulation vs. Underappreciation—Beaches are crowded, there’s lines at the bank, you can never find a good parking space downtown, and it’s hard to get a reservation at the Olive Garden. A lot of us, let’s be honest, don’t really want to be here that much anyway, whining all the time about this or that, insisting that we’ve been wronged or deserve better in some elaborate mental construction clear only to our bored therapist and unread blogs. We wake up angry, sure we’re getting the short stick at work, in relationships, in line at the deli, while waiting to use equipment at the gym. The Lucky Ones in That Other State get all the tax breaks and free cars and $9 laptops. If you’re getting screwed, constantly and pan-orfice, why even try? Wouldn’t it be easier to give up the pain of each daily swindle and quietly expire instead? To this end, minutes after the inauguration, Hillary will erect a national system of clean, well-monitored Suicide Booths. These Spotify-equipped “transition centers,” will be placed in parks and malls and subways across the country, available to the irreparably peeved, catatonically bored, and delusionally entitled, in order to give up the ghost. Each booth will come equipped with a robotic needle and massive overdose of fine-grade Turkish heroin. When all vitals go flat-line, a chute will open in the floor and Voluntarily Inert Citizens will ride a series of assembly lines until they are collected, trucked to various ports on refrigerated flatbeds, and ultimately spread out like mulch, in combination with seeds and a fine nitrogen-rich garden booster, to fertilize the arid deserts of Western Sahara.
20. Denounce Scientology as a For-Profit Cult —By Thursday at the latest, Hillary will hold a press conference announcing that Sea Org will be permanently shuttered, to the cheers and relief of almost everyone on earth. Why do we allow the continued existence of this dangerous, vindictive, and abusive cult? Why do we allow a pyramid scam to rake in tax-free cash and buy half the buildings in L.A. and Florida? Just like Huey Lewis, who wanted a new drug, one that won’t make him sick, crash his car, or feel three-feet thick, this country needs a new, unified, mandatory religion not based on restricting shellfish, sexual repression, or the ravings of L. Ron Hubbard. Our current crop of faiths relying on variants of the Abrahamic myths are just not getting the job done, and since all our major religions are just cherry-picking one another’s conventions and rituals in a way that’s best suited to their particular geography anyway, why not meld them all into one monotheist, monolithic super-faith based on The Pantsuit? Face it, you’ll be chanting Fleetwood Mac lyrics with a beatific smile by the weekend.
21. Begin Massive Worldwide Ocean Cleanup —Crawling out of the primordial muck led to living on land. Living on land led to lungs. Lungs led to arms and feet. Feet led to standing upright. Being upright led to reproduction and technological innovation. The wheel led to language which led to self-hatred and fear, which led to the Inquisition. Properly applied theologically inspired torture led to modern living. Modern living led to the widespread use of chemical fertilizers, which are now killing off microscopic dirt mites. Without dirt mites, nothing will grow. The bees are disappearing. Without the bees, nothing will grow. TGI Fridays is going out of business. Without fried ice cream, Zoloft loses its favorite enabler. Also, there’s a massive floating field of discarded plastic grocery bags in the North Pacific that has swelled to almost the size of Texas. Those bags are turning into trillions of nurdles, which are tiny plastic shards that will take 500,000 years to biodegrade, in which time they will comprise forty percent of the body weight of any remaining fish. Without nurdle-free fish, we will be unable to order high-grade sushi. Without high-grade sushi and large bottles of Sapporo, no hipsters will ever get laid. Without the offspring of hipsters, the platinum baby stroller business will go bankrupt. Without properly pampered young Sophias and Gretas and Justins, fine arts programs in colleges across the country will be poorly attended. Without freshmen video production majors to fill screening rooms with shaky, poorly edited films about self-cutting and Oedipal nudity, there won’t be any Edgy Art. Without Edgy Art we will be forced to leave the land and return to the dangerously-rising oceans, where we will build houses on foundations of nurdles and return to fetal states, before sinking back into the shallows from whence we came.
22. Ban Pretending to Admire Ché Guevara For Vague Political Reasons You Don’t Actually Understand—Let’s see. Ché hated gays and blacks. He burned books and had a thing for firing squads without tribunals. He was against all of bourgeoisie culture, including capitalist atrocities like music and theater, and also once said if Kruschev had managed to keep nukes in Cuba, he would happily have fired them at New York. Right on, brother. So, last week, while waiting in line at That Chain Cafe for my usual quad-Americano brewed so powerfully it tastes almost exactly like car upholstery soaked in kerosene, I saw three different people wearing Ché T-shirts, including the heavily pierced barista. It was an apparel ubiquity I haven’t seen since 1990, when every other person was wearing a Jad Fair shirt, at the time Jad Fair being a direct fuck you to Pearl Jam and Stone Temple Pilots, yet still obscure enough to enable smirky condescension. While even the most innocuous of Che’s political dictates would likely condemn both nose rings and the wolfing of decadent pastries in a complimentary wi-fi environment, the individual ownership of a fancy red T-shirt was almost certainly punishable by death. It’s difficult to imagine that the Ernesto Guevara of universal collegiate esteem would be pleased his image now stands for profiting off silk-screens made in the factories of Mao-legacy China. Which either means socialism is a gateway to communism, just like marijuana is to acid, or that lazy iconography is indeed the thin red line keeping us all from harvesting turnips in collectivized farms across greater New Jersey. Hey, True Che principles vs. Dreamy Che revisionism is probably too much of a contradiction to expect one XXL Hanes to handle, but even the harried barista ought to be aware that chesting Che-face more or less implies: I wear, with this garment, the inherent contradiction that is modern consumer Left-ism, and by donning a mass-produced homage to murky political stances, which, ironically, this dead face would have especially despised, I reveal myself, ultimately, to have no convictions at all. On the other hand, maybe it’s just a shirt. Maybe the barista intended to wear his favorite Master Of Puppets hoodie, but his girlfriend snagged it on the way to economics class, so he grabbed Ché instead, with no investment whatsoever in certain overly-mythologized South Americans. Either way, I tipped him a nickel and my six-dollar coffee rocked. Isn’t that all that matters? On the other hand, they ran out of Nutella-blueberry scones, so I held up the line and made a scene about how there was clearly something seriously fucked with their methods of production and distribution, refusing to leave until they gave me a coupon for a free macchiato.
23. Subpoena Trump’s Tax Returns Under New Billionaire My Ass Law – Immediately seize and post Trump’s tax returns for the last 30 years, making it plain to the American people that he will not be allowed to lose and then go lick his wounds for a few months, firing off endless conspiracy tweets and whiny excuses until Jared Kushner founds Trump News, a channel for people who think FOX isn’t nearly regressive or cretinous enough. Since the returns will prove that Trump hasn’t paid taxes for decades, isn’t actually a billionaire, is so heavily leveraged that his lenders can’t afford to let him go under, is in the pocket of a number of Russian banks who have been propping him up for years, has whatever graft he could cobble together hidden in illegal offshore accounts, and has lied in the most cynical fashion about the amount of money (none) he donated to charity, he will immediately be placed in max security isolation in Pelican Bay. However, Elizabeth Warren, who Hillary will appoint directly to the Supreme Court without confirmation after unilaterally declaring congress has waived Advise & Consent by refusing to act, will take pity on Trump and commute his sentence. Orange Nero will be offered the choice of doing unpaid manual labor on construction sites managed by the Polish illegals he once stiffed, or becoming the executive director of the newly re-constituted ACORN.
24. Repeal Citizen’s United – It’s the obvious first move of the Clinton Administration: to completely renounce the Koch Brothers, Sheldon Adelson, and Robert Mercer, who between them have sunk more money into failed Republican candidates than the GNP of Brazil. Not to mention funding a torrent of disinformation about climate change, tax policy, and in the case of Mercer–directly financing Breibart (whose former editor is Trump’s campaign manager), as well as the two main Trump Super PACs. It’s not even so much the notion that money is free speech in terms of national elections, if for no other reason than they will always be awash in cash, it’s the local elections where this decision really skews the notion of representative democracy, the Koch brothers descending on state representatives and governor’s races, pouring massive amounts of money behind candidates who support their agenda. Citizen’s United is without question the most mercenary, regressive, and deeply hypocritical Supreme Court decision (with the possible except of the 2000 Scalia-led Florida recount halt) in the history of the United States. Outing this Lady Macbeth stain from the national consciousness is The Very First Thing Hillary Should do. The second is put James Comey on the last train to Clarksville.
25. Declare Climate Change America’s Greatest Enemy, Even More Dangerous Than Bill Ayers—
“I am not a believer in climate, and I will, unless somebody can prove something to me, I believe there’s weather. I believe there’s change, and I believe it goes up and it goes down, and it goes up again.” —Donald Trump
The biosphere is going to collapse soon. And we (all of us, even the rich) are going to collapse with it. There’s a reason we’ve suddenly had a huge increase in monsoons and tornadoes, and that the East Coast is now sweltering hotbox from April to September. There’s also a reason the six most popular books for teenagers are about resourceful girls living in post-apocalyptic societies. Teenage girls are always the first to know everything. And if not know it, at least intuit it. There’s no doubt been a massive uptick in private archery lessons and street combat fighting classes among the nation’s affluent 16-year-olds. Subconsciously, they can smell a massive species die-off. And we should listen to them. The bottom line: there are simply too many people and not enough food. A hundred-year drought is coming. It’s already started in the mid and southwest. Oil will soon seem a luxury, but it’s water that will drive dystopian markets. Forget driving your car, how much oil will it one day require to produce a glass of clean drinking water? When the great Oil Crash comes at the tail of the great Water Crash, we will return to a society that existed fifty years before the Industrial Revolution. Which would be fine if we’d been born and lived and become inured to the hardships of that time. But to the slovenly entitled that we are now—soft and fat and unwilling to part with the least convenience—it will be impossible to adjust. There is zero hope of a sudden cinematic montage of flag-rallying where scientists and industrialists hunker down in some sort of Randian compound and find a solution. There is no solution. Very soon the atmosphere is going to turn methane-green and then we will all (from hedge-funder to dung beetle) expire. Another million years will go by and the sky will once again clear, allowing some sort of life to begin anew. The sad truth is that no one ever learns anything, and groups of people learn even less. There’s a simple mathematical equation that proves, even with perfect environmental stewardship, exactly how many people an acre of land can feed, and how sustainable that acre can be over time. There are a limited amount of acres, but we blithely continue to pumping out humans. At the height of the Roman Empire there were 250 million people on the planet. We added 300 million in the last three years alone. Every pre-Columbian society since the Sumerians has pushed their environmental usage and population levels to absolute maximum capacity, justified it with encomiums from the privileged, combined with spews of religious doggerel, and then died mystified by a series of physical events they could have easily seen coming. Civilizations with advanced political, religious, and social dynamics over millennia have again and again failed to perceive—or at least acknowledge—that their greed was turning Eden into a desert. They farmed their land out. Cut down all the trees. Failed to rotate the crops or check their population. They let comfortable rulers collude with the merchant class to enact a pretense of equitable governance, and then fucked the lower classes blind with the notion that:
- All kings and pigs are equal, and even though some kings are more pig than royal, it’s their divine right to be porcine regardless.
- Tomorrow will never come.
But it came. And almost everything representative of their collapsed civilizations is lost to archeologists and the indifference of history. Whether we care to acknowledge it or not, our brain stems are trying to warn us of something RIGHT NOW. This very second. It’s a blaring siren, a flashing light, a neon billboard: we somehow managed to survive the last ice age, but we’re not likely to make it through the next.
So make you sure to get out and vote tomorrow.
Unless, of course, you’re voting for Trump. In which case, go rent a room at your local Best Western Executive Inn, sprawl on the duvet in nothing but a cravat and socks, and sniff glue until the election’s over.
Your on-demand rental of John Wick is on me.