Bully Pulpit: Brave New Criptopia

By | 2017-01-13T20:43:28+00:00 April 1st, 2012|
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Tim GilmerLet’s face it, we all fear what’s coming: all-inclusive 100 percent accessibility.

We can already see the germ of this nightmare in action: When accessible parking privileges escalated to include dyslexia and troublesome rashes, everyone and their mother-in-law snapped up the prime spots. And why shouldn’t they? Who’s to say a crick in the neck or those weepy morning eyes don’t make an extra-wide parking space medically indispensable?

Same thing with accessible bathroom stalls. Any Wall Street fat cat with an oversized briefcase should have a legitimate claim to super-sized butt space, right?

Let’s consult our crystal ball to see the extreme outcome: To nail down his re-election, President Obama tricks Congress into passing a bill that no one reads. Legislators think they are signing on to an automatic annual pay raise that expires when they do, but in reality the bill mandates 100 percent accessibility for every imaginable disabling condition. Here’s how it might play out:

An automated wake-up call on your complimentary iPhone gently rouses you from sleep (a seductive voice — male, female, both or “other” — your choice): “Dear physically, mentally, emotionally or virtually-challenged person or entity: Please wake up now. Your taxpayer-funded attendant will be arriving via the new All-Inclusive Taxi Service in 15 minutes.”

You doze off, but when you wake you are surprised to find Mayor Bloomberg standing over your bed. “I don’t want to bother you,” he says cheerily, “but breakfast is ready. May I serve it to you in bed?”

Not only does the good mayor bring you breakfast, he feeds you, whether you need it or not. He’ll even tube-feed you through a special port in your stomach while you get an extra hour of sleep.

After your bowel routine, when Bloomberg is busy cleaning up the mess and changing sheets, you log in to your virtual workspace at your computer. The automated e-mail assistant has already cleared off nonessential messages. What’s left is a mandatory survey from the Justice Department’s corps of ombudsmen. Just one question: “Has anyone slighted you in any way today?”

You want to complain about something, but you’re drawing a blank. No transportation problems; no one has hassled you at work; Bloomberg is busy mopping the bathroom floor; your guaranteed daily 401k percentage increase has taken effect; Angelina or Brad or both, the lifelike robots that visit each night as part of your sexual surrogacy entitlement, are en route with your potency-enhanced energy packet donated by Friends of the Differently-Abled. So what is there to complain about?

Aha! Your answer comes bubbling up: “No one has slighted me today, but I have this nagging feeling that nothing has really changed. Here I am, a fully functioning member of society with the respect of all and the opposition of none, but I feel vulnerable as hell depending on Mayor Bloomberg as my personal attendant. Can you please send someone with more sensitivity, like say, Donald Trump?”