The independent news organization of Duke University

Sorry, everybody

The latest link popping up on Instant Messenger profiles is the comical yet sincere site sorryeverybody.com. Thousands of Americans have posted pictures expressing their apologies for the outcome of the November election. A companion site, apologiesaccepted.com, already boasts over 1,000 foreigners accepting our heartfelt acts of contrition.

Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments about the legality of California’s Compassionate [marijuana] Use Act of 1996. The federal government’s Controlled Substances Act classifies marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug with no legitimate medical use even though countless studies and dying marijuana users attest to its benefits.

The highly respected Institute of Medicine found in 1999 that marijuana benefits individuals suffering from the toxic effects of AIDS medicines, glaucoma, cancer, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy and chronic pain, among other conditions. The report even found that that marijuana is one of the “safest therapeutically active substances known.” And of course, “no one has ever died from an overdose.” Who’s suing the government to ban alcohol or tobacco or even carcinogenic pesticides used in food production?

Commenting on a different sort of sin, the Federal Communications Commission is threatening Fox with a $1.2 million indecency fine for its now-defunct show “Married by America.” The fire-alarm was pulled on the show by several conservative organizations, and the FCC cited 159 public complaints in its case. Frank Rich of The New York Times reported there were actually only 90 complaints written by 23 individuals.

“Of those 23, all but two were identical repetitions of a form letter posted by the Parents Television Council. In other words, the total of actual, discrete complaints about ‘Married by America’ was three.” Wow, a handful of people were disturbed by the sins of a stupid television show they can choose not to watch. Thank god they’re safeguarding our better, moral interests!

In other news, deer season started last month in several states, and coincidently it’s open season on gays and lesbians. The Christian right is now demanding that Congress and President George W. Bush act on their “mandate” to write discrimination into the Constitution. James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, noted, “The GOP has been given four years to deliver on marriage and life and family, and if they fumble it…[we’ll] stay home next time.”

As perennial, socially permissible scapegoats, gays and lesbians get to read daily about their “abominable lifestyles” in the mainstream press. Alan Keyes, former presidential and senatorial candidate, recently commented that homosexuals are “selfish hedonists,” specifically mentioning Dick Cheney’s daughter. Gary Bauer, another former presidential candidate, gets press attention every time he assails “special rights” for gays or the “gay agenda,” including basic employee non-discrimination measures. It must feel good to be a presidential candidate.

Twenty-two percent of November voters indicated that “moral values” was the issue that chiefly guided their electoral choices. A so-called mandate has been presented to conservative Republicans, even though Bush won by the smallest percentage margin in the popular vote of any incumbent president in history, and the percentage of “moral values” voters decreased from 1996’s forty percent and 2000’s thirty-five percent. Where was this mandate in previous elections?

Apparently the new mandate has been translated to mean the renunciation of the Enlightenment and the regression of this country to moral absolutes in defiance of every advance made toward justice, equality and reason in the Western world. Our immoral television programming, radical gays and doped up youth must explain our appalling poverty rate, lack of universal health care, pervasive racist policies, insanely high incarceration rates and the American penchant for murder.

Just look at Canada, our friendly neighbor to the north. Medical marijuana, civil unions, porn on television after 11? Canada is on a one-way track to the fiery pits of hell. Europe? Let’s not even go there! Amsterdam, London, Paris, Madrid, Prague: all centers of social unrest and the destruction of Western civilization! South Africans finally ousted apartheid and now boast the most progressive constitution on earth, but they’re going to allow gays to marry? How enlightened can they actually be? Those god-hating libertines!

Sorry, everybody. This just in from America: you all suck.

 

Christopher Scoville is a Trinity senior.

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