Public service announcement

26 June 2012

University faculty: Under new leadership, the Board of Regents of the University has instituted an exciting new program of strategic dynamism under the banner, “Our University Is Rocket Surgery!” Consider yourselves warned that if the BoR decides to eliminate your department, you will lose your job even if you have tenure.

People of color: Be warned that under a new state law entitled What Are You, Anyway?, you must register your precise ethnic identity and place of birth with the new State Department of Birth Certificates and Nationality. Suspicious certificates are liable to be rejected by the new SDBCN. No, this is not ominous in the least.

Facebook users: Be warned that Facebook privacy settings have changed. Due to the religious freedom law just passed by Congress, Facebook now permits your employer to view and cast judgment on your history of “likes.” If you do not wish your employer to receive weekly updates of your “likes,” go to Settings → Privacy → “Likes” Privacy → Contact Us → Register New Membership → Create Password → Logout → Confirm New Membership → Contact Us → Help → and then just follow the logical steps from there.

Bank customers: Be warned that due to an unforeseen security breach, all your banking information including your credit card numbers have been hacked. Go to weloveourbanks.com to register a new username and password. Be warned that hackers can use your login data from one account to access other accounts, so we advise that you change each one to make it unique.

Computer users: Be warned that you should memorize your username and password data rather than keep them on a “cheat sheet” in your home, for burglars can use this information to access your accounts.

Women: In accordance with rising public outrage against low wages and female independence, we have re-instituted the concept of the “family wage” from the American 1830s. Men will be paid amounts deemed by employers to be necessary to sustain their families, while women will receive “pin money” wages that permit them to buy that yard of ribbon they’ve been hankering after, or perhaps an extra loaf or two. We believe this will strengthen the American family and improve the economy all in one blow. (Nota bene: we have also returned to the typical working hours of the 1830s, before they were reduced to the 10-hour day by those evil unions.)

Consumers of food: Be warned that the Federal Department of Agriculture has reluctantly issued a warning about a primary food preservative used on all fruits and vegetables, including those foods sold to food processing plants, by the name of ethylchloroethylisothiamethylzolinone. This substance is now suspected to be the cause of the current epidemics of obesity, high estrogen levels, cancer, autism, migraines, stupidity (birtherism, trutherism, the Tea Party phenomenon, watching Adam Sandler films), and many forms of current-day conservatism. Due to previous misconceptions about its safety, it has also been sprayed on organic foods and has entered the water supply. Please refrain from eating food and drinking water until the FDA announces it is safe to do so.

American citizens: In a contentious 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court has overturned a key element of the Constitution. Under the terms of Supreme Court v. U.S., the Court has found for the plaintiff (i.e., itself) and has determined that the United States is not, indeed, a country “for, by, and of the people” and has therefore struck down the Constitution’s opening preamble, beginning with “We, the People.” The Court is now working to determine exactly who this country is for, anyway. A decision is anticipated by June 2013.

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14 Responses to “Public service announcement”

  1. Didion Says:

    Oh, also:

    Parents: be warned that the Board of Education has changed its views on the purpose of education. Whereas before students were urged to adopt critical thinking skills, we now find that such skills only serve to challenge students’ received ideas and their parents’ authority over them. Thus, we have re-jiggered classroom subjects and assessment to emphasize politeness, self-esteem, and confirmation of truthiness.


  2. Upon opening, reading the first line or two, the announcement seemed a riff on what is happening at the University of Virginia. Then realized your vision reached further into our entire body politic. Margaret Atwood would be proud to include you in her dystopian collective.


  3. What horribly disturbing news! I feel like we are living in an Orwellian world!

  4. servetus Says:

    i read this before looking at the paper and thought, oh, no, when I look at the news page the Supreme Court will have announced on the health ins mandates …


    • I’m just glad they finally got rid of the pesky Preamble, although I don’t know what I will sing in the shower anymore.

      • Didion Says:

        I wonder if that’s still how kids memorize it for that test in 7th grade? I’ll never forget hearing all my classmates humming to ourselves as we wrote down the words.

        Yet again, I think: Schoolhouse Rock was the very best public service undertaken by television. And who doesn’t enjoy singing “Conjunction Junction” on a regular basis?


      • Honestly, I loved School House Rock! What would they make of the Supreme Court today in I’m Just A Bill?

    • Didion Says:

      Yes, perhaps my cynicism is showing. Especially after this bizarre ruling on Arizona’s “papers please” law, a ruling which I actually don’t even understand.

      Also the news that Facebook is “baffled” by why so many users are unbelievably annoyed about their email addresses being changed surreptitiously. God. What kinds of idiots are running that company? Can they do anything right to stop the outpouring of public hatred toward them?

  5. JE Says:

    Emergency Room Patients:

    The smiling, helpful person taking your information may be a planted agent from a collections agency who will soon begin harassing you about money while you’re bleeding profusely. We recommend you keep pressure on your wound while you hand over your credit card.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/25/business/debt-collector-is-faulted-for-tough-tactics-in-hospitals.html?pagewanted=all

    • Didion Says:

      Nice call! (And good to know for all those people who believe they can visit the emergency room and get treated.)

  6. hattie Says:

    I can see that you are on top of the situation.


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