Sunday, August 22, 2010


So I made an offhand comment on my Facebook page last night suggesting that anyone who uses the word "chillax" deserves to be taken out and shot.  A number of friends responded with what I'm going to hope was mock indignation, and I offered a half-assed apology, and that was that.  Still, as close as I've come to being involved in one of those exciting internet dust-ups the kids seem so fond of these days.

But it also got me thinking--if use of meaningless slang terms could be punishable by death, what other Draconian laws would be enacted if I were in charge of things?  Obviously, Marc Cohn and Jason Mraz would be subjected to slow, exquisite punishment--they'd be forced to listen to their own music.  Other grave offenses would include use of Ke$ha songs as ring tones, wearing flip-flops to work and of course, cleaning your gutters at 5 AM.  (That last one would only apply to my neighbors.)

But I wouldn't be wholly despotic.  Many would benefit from my rule.  Joe Dante, Brad Bird and Paul Thomas Anderson would be given unlimited funding to make whatever the hell movies they want.  Donald Fagen and Walter Becker would be hustled into a recording studio on a regular basis, thus assuring new Steely Dan albums would appear more frequently than every decade or so.  (There would, however, be a bylaw mandating Becker play every bass and guitar part himself, and forbidding him from ever singing.)  TV would be full of however many shows Jay Tarses wants to create.  Best of all, a team of scientists would work around the clock trying to figure out how to bring Kurt Vonnegut back to life, because I can't stand living in a world without him.  Also, though polygamy would be illegal for the general public, it would certainly be allowed for me, thus freeing me up to marry Lauren Graham, Thora Birch and Neko Case simultaneously.  (They'd all be cool with it, I'm sure.)

Cracks would eventually appear.  I'd become hated, my regime despised.  An underground resistance would materialize, and Walking In Memphis would become a song of defiance.  Jason Mraz, his dead eyes betraying the emotional scars of someone who has spent years in a dungeon listening to an endless loop of I'm Yours, would appear in the palace (I'd have a palace, right?) with vengeance on his mind, and not even my personal bodyguard--Kurt Russell, of course--would be able to stop him.  It would be a thuddingly obvious twist ending, like a bad M. Night Shyamalan movie.

Of course, there'd be none of those in my personal world, either.