the absurd observers

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Russian lawmakers think outside the box

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A brawl errupted in the Russian Parliament today. A number of lawmakers were caught in the fracas, but an ultranationalist stepped into the Ron Artest instigator role:
Zhirinovsky, who is also deputy speaker of the parliament, spat at Andrei
Savyolov from the leftist Rodina party and grabbed his hair.

The pictures are disturbing. The witness accounts are alarming. However, this melee has raised some salient arguments in favor of American politicians getting into a rumble in the Capitol Building.
  1. People like fights. Strategically, it seems that engaging in fisticuffs would be wise. When a fight breaks out people watch, some yell "fight! fight!", and most tell the story of the fight over and over throughout their lives as a little evidence for everyone else of the storyteller's rough side. The Romans loved their gladiators and America loves the Indiana Pacers. It reminds us that we are animals, and we love that. We love the idea that all it takes is a vote in Siberia for a loogie to splatter into another guy's face. Neocons should like the machismo spoils given to the winner of the fight. Deaniacs should like the bitter defiance and resentment of the loser of a fight.
  2. Releasing their frustration. Some politicians seem to settle their differences by supporting or blocking each other's legislation. The problem with this "professional" approach is that it affects the entire country. I say let the congressmen battle it out in a steel cage and leave the rest of the country out of it. It's possible that arm-wrestling could solve the problem, but, as the story from Russia makes clear, nothing sends a message like an old fashioned saliva-slap.
  3. Entertainment. We want our lawmakers to hit each other. That's why DeLay's nickname is "the Hammer". You give someone a nickname like that because you want to see them throw a beer at stray party members or have a Tyson like moment biting off some filibusterer's ear. I'm sure C-Span is all for this idea. Their ratings would go through the roof, although ultimately FOX would outbid them for the contract. Plus, the lawmakers would be for this. If some junior Senator fish-hooked a ranking opposition party member, he would become a household name - maybe even get an endorsement deal from Nike or Brooks Brothers.
  4. Educating the public. The question most often uttered among people watching a fight is: "why are they fighting?" (Though, I'm sure "that corndog is making me feel sick" is a close second.) America would want to know why Kerry and Kennedy had held Trent Lott's head in the toilet. How could you not want to know? America needs an increase in political literacy. I think with the appropriate number of crazy melees, America would stop reading about Justin Timberlake's sock preferences and start reading about social security, the Patriot Act, and the deficit.

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