Thursday, November 30, 2006

Why Didn't We Think of That?

Good God, it's been too long. Our blood is fairly boiling, but since we've been silent for a few days and we're enjoying ourselves we thought we would give you first peek at what may well be the most innovative, intriguing, pragmatic, law-abiding, and downright invigorating political-social idea of the last eight years.

Of course we didn't think of it ourselves. No, Friends, give a big hearty Swillcome to our new Assistant Senior Managing and Features Assistant, JT.

Believe it or not, just a few short weeks ago, JT was slaving away down in the mailroom, fighting off advances from some particularly randy recent Princeton grads (aside: if you want to keep journalism semi-profitable, hire folks whose parents can afford to support them for a year or two while you pay them slave wages or, better yet, they "intern" for free. It's pretty much standard practice in the business, and has the added bonus of keeping executive washrooms and editorial columns free from society's, ahem sturdier elements).

Hell, we understand. We try to avoid the mailroom ourselves. But when you have to go, friends, you have to go, and while looking for our keys on the way to the parking garage, we were unexpectedly seized by what felt like a thousand starfish running straight down our colon, and we had no choice but to dash into the unisex shitter that is usually reserved for all of the good men and women who work Downstairs.

Whilst spraying figurative mud on the back of the literal bowl, we found ourselves moaning the mantra that has comforted us for many moons and through many dark hours: "Impeach," we lowed, "Dear Christ it's tearing the ass right out of us I-M-P-E-A-C-H."

Now, you know we're not used to being contradicted. But on the perhaps mystically important third growl of "IMPEACH," a voice pointedly emerged from the stall next to us. What follows is what we heard, and, well, the rest is herstory:

"Fuck impeachment" the voice said. "I've got a new strategy: deport him."

Depor? Wha?

"Look, dick," the voice growled, "Houston Chronicle reports that Immigration Services is test-driving a new citizenship exam, featuring questions that emphasize not factual knowledge but the applicant's understanding of 'the meaning behind some of America's fundamental institutions.' So, for example, rather than being asked 'What was the Emancipation Proclamation,' as the exam does now, one might be asked 'What were some of the causes of the Civil War?' But then we get this... [here the voice paused briefly, we heard the sound of newspaper pages rustling, throat-clearing commenced, and the following was read aloud]:

Another possible question would delve into the
nation's system of checks and balances.

Currently, immigrants are asked "What are the
three branches or parts of government?" The
answer: executive, legislative and judicial.

But a draft test question asks: "Why do we have
three branches of government?"

An acceptable answer might be, so that no
branch is too powerful. . . . Or another
acceptable response might be, to separate
the power of government. . . ."

[What came next -- shoutingly, insistingly, righteously -- blew not only our mind, but the remainder of our pancreas straight through a starfish-shaped emergency exit, if you catch our drift. sorry. - ed.]


Genius will out, friends. And that's how you rise in the ranks of journalism, Swill-style.


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