Supreme Court justices Antonin Scalia and John Roberts have decomposed the health-care mandate debate into a conversation about broccoli. Their point, however dull, limp and green as it might be, is that forcing people to purchase health care is the first step toward the government forcing people to buy broccoli, for example. This nuanced bit of reductio ad absurdum touches on America’s obstinacy and stupidity. I think that someone should step in and force the majority of fatties to nibble on some stalks here and there – it wouldn’t hurt. Have you witnessed the infrastructural deterioration of this country, in which cars have stayed relatively the same weight but we, well, we have been supersized? Next time I nail a pothole on the highway, I am slapping a lawsuit on the first chubby I see.
But like the Supreme Court, I digress.
The stupidity of reducing this country’s health-care crisis to broccoli is just, well, stupid. First off, broccoli is hilarious and doesn’t belong anywhere near the floor of the greatest court in the land.
The comic genius, yeah, I said it, genius, named Dana Carvey isn’t regaling us with a ditty about health care; no, he is singing about broccoli because broccoli is silly. And yet Scalia and Roberts feel that a health-care mandate is equivalent to forcing vegetables down the throats of America’s porkers. Initially I thought that they were off base, misguided in the subtleties of the metaphor, but no, they did this deliberately. They reduced the debate to silly broccoli-banter so that this important issue is tainted with the patina of insignificance. Dummies from coast to coast will subliminally associate health care with a bland cruciferous vegetable. According to the Supreme Court, health insurance guaranteeing medical coverage to Americans is basically just broccoli.
The sad thing is that the whole gambit is brilliant. It touches on the very reason for the success of political talking-head shows, the reason sports-barkers such as Skip Bayless are reviled-slash-revered, the reason any talk radio is listened to at all. The hypothetical ends up circumventing the actual and instead of a debate over health care, people are busy debating whether or not Obama will force you to eat broccoli.
It happens every day on ESPN. Loud White Guy lobs the hypothetical Mark Sanchez injury scenario. Token Former Black Athlete says something about how Tim Tebow will fit into certain schemes. Random Bald White Athlete launches a tirade about how the hypothetical coaching decision from the imaginary story will affect the actual team’s assumed psyche. ESPN follows by barfing up a quick poll asking dipshit viewers to vote on this imaginary scenario. A spry young beat writer will see this as his chance to get in good with the mothership and will ask Coach Ryan or Tebow or Sanchez about the hypothetical situation. Everyone spends another week deconstructing the actual responses to the hypothetical situation. Reality rots in the corner.
I understand the art of the hypothetical-misdirection because at one point in time I dated a hypo-mis savant. I had an inkling that this slutvant, err, savant, had used my toothbrush, not once, but that she had made a habit out of it. So, one day I confronted her about it; I asked her if she used my toothbrush. Instead of answering the question, she just repeated my question out-loud. Then she shook her head and asked me what kind of person I thought she was. Then she dropped this on me… “Do you think I lick your food when you step away from your dinner; because if you think I lick your toothbrush, then you also think that, which means that you must think I’m crazy; do you think I’m crazy, do you think you’re dating a crazy person?”
I did think she was crazy, but I wasn’t going to tell her so. And I knew that she used my toothbrush, I knew it! But she maneuvered past the argument in question and led me towards an unwinnable debate – she was wrong, but she won.
This is what the Supreme Court is doing with this broccoli metaphor. They understand what the right decision is, but they are skewing the issue so severely that the will end up ruling on something arbitrary while the actual remains ignored. I wish that they would deal in actuality and not create a senseless diversion. Hell, I’m even part of the problem! I am so offended by this ruse that I spent a Saturday night writing 800 words about the stupidity of it. I guess that makes me dull, limp and green.
It is too bad that an argument about Tebow, an argument with a whore over my toothbrush, and the Supreme Court’s analysis of our health care system can all be boiled down to the same inane elements.
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