Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Clean Underwear

Awakened, as usual, by Morning Edition on NPR. Maddening: some Pepperdine Law School "constitutional law" professor admonishing Sen. Feingold for asking "extreme" hypothetical questions like, "Does the President of the United States ever have the right to murder a suspected terrorist without court approval?" The professor's point seemed to be: Don't force presidents into a corner, thus restricting a power they may later really need.

A woman, just some little ole citizen, said of the wire tapping (the wire tapping WITHOUT ANY COURT SUPERVISION, REVIEW, OVERSIGHT) is fine by her, because "If you're not doing anything wrong, you shouldn't mind."

If you're wearing clean underwear, you shouldn't have any objections to government guys looking up your skirt. Why should they have to go to some judge and ask permission to look up your skirt? Especially if it's to save the country from terrorists?


Any better, fashion-centric wiretapping analogies you've got for us would be greatly appreciated. So.....CONTEST ALERT! Please submit your fashion related constitutional law wiretapping analogy by midnight on Friday. The winning entry will see his or her analogy illustrated and lauded on this very site over the weekend.


UPDATE: Winners announced!


Anonymous Old Hag said...

Okay, I am the worst entrant here, because it took me a year to figure out a good analogy for Intelligent Design people using the complexity of science to assert God's hand in things, when, in fact, had people thought it was God's hand, they would have never known it was complex in the first place. Here's the analogy I came up for for that:

If you worked at a bank, and you uncovered some malfeasance, and you told your bosses about it so they could stem it, and they fired you because they'd decided that the bank was not secure.


But, okay:

The government justifying the instrusion into people's lives with misleading rhetoric........this is so not going to logically like:

A friend refusing to tell you your dress makes you look fugly, but justifying it by the knowledge that she has told all of your other friends.


Someone selling you navy tights when you ask for black, then saying black is a kind of navy, when in fact...JESUS GOD, I SUCK AT THIS.

Try to get some of Radosh's people on it. I'm good at metaphors, not any analogies that require logic and transitive properties. Hence my great lost career as a constitutional scholar.

12:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Somehow S&M comes to mind, like we have to put this dog collar and handcuffs on you as well as a Hannibal Lecter mask over your face while we fuck you because we're protecting ourselves cause you look scary in all that black leather and chains and shit.

hmmm VERY hard assignment.

2:03 PM  
Blogger David Marc Fischer said...

Jeepers! Any chance you could clarify the assignment? Puh-leeeeze??

2:39 PM  
Blogger Jeepers said...

David dear:
Yes, a clarification! So, what we're looking for is a fashion metaphor that sums up the administration's sly rhetoric, their impressive achievement: they've turned an argument about checks and balances into an argument about fighting bad guys. If you don't let us go around the courts, it's like you're helping terrorists, they argue.

We think the argument is faulty, and wanted to have a good, fashion-centric analogy to help prove our point. A marriage of constitutional law and fashion trends--like peanut butter and chocolate!

3:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"If you put your pantyhose on straight, you
should have no objection to the government
requiring backseamed pantyhose."

- Cog in the Dissonance

3:07 PM  
Anonymous Walt said...

To crack down on illegal knockoffs of designer dresses, a police chief institutes a program of detaining women and examining their garments for genuineness. The courts say this is OK, as long as a warrant is issued based on reasonable suspicion that the people being detained and examined were knowingly purchasing knockoffs. The police chief is caught detaining suspects and examining their garments without warrants. When challenged on this, he argues that this is justified because if a woman's clothing were on fire, the police must have the power to tear it off her without delay.

Is that the kind of thing you meant? I think this could be improved upon (it's too literal, and almost as confusing as the original twisted logic, but unfortunately not in quite the same way), though it's the best I could come up with right now.

3:50 PM  
Blogger David said...

How about:
"Yellow is the new black."

Or better yet:
"But honey, your aunt gave you that bow-tie last Christmas, and she will be so dissapointed if you don't wear it when she moves in with us next week and every day after that."

5:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My entry is the short-sleeve coat: for a moment, it sounds like it could potentially be a good idea, but then you realize it's fucking ridiculous.


11:11 PM  
Anonymous carolita said...

First of all, my way of deterring the inspectors at Heathrow Airport when I was illegally entering the UK to work there as a model was to put dirty underwear where they would find it as soon as they opened my suitcases. They'd take a pencil and poke around delicately for about ten seconds, then tell me to go on through... worked like a charm every time!

Never underestimate the regular guy's capacity to be easily embarrassed. Or disgusted.

My BIG idea is about transparancy! Let all people boarding airplanes or entering high-security government buildings be required to strip and wear transparant jumpsuits. Not only will this stop suicide bombers, but it will also result in pressure to lose weight and tone up!

12:09 AM  
Blogger David said...

OK, here's an analogy. The current US policy in a fashion-sense is basically the opposite of the Burka but with the same chilling effect.

Another analogy would be to The Emperor's New Clothes, but in this case 'we the people' are the naked ones. We are convinced that the new clothes will give us safety, protection, privacy.
Perhaps the Emperor has decreed that we are to wear these new clothes.

10:10 AM  
Anonymous Old Hag said...

I have nothing new to add, only that I'm going to bring back the "Your shoes have no souls thing," because I am never going to pass up the opportunity to bring a bad, ill-fitting pun to the table for no reason whatsoever.

The government is the saleslady who insists that those pants fit you in order to make a sale, when actually she is just trying to afford her outrageous LES rent, and the gang of Al Quaeda fighters Bush has secreted in the basement because of the overflow at Guantanamo eat a fuckload of biscotti.

12:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok, I am so mad that LuxLotus ruined your birthday surprise! It should arrive with the cake on the 28th!

2:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You shouldn't have any objection to your boss's approving your outfit before work each day -- if you're not wearing anything inappropriate, why should you care?

6:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it's like when you buy a new pair of pants that you love but then get hemmed to short which makes you mad- but you wear them anyway and it becomes your thing.


9:47 PM  
Anonymous shannon said...

It's like calling the spots of brie of your dress jewlery. When questioned, you reply, "Hey, if I didn't believe in jewlery, I wouldn't have bought the cheese in the first place!" And refusing to answer questions from the lactose-intolerant. On the Home Shopping Network you explain that diamonds are cruel and cheddar is better.

9:30 AM  
Blogger zp said...

Like when South Dakota Republican State Senator Bill Napoli said: "A real-life description to me would be a rape victim, brutally raped, savaged. The girl was a virgin. She was religious. She planned on saving her virginity until she was married. She was brutalized and raped, sodomized as bad as you can possibly make it, and is impregnated. I mean, that girl could be so messed up, physically and psychologically, that carrying that child could very well threaten her life."

If she wasn't a sexually active beforehand, then her life and liberty are worth defending; if she was, it's not so bad being raped and she can just face the consequences.

10:24 AM  
Blogger zp said...

Oh, wait, you said a FASHION analogy. Not a FASCIST analogy.

Sorry, I just got lost in the idiot quotes I heard this week - I heard that woman on NPR yesterday morning and I thought, now, what does that remind me of?

10:28 AM  
Blogger David Marc Fischer said...

I agree with David's suggestion (above) about taking The Emperor's New Clothes and making it The People's New Clothes.



Once upon a time to the North, there lived a King and a Queen. Their arranged marriage had unified lands that had once been at war. In their vows, they agreed to make their decisions jointly and courteously. This arrangement often led them to make smarter decisions than they would have made otherwise.

Together, the King and Queen always managed to defend themselves from threats to the kingdom, but after one violent episode the King and Queen became extremely fearful of danger from within and without the land. Their kingdom was famous for its sumptuous clothing, but they replaced their elegant and supremely tasteful robes with ugly and expensive armor and spent more and more of the kingdom's wealth on weaponry and a huge squadron of spies with invisibility cloaks.

The more the King and Queen spent on weapons and security, the poorer their subjects became. But the more the subjects complained that the King and Queen were squandering the kingdom's wealth, the more the King and Queen resented the subjects and suspected them of treason.

Yet it came to pass that even the Queen began to think that the subjects might have a point. However, the Queen feared the King's temper and tolerated his behavior for the sake of marital and national stability.

Instead of coming to his senses, the King became consumed by suspicions about his complaining subjects. One spring he came up with a secret plan: He ordered his loyal spies to steal all the precious winter clothing of his subjects and thereby put them in their places. By this point the King figured the Queen would only complain about such a decision, so he avoided discussing it with her.

As winter approached and the subjects attempted to celebrate their customary winter wardrobe replacement festival, they discovered what the King and his spies had done. Worried about surviving the cold season without their prized gloves and hats and boots and parkas and woolen underwear, they again complained to the King. The Queen also confronted him and asked him why he hadn't gotten her approval for his actions.

But the King only became more defensive. Sending his fox-collared messengers throughout the kingdom, he issued the announcement that, as King, he had the power to do whatever he pleased. Declaring that his decisions were really for the stability of the kingdom in the long run, he insinuated that the loudest complainers were most likely those who wanted to undermine the security of the state.

Even as the King took this stand, his resentment of his subjects continued to well up in his mind. So did his thoughts of revenge. He imagined ordering the elimination of all of his subjects' treasured clothing and half-smiled to himself as he pictured how silly and vulnerable the complainers would look, shivering in the winter and blistering in the summer without their famous garments.

This vision of a naked kingdom made the mad King think of himself as a little more secure. He wondered what else it would take to live happily ever after.

2:06 PM  
Blogger David Marc Fischer said...

I'm thinking more about the Emperor's New Clothes angle. The Emperor's New Armor? The People's New Armor??

5:07 PM  
Blogger David said...

That "Naked Kingom" story was delightful. I haven't read "Emperor's New Clothes" recently, but your story reads as a first chapter. It explains why the Emperor was so willing to fall for those invisible clothes in the first place, and why he was able to think himself so superior that he couldn't imagine that they were not there. Those tailors from Haliburton were quite smart. Now we just need the naive little kid to speak up.

9:22 AM  
Anonymous spiralbound_ said...

Oh god. I know I'm late with this but oh well, I just found your blog (which I am now mildly obsessed by) and felt inspired to contribute.

Well, I guess it would be like if someone said I shouldn't have a problem with them tying my shoelaces together as long as I didn't have to get anywhere too fast.

Either that or that I shouldn't have a problem with them peeing on my foot as long as I was wearing my rubber boots.

I don't know. But somehow, obviously, for me, it would involve my feet.

9:21 PM  
Blogger Jeepers said...

To Spiralbound and all other delightful contestants:
Thank you for participating! The winners have been chosen (see blog) and their winning analogies will be illustrated within the next two days. Check back to see them in living color! kisses,

12:26 PM  

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