Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Machine Wash Cold. Made of Evil and Cotton.

As election time heats up, it gets me thinking about something that we as Americans love to use obsessively. It's something we use to define anybody or anything that we do not have enough time or motivation to define for ourselves. And it's something that we use to help us not only make decisions, but also tells us how to think about somebody or something. What is it? Labels.

We love our labels. It makes tough decisions easier to make and gives us more time to catch up on important news, like what Gwen Paltrow is naming her next baby. (My bet is on the name "Pretentious.")

Let's face it. We're lazy. We're so lazy that we not only prefer to judge a book by its cover, but good luck getting us to spend time to even read the three paragraphs written on the inside of the sleeve. Nope. The colorful pictures on the outside...and the various fonts used...are enough to tell us all we need to know.

Labels are often used to decieve or twist the truth. And those who use those labels know we're too lazy to validate them. That's why you hear them everywhere you go, especially in the world of politics. (Anybody remember how Howard Dean got labeled with "BEEAAWHHHH!" during his campaign?)

To give you an example of how labels are used in the land o' politics, let's pretend that the Sun is running against the Moon for the Presidency of Earth. And, then, lets see what labels each foe would assign to the other during the campaign (and how the truth is so easily twisted).

SUN: I will provide you with 12 hours of nourishing daylight.

MOON: The sun will abandon you for 12 hours a day, leaving you to fend for yourself in the cold, dark night. He's no better than the French!

MOON: I will use my gravitational pull to regulate the ocean's tide, thereby preserving the Earth's delicate ecosystem.

SUN: The moon has killed countless amount of people due to its irresponsible gravitational pull, creating millions of deadly undertow situations. Gravitational pull or murderous waves? What do you think?

SUN: My rays will warm the planet, making it inhabitable for your species.

MOON: Don't get burned by the sun's rays! Not only does the sun make your air conditioning bills more expensive, but the sun's rays can also give you skin cancer. Warming rays or Deadly Beams? You decide.

MOON: I provide the light you need when the sun abandons you every night.

SUN: The moon uses a reflection of my light and claims it as his own. And he has the audacity to say he shows up every night when it's a fact that he is often only 5 percent there and is rarely ever there at night in full. Can you really trust the moon, when the moon can't even be trusted to show up 100% of the time and is guilty of light plagiarism?

SUN: I am a humble orb that came from humble means. Although I got my start from a supernova, I worked very hard for every bit of hydrogen I own.

MOON: The sun is full of gas. He has ties with hundreds of corporate solar energy giants and has a tons of stock in the sun-dried tomato industry. Humble Orb or Corporate Insider? You tell me.

MOON: I have welcomed visitors from your species. I have an open door policy for anybody to visit. The sun welcomes nobody.

SUN: The moon's open door policy has been a little too open if you ask me. Sure, he's had a few humans come visit. But he's also had several affairs on his Saturn moon wife Rhea over the years. He's fathered several illegitimate moon children along the way, including Selmeeb, Hocatoon and Rosie O'Donnell. Can you vote for a planet responsible for giving you Rosie O'Donnell? I think not.

MOON: That's because I believe in a right to life.

SUN: But you support the death penalty. Talk about a contradiction.

And so on. You get the point. I guess the best way to understand something beyond its title is to actually research it. Back to my Oprah Book Club book...now with more Oprah-y content. Or so the label says.

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