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Media Literacy Review
Center for Advanced Technology in Education - College of Education - University of Oregon - Eugene

This much madness . . .

Bill Walsh, Contributing Writer
E-Mail: WillWalsh@aol

I think it was Abraham Lincoln (or was it Dwight Eisenhower?) who offered this as a book review: "For those who like this sort of thing, this is the sort of thing they will like . . . "

Oh, well . . .

"This much madness . . . "

It's not often that we have a mass suicide, local town elections, and April Fool's Day so close together. In the event that this odd coincidence harbingers the Apocalypse, I think that it might be time to reveal the existence of ANOTHER cult - mine. It's called the Society To Observe Obviously Puzzling Irritating Dolts (STOOPID), and I'm its temporary leader. Until we can get Clarabell out of retirement.

We have the Way the Light and the Truth. We worship Comet - not the kind in the sky, not the Hale-Bopp Comet, but the kitchen cleanser.

We are not heterosexual, nor homosexual. We are pansexual, which means that we propagate with Farberware. (THEN we use the Comet!)

We have discovered a rhyme for the word "orange." And we alone know why the Mona Lisa is smiling. But we're not telling.

We believe that there is a UFO hiding in the shadow of Rush Limbaugh. None of us has ever seen it - nor do we expect to - but we know it's there. Trust us.

We believe all of the world's knowledge has been miniaturized, imbedded on a computer chip, and surgically implanted on the tongue of Geraldo Rivera.

We have uncovered the government speed limit conspiracy. Why is it that every speed limit you've ever seen is divisible by 5? Huh? Ever think about it? I thought not. OUR cult thinks about such things. We are championing the fight against mental health.

We believe everything Bill Clinton says.

We think that the Dow Jones Average is unnecessary, and that the strength of the economy can be determined by simply announcing weight gain or weight loss on various parts of Oprah's body. "Today, thighs were up 5%, butt down 2%, but the head has been expanding at an alarming 8% annual rate of growth."

Our poet laureate is Barry Manilow. He does, indeed, write the songs that make the whole world sing.

We have targeted Ellen Degeneres' TV show for cancellation because she has violated one of our commandments - "Thou shalt not discuss one's sex life unless you want thee to discuss ours."

We believe that the Red Sox will win the World Series and that OJ is innocent.

We think that gerunds will save the world.

We are looking for hidden instructions from our alien leaders by watching old episodes of "Petticoat Junction" backwards. They seem to make mores sense that way, anyway.

We believe that television news gives you the whole story.

We have never met anyone from Wyoming and are seriously wondering whether such a place actually exists or if it's just a government conspiracy to cover-up a large square hole in the country by calling it a state.

We believe in the Constitutional right to arm bears.

We think it's wonderful that former President George Bush parachuted out of an airplane and landed safely. We're waiting for President Bill Clinton to do the same. But only if Paula Jones can pack his chute.

We're working on solar-powered electric chairs.

We are armed. Our cult has invented a new and revolutionary chemical weapon - the universal solvent. It will dissolve anything it comes in contact with. The only problem is that we can't find a container to keep it in.

We are less concerned with getting our computers onto the Web than we are in getting the spider webs off our computers.

We think that Roseanne Arnold is a gifted comedienne.

We have the world's largest seashell collection, which we store on beaches all over the world.

We make our money by underestimating the taste of the American public.

And by turning in coupons for their actual cash value.

I do not mean to make fun of cults (Well, yes, I do). But not the deaths of 39 people in that mass suicide last week. Sometimes there IS no rational reaction we can have to such a tragedy, no way that we can make sense of it.

And sometimes nonsense is the only possible reaction to such a nonsensical waste.

Maybe Neil Young said it best:

"This much madness is too much sorrow."

Bill Walsh is the A/V Media Specialist at Billerica High School, Billerica, MA.