The State of Onion

By John Connor

Be careful flippin’ on your TV, folks. Coming soon is the annual State of the Union speech, followed rapidly by dozens of gasbags givin’ State of the State, State of the City, State of the Snollygoster and state-of-whatever speeches. That much hot air blastin’ outta your TV could desiccate your eyeballs an’ singe your nasal hairs.

I call my address The State of the Onion, because when you peel it, tears come to your eyes. Below are some random excerpts from my eight-hour speech, delivered a capella and sans teleprompter to a rapt audience consisting of — Sancho Panza, my dog.

My Fellow, Uhh…

I would begin this with, “My fellow Americans” but there are some problems with that. First, we have more illegal aliens — a lowball estimate is 11.7 million — than the whole populations of over a hundred nation-states belonging to the U.N. Just thinkle on that for a moment. We could tell Denmark and Norway or New Zealand and Bulgaria, “Hey! We’ve got more illegals than you’ve got people put together!”

Second, after two generations of indoctrination passing for education, almost half of our younger denizens consider themselves “global citizens” — “citizens of the world” — rather than Americans. Because, you know, America is “bad,” and bein’ all one-worldie is, like, gooder, y’know? So perhaps I should kick off with “My fellow residents, accidental or otherwise, of the lands lying within the geopolitical boundaries of the administrative entity known officially as The United States of America.” That’s more accurate, but it sucks, and that’s also a solid clue as to The State of the Onion…

History Repeatin’ — Again

For a long time, the citizens of Rome had a good thing goin’. They voted enthusiastically for their leaders, cherished citizenship, and the concepts of civic duty and public service were honored. Then came that whole “decline and fall” thing, accelerated by the policy of Panem et Circenses — Bread and Circuses. As the people grew more affluent, privileged and lazier, some wily Roman senators figured out all they had to do was provide free food and ever more enthralling free spectacles in the “circuses” — the arenas and coliseums — and they could rape the republic and exercise complete power over the empire.

Mobs of morons loved it. They didn’t have to work! They didn’t have to think! There were plenty of vassals out there in the “roll-over states” working to refill the government coffers with the fruits of their sweat and sacrifice. All the Roman citizenry had to do was sign up for the dole, the annona — welfare — and they were fed, housed and got free admission to see gladiator fights, staged and choreographed battles with real blood, wounds and deaths, mass rapes followed by slitting-of-throats and the ever-popular throwing of Christians to the lions.

Citizenship could be purchased, and civic obligations were nil. Military service was neither compulsory nor widely respected. Romans were too good for manual labor; that was for immigrants and the unsophisticated. Behavior previously considered shocking was condoned and even celebrated. The senators told them, “No worries; we’ll take care of things. Enjoy yourselves!” It didn’t end well for the citizens. They learned too late that there’s always free cheese — in a mousetrap. Hmm … seeing any parallels here?

Forty-seven million people are on welfare — “SNAP Cards” and such — and a fraction of those actually need it. We’re even paying for a program to convince people who initially refused welfare to sign up for it; a “getting past NO” thing. In 35 states, welfare pays better than minimum wage, and in 15 states it pays better than a $15-per hour job.

Gladiators and spectacles? We have “cage fighters,” “ultimate fighters,” Hollyweird and video games offer spectacles gorier and more horrific than actual combat, “murder for the masses” featuring killing without conscience, senseless slaughter without risk, consequences — or reasons.

At a time when Americans really need a TV series on the Sons of Liberty, our pre-Revolutionary War band of patriots, instead we get the Sons of Anarchy, a top-rated cable show glamorizing the exploits of a gang of murderous dope-dealin’ bikers.

Citizenship for sale? There are “instant citizen” birthing centers on both coasts. They offer five-star accommodations, delivery rooms and doctors. Affluent foreigners bring their nine-months-along relatives to the US on visas, birth is induced and bingo! An instant citizen, who must of course, be attended by three to 33 relatives — in America.

We’re graduating university students who can’t read and write at the 7th-grade level of 40 years ago. In a survey of 166,000 people aged 16 to 65 in 33 developed countries, Americans scored below the international average in reading, math and problem-solving, gettin’ stomped by 16 other countries. It was noted though, Americans ranked very high in possession of college degrees. The message: lotsa parchment, not much learning.

In a seemingly legit nationwide poll, 70 percent said this country’s headed in the wrong direction. I’ll buy that. I think it’s steamin’ in the wrong direction at flank speed.

But There’s Hope

People are waking up; the long-silent are rising and speaking out. We have countless immigrants who’ve come for the right reasons, and they’re more resolutely American than many of their native-born neighbors. There’s hope from another direction too — we’ll talk about that next time.

For more of my address, you’ll have to check with Sancho. He might have made notes. Border Collies can do that, ya know … Connor OUT.

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