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11 Alternative Shutdown Ideas

This article is more than 9 years old.

So the government's been shut down.

Most of its "non-essential" services were pretty redundant and wasteful, from what I hear. National Parks, border protection agents, services that help veterans, small business loans, drinking water inspections, and clinical trials for children with cancer — who needs 'em?

But seriously, the way I see it, Uncle Sam is getting a raw deal. Surely we can agree on a few other institutions and annoyances, big and small, that should be done away with? In a highly unscientific survey, I polled my friends for this list of 11 entities more deserving of being shut down than the government.

1. Kale.
Stop telling me to “Eat more kale”! My colon is all set, thank you very much. Goodbye kale chips, kale smoothies, kale and Fluff sandwiches.

2. Texting while driving, biking, etc.
While it's technically illegal to text while driving in Massachusetts, based on my anecdotal experience, the law is not well enforced. Surely Apple can invent a technology that blocks all text messaging functions while an iPhone is moving faster than 10 miles per hour. Also, while we’re at it, let’s prevent cell phones from functioning in movie theaters. Clearly, we can't handle the freedom of our devices. Let's be all totalitarian China and block that stuff.

3. Lobbying, and also twerking.
Democracy suffers from the corrupting influence of corporate lobbyists, PACs, big money buying power in D.C., and twerking. Actually, I think they are all the same thing, no?

4. Miley Cyrus.
And speaking of which… without twerking, we won’t have much need for the spawn of Billy Ray. If a girl needs to twerk to get our attention, her cultural moment has probably passed.

5. Chain store redundancy.
Any coffee chain or pharmacy within 1,000 yards of itself should be unlawful. We don't need a CVS and Dunkin' Donuts every other block. What we do need: a public toilet every now and again. Where are they?

6. John Boehner's tanning bed.
A guy who spends all his time indoors blocking legislation should not be that orange. Someone, please, take away his tanning butter.

7. Twitter, Facebook, and the entire Internet, really.
Knowledge is no longer power. At least not the new Internet brand of knowledge. Without the web, we'll be forced to seek out news of significance, rather than the dreck that magically appears after every refresh. Without Facebook and Twitter, we'll be forced to say things to each other using our voices. I vaguely recall that this form of communication is known as conversation?

8. Food porn.
Let's shut down people who share photos of their food online. I don't need to see that bowl of lobster and corn bisque you're about to engulf. (And way more interesting, anyway, is the new trend of taking pictures of people taking pictures of their food.)

9. Ridiculously overpriced beverages.
Chardon-Nay! Let's set some ground rules: No glass of wine should cost more than $14, no pint of beer more than $8, no coffee more than $3.50. Period. End of stirrer. This is the Great Recession, food service industry. Don't exploit our need to drink and caffeinate.

10. Reality TV, MTV, and cat videos.
We all know reality television dumbs down the viewing public. (All my smart friends hate it.) It's also insanely addictive. (All my smart friends watch it.) So please help us. Let's also ban MTV because it no longer plays music videos. Let's also pass a continuing resolution to destroy all cat videos.

11. "Top" anything lists.
Any article whose central idea is a list of the "six reasons why," "the 10 most," or "the 11 anything..." Oh, wait…

This program aired on October 4, 2013. The audio for this program is not available.


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