4 Insane Solutions to America's Biggest Problems
Ladies and gentlemen, distinguished readers, spambots, trolls, and easily offended moms here by accident from Facebook:
Thank you for joining me in the State of the Union.
(pause for applause)
(pause grows awkward in length)
*cough* You know, NOBODY governs like America!
(Rock-and-roll solo squeals out. Crowd goes wild, as it should.)
But you've forgotten that, my fellow Americans. You've forgotten how hard you rock, and you've given in to fear. You fear that America's powers are in decline. You fear that this country is crumbling to enemies both domestic and foreign. You fear that there's nothing you can do about it, or worse: that you can, but it requires effort.
Look, I won't lie to you: America's bleeding. But let me ask you a question, Sniffles O'Buttercup -- are you going to sit there posting Facebook statuses about how hard you weep for this country, or are you going to sack up, cinch in, and light this patriotism shit off?
You can cry about the America we have, or you can help build the America we want. The best way to do the latter is by solving one problem with another. See, we are fortunate enough to have problems that fit together into a self-devouring crisis ecosystem. Therefore I am proposing that Congress turn the following weaknesses into strengths:
Use the Unemployed to Fight Obesity, Power the Nation
Jesus Diabetes Christ, America, you've let yourself go. You're so fat that when you sit around the house, you sit around the ICU ward recuperating from your fifth coronary. I don't want to kick you while you're down, but I honestly can't tell if you're down or up now that you've shaped out into a perfect sphere. The average American's weight has gone up so much since the 1940s that birth certificates now give the options of "male," "female," and "ham monster."
When you're sweating corn syrup, it's time for the nation to reconsider its lifestyle.
This is mostly because of our diet -- we eat so poorly that science now recognizes sodium nitrate as a blood type. But it's also because air conditioning allows us to stay inside playing video games instead of sweating it all out on the football field, bleeding and losing teeth, like people did when they still knew how to have fun. So now you're fat and you need more air conditioning to prevent mold from thriving under your clammy breasts. It's a drain on the electricity, and it's going to stop.
Wasting electricity is an American tradition, and we're not about to give that up. But America is already suffering from rolling power outages. We need to find a way to feed our energy addiction before it forces us into a spiral of responsibility. Unfortunately, rising unemployment and obesity mean that more people are sitting at home, requiring more and more energy to cool their expanding bodies, and that fewer tightly coiled balls of American whoop-ass kicking are at work at the ... electricity factories? Wherever electricity gets made.
The Solution: Obesity + Power Shortages + Unemployment = Green Power
Up to this point, the green people have clogged up our roads with bikes, and the obesity and electricity epidemics have only fed one another. It's time to force feed that snake its own tail.
I'm talking roving gangs of bike wranglers combing the streets for the unemployed and the pedal-powered alike and taking them to a warehouse full of stationary bikes wired up to a capacitor. Their efforts will power a massive game of Mario Kart, and the high scorer for the day gets a $50 bonus in their paycheck.
Is it inefficient? Hell yeah, if your only goal is to generate electricity. We're reducing fossil fuel consumption while forging an army of road warriors. And after a few weeks of 30- to 90-minute shifts under medical supervision, we'll have a slimmer America that gets its fill of video games at work and recreational bicyclists clear from our nation's auto lanes, no longer struggling to pass one another as they dream of clearing Lance Armstrong's name and earning his friendship.
Convert America to a Carnivorous Wildlife Reserve, Give People a Reason to Be Armed
It's not the president's place to interpret or rewrite the Second Amendment, so rest assured, no one is taking your guns away. Although if they were, what are you scared of? That's precisely why you have a gun, you sexy well-regulated militia, you. Were they to somehow disarm you while leaving you alive, you'd be vulnerable to all manner of burglars, caribou, and teenagers.
Meanwhile, this debate is distracting attention from the very real ecological havoc caused by global warming, and thousands upon thousands of species stand to lose their habitats.
The Solution: Second Amendment Debate + Ecological Decline = A Safer Nation
That's why every home will be issued its own endangered beast. You will enjoy the protection of a big ol' honking wolf, lion, or cinema's Gary Busey, as well as the entertaining wrasslin' matches that come with that bloody territory. You'll also be guaranteeing a future for these beasts and their prey and stimulating the economy, since feeding these things ain't cheap and you really can't put a price on the value of keeping the lion in your living room well-fed.
I know what you're thinking: "Won't the invader just bring a rhino to a lion fight?"
Don't be absurd. Have you ever tried to drag a rhino across town and coerce it into a burglary? They're not going anywhere they don't want to -- and even if they do, statistically speaking, most rhinoceros crime is nonviolent fiscal fraud. Your enemy's best bet is still to bring a gun, and science has yet to invent the firearm that beats Armed Homeowner Riding a Polar Bear.
Like you wouldn't trade all your guns to be best friends with a polar bear.
A Smaller, More Unified America Through Sexual Subsidies
These days, America is a divided house in most any room you care to enter. Economically, the middle class is vanishing faster than the whiskey at an Irish wake. Politically, the Internet is seeping into real life, and now politicians just stand around calling each other gay Nazis. And as for religion, we can't even enjoy a nice holiday season without one side or the other pretending to be offended by how we wish one another peace and joy the wrong way.
But one thing we all know: There are more Americans now than ever before, and since none of us can survive outside of big box stores for more than a fortnight, resources are getting tighter. That's not good news, since the New England Complex Systems Institute recently linked riots to a single factor.
Their research was supported by the New England Actually Quite Simple Systems Institute.
That's right -- come summer, rising prices trigger the food fight to end all food fights, and also millions of human lives. What's a good patriot to do? Nothing but watch the enemy within devour the amber waves of grain? Or fight back, and squirt out a horde of Duggars like it's some sort of cultural arms race?
Answer: both! The future of America, like its past, is going to be one of compromise.
The Solution: The Income Gap + Cultural Divide + Overpopulation = A Unified America
I'm just going to say it: We're going to have to become a nation of swingers.
Although the trend has dipped, the poor have more kids, because condoms waste money meant for cigarettes, whereas rich people have very few children. In upper society, it's considered good form to pull out and finish in a sack of money. Of course, we all know that's literally a flimsy excuse when the real reason for their impotence is that rich guys can afford all the cocaine.
But you know what rich people hate even more than having children? Tax hikes. And why shouldn't they? They're currently suffering through the worst tax levels since ... uh ... OK, not so much. But that just means that taxes are going to go up soon! See? Tax hikes, grrrrr!
So here's the deal, and it's a good one: If your personal annual income is $150,000 or above, you unlock the Polygamy Badge. It permits you a gross income tax break of 7 percent for each spouse you marry. BUT: You can only marry someone who's earned $26,000 or less for the last five years and has religious or political beliefs that make you laugh one of those rich person laughs.
Oh yeah, that's the one.
This is a win for everybody: Now the spouses can take up better hobbies than reproduction, like polo -- the gentleman's orgasm! Their kids finally get a successful role model and a house with better flavors of paint than lead. And you get a gift certificate from the government to enjoy a plethora of sexual partners.
But the real winner here is America! Because as your hate-sex slowly turns into a tender love affair, you'll stop despising all their perceived differences, and instead start despising the million little reasons all spouses want to kill each other.
Get Rid of the Freeloaders
For decades now, Congress has belabored the fact that America suffers from freeloaders who drain our resources. These parasites put zero into the system even as they suckle on benefits paid for by real, hard-working Americans.
Not illegal immigrants. Those guys work hard. I'm still talking about Congress. That's why all of the legislative branch is fired, effective immediately.
Don't act like you'd care. Sure, there are a few good ones in there, but not enough to have any effect, obviously. You could probably replace them with one of those algorithm robots that organize Walmart's warehouses and get a better country. If you put the whole of Congress in a rowboat with a map to safe harbor, half of them would row in circles and the other half would sell the boat to Goldman Sachs for kindling. And they would all refuse rescue so they could blame the other party for their untimely drowning.
The Solution: Congressional Deadlock + Illegal Immigration = Effective Government
Obviously we're going to need someone to write some laws every couple of decades. And that's where the 62 percent Mexican sector of illegal immigrants can help. Did you know that a recent study found that 99.9 percent of luchadores are Mexican? Lucha libre wrestlers kick exactly the kind of ass we need to effect real change in Washington.
For starters, they're go-getters, OK? They don't waste nine months campaigning and compromising. When a luchador wants a title, he finds the guy who has it and pins him. It's survival of the fittest, and it only takes 10 minutes. Think of the efficiency! In that amount of time, your current Congress can barely break more than seven or eight promises.
But the big advantage is that luchadores' identities are concealed -- often their own families aren't even aware of who they are. Special interest groups are going to have a devil of a time influencing the vote of a man who can vanish by pulling his face off.
And one of them is a saint.
A politician might vote against his own judgment just to cut a deal or get back at another politician. Luchadores have more honor than that. The only time a luchador flips his position is to better leg-lock his opponent. And if a wrestler betrays his partner, you won't see the wounded party take a dive next week as revenge.
Maybe you're not convinced. After all, what do these heroes know about legislation? But ask yourself this: How could they do any worse, America? At least luchadores know they're real men and wouldn't lurch the nation into eight years of unnecessary war because they're afraid of being called soft.
There is no pipe rusty enough to thank the 108th Congress for its service to this country.
Since only natural-born citizens can run for president, they'll get out there and govern fearlessly, without worrying about their record. And there are clear-cut heroes, or faces (Spanish: technicos) and villains, also known as heels (Spanish: rudos). This easy classification system means that we can dispense with the endless debates and say goodbye to the unbearable pussyfooting of the Democratic Party (Spanish: putas) and hello to a Republican Party (Spanish: Sith Lord) that finally admits it just wants to crush someone weaker.
Obviously, that still leaves 11 million illegal immigrants without a Congressional gig, but I trust that our luchador legislators will grant them their chance at the American dream and all the taxes that accompany it. Meanwhile, they can assess heavy fines on employers who hire under the table and circumvent the tax system.
In conclusion, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what it's doing to you with your own tax dollars. Don't be afraid to speak up, don't be afraid to fail, don't be afraid to be hurt, don't be afraid to be kind, and be very afraid of the manticore. Thank you, and may God bless all this weirdness.
Brendan's keeping America and Twitter safe @brendanmcginley. He once watched a shapely redhead give a yoga lesson to 30 Rock's Dot Com.