Friday, April 08, 2011

Hold The Phones! John Kelso Reports That The Dumbos In The Texas Legislature Are... Stupid!

The Austin Fishwrap's faux redneck humor columnist, John Kelso, offered the jaw-dropping observation that the Dumbos and Teabaggers in the current State legislature are dumber than dirt. Duh! That's why they're called Dumbos in this blog! If this is (fair & balanced) perspicuousness, so be it.

[x Austin Fishwrap]
Your Kid's Education Doesn't Make State GOP's "A" List
By John Kelso

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If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you can't, blame the Texas Legislature.

The trouble with the Texas House budget proposal that would short public schools $7.8 billion?

It's summed up best by an Austin Lounge Lizards song called "Life Is Hard, But Life Is Hardest When You're Dumb"

"Between your ears a dark and silent vac-u-um.
"If there's a void behind your face, / Why not rent out the vacant space ... "

As improbable as it sounds, the Texas House, led by Republican lawmakers, could increase the number of lamebrains in the state of Texas. There may be some good to be found in these cuts, though. Maybe by cutting back on education spending, lawmakers are trying to increase their base by creating a bunch of people in the dark enough to vote for them.

Maybe it's some kind of youth movement.

The Texas House is pushing this schoolhouse money shortage that will kick thousands of teachers and janitors and librarians out the door because it thinks that's what Texans voted for them to do back in November.

I didn't vote for that. Did you vote for that? Yeah, like we all got together here in Texas and decided, "You know, there just aren't enough grocery counter checkout kids who don't know enough math to make change right."

And who cares if Johnny can't spell "layoff"?

Not that the dumb-and-dumber dilemma is exclusive to the Lone Star State. A friend of mine who's a college professor in another state assigned his class to read the book Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. It's the story of Louis Zamperini, the 1930s Olympic sprinter who survived years of torture and beatings in Japanese prison camps during World War II.

Hillenbrand is arguably America's top storyteller, and it's one of the best books I've ever read. Though incredibly detailed, the writing is simple and clear. And it sure as heck is not loaded up with a bunch of 50-cent words.

Still, one of my friend's students, a college senior, had this to say in her paper about the book: "It was a good read, although the person who is reading must be educated and have a wide range of vocabulary because there are some words in the book that are not too common in everyday language. Some examples are kleptomaniac (page 260), emphatically (page 310) and formidable (page 83)."

How do you get to the last year of college and become mystified by the word "kleptomaniac"?

"What I was tempted to write was that you have made a formidable case that you are emphatically dumb," my friend said. But he cares about his students, so he controlled himself.

"I was just sort of stunned that somebody in college close to graduating wouldn't be familiar with those three words," my friend added. "I might expect that from somebody in middle school, but not somebody close to graduating in college."

Folks, thanks to the Legislature, this could one day be your kid. And I mean that most emphatically. Ω

[Downeaster (Maine-native) John Kelso has worked for the Austin (Texas) American-Statesman as a humor columnist since 1977. Before coming to Austin, Kelso worked at several newspapers: The Manchester (NH) Union-Leader; The Boonville (MO) Daily News; The Palm Beach (FL) Post, and the Racine (WI.) Journal Times. Kelso has been a general assignment reporter, a copy editor, a sports editor, and an outdoor writer. As a pretend-redneck, Kelso is all gimme cap and no double-wide. His redneck-shtik appears twice weekly: Sundays and Fridays in the Austin Fishwrap.]

Copyright © 2011 Austin American-Statesman

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Sapper's (Fair & Balanced) Rants & Raves by Neil Sapper is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Based on a work at Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available here.

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