Filling our plate with controversy
Most columnists are content to enrage only one group of people at a time. At the worldwide offices of "Honolulu Lite," we pride ourselves not only on being able to refer to ourselves in the first-person plural with little or no haughtiness, but on being able to tick off several different yet easily irritable groups of people at once. So, without further ado or switching to the third-person past-perfect tense, we address these controversial issues of the day:
» Honolulu Army officer refuses to go to Iraq. 1st Lt. Ehren K. Watada's infantry unit is about to be shipped out to Iraq, but Watada doesn't want to go because he feels the war is immoral and the president lied about weapons of mass destruction. With all due respect to the gentleman, lieutenants are not in charge of deciding which wars to fight. If he were a draftee, he might have a moral leg to stand on. But he not only enlisted in the Army, but applied to officer-training school five months AFTER the Iraq war started.
If Watada wants to get out of military service, he should do it in the time-honored fashion, by wearing a dress. Were he to hold a press conference explaining his opposition to the war while wearing a beaded pink taffeta gown and rhinestone tiara, I doubt they'd put him on the plane to Mosul. An Army enlisted man in Missouri is trying to get out of going to war by overeating and exceeding the Army's body-fat requirement. That sounds fun and workable, but if time is of the essence, the taffeta gown is the way to go.
Another idea would be not to join a company whose product you don't want to sell. You wouldn't join Nike if you don't want to sell tennis shoes made in Third World countries, so why join the Army if you are choosy about which wars you'll fight?
» Anti-gay marriage amendment fails in U.S. Senate. Someone needs to tell me, I mean us, why the government is in the marriage business at all. I understand a government has to have a standing army, police force, health inspectors and a congressional cafeteria, but why is it the government's business to OK who marries whom? Wanna marry a chair? Great. As long as it's an adult, consenting chair.
Wanna marry three women at one time? Go for it. But you'd better watch that HBO show "Big Love" first. Unless you like having Viagra slipped into your breakfast cereal, three wives might be a little excessive. (You notice women never want three husbands?) Gay marriage? Half of all heterosexual marriages fail, so that's not working out real well. Look, free adults don't need a government license to be told who they can live with. Marriage is a cultural or religious rite (not right) that doesn't need government's blessing on a national or local level. We now pronounce you man and chair.
» Hawaii's cigarette tax will pump $30 million into state treasury. That's not enough. If we are going to put this state on a solid financial footing, we are going to have to have more smokers. I suggest making smoking mandatory. Then we could raise a billion bucks in taxes. And why stop at tobacco? Tax the hell out of any addictive product: booze, chocolate ice cream, Xanax, Gummy Bears ... Let's put the financial well-being of the state on the backs of its most pathetic citizens! How about a cripple tax?
» Hawaii golfing phenom Michelle Wie can't win the big one. Please. She's 16 years old, people. What had you won when you were 16, other than a face full of zits? Those who whine about Michelle competing against men had better get used to it. Michelle's like gravity -- she's a force of nature you can do nothing about. Those who wring their hands that Michelle hasn't won the Masters yet, chill. She doesn't need your concern. She's richer than you and five other guys will ever be. She'll do fine. Why don't you do something productive with your own life, like the dishes?
There. Four controversial positions in one column. A new record, I, er, we believe. Let the teeth-gnashing begin.
, the National Society of Newspaper Columnists' 2004 First Place Award winner for humor writing, appears Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org