Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Fox and the ACORN

The Fox and the Acorn
(or, A Corny Problem)

All respect and homages to “Rocky and Bullwinkle

The place: Frostbite Falls, Minnesota

The time: About 4:30

Boris Badenov has a new dastardly plan: to raise money for Fearless Leader by convincing people to fill out phony voter registration cards and funnel his bonus money through his conniving cohort, Natasha Fatale into a general operating fund which pays Boris Badenov.

Confused yet?

So was Bullwinkle J. Moose. On a wispy, transparent morning in Frostbite Falls, Minnesota, Bullwinkle suddenly found his post office box empty. This being the second Tuesday, on the even month of an odd year, Bullwinkle expected his magazine subscription for “Poetry Corner” to arrive without fail. But on this moisty, morning day it had not. Bullwinkle was distraught, put hats on his antlers and pretended to be a coat hanger.

“Hokey smokes, Bullwinkle!” Shouted his best friend, conscience and cohort, Rocket J. Squirrell. “You’ve got to get out from under your antlers and find that magazine!”

Bullwinkle put his hats under his head and went looking for his missing magazine. He rushed with lightning speed to his local street corner, where a diminutive man in a black suit was shouting: “Magazines! Magazines! Get your subscriptions here!” Bullwinkle dropped the hats that he was still carrying and asked: “Would you, kind sir, have a copy of the latest “Poetry Corner?”

The minute merchant smiled: “But of course! We have many “Poetry Corners.” We have Poetry Corner, Corners to Poetry and even Cornering the Poetry Market and Escaping Federal Charges of Fraud.”

“Gee whiz!” shouted Bullwinkle. “I guess I gotta buy them all!”

“Ohhh. Then you need a subscriptions to buy all of these.” Boris gestured to the side of the newsstand and a tall lady emerged with a stack of paper. “Sign these, and all these magazines will be yours! In fact, sign them twice! You can get them even too many times! You can even send them to people you love.”

Bullwinkle though for just the splittest of seconds. “OK! I always need a bathroom copy and a copy for the bathroom copy I just lost. And besides, Mom just loves “Poetry Corner.”

The lanky, lavicious Natasha handed Bullwinkle the papers. “Just sign here, Dahling…over and over.”

Just as Bullwinkle was about to put a pen to too many pieces of paper, his faithful friend Rocky flew in and grabbed them. “Bullwinkle! You can’t sign these! Bullwinkle, you can’t ever write your name right!”

Intermission. So it goes. And so does ACORN. It is a non-profit with a large budget in an election year. Bereft with money, it is going to spend it. ACORN advertises for activists with interest in getting out the vote. Registering citizens to vote is a noble cause but employing part-time people at a low wage, coupled with a signing goal is not the way to do this. Utilizing volunteers is the accepted, honorable and transparent process usually used to get out the vote. Volunteers tend to be young people looking to make a difference. There is no reason to deceive anybody; there’s nothing to gain.

By employing people to perform an activist’s job, ACORN set itself up to fail. Week to week, day to day employees have no interest but their own wallets. If people sign up Mickey Mouse or Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo to vote leads to another day of work, I guess that must be indicative to the relative crappiness of our economy. It’s too bad no-one focuses on this.

I’ve voted a few times, just a handful, but every polling precinct I’ve voted at has been the same. People called “election judges” sit at the ready to identify you. These judges tend to be respected, honorable residents of their community. They are the safeguards for the electoral process. Judges make a voter sign on their registry, just in case someone pretends to be you. Election judges have a tough, honorable and respected position. There is absolutely no evidence these judges would allow, attempt or even have the coincidence to deal with a fraudulent voter.

Anyone who attempts to belittle the good intentions of many and also tries to scorn them for the misdeeds of a few must have a good need for a soundbite.

Intermission: Join us next time for “A Roll in the Polls” or…McCain in Wonderland.”


ucis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ucis said...

"Then you need a subscriptions to buy all of these.”

you may want to change this to:....."Then you need a subscription to buy all of these.”

otherwise Bachelor of Arts in English looks foolish as your credentials:)

great read otherwise...

feel free to delete this comment

your fearless proofreader

Adam Koeppe said...

I'm a big Marx Brothers fan. The paragraph/dialogue was my homage to Chico Marx along with Boris Badenov.

I do think I should have added a hyperlink to this section for clarity.

Guess I have to learn as I go.

Thanks for keeping it critical and keeping it real.


ucis said...

Perhaps the best jokes sometimes slip through the cracks due to misinterpretation or lack of knowledge of the original cultural reference that made the punchline work.

Hypertext is the new spin on what the bibliography was. You must remember to not only do your work, but also to show your math.