Screamfest: Right-wing Science Fiction Coming to a Legislature Near You


Mad non-scientists in the Arizona legislature and governor’s mansion have devised a remarkable method of creating human life prior to fertilization: pass a law. Yes Igor, that is one wacky la-BOR-a–tory they’re running out there. At least in Arizona the gestational period begins on the first day of a woman’s last period, meaning (wink,wink) the state may further restrict the point in her pregnancy when an abortion is permissible.

Forget “the war on women”: this makes sperm only incidental to the process it appears, or at least demotes its significance decidedly. Talk about losing potency. For all we know the next theocratic decree might declare all births going forward were immaculately conceived. On the bright side, it really takes the steam out of the contraception debate: Frankly, I always believed sperm was a hoax cooked up by high school guidance counselors, ministers and parents to deter me from having fun.

What is most shocking to me about Arizona is that they stopped short of dealing as creatively with the other end of life, passing a law extending life beyond death. At the very least the law should recognize you as still alive as long as your fingernails continue to grow. There’s two, maybe three more Social Security checks in that and somebody could use the money. In fact, if they’d just pass a law permitting one to make purchases after ceasing to breathe the economy could get a real boost. This seems like a stimulus package even Republicans could find favor with. It’s as easy as passing a law and signing it.

In Tennessee and Louisiana they have cracked down on godlessness and the liberal chicanery known in common parlance as science by passing laws allowing teachers to “explore the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses” of climate change and evolution. How I wish that in my day laws had been passed allowing teachers to explore the mathematical strengths and weaknesses of algebra, a legal remedy of great use to future English majors such as myself looking for less painful alternatives to truly inconvenient equations.

Again, why Tennessee and Louisiana have not taken the additional step of legally reversing changed migration patterns and melting glaciers, and undoing monster tornados and roasting forests remains a puzzle. One source of trouble they conspicuously failed to address is the Weather Channel. A ban on this purveyor of dubious happenings from cable lineups would go a long way toward creating a new and accurate scientific consensus. Making it seem as though weather is happening is liberal bias of the most insidious sort.

I’m all for codifying Intelligent Design as settled curriculum as long as it is accompanied by tort reform. If this place is supposed to be intelligently designed I’ve got some real complaints, and restrictions on damages have got to go. There is no end to the pain and suffering this flawed design has caused, and no small amount in damages punitive and compensatory is due. This is too scary a movie Tennessee and I want my money back.

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