FutilitySubmitted by itchy at 2003-10-01 18:15:51 EDT
Rating: 2.0 on 28 ratings (28 reviews) (Review this item) (V)
I am somewhat of a connoisseur of bumper stickers. Once upon a time, I dreamt of writing bumper stickers as my life’s work (don’t laugh, I’m serious). Imagine the satisfaction the person who wrote “Commit random acts of kindness and senseless acts of compassion,” must feel as they go to bed each night, knowing their simple message of peace and love is reaching so many. I wanted that satisfaction for myself. That is, until I saw the “question authority” bumper sticker.
Initially I was taken aback by the power of the statement. I knew I could come up with nothing more concise, nothing more breathtakingly simple. It contains an entire worldview in two glorious words. Brilliant.
This masterpiece became my ideal.
But as with most ideals, under the pressure of constant scrutiny, in time, it crumbled.
Imagine if you will, a young man recently come to University scribbling frantically in the wee hours of the night (Keep in mind that the young man is me, for when the change in perspective kicks in later). A single 45-watt fluorescent bulb lighting his workspace in an effort to keep from waking his sleeping roommate in the cramped confines of their dilapidated dorm room. A pile of crumpled papers teeters precariously above his refuse bin nearby.
“Drink beer,” he writes. No.
Another crumpled piece of paper joins its brethren in purgatory.
“Chicks rule,” he tries again. Maybe, but . . . no.
Somewhere, a forest weeps.
“Got Milk?” Not a fucking chance in hell.
And just as he prepares to come up with another artful metaphor for a piece of paper being thrown in the trash, it hits him. Epiphany accompanied by the sound of crystal shattering.
“Waitaminute, was she a great big fat person?”
Oops, I mean . . .
“Hold the phone!
“Question Authority” is a statement. Not a question, a statement. It is addressed to the reader. It COMMANDS the reader to do something.
To tell someone to do anything, by implication necessitates some level of authority of the person telling over the person told. Otherwise decency dictates a request; a question; at the very least, a “please.”
Authority . . .
Question Authority . . . .
And then, clarity.
Who the FUCK are YOU to TELL ME to question ANYTHING?! You presumptuous ASS!
THIS is what it sounds like when doves cry. This whole time, he had been working, striving, aching to achieve an ideal that is, in the end either a) completely hypocritical in that it requires the reader to question all authority but its own, or b) is self-defeating in that it must be the target of its own spite. The futility of it all!
Damn you logic, damn you all to hell!
His idols torn down, his dreams killed, the young man did what was left to him. He became an alcoholic attorney.
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Submitted by Random Joe at 2003-10-25 10:36:50 EDT (#)