Stupid Cattle: An American Parable

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There was a time when the cattle went pretty much wherever they wanted and did as they pleased.

But that was before the farmer took over.

He had 20 acres of beautiful green grass. That’s a lot of land in the city where he came from. Certainly it would be enough to handle a few animals who just sit around waiting to give away their milk or to be turned into hamburgers.

It didn’t take long for the new farmer to realize how foolish he was. Sure, the grass keeps growing but not nearly as fast as the cattle. And as more came along, his 20 acres seemed to shrink.

As the eager farmer saw it, there were two options.

The first option was based merely on common sense. He could buy more land and allow the cattle to have more freedom to roam and eat as they please. While that would be good for them, it wouldn’t be so good for the farmer. He would no longer enjoy the control he had when space was limited to that small parcel of land. Even worse, the cattle would start to realize that they don’t need him quite as much as he likes to be needed.

So he went with the second option. He called it the stupid option. But really, it was quite brilliant.

He called it the stupid option because the entire plan was dependent upon the stupidity of the cattle. If they were ever made aware of or reminded of how great it is in the wide open spaces that surround the farmer’s small piece of land, the whole plan falls to pieces.

He decides to keep some of the cattle. The others have to go. There’s only one question. How should he cut down on the numbers? After careful consideration, he develops a plan to stay in power, keep the numbers of cattle down to a manageable level and have tighter control over the cattle that he does keep. Sure, he could just sell the ones that he didn’t want but that would be inhumane.

So he does everything he can to discourage reproduction among the cattle. He confuses gender lines and terminates those calves, “mistakes,” “bundles of cells” and “unwanted pregnancies” that somehow manage to get past him.

Next, he singles out some of the best cows, the ones who have done the most, proven themselves as hard workers and sacrificed for the good of others. He punishes them. He makes them wait when they need help the most. If they die while waiting, this only helps his ultimate agenda of thinning the herd. The last thing the farmer wants is legitimate heroes and examples of a strong work ethic walking around and spreading their influence. He also manages to convince the rest of the cattle to willingly jump in on this same plan. He does this by promising them the whole prairie while only giving them a few blades of grass.

Finally, the numbers are where the farmer wants them. The small amount of cattle are easily controlled at all times. Just so long as they stay satisfied with the few blades of grass that they are given. Just so long as they remain convinced that they really are being given the world. Just as long as they remain blind, uninformed and apathetic about what it is that is being done to them.

Ignorance, as the old saying goes, is curable. The farmer does not want this cure for his cattle. For his plan to work, the cattle must be more than just ignorant. They must be stupid. This is why it is important for him to control what they know and how they think.

Stupidity is different than ignorance.

Stupidity is always fatal.

An informed man will eventually resist.

A stupid man delights in the tyranny done to him and worships the one who is doing it.

Just as long as he can be convinced that his bondage is freedom and that his oppression is for his own good.

Years from now, people will discuss what it was that finally destroyed the once great United States. Was there a foreign invader? Did a tyrant king take over by force?

The answer will be a simple one.

There was no foreign invader. The tyrant did not take over by force.

He was elected.

By stupid people who would rather be given a few blades of grass than to roam freely in order to get their own.

A Conversation That Your Son Just Might Have With His Son In The Year 2025

The following is a conversation that your son just might have with his son in the year 2025.

“Dad, what was it like when you were growing up?”

“Those were the days, son. We had a lot of fun going to church, playing games, listening to music, learning and being together as a family.”

Going to church?”

“Yes. We got to go to a building and meet with other people a few times a week. It was great.”

“But what about the Council on Religious Freedom? Did they ever try to stop you or tell you what to say?”

“No. They didn’t come around until I was a little older.”

“What did people do for fun?”

“It depended on the person. Everyone was different and pretty much free to do what they wanted. I played sports and hunted.”

“Hunted? What’s that?”

“Well, we used guns to shoot animals so that we could eat them.”

“What!? Guns! How did you not get caught by the People’s Security Force?”

“Well, they didn’t come around until later either.”

“I can’t believe you were allowed to have guns. Is it true what they say? Are guns too complicated for regular citizens like us to handle?”

“No, son. That’s just foolish talk. Remember, don’t believe everything they tell you at the Mind Enhancement Center.”

“Yes sir. Did you have the Hunger Games when you were a kid.”

“Yeah but it was just a book and later a movie. We didn’t have to actually compete in them like you do.”

“Dad, it sounds like life was pretty nice back when you were a kid.”

“It was.”

“Well, what happened? How did it get like this? Did the Chairman just come in one day and change everything?”

“No. It happened over time in a thousand small ways. Nobody ever saw it coming.”

“How could they not see something like this coming?”

“Everyone was busy.”

“Busy doing what?”

“Reality TV. Celebrity gossip. The Voice.”

“Huh?”

“Never mind.”

“Well I better get back to work, dad. Things have gotten really hard since the Chairman said that we had to start using our own straw to make the bricks.”

“I bet, son. I’m just really sorry that it came to this. I wish someone would have done more back before it was too late.”

“Don’t worry about that dad. You just focus on getting well again so you can come back and help us make more bricks for the Chairman.”

“Fair enough. I just hope that I can find a doctor who can see me soon.”

“You will. The Chairman says that the website will be up and running by the end of the month. You should get some help then.”

“It seems like I’ve heard that one before. I’ll talk to you later, son.”

Pickin’ On Obamacare

I’m not a fan of Brad Paisley’s or Carrie Underwood’s music. In my opinion, the best country music is made by artists who most people have never heard of, artists who are already dead and artists who should already be dead. Oh, and Dwight Yoakam too. So needless to say, on Wednesday night I didn’t watch the CMAs.

But a lot of people did. And right at the beginning of the show they were treated to a parody of Obamacare from the aforementioned Paisley and Underwood, the hosts of the show. As you can see below, the crowd went nuts. That is to say, there was a lot of laughing and cheering.

And as you might expect, the rest of the watching world went nuts too. That is to say, a lot of people didn’t like it. One Twitter user compared it to a lynch mob. Also, I’m guessing that within the next ten minutes the video will be yanked from YouTube and Paisley and Underwood will be sent to a reeducation camp hosted by the fine people from the Federal Organization Overseeing Lyrical Subjects (FOOLS).

A while back, country music quit being good because it lost it’s soul. Instead of making music for working families, artists started to write songs about mud and something that bordered on date rape. Instead of voicing concern over a particular issue, we got songs about some guy’s truck and Daisy Duke.

The same thing has happened to hip-hop. In the 80s and 90s, Public Enemy and X Clan stirred the pot by addressing what they were seeing in the world. Over time, that devolved into Drake complaining about how hard it is to be rich and Jay Z being buddies with the president and rapping about French art.

To a certain extent, musicians are supposed to make us dance. But the good ones have a way of also making us think, even if we don’t agree with their conclusion.

In the early 1970s Neil Young’s Southern Man critiqued what he saw as a southern culture where Civil War era racism still lingered. Not everyone agreed with his conclusions but the message was from the heart. The band Lynyrd Skynyrd were among those who disagreed so they wrote a classic response to Mr. Young’s song. Even Neil Young liked their Sweet Home Alabama, saying, “They play it like they mean it” and, “I’m proud to have my name in a song like theirs.”

During the Bush administration The Dixie Chicks made headlines when they expressed their opposition to the war in Iraq, even going so far as to say, “we’re ashamed that the President of the United States is from Texas.”

The world erupted. Some folks agreed and some did not. There were boycotts, record burnings and, no doubt, awkwardly long conversations at dinner tables about whether or not those three ladies have any right expressing an opinion about a sitting president during a time of war.

But for the last several years, there has been none of that. No rap songs telling us to fight the power. No modern day Rage Against the Machine screaming against the injustices that come from high places. No albums like Radiohead’s Hail to the Thief.

And that should concern us. Not because mainstream music is losing its soul, which it is. We should be concerned for more important reasons. Reasons that run to the very core of what our nation was founded on.

If artists no longer question their government, whether it be through parody or music, it’s likely because fear has trumped freedom and comfort has replaced awareness.

So you may not agree with what Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood did Wednesday night. Or maybe you hated what the Dixie Chicks said all of those years ago. That’s fine. But you should still want them to publicly say those things.

Because when artists no longer question their government it results in something a whole lot worse than bad music.

The Devil’s Dictionary of American Politics

One of the tricky things about our language is that words often have multiple meanings. Take the word dude, for example.

“What’s up, dude?”

Here, dude means fellow or friend.

But the same word can also be an expression of shock or awe.

“Hey, Cheese Puffs aren’t buy one get one free at Kroger anymore.”

“Dude!”

Nowhere is the multiple meaning of our words more clear than in American politics. You’ve probably heard it said before that the Devil is in the details. In his book The Devil’s Dictionary of the Christian Faith, Donald Williams elaborates on that saying. “Remember: the definition is what the Devil wishes were true, period, and which is, in fact, true all too often.”

Here’s how the Devil is getting his wish in the language of American politics.

Affordable (adj.): When the government gives you something that neither you or they can afford by forcing a completely different group of people to pay for it thus making it free. Well, free for them at least.

Anarchist (n.): Any individual or organization that has a problem with the federal government spending trillions of dollars to make sure that your flower bed has the proper ratio of weeds to pine straw.

Bipartisan (adj.): When politicians who represent opposing viewpoints come together to really stick it to the American people.

Cut 1 (v., archaic): To decrease the size and spending of government; 2 (v., current): An act of terrorism that would prevent millions of Americans from being provided with much needed smart phones, Curious George cartoons and ridiculous pieces of art placed inside of funny looking library buildings.

Debt (n.): Money that American politicians borrow from other nations or institutions under the assumption that it will be used to help average American citizens. In the rare event that this money is ever returned, it will be at the expense of those same average American citizens. And their children. And their children’s children.

Democrat (n.): A member or supporter of the most compassionate and caring political party that has ever existed.

Extremism (n.): The belief that one should be able to say what he wishes, worship where he wishes, own a firearm and put as much pine straw in his flower garden as he so desires.

Freedom (n.): A citizen’s privilege to choose whether his rights will be taken away by a republican or a democrat.

Gun-Control (n.): The belief that government should use its own evil weapons to take away evil weapons from citizens that is grounded in the assumption that only government agents and American funded international drug lords have enough inherent goodness to overcome the evil of such weapons.

Politician (n.): A person elected to represent a group of citizens by acquiring as much money and power as possible, all for the good of those citizens, of course.

Republican (n.): A derivative from Latin meaning to sell one’s soul and cave in at the last minute.

Sacrifice (n.): A citizen’s patriotic duty of either voluntarily or involuntarily giving up rights so that government can protect him from himself.

Terrorist (n.): A Christian mother of five who drives a mini-van, loves her husband and kids, pays for her own groceries and voted for Ron Paul. Not to be confused with people who use anything at their disposal to do as much harm as possible to the American republic while benefiting themselves. See politician.

Tragedy (n.): A really awesome opportunity for politicians to acquire more power for themselves and take away more rights from citizens by appealing to the emotions or fears of those citizens.

War (n.): The political strategy of making a bad situation worse by talking about it more, “getting tough” on it and spending trillions of dollars on it. Examples include but are not limited to the War on Drugs, the War on Terror and the War on Poverty.

So now, the next time you turn on the news and hear about a bipartisan effort to bring about gun control, you can turn to your friend and say, “Dude! This ain’t good, dude.”