America, it seems, has turned a corner. Its citizens are now officially stupid.
It’s unbelievable that a nation that became the powerhouse of the planet, that set the standard for freedom, that churned out manufactured goods that made us the envy of the globe, that enabled its people to make that famous 5,000-year leap … now cannot be trusted to roast our own marshmallows without government guidance.
It seems the U.S. Forest Service recently published a 700-word guide on how to safely roast marshmallows. (The publication was released in time for Aug.30, which was officially, I kid you not, “National Roasted Marshmallow Day.” Your tax dollars at work.)
This comprehensive article suggests that a 10-foot buffer between children and a fire is a good rule of thumb. Roasting sticks should be at least 30 inches in length. (Do the math for how long a kid’s arm will have to be to roast marshmallows from 10 feet away with a 30-inch stick.) Oh, and don’t eat too many marshmallows, since a lot of sugar may prevent children from sleeping well. And be careful of all those nasty calories and unhealthy ingredients in s’mores. Instead, we can roast thin slices of fruit and angel food cake for a “healthier” snack. “You’re still having campfire fun, but the focus is on a healthier evening snack,” the guide gravely informs us.
It was at least heartening to read some of the comments following this public service announcement, which almost universally condemned the stupidity of writing such nonsense in the first place.
“Does the federal government suggest using bundles of cash instead of firewood when roasting marshmallows? It seems keen on burning my cash on needless endeavors,” writes one person.
“I’ve been doing it wrong. I should have been wrapping the marshmallow in kale and cooking it while donning a level A fire suit. Thanks gov’ment,” snarks another.
“Lovely,” notes a third. “You can’t do anything about terrorists, but you’ll keep us safe from marshmallows.”
On the heels of National Roasted Marshmallow Day comes the news that a Washington state school district is, at the urging of insurance companies, banning swings because they’re too dangerous. Sigh. Another childhood joy gone for future generations.
As one person noted, “It’s a real miracle that kids from my generation actually made it to adulthood, surrounded as we were on our school grounds with these highly dangerous swings, the suicidal slides, those back-shattering teeter-totters and those shoulder socket busting monkey bars! How any of us survived those kid killers, along with those nasty elementary school teachers who actually insisted that we behave, act respectfully toward them, and who had no fear of banishing us to the dreaded principal’s office if we dared to break their rules.”
It’s all for our own good, of course. It always is. The government rarely makes suggestions unless it’s in the name of “safety,” which is its universal code word for “control.” Of course, where safety really is a concern (as with foreign diseases), the government’s incompetence is staggering.
Remember, this is the same government that condescendingly informs us to “be prepared” and yet encourages us to rat out our neighbors as potential terrorists whenever they get prepared. Go figure.
This marshmallow guidance is not just a dumb, useless government tract. It’s also a subtle reinforcement that the American people are now too stupid to do much of anything. After all, can you imagine a government public service announcement which says, “Buy a bag of marshmallows. Sharpen some long sticks. Start a campfire. Have fun” …? Of course not.
The government now considers Americans too stupid to do any of that without getting the marshmallows in their hair, poking their eyes out with the sharp sticks and setting the forest on fire. Man, how on earth did our nation ever survive this long when it’s so full of stupid, incompetent people?
What else are we too stupid to do? Eat? Hold jobs? Choose health insurance? Buy homes? Educate our children?
Jonah Goldberg from Right Wing News notes, “In Massachusetts, all kids in daycare are required by law to brush their teeth after lunch. In Texas – Texas! – if you don’t have an interior design license, you can’t call yourself an interior designer, lest some unsuspecting consumer trust your opinion on throw-pillow placement without the backing of the state. Almost everywhere, Americans need a license to open a business – sometimes even a lemonade stand – but in Milwaukee, you even need a license to go out of business.
“The justifications for all of these laws and all of these workers – the good, the bad and the ugly – have one thing in common: the assumption that the rest of us couldn’t get by without them, whether we like it or not.”
Yep, we’re stupid.
Have there been people who have poked out their eye with a sharp stick or beaned someone on the head with a swing? Of course. Accidents happen, and there’s a bell curve to human intelligence. But only government logic concludes that since one person poked their eye out with a stick, then all people must stop using sticks. Or because a few kids had playground accidents, then we must forever cushion all children from ever suffering from scraped knees or bumped heads.
It reminds me of a Baby Blues comic strip entitled “Good Parenting Then … and Now.” During “Then,” young Darrel falls from a tree and his parents say, “I guess you learned a lesson about climbing trees.” During “Now,” young Hammie falls from a tree and his parents say, “We need to pass legislation to make trees safer.”
Because we’re too stupid to get out of bed without federal guidance, we can trust implicitly whatever the government tells us when it comes to Ebola containment, terrorist cells, gun control and, of course, marshmallow-roasting instructions. After all, government knows best.
“From a conservative perspective, telling people how to run their lives when not absolutely necessary is an abuse of power,” says Jonah Goldberg. “For liberals, telling people how to run their lives is one of the really fun perks of working for the government.”
Gosh I feel better knowing I can trust my life, health care, children and campfire snack foods to the competent bureaucrats in Washington.
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