L. Neil Smith's
Number 367, May 14, 2006

Hi Mom!

Conventional Wisdom vs the World
by Jonathan David Morris

Special to TLE

Every now and then, the writer of this weekly column, Jonathan David Morris, likes to hand the floor over to someone who actually knows what he's talking about. That someone, of course, would be me. My name is Conventional Wisdom, and this is my mailbag. Whatever your questions, please feel free to ask me. As always, I'll do my best to answer them or deflect them to my liking.

Dear Conventional Wisdom,
My name is the Star-Spangled Banner, and I was written in 1814 by a fellow named Francis Scott Key. I understand there's a Spanish language version of me going around right now, called "Nuestro Himno." I'm not sure how I should feel about this. After all, I don't have feelings. I'm just a song.

Upliftingly yours,
The Star-Spangled Banner

Dear Mr. Banner,
You know how men in some cultures will kill their wives or daughters or sisters if they're raped or have sex out of wedlock? Well, unfortunately, that's what you are to me now. You're like a national anthem that's been raped or had sex out of wedlock. I'm sorry; I love you, but I no longer respect you. You're impure. From now on, the new national anthem of the United States of America is going to be "Suicide Is Painless," the theme song from M*A*S*H.

Dear Conventional Wisdom,
I understand something is happening in Darfur. I don't really know where Darfur is . . . or what Darfur is . . . or what it is that Darfur needs help with . . . But I understand Darfur needs our help with something, and I'm wondering: Should we help Darfur?

The Only Guy Who Ever Saw Solaris

Dear Self-Righteous Do-Gooder,
There's a reason why you don't have any idea what Darfur is. And that's because Darfur—yes, the very same Darfur your pal, George Clooney, keeps going on and on about—is actually nothing more than the nickname for Mr. Clooney's palatial Hollywood mansion. Yeah. That's right. Darfur is Georgie Boy's very own Neverland Ranch. No wonder he wants us to help him fix it. If Clooney had his way, the American taxpayers would pay for everything—including tickets to go see Ocean's 69, or whatever his latest movie is. You want my opinion? (Of course you do. Otherwise you wouldn't have asked me.) I say we help Darfur the way we helped Iraq and Afghanistan: With giant freaking bombs. [Insert follow-up Solaris joke here.]

Dear Conventional Wisdom,
Should we be concerned that President Bush chose a military man to take the reigns at the CIA? That's something a civilian is supposed to do, isn't it?

Gen. Michael Hayden, Incoming Director of Central Intelligence

Dear Mr. General,
Concerned? Why in the world would we be concerned? I'm more concerned that anyone even knows who the head of the CIA is. In fact, I'm concerned that anyone even knows there's a CIA. We really ought to be keeping these kinds of secrets secret. I don't have a problem with a military man heading up the Central Intelligence Agency, but if I were in charge—which I'm not, but if I were—I would nominate a CIA chief who was completely and totally invisible. Like me when I was in high school, or J. Edgar Hoover's Ghost.

Dear Conventional Wisdom,
I've just about had it with gas prices. And pollution is no picnic, either. Can we make some progress on alternative fuels already? The pain at the pump is ridiculous!

Henry in Arkansas

Dear Henry,
I hate to be the one to break it to you, but let's stop beating around the bush. There's no such thing as alternative fuels. Alternative fuels are just something dreamed up by the media to secretly promote the gay lifestyle. First, they try to convince us automobiles can run on corn and love. The next thing you know, we're trading our cars in for something called Volkswagen Beetles. Where does it end? Give me rising tides and gas prices over rainbow bumper stickers any day. I hate rainbow bumper stickers. I got into a fight with a rainbow bumper sticker once.

Dear Conventional Wisdom,
As I write this, Barry Bonds stands on the cusp of tying Babe Ruth for the second most homeruns in Major League Baseball history. We all know that Bonds used steroids to get to this point. But I guess my question is, should that really matter? I mean, if he hits homeruns, he hits homeruns. Do steroids really detract from that?

The Guy Who Invented Steroids

Dear The,
Yes, it matters. And let me tell you something else. If I were Congress or MLB Commissioner Bud Selig, I would travel back to the 1970s and investigate those gamma rays that turned Bill Bixby into Lou Ferrigno on The Incredible Hulk. Grown men turning green and tearing their clothes off, or hitting more homeruns than ever before—these things aren't natural. We need to prosecute anyone who has ever put anything into their body. Including food. From now on, anyone who eats food is a bad influence on children and must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Jonathan David Morris writes from Philadelphia. He can be reached at jdm@readjdm.com.


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