L. Neil Smith's
Number 228, June 22, 2003

Just How Stupid Do We Look?"
by William Stone, III

Exclusive to TLE

The older you get, the more you realize that it's the little things in life that really irritate you. Witness the following missive from the Ithaca (New York) Journal:

"NEW YORK — If there were any doubts that Hillary Rodham Clinton's memoirs would be a best seller, they seemed to evaporate Monday with every fan who lined up, some overnight, to get an autographed copy of Living History at Rockefeller Center.

"By the time Clinton left the Barnes and Noble bookstore at 1:45 p.m., the New York Democrat had spent nearly three hours there and had signed more than 1,000 copies. Hers was one of the larger book signings at the store, but it still fell far short of the record held by Howard Stern, who once attracted 10,000 people to the midtown bookseller."

Leaving aside the "free" press' inexplicable gushing love affair with a woman who is two parts Lady Macbeth and one part Joseph Stalin, just how stupid do "news" writers Noreen O'Donnell, Susan Roth and Melissa Klein think we are?

Three hours is 10,800 seconds. Senator Hillary Rodham Macbeth reportedly signed "more than 1,000 copies." This means that she put her signature on a page faster than once every 10.8 seconds.

This is a ludicrous figure. I've been to a number of Star Trek conventions back in The Day — when cons were run by fans as opposed to "professional" events companies such as Creation Entertainment If your only experience is with Trek conventions is through one of these companies, you must run — not walk — to Baltimore, Maryland for an event like Shore Leave. You'll never go back to one of the boring, canned, "send everyone through the dealers' room before filing them into the ballroom and sending them home" events sponsored by Cretin Con.

At Star Trek conventions, those wanting autographs dutifully line up with a picture of their favorite star in their hands. The procedure is really simple: you wait your turn in line. When you get there, you customarily say something like, "Wow, I'm so pleased to meet you. I really like your work. You really made Star Trek great. You're so wonderful."

The star smiles, bats his/her eyelashes, and says things like, "It's nice of you to say that. All of us on the show really owe our success to fans like you. I really hope you'll [ go see my new movie / watch my next TV appearance / buy tickets to my one-man play when it comes to town ]. Who do you want me to make this out to? Is that 'Kathy' with a 'K' or a 'C'? So nice to meet you, Kathy, I'm really thrilled to know I have the support of wonderful fans like you."

That conversation continues, ad nauseum, throughout the entire autograph session. The best stars can manage to sound like they really mean it after saying it five hundred times in succession. George Takei (Captain Hikaru Sulu) is particularly good at this. He said almost those exact words while autographing my picture of him as "Mirror Sulu" at the Orpheum Theater in Omaha, Nebraska, back in 1978. He seemed utterly sincere that his success and the success of Star Trek stemmed directly from my personal involvement with fandom. I'm sure he brought that level of sincerity to every fan he spoke with.

In the Star Trek world, you also throw in a few geek questions like, "Hey, I thought you were really good in 'The Enemy Within,' but how come when the evil Kirk beamed aboard the ship, you weren't wearing a uniform insignia? What's up with that?"

And then an answer like, "Um ... I don't really remember anything specific, because it's been almost forty years. What probably happened was this: the costumers had to take those insignias off every time they washed the shirts and then re-sew them on afterward. You ever notice the costume fabric changed later on? Well, the reason was because that velour they used at first would shrink every time it was washed. If they didn't take off the insignia and rank braid, the costume would bunch up around it, and it would look weird.

"So I suppose what happened was that we were in a hurry and did the shot right after the costume came back from the laundry, before the costumers sewed the insignia back on. You're always in a hurry on a TV series, and we probable figured no one would ever notice. I mean, back in 1966, who knew I'd still be signing autographs in 2003? And you're talking about a shot that lasts about four seconds. If we knew back then that you'd be watching so closely, we'd've been a lot more careful about such things."

And then of course, there's this conversation:

"Ok, I have six copies of your photo, here. This one is for me, that's 'Kathy' with a 'K'. And then there's this one for my mom, she's a huge fan but she had to work today — she really wanted to come down, but they wouldn't let her off, her boss really sucks — you know how that goes, it's like that time in 'The Deadly Years' when Commodore Stocker was trying to run the ship — just a total idiot, you know? Anyway, she's 'Angie'. Then there's my sister's son, he had to work today, too, that's 'Jon,' with no 'H' ... "

No doubt Hillary got similar treatment. Probably worse, considering she's a politician who owes her continued success to shaking hands and kissing babies.

When you add it all up, the only way she could reliably sign one book every ten seconds would be to:

  1. Limit one book per person.

  2. No speaking to Hillary.

  3. Have a person take the book from the customer, ask the customer's name, open the book, put it in front of Hillary, and tell Hillary the name. Or just leave out names altogether and make it a simple signature.

  4. She signs it.

  5. Another person takes the book away, and hands it back to the customer.

  6. Immediately replace the book with another. Hillary never looks up.

  7. The customer — expecting something more personal — gets angry: one more offended NYC voter that Hillary can ill afford.

In short, that number — like everything else associated with the Clintons — is utter nonsense. Just more lies, as usual.

Admittedly, this is a small thing. Admittedly, it's totally consistent with the lies and deceit so rampant, not only in the Clinton Administration, but in government generally.

And therein lies the rub:

They think we can't do simple division.

They think we don't know that oral sex really does count as sex.

They think they can start wars predicated on non-existent Weapons of Mass Destruction(TM) and nobody will care that they never actually turn up.

They think that setting up Guantanamo Bay as the American Siberia won't bother anyone.

They think we'll get on airplanes even though it means letting Federal flunkies molest our daughters, wives, mothers, and grandmothers.

They think we'll bend over gratefully while they gut the Constitution and legislate away our innate rights as human beings.

It's not just the Clintons. There's no President in the last century that wasn't some kind of lying, power-mad scoundrel secure in the conviction that Americans are a bunch of ignorant sheep.

One day, I'd like to ask a President (any President, take your pick), "Just how stupid do I look?" Apparently, I bear a strong resemblance to Cletus, the Slack-Jawed Yokel.

If I had Wonder Woman's magic lasso or better yet, a cattle prod, here's the truthful answer I would get out of any modern President:

"Frankly, Bill, you look like a moron to me. Seriously, I think if you hung a drool cup at your chin, that'd be just about right. And not just you, but every one of those boobs who voted for me (or my opponent) is an idiot. Hell, Bill, the fact that they still haven't figured out that Clinton wasn't any different than the rest of us, but just a little more up-front about it is proof enough, isn't it?"

I'd probably have to concede the President a couple of points, but he's still dead wrong:

People aren't flying, for example. They're not afraid of terrorism — anyone who lives under an approach for any major airport in the country knows there's no real terrorism problem. I used to live under such an approach, and every thirty seconds, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week (except in inclement weather), an aircraft would fly overhead. In all recorded American aviation history, there has been precisely one incident of terrorism. One out of hundreds of thousands — millions, even! — of flights is statistically insignificant.

There is no domestic terrorism. If there was, we'd be awash in car bombs constructed from PVC pipe, nails, and powder available in any town in America. Planes would fall from the sky every minute.

There's no domestic terrorism. You're more likely to be a victim of a lightning strike than a terrorist in the United States.

Americans aren't stupid. They know there's no domestic terrorism problem. They're not flying simply because they don't want to run the risk of some Federal bully groping their genitals for his own amusement.

We're not as stupid as they think we are. Some day soon, they're going to learn it. Some day very soon, people are going to stop paying any attention to these morons, and their entire corrupt little empire is going to come crashing down around them.

It can't continue forever. They can't treat us like idiots and slaves indefinitely. Every day, more and more people understand that governments — particularly the American FedGov — is an impediment to happiness rather than a guarantor of our right to pursue it. Every day, more and more people drop out of the system.

We're not that stupid, Senator Hillary Rodham Macbeth, President Clinton, President Bush. Your power is eroding every day. One of these days, you'll be sitting in your office making Executive Orders to a tiny minority of deluded souls who can't be convinced that you're the buffoon that you know you are, deep down in your twisted, evil soul.

If you took time to actually look around, you'd notice that less than half of us actually kowtow to your edicts right now.

It can't continue forever. After all, who's more stupid: the person who knows oral sex is still sex, or the one that doesn't?

William Stone, III is a computer nerd (RHCE, CCNP, CISSP) and Executive Director of the Zero Aggression Institute. He seeks the Libertarian Party's nomination for the 2004 Senate race in South Dakota.


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