You have probably heard the feminist slogan, "A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle." (It has been mistakenly attributed to Gloria Steinem, but actually originated with Irina Dunn.) I had not given it much thought before, but it came to mind unexpectedly as I was staring at a cracker box in my cabinet:
What do you know? A fish on a bicycle. What could it mean?
Is Pepperidge Farm making a hidden misogynist statement? Is it saying that women really do need men, since fish (or, at least, Goldfish) need bicycles?
I keep trying to imagine the conversations of the marketing team:
"The fish . . . he's just not active enough. I mean, he's just sitting there. What does that make you think of?"
"Umm . . . sitting?"
"Right! Just sitting there, like the kids will be sitting there, on their duffs, watching Power Rangers and stuffing their faces. We can't let the Mom see that. We need something that says active and fun. Now, what can we have this fish doing?
"Ummmm . . . swimming?"
"No, no, no . . . swimming looks too much like doing nothing. Something suburban . . ."
"Right. Next you'll say we need to give him a black t-shirt and lip-ring. Think six-year-old, not sixteen-year-old."
"Hrmmm . . . kinda tough to kick a ball with fins."
"No, really, he could slap the soccer ball into the goal with his tail."
"Ok, have the animation guys see if they can do something with that for the commercial spot. But that's still not going to work for the box. We need something active but not too complicated."
"Right. A fish doing something but not really doing something. I mean – wait. I got it. I'm brilliant."
"A fish . . . on a bicycle."
"Yeah. He's just sitting there, so he doesn't have to do anything, but he's, you know, doing something."
"Ok. . . Bicycle it is."
"Oh, and don't forget the helmet. Gotta look safe and responsible."
Facing declines in membership and influence, the United Auto Workers union approached the U.S. Congress with an appeal for a fresh infusion of cash to avoid immanent extinction.
"I would not call it a bailout," said UAW president Ron Gettelfinger. "It's an investment in greener, more efficient union technology. Companies like GM and Chrysler are fossils, and their available cash reserves and shareholder value are a finite resource. Unions cannot continue to tap those limited resources forever, if we want to pass on to our children a world of cushy $70 per hour semi-skilled jobs. We need to reduce our dependence on the American consumer, and develop alternative, renewable sources of graft like government largess at taxpayer expense, and redistribution of wealth from economic enterprises that actually make money."
"The Europeans are way ahead of us on this front," Gettelfinger added.
The sought-for aid would funnel $80 billion dollars directly into the pockets of UAW bosses, which are expected to flow over into aiding the 1 million union "workers" in the form of wages and benefits they couldn't dream of getting anywhere else. The cash will also go a long way towards making the UAW competitive against rapidly encroaching foreign concepts like fair-market value and quality manufacturing.
Without the aid, UAW officials predicted an extremely dire future for Big Labor. "We cannot afford to have our domestic unions perish. The U.S. might never recover its sense of unrealistic entitlement again without the unions."
#10: Garrison Keillor will finally stop making cheap political digs and get back to being genuinely funny.
#9: Black leaders who capitalized on racial victimhood, especially the Rev. Al Sharpton, temporarily stunned into silence.
#8: Empty rhetoric will finally settle down while Obama administration desperately tries to diminish expectations.
#7: International community, long used to demonizing the U.S. as evil white oppressor, temporarily obliged to be nice to us again.
#6: After a couple of days of congratulating themselves, liberals will finally have nothing to talk about.
#5: U.S. will finally get out this war, but someone else will have to deal with the consequences of ending it.
#4: Hey, it's only money, anyway . . . it's not like you can take it with you when you retire.
#3: Feel smug knowing the country was not as racist as everyone made it out to be.
#2: Maybe the "Party of Ideas" will finally get a clue, and get back to the principles that once made it great: fiscal responsibility, smaller government, lower taxes, education, and equal opportunity for all.
And the number one way conservatives can console themselves about the election . . .