Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Ancient Human Rot Linked to Autism

Scientists at the Center for Bibliogenetic Studies, working with researchers in the Mephitics Division of the Centers for Disease Control, believe they have at last identified the source of the autism epidemic sweeping the modern world.

Said Dr. Rene Wainright of the CBS, “It’s sort of horrible. What we’ve discovered is that humanity is now collectively experiencing a chronic and profound Jungian déjà vu tracing back to a time just before The Flood when, as the Bible tells us, ‘The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.’

“This mostly subliminal flashing back is nonetheless so powerful that it is stirring up the deep vestiges of the rotted common antediluvian soul that still resides in the mitochondrial RNA of all of us.

“The thing is, as our colleagues in the Mephitical Sciences have just discovered with the help of new advances in fetor detection technology, humanity is now palpably giving off a very ancient, unbelievably foul smell.

“While at some level we are all already aware of this growing stench as it rapidly approaches the threshold of our collective consciousness, some of our poor little children with a certain olfactory profile, now roughly one little guy in 88, have been picking up this ungodly reek in such potent doses they can’t even look their loathsome fellow human beings in the eye or bear any other form of contact with them.”

Explained Dr. James McMichael from the Division of Archeolfaction at the CDC, “In the case of this so poisonous time-worn odor, the sense of smell’s well-known ability to unearth deep memories has set off in these completely defenseless kids an RNA-level recollection of all the so soul-rotting habits and attitudes of man and woman in the time of humanity’s 10th and last patriarch Noah.

“And then as these poor woeful boys and girls grow up they watch in shock as all their sort of amorphous, slightly sub-nameable odor-based impressions of their own species take all too palpable shape in all the so abhorrent habits and attitudes of all these people around them now reprising the times that brought on the first worldwide Flood that flushed away all the killing and stealing and lying and coveting—all the heartless harming of so many by so many.”

Said Dr. Wainright, “And of course all these millions of lonely kids now huddled all along the autism spectrum are recoiling more and more woefully from their own kind as they are blasted by the odor cocktail being mixed up as the modern-day human soul adds a layer of stench from all the rot it’s now undergoing after all the restorative efforts of Moses and Jesus and Buddha and Mohammed and Gandhi and Bertha Sophie von Suttner and Emily Greene Balch and Mother Theresa and Martin Luther King and Rigoberta Manchu have worn off and we’re heartbreakingly right back again where we started.

“It’s just no wonder these kids throw so many tantrums. They’ve got to be channeling all the utterly, utterly deep-seated frustration of all history’s innocent bystanders as the species’ leaders have marched us not at all along an ultimately linear path toward decency, but into a big loop that goes nowhere but always right back to just asking to be divinely annihilated again.

“I mean, good lord. Look at us. Who can blame these sweet little canaries for not wanting to have anything to do with the rest of us as we keep digging and digging ourselves deeper and deeper into the coal mine of our baser natures.

“After all these centuries of so-called civilization, the best we can come up with is a merciless worldwide cutthroat capitalism that rewards only those who are most immune to the golden rule.

“I’m not sure what’s going to happen when we all together become conscious of the horrible human stink the autistic among us are already dealing with. I’m not really sure how we could loathe each other more than we’ve already been trained to do.

“I am pretty sure, though, that God’s got a wry smile on his face up there in these second antediluvian times as all these God-playing titans of earth-destroying industry allow him to keep his Covenant with us by doing his job of bringing on a purgative worldwide flood.” 

Friday, January 25, 2013

One Percent's Human Status in Doubt

In an article out today in the journal Net Worth, Dr. Patricia Simmons, chair of the Department of Greed Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, has presented the long-awaited preliminary findings from her multidisciplinary search for an answer to one of the more puzzling questions of our time: Why are society’s super rich so dramatically outstripping the upper limits set by most psychobehavioral and sociological and political and even biochemical and spiritual models on the amount of greed a human being should be capable of generating?

At a news conference held today as the February edition of Net Worth was hitting the stands, Dr. Simmons told reporters, “Let me just start by saying it’s probably no longer really fair or appropriate to judge the super rich according to human or even simian moral codes or other standards of behavior.

“Based on early analysis of the data, it’s highly likely that the super rich are now an entirely different species, if not a different entity altogether. We’ll know for sure as soon as the NIH Human Subject Protection Review Board gives us clearance to test whether the One Percent is still capable of breeding with the rest of us.

“At the moment we’re sitting tight as the NIH sorts out the bureaucratic snag caused by the very good possibility that the super rich do turn out not to be human anymore, in which case it would have been the Animal Subject or perhaps the Alien Subject Review Board that should have had jurisdiction over our application for using subjects in the super rich class, or genus if you will.

“Not to mention, in the event that our working hypothesis does prove correct, we will have made our non-super rich subjects have unproductive intercourse with something other than a human being.

“In any event, for now, I think it’s safe to say that the American public should be prepared to entirely revamp their conception of society’s Maker class and the Takers’ relationship to it.

Said research team member Dr. Don Espinoza, professor of Bioeconomics at the Madison campus, “I think the lay person trying to wrap his or her brain around the unfathomable scope of the greed we’re talking about would benefit from looking at the super rich as some class of unbelievably proliferative germ or virus on steroids. Or a parasite run amuck if that helps. An invasive plant species perhaps along the lines of an ivy.

“Maybe the best way to look at it is that wealth on the super rich’s rarefied plane of existence is actually more like an element or a medium. Think of it as water to a fish in a pond it’s much much too big for.”

Added Dr. Simmons, “All this is not to say that the super rich have become so alien that we have no human frames of reference at all for beginning to understand the so mind-boggling immensity of their rapaciousness.

“We still haven’t completely ruled out the theory that there’s something unprecedentedly precious out there that the super rich know about and need unbelievable amounts of money to purchase. It could be some kind of truffle maybe or some prehistoric fish roe preserved in amber or some other substance. Maybe it’s a gem of some sort that is shiny beyond belief that makes it worth it to these greed units if you will to take so much from so many.

“It could even be that their private-sector scientists have discovered that money can buy love and/or happiness after all but it takes almost unimaginable quantities of it to do so.

What the research team has ruled out, though, according to Religiobioeconomics professor Dr. Sally Nguyen, is the theory that the super rich sold their souls to the Devil to become super rich and now are trying to amass enough extra-added wealth to buy their souls back with enough left over to still be super rich.

Said Dr. Nguyen, “In none of the super rich we’ve tested have we ever found even the most miniscule trace amounts of residual soul matter to suggest that they ever had a soul to sell.

“We’ve in fact established pretty irrefutably that it’s only an innate soullessness itself that could possibly be driving the kind of greed we’re witnessing in these times of so much worldwide hardship and misery.”

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

US Dept. of Tyranny Sees Opening

The US Department of Tyranny issued a statement today expressing hope that President Obama’s new push for gun control means the ball might start rolling again on the agency’s long-stalled plans for a totalitarian takeover of America.

“It’s been a long frustrating standoff with America’s gun-owners,” said DOT director Ned Blanco. “Luckily our budget’s tied to the Pentagon’s so we’ve actually seen huge increases in funding over all these years spent locked in a stalemate with the NRA.

“But the more state-of-the-art tanks and bombers and fighter jets and attack helicopters and automatic cannons and Hellfire missiles and Reaper and Predator drones and high-capacity grenade launchers we buy the worse we feel about the dust they’re all collecting as we languish in this deadlock with the Bushmaster and Bowie knife-armed militias and individuals keeping us at bay as cooler heads in our department keep prevailing over the gung ho types with the collective death wish.”

“It gets to you after a while,” said Monica Stark, head of Staff Development at the DOT. “It really hurts sometimes to hear these same armed patriots on the other side of this damned line in the sand go on and on about how government’s about as useful as tits on a boar and other hurtful things like that.

“It’s very hard sometimes not to feel almost like we all do deserve to be drowned in a bathtub for wasting our fellow Americans’ tax dollars. Some nights I lie awake wondering how the public would feel if they knew they were paying for DOT staff and management to fly to South Korea all the time to attend seminars on mental health maintenance in the tedious fray of a demilitarized zone.”

Explained one veteran rank and file DOT staff member, “All this chronic nonstop waiting for an opening in the NRA’s defenses makes for way too much time on our hands for getting caught up in all the gun-owners’ mind games.

“One minute they’re claiming the government couldn’t pour the piss out of a boot with the instructions on the bottom, and the next they’re calling the government so formidable that they need to keeping adding to their confounded arsenal of almost military grade rifles and pistols.

“It’s taunting pure and simple when they keep insisting that the government keep pouring unbelievable amounts of taxpayer money into the very defense weapons that would be used against them in the event that discretion ever stopped being the better part of valor here at the DOT.

“It all gets up in your head sometimes. Some days you just can’t shake the feeling that any minute now it’s them that are going to up and make the first move.”

Said DOT director Blanco, “It doesn’t help morale either that our private-sector counterparts over on Wall Street have pretty much already locked fascism into the fabric of our democracy.

“It feeds right into the whole narrative that the private guys are better than us when they so easily win the hearts and minds of the right-wing gun nuts. Well, technically they haven’t really won their hearts and minds. It’s really more like they found the off switches on them.

“But anyway, sure, it’s pretty good news that America’s patriots will maybe have fewer black guns at their disposal. On the other hand, though, the DOT’s now going to have to revisit our vision and mission statements as we work on figuring out what it would even look like to impose a garden variety tyranny on a society that’s already embracing all the inimitably insidious fascist practices of its corporate class.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Left Righting Pro Left

Obama partisans are reportedly now helping their Democratic counterparts on the professional left to work through their worsening case of Obama Derangement Syndrome.

Said former White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, “There’d be a whole lot less Obamamania going around if certain Democrats would stop failing to understand that way back in 2009 when the president shared with America the wise counsel that everybody should just join him in looking straight ahead and not backward, his motive wasn’t only to judiciously avoid all the recent illegal spying on Americans and all the torture and other kinds of widespread war crimes and the countless other kinds of murder the Bush people have gone on to get away with.

“Nor was he only telling the nation not to look back at the Wall Street crime spree that tanked the economy or at the government’s complicity in all the felonious and otherwise immoral behavior.

“What all the Obamaphobes need to keep telling themselves if they hope to ever get over their hysteria is that President Obama was also advising Americans not to look back at his actions and promises before he became president.

“I mean, what liberal wouldn’t be a bit miffed about the president’s treatment of Bradley Manning and an unprecedented number of other prosecuted whistleblowers if he or she kept looking backward at all candidate Obama’s talk in 2008 about how much he would support whistleblowing when he became president.

“Even I might fault him a little bit for involving me in his unprecedented campaign of government secrecy if I dwelled on all his promises to make his administration the most transparent ever.

“The solution, though, is pretty simple: if you want to get past irrationally hating a president from your own party over something like Guantanamo’s still being in business, stop looking backward at all his promises to shut the thing down.”

Added Mr. Gibbs’ successor Jay Carney, “The president also clearly had in mind that America would not look backward to a time when America followed the rule of law, when the middle class somehow managed to thrive even though the upper-class job creators weren’t outhriving them to the enormous degree they are today, when corporations weren’t persons, when banks could fail, when the press still called Republicans on it when they strayed too far from the truth.

“You’re just asking for disenchantment with a president when you start comparing the terrible times he’s overseeing with the so much better days the country has seen thanks to its adhering to some seemingly simple common sense principles.

“Many Obama haters are even making the mistake of looking all the way backward to the Gilded Age and making themselves crazy wondering why the president hasn’t learned the simple lesson from history that the plutocrats will ruin your society every time if you let them.

“But come on. The president’s only looking forward. He ran on that slogan for goodness sake. How can you expect him to muster the courage to take on the plutocrats like FDR did when he doesn’t have access to that past example?

“The president’s choice of John Brennan for CIA chief only ruffles your feathers if you fail to remember that the president is not looking backward at all Mr. Brennan’s championing of torture. The president’s surrounding himself with men and women but mostly men from Wall Street only gets your goat if you ignore the simple truth that the president is not focused on all the harm Wall Street has caused the country and the world.

“And by the way, when you’re looking forward, not only are you not looking backward, you’re also not looking at the present moment. When the Obama haters start criticizing the president for any new decisions he takes, I think maybe they should ask themselves how fair it is to judge the president’s performance in a time frame he’s openly said he’s not concerned about.”

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Obama Takes New Bargaining Tack

In a new fiscal negotiation move, President Obama today began attempting to pin Republicans down on what percentage of the nation’s wealth they would need to secure for the super rich to see their way clear to stop holding America hostage economically all the time.

Said White House press secretary Jay Carney, “We’re really kind of just wondering out loud here, ‘Would bumping the One Percent’s share of the American pie from a little over 40 percent to maybe 50 or 60 do the trick for our Republican counterparts in these economic talks? How about 65? Seventy? Seventy-five?’

“Put another way, if the bottom 80 percent’s share dropped from the current five percent of the total to say maybe four percent or 3.5 or possibly three, would we see a loosening of this big jam we’re in?”

Said senior White House economic advisor Brett Bennett, “The American people, the Takers if you will, have what it takes to put up with a lot economically. Historically they have had an exceptionally high tolerance, in fact, for the rushing of the money upwards to the echelons above them.

“I mean, just in recent times, look how philosophically the Takers have taken the Makers’ taking almost 100 percent of the returns on the American Takers’ amazing jump in productivity.

“I think right now, though, the Takers would just like to know a little more specifically what it is that’s required of them to avert the financial catastrophe the Makers are all warning them about. I think maybe the Takers are a little worried that this time around the Makers intend to take everything.

“The Takers I talk to aren’t even sure what it would look like for them to have zero percent of the nation’s wealth. I mean, how do you even buy food? How do you pay for your commute to work?”

Said Mr. Carney, “It’s the not knowing. If the recent election told us anything it’s that as the American people keep looking forward with their leaders and not backward, they just want to be able to see clearly what austerity measures are in store for them so they can plan ahead.

“I really don’t think the president’s being too unreasonable here at all in asking Republicans to just simply let America know at what point this side of the 100 percent mark they’re comfortable with putting a ceiling on the Makers’ taking of the nation’s wealth. Is it 76 percent? Seventy-seven? Seventy-eight?

“The president strongly believes we owe it to the American people to let them know in no uncertain terms what they’re dealing with so they can start unleashing their American ingenuity in dealing with it. Will the Makers be taking 79 percent of the nation’s wealth? Eighty percent? Eighty-one? The Takers, understandably, would just like to know.”

In a related story, at an afternoon press conference White House spokesman Jay Carney wondered aloud whether 82 percent was the magic number. Or maybe 83. Or 84.

In more related news, late this afternoon White House press secretary Jay Carney hinted that 85 percent might be a figure the president could maybe live with, but absolutely not more than 86. Or maybe 87.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Politician Buy-Back in the Works

A new and rapidly growing special interest group calling itself The People today unveiled its plan to buy America’s elected officials back from the nation’s corporate class.

Sources inside The People’s Think Tank have told Shining City Gazette that The People will be collecting up all the tax-relief bones thrown at them in the current so-called fiscal dog and pony show posing as something other than another big corporate giveaway and using them to make the owners of America’s political class a deal they can’t refuse.

Said The People’s spokesperson Joe Tanaka, “We’re going to exploit corporate America’s well known short-sighted obsession with turning unheard of profits.

“If the debt ceiling talks go the way we think they’re going to go, we’ll soon be in a position to pay the corporations up to twice what they’re currently paying for the members of the legislative branch of our country.

“What’s really great is that the corporate negotiators we’re already working with have committed to pulling every string they can to secure a debt ceiling deal in Washington that puts enough consolation money in the pockets of The People that we can swing this Congress buy-back deal.

“Then with Congress working on our dime instead of Wall Street’s we should soon have the resources to buy back the Executive branch and, knock wood, ultimately the Judicial. With all three branches of government in our pocket we can then start working to institute economic policies that help us recoup all the high annual costs of owning the three branches of government.”

Said Betty Havens, treasurer of The People’s Think Tank, “Certainly it will hurt to spend any alms that slip through the fingers of the super rich on making the super rich richer. And I know it seems pretty dumb to spend any money, much less billions, on a pack of ambitious, self-interested, big-headed, money-grubbing, double-dealing rats like our elected officials and the right-wing justices on the Supreme Court.

“But at the same time it feels pretty darn good to be fighting the fire of runaway corruption with a little fire of our own.”

“Oh my god,” said Phillip Anderson, Corporate America’s chief negotiator with The People, “it’s like taking candy from a baby. A retarded baby. A blind retarded baby with a kick-me sign on its back. I honestly don’t know if it’s hilarious or sad or just plain adorable.

“With a grand total of exactly no intellectual capital The People arrive at our bargaining table and start offering us twice the market price for a preening load of boobs and stooges and Keystone Cops on the take.

“I mean outside the confines of our capitalist system you’d almost have to feel a little sorry about the butterfingers The People were born with when it comes to grasping that all those thumbs they were born with when it comes to grabbing for and holding on to money means they need to just keep walking on their two left economic feet right past the old upward mobility ladder.

“I can’t tell you how hard it is sometimes to watch The People carry on about buying the politicians back from us when just a couple weeks ago our numbers crunchers determined that in these times of high inflation in the politician market it is more cost effective to just pay voters to vote for the people we want.

“So now, we’ll let The People overextend themselves by paying ridiculous prices for their now even more worthless elected officials so it will take less money to buy their votes for the elected officials who will let us suck more and more money out of the system so it will cost us less and less to buy the votes for the elected officials who let us suck more and more money out of the system.”

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Credibility Gap May Be Looming

The parties on both sides of all the ongoing fiscal showdowns in Washington are expressing concern that the whole show may be nearing the believability cliff.

Said Wendel Pence, senior bipartisan political strategist on hiatus from the reality TV industry, “I’m not sure how much longer these professed nemeses can keep up the array of pretenses swirling around the chief pretense that these leaders playing protagonist to the other side’s antagonist don’t all have the same goal of appeasing the same corporate lords.

“It’s an intriguing theatrical question, really. How do two outwardly mortal enemies in the war for America’s economic future maintain for their audience the illusion of dramatic conflict when they completely agree on such unbelievably nonsensical premises as the absurd notions that it’s not the corporate lords making up and spreading the blatant lie that it’s time to fix the deficit; that Social Security has anything to do with the deficit that nobody truly cares about fixing anyway even if it were time to fix the deficit, which it isn’t; that the classes that have already been brutally sacrificed on the altar of neoliberalism need in these brutal economic times to now share the sacrifice with the corporate lords who have spent the last generation making an unprecedented killing off of neoliberalism while creating all the need for sacrifices to now be made.”

Stoking fears among the nation’s political leaders that they may soon be sailing together by themselves into the so-called Credibility Gap is an ongoing fMRI study being conducted by Dr. Saatyaki Amin, Head of Neuropolitical Research at Johns Hopkins University.

Said Dr. Amin, “In current trials, as we expose subjects to more clips of the typical back and forth between the right and left in their now serialized fiscal standoff, we are beginning to see increased activity in areas of the brain in charge of thinking twice about willingly suspending disbelief.

“Regardless of political orientation, subjects are suddenly having neurological responses to negotiations over such issues as the debt ceiling that are all but indistinguishable from those associated with watching clips of a World Wrestling Federation fight or watching jousts with balsa wood lances at a Renaissance Fair.

“Only a couple months ago clips of all the fiscal talking in Washington were lighting up areas in our subjects’ brains associated with processing episodes of Jersey Shore. Now you’d be hard pressed to tell whether the raw data was showing you a response to another Boehner and Obama get-together or to the smelling of a rat.

“I think what the Boehners and Obamas and the McConnells and Pelosis and Reids need to understand is that the American people are only a couple levels of skepticism away from getting a good, clean peek over the curtain hiding all the bogus coordinated pulling of levers and turning of knobs and flipping of switches and toggles posing as two-party governance.”

According to Dr. Amin, though, his study doesn’t hold only bad news for the nation’s elected officials.

Apparently the American people really really want to keep holding on to whatever shred is left of their ever diminishing belief that both sets of their ostensible leaders are not wholly in the thrall of the corporate lords.

America’s elected officials can also take heart in the fact that while it might have become almost unavoidably obvious that they are not concerning themselves much with the economic well-being of most their constituents, at least the antics they are pulling in Washington to hide this fact are offering lively entertainment to distract everyone from the economic hardships their antics are protracting.

“But for all this time America’s leaders still probably have to play with,” said Dr. Amin, “if I were them I wouldn’t wait too long before manufacturing an internal deadline for arriving at the place their corporate lords want them to go when theyr’e done with this increasingly dangerous play-acting like we’re not all going there.”

Friday, January 4, 2013

2012 Man of the Year: George W. Bush

After an aborted recount of the votes, it’s now official: the Pundits Guild of America has chosen George W. Bush as its 2012 Man of the Year.

In announcing its choice of the nation’s 43rd president over runners-up the Reaper Drone and the Predator Drone, the PG of A pointed out that while taking even more vacation days than he did in any year during his presidency, Mr. Bush in 2012 made amazing strides toward realizing the wildly unpopular vision of America that made him, according to many experts, the very worst president in US history.

Said one Pundits Guild member, “By lackadaisically staying out of sight and out of mind over the course of the 2012 election, George W. Bush freed up Republicans and Democrats alike to keep steering the country in the unbelievably dumb economic direction he’s associated with dumbly launching us into.

“The super rich are doing better than ever and getting away with murder while they’re at it. Everybody else is falling further behind by the minute. We’re still pouring billions into counterproductive war. The banks have failed upwards to new heights of invulnerability to failure.

“If not for Republicans, Bush’s Democratic successor would have had the country well on its way to reaching the once seemingly unreachable Bush dream of unraveling Social Security and Medicare, or at least helping the super rich make a killing off of the social safety net.

“Economically speaking, it’s just pretty unbelievable how in 2012 the political center just kept breaking new ground in the rightward direction Bush pushed it in. At a time like this we’re all fixated on deficits for crying out loud. I think there might even be some danger of the center flying off the right end of the spectrum.”

“For me,” said another pundit, “what best exemplifies the lumpen roll Bush was on in 2012 is that W. didn’t have to lift a finger as the country’s political leaders were giving America’s blessings to all his most deplorable, one-time deeply appalling attitudes and practices.

“In 2012 Bush saw a selectively forward-looking President Obama keep heaping more and more retroactive legitimacy on him and his so devastating eponymous doctrine and all his fellow unindicted war criminals by extending Bush’s one-time egregiously illegal secret warrantless spying program; by signing yet another National Defense Authorization Act, this one with a clause that further enshrines Guantanamo; by carrying on Bush’s perpetual preemptive Global War on Terror and his war on transparency and on any and all checks on his power to disregard the rule of international and US law.

“In 2012 Mr. Bush and Karl Rove’s signature disregard for democratic and legal and constitutional principles with regard to elections became a bona fide trademark of the Republican party, as did their conviction that Republican convictions trump any and all democratic mechanisms for sorting out how the country should proceed in any sphere, as did their bottomless disdain for anything remotely resembling an inconvenient truth.”

Said another pundit, “Here’s a two-time president who never truly won an election for president, and now he’s won Man of the Year somehow without truly beating his rivals despite their splitting the drone-lover vote. In 2012 George W. Bush really showed he’s still got it.”

Said Wendy Upton from the Center for Media and Public Affairs, “The pundits might actually be right on this one. I hope to goodness nobody loses a guild card over it.”

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

DOAE Not Happy with Happiness Ranking

The US Department of American Exceptionalism is vigorously taking exception to a world happiness survey conducted by Gallup Inc. that claims Americans have only the 33rd highest amount of well-being among the populations of the 148 countries polled.

Said Lisa Whithaus from the DOAE, “You better believe we’re contesting these results. How in the world can Gallup call its methods scientific when they don’t even factor in the unfair double boost in happiness the rest of the world must have gotten from the opportunity to lie about how happy they are just so they could beat America at something.

“Nor, while we’re at it, did Gallup bother to take into account the unfair drop in happiness Americans have experienced thanks to the rash of similarly distorted rankings that have kept America out of the top spot in terms of education and health care and human rights and any number of other areas.”

Added DOAE public communications director Tiffany Witherspoon, “Let’s just say for the sake of argument that somehow there really are 32 peoples in the world who have amassed more happiness than we have.

“What I would say to them is, What on earth does happiness even have to do with it? The last time I checked, the inalienable right the Creator endowed all men with was the Pursuit of Happiness, not Happiness itself, which, by the way, there’s nothing better than for snuffing out the will to Pursue Happiness.

“I would also tell the 32 big winners of this Gallup survey that I hope they’re not letting themselves get too happy about beating America in a rankings contest whose metrics are totally moot.

“Who cares if Panamanians got a better night’s rest in the previous day than we did? So what if Paraguayans and El Salvadorians got more respect or if Venezuelans had more laughs or if Guatemalans and Filipinos got to do more of what was interesting to them or if Thailanders experienced more feelings of enjoyment?

“When you start asking questions that measure what matters, America starts wiping all the big dumb bright white smiles off all the happy happy faces of all the brown people with the joygerm fever. How do you think Trinidad and Tobago or Ecuador or Costa Rica would do on this little five-question survey:

“How many hours above and beyond the minimum of eight did you put into your Pursuit of Happiness in the previous day? What are you willing to sacrifice in terms of Life and Liberty in your Pursuit of Happiness? How big a personal share of the common pie of Happiness are you willing to Pursue for yourself? What are you willing to do to your fellow vyers for slices of the pie of Happiness in your Pursuit of Happiness? How many resource-rich countries are you willing to have your tax dollars pay for invading in the interest of furthering your own personal Pursuit of Happiness?”

“Oh and by the way,” said Ms. Whithaus, “we’re not exactly happy about Gallup’s having served up to Iraq and Yemen and Afghanistan and Haiti the perfect opportunity to make America look bad by winding up at the very bottom of the happiness rankings and thereby imply that America’s deep involvement in their societies has somehow damaged their national well-being.”

In the face of relentless DOAE criticism, Gallup Inc. is standing by the results of their world happiness survey.

Said one company official, “If anything, America should probably have scored much lower than 33rd. Absent America’s wild success at Pursuing Happiness through violent widespread neoconservative foreign adventures and through highly infectious neoliberal principles and practices, a good many more countries would very likely rise above the US on the totem pole of national well-being.”