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Davis, California

Monday, October 25, 2021

The seventh deadly sin

I’ve written a lot of columns this year – 27, actually, including this one – and I’m proud of every damn one of ’em. Very proud. I’m proud of them because, let’s be honest, they were pretty damn good.

But as proud as I am about the super amazing columns I did write this year, I’m actually most proud of the columns I didn’t write. I was told a long time ago by people far wiser than I am that “discretion is the better part of valor.” I didn’t understand it then, but I’m beginning to understand it now. Sort of.

You see, I’m very proud of the fact that I didn’t write that column I’d been meaning to about creationism. About how totally intellectually bankrupt any form of creationism really is. About how whether you call it new earth creationism, old earth creationism, intelligent design or pastafariansim, it’s still the same, tired, ignorant-ass shit that’s been recycled and repainted over and over and over again ever since Copernicus noticed the sun didn’t revolve around the Earth.

I never did the one about how everyone should have a mandatory HIV test before leaving high school, and the results made public. About how obese people should be barred from eating at fast food restaurants. About how voting should be a privilege earned by service and education, not a right bestowed upon people simply for being born here. And I never wrote the column about how Rob Olson and I are actually very good friends, teammates on the track team here actually, and how we collaborated on all the smack talking we’ve been doing this year.

I didn’t write the column about the girl named Ashley, who was born with physical and mental impairments which have rendered her permanently with the cognitive ability and bodily control of a 3- to 6-month-old child. I didn’t write about how Ashley’s parents had her uterus and ovaries removed, her appendix and breast buds taken out and her growth plates fused. Or about how a lot of people think the parents did this just to make things easier on them and ignored what would be “humane” and “best for Ashley.”

I didn’t include anything about how these people miss the point entirely, and that we need to admit the obvious: Ashley, while genetically human, is not a person. She is no more a person, capable of self-awareness and conscious thought, than your lovable pet dog. I didn’t include how her parents have defended their actions by saying, “Ashley has no need for developed breasts since she will not breast feed,” but by that logic, she has no need to be alive since she will never do anything. She doesn’t even have the potential for personhood that so many pro-lifers appeal to. I didn’t ask the question, “At this point, should we be considering what is ‘humane’ for Ashley, or should we instead focus on how we can use the resources wasted on keeping her metabolically alive in a more productive manner?”

I’m also proud that I passed on the column about illegal immigration. About how illegal immigrants and their offspring stress America’s infrastructure, especially in health and education, at its citizens’ expense. About how we should check people’s legal residency when they apply for a job and fine the balls off anyone who employs illegal immigrants. About how if someone is arrested, their status should also be checked and a one-way ticket provided to those who shouldn’t be here.

I left out the part about how despite all the problems with illegal immigration, I’m exceedingly aware that the Republicans are using the issue to exploit racism and xenophobia in the aftermath of 9/11, their political cash crop and to distract working class Americans from the true crimes being committed against them by corporations. So while poor people complain about the immigrants taking their jobs, crowding their hospitals and tanking their schools, they should really be complaining about the corporate and government destruction of unions, free trade agreements, manufacturing and technology firms off-shoring to India and China, the insurance industry colluding with Republicans to ransom their health and those same Republicans gutting education budgets.

I didn’t write those columns. And I’m proud of that. Because if I had, I would have likely gotten myself fired.

Although, I would probably be proud of that, too.

 

K.C. CODY said he’d be called a fascist in his first column of the year. He hasn’t yet. Buck the trend at kccody@ucdavis.edu

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