There’s an episode from one of the early seasons of South Park where Cartman has a birthday party and makes his guests give him various Mega Man action figures before they can help themselves to pie, cake, and ice cream. He gets Yellow Mega Man and Red Mega Man and Blue Mega Man and Chartreuse Mega Man, and all is going according to plan… until Kyle’s offering, which is not the remaining Mega Man, but rather an enchanting game called Ants in the Pants, a gift only a Jew could give. Cartman goes predictably meshuga, because now he can’t put all the Mega Men together into Ultra-Mega-Mega-Mega Man, and he strips his party guests of their pie, cake, and ice cream, and he accuses them of "tyranny" and he spends a bunch of my tax dollars to convene his asshole friends in an attempt to make sure no dumb liberal Jews keep him from his Ultra-Mega-Mega — oh, wait. Scratch that.
Take "Cartman’s birthday party" and replace it with "the Executive and Legislative branches of the most powerful country in the cosmos." Because it is not a group of fictitious, self-absorbed nine-year-olds we’re talking about here. (I mean, besides the President.) No, the recent kerfuffle surrounding the court-ordered demise of a severely brain-damaged Florida woman has not died along with her. Fortunately for the Evangelical whack-jobs who occupy 20 percent of the population but run the entire country, the James Dobsons and Peggy Noonans of the world have turned the death knell of that Schiavo woman into an all-out crusade against what they have termed "judicial tyranny."
However you felt about Schiavo and her debated state of consciousness, if you are a reasonable person, you hoped that her case might disappear from the news after a month or two (in favor of more important items, like the waist size of those smokin’ Desperate Housewives! Hotcha!), but instead it’s ignited a debate — and by "debate" I mean "Tom DeLay taking a temporary hiatus from enabling his wife’s Louis Vuitton habit with public funds to hem and haw about the sanctity of life before he takes another $15 million from the Russian mob"— about the state of the American judiciary. And the foot-stomping, fist-pounding immaturity of said debate would make your average preschooler jealous. "Waah! Only two-thirds of the current power system is in my pocket, WAAARGH!" But sweetie, most democratic governments have a system of checks and balances which enables them to — "No no no no NO! I want ALL the judges to do WHAT I SAY!!!!! NOW NOW NOW! TYRANNY!" Look, here’s a Happy Meal, now shut up. It’s enough to make me want to move to Canada and have my tubes tied.
Now I’m no semantics expert (well, actually I am the world’s foremost semantics expert and was just being modest), but last I checked, the word "tyranny" did not mean "the rare and unexpected exertion of what little power remains in an embattled minority." I mean, if that were the case, I would be committing "journalistic tyranny" right this second, because if you’ve gotten this far in the magazine you probably know that this is what my editors seem to think is the "Music Issue." However, since I have the musical sophistication of a catatonic Bulgarian seven-year-old locked away in a government orphanage that specifically prohibits the consumption of music, I elected to write about something else. Also, I gassed and raped a bunch of people on the way to work today, but that’s beside the point — does the simple fact that I decided to do my job in a way that did not involve kowtowing to the morphing hipster demands of my bosses make me a "tyrant"? Does it? Does it? Nobody gets any pie, cake, or ice cream until they give me exactly the answer I want.•