Welcome once again to “The Wonderful World of Warthogs,” the program devoted to examining our local warthog community, listening to their “historic voice” and seeing if we can learn anything from their incessant snorts and grunts.
We’re going to skip our scheduled subject for today, leaving Virgil Van Camp’s syphilis left untreated for another time, so we can consider a study in irony.
Yesterday in the Amarillo Peccary-Buttocks a pro-death penalty editorial was strangely juxtaposed with a column siding with
citizens residents outraged by a Halloween mannequin hanging from a billboard.
In the first the author is annoyed that the execution of Lawrence Russell Brewer might be halted because of a Kentucky case going before the Supreme Court. The question the Court will consider is whether lethal injection is “cruel and unusual punishment,” but according to the author, the law is being warped and the legal system manipulated by opponents of capital punishment.
In the second the author is irate at the offensive, tasteless display of a mannequin twisting in the wind. The jerking ghoul advertising a haunted house has shocked many people. For the author it must come down now and the public receive an apology.
At this point you are probably thinking to yourself that these editorials are rather more similar than different. Both authors are incensed and, if one is familiar with the Amarillo Peccary-Buttocks’ resident legal expert and constitutional scholar, one editorial is about a dummy and the other is written by one. So where is the paradoxical incongruity?
Let us return to our resident judicial authority. Using his impeccably crabbed “logic”, our scholar seems unaware that in a matter vital to a principle of law a delay is precisely what happens and must happen. Changes in law do affect settled cases, opening them to appeal or being overturned. His argument that executions prior to 1972 must have been unconstitutional is specious and cynical. Executions cannot be reversed (that is their charm) but death sentences were automatically commuted when the penalty was considered unconstitutional.
From other editorials it may be observed that the constitutional scholar has a pronounced, if not obsessive, preoccupation with violent crime and punishment. While he makes appeals to logic, law and the constitution, the scholar seems indifferent to, if not wholly ignorant of, how they function, as if learnt off a "junior high bathroom wall of journalism." He employs them as mere totems in the course of ranting against criminals and the betrayal of the justice system.
In these little tirades we are regaled with the lurid details of the act, the cruelty of the murderer, the minutia of the life and suffering of the victim, and the anguish of the survivors. Oddly the victim in the scholar’s piece this time, James Byrd, Jr., goes unnamed, a ciphered “blackman” chained and dragged to death.
These are not essays on law, logic or reason. The murder victims are not paraded before us to provoke sympathy, but props to arouse our passions. And who most of all shows a juvenile impatience to satisfy his blood lust?
Against our scholar’s bitter editorial hangs a mannequin, raising a controversy for and against. Despite what the Amarillo Peccary-Buttocks says, the mob warthogs are furious that anyone would consider removing it. They don’t want to even begin to think about someone else’s damn sensibilities, and would sooner lynch the lot of them than cut it down.
So here is the astonishing irony, that at the very moment the Amarillo Peccary-Buttocks is shocked and appalled, calling for the end of a fake hanging, it is demanding a real one.
Next week on “The Wonderful World of Warthogs” our guest will be failed commissioner candidate and commie-pinko liberal Erik V. Williams here to discuss Amarillo's giant pussy problem.
Thanks for tuning in, and see you next week.