Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Parliament of Whores

Once our move is complete, I’m going to have to dig P.J. O’Rourke’s “Parliament of Whores” out of storage and read it again.

Frankly, it ought to be required reading for any high school civics class, including O’Rourke’s blue language, because in reading what O’Rourke has to say about government, we get a glimpse into what really motivates us as voters, consumers, and teat-sucklers.

Example: Not strictly governmental, but it is a symptom of the general malaise.

Consumerist readers are in a big hoo-hah over some clothing and accessory company appropriating an artsy image from a Georgia artist for consumer products without offering her recompense or at least asking permission.

Outrage is righteous indeed. But when it comes to individuals pirating movies, music, etc., from corporations, what we generally hear is crickets. Um, it’s perfectly all right, the message is sent, for individuals to steal from a company, but if a company steals from an individual, well then, umbrage must be expressed.

There is a glaring disconnect here, folks. Come on. Tell me you see it.

Additional example: Much a deal is being made of Mitt Romney’s taxes. It’s not that he’s evaded taxes. It’s that he’s not, by some peoples’ definition, not paid his “fair share” because (this will just absolutely stun you) because he’s rich.

Here’s a hint, folks: People like me, who are not rich, do not pay our fair share in taxes. We’re looking to get a refund this year that once again exceeds the amount of income taxes paid because (this will completely shock you) we’re playing by the rules the government has set for deductions and credits.

I’ll be the first to say it: I AM NOT PAYING MY FAIR SHARE OF TAXES. Truth be told, no one is. Because there’s always someone out there who says, “Damn, I’m paying way too much. There’s got to be a way to reverse the cash flow.”

Enter P.J. O’Rourke. We are a nation of whores. All of us looking to pay as little as we can but get as much as we can from the government, facts and deficits and budgets be damned. And by golly if we can’t do that we’re going to whine and complain about our perception that someone else isn’t paying the same thing while doing exactly what we would do in their shoes, or not seeing hypocrisy in the “do as we say not as we do” attitude we all cop when it comes to justice, money, and whatever da heck else ya wanna say.

What’s the cure? O’Rourke doesn’t know either.

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