Recently, I had the honor of appearing on one of Americas top rated cable news talk shows for a head-to-head with the world-famous Shrill OReally, a man whose bizarre name certainly hasnt kept him from clawing his way to the top of the entertainment food chain. Although the episode will not actually air until next weekthey need a bit more time to edit in some digital devil horns for me and to make Mr. OReally look about twice as tall as he actually isIve obtained the means to grant an exclusive sneak preview to everyone here at the U of C by smuggling out from the studio transcribed excerpts of the program. Heres a little taste of my evening with Shrill OReally.
OReally: My first guest tonight is a fourth-year student at the prestigious University of Chicago majoring in Environmental Studies? What the hell is that? Im assuming that the only degree offered in that field is a B.S. Seriously, who goes to the University of Chicago to major in Environmental Studies instead of World Domination Econ? I tell you, I fear for the future of a country in which the college curriculum options are one step away from offering classes on tree-hugging technique. Anyway, heres Mr. Patrick Hogan.
(Pat walks out to tepid applause, nervously takes a seat).
Pat: Thanks for having me on the program, Shrill. Its a real pleasure to be here.
OReally: Now, its interesting that youd say that.
Pat: Say what? That its a pleasure to be here?
OReally: No thanks for having me. Why would you say that? Dont you see gratitude as a sad expression of indebtedness, a pathetic sign of weakness, and possibly yet another component of the vast underground liberal agenda conspiracy?
Pat: Well, I
OReally (pointing viciously): Shut up!
Pat: Maybe I should
OReally (with a small vein beginning to pulsate on the side of this head): Shut up!…Nah, Im just kidding around. Though Im glad you agree with me that thanking people does smack of moral frailty, and thus liberalism. So, where to start? Youre new to the Fracture; lets get to know you a bit better. Whatre you up to these days? (snickering) Hows your B.S. in Environmental Studies coming along?
Pat: Its actually a B.A. Im currently working on my thesis, or trying to, at least; Ive been going to a lot of movies.
OReally: Movies? Good, supporting the economy. I like that. Whatve you seen?
Pat: I went to Brokeback Mountain over the weekend.
OReally: Brokeback Brokeback thats the liberal propaganda film about the giant gorilla, right? With the whole beauty-and-the-beast, U.S.-and-Iraq metaphor?
Pat: Urr no. I think you must be talking about King Kong. Brokeback Mountain is the one about the gay cowboys and
OReally: Oh right, that liberal propaganda film. Didnt you feel the whole thing was a direct assault on cowboy values in the United States? Wasnt it clearly pushing a liberal agenda to brainwash all cowboys into thinking theyre homosexual?
Pat: Thats not really the impression I got, no. I mean, its sad watching the families in the film collapse, but I thought it was a pretty good movie
OReally:but cmon. The whole thing was shot in conspirocam, wasnt it? Cowboy values are one of the cornerstones of our democracy, you know, and Im not going to let some jumped-up artsy-fartsy Korean director erode our cornerstones.
Pat: Are you talking about Ang Lee? I think hes from Taiwan.
OReally (maniacal fire lighting up his eyes as he lunges out of chair): Fine! Well boycott Taiwan then. Henceforth, Im calling for a boycott of Taiwan. Hell, well boycott all of Asia! Until they stop exporting Ang Lees, well drag them all through economic mud! Christ! He also directed The Hulk, didnt he? You see, America? This Lee fellow even tried to say that its not all right to fly into a blinding fury once in a while, that if you get angry youll turn into a green beast. Look at me, Pat. Im a little irate right now; do I look like a green beast to you?
Pat: No but your foreheads throbbing like its about to erupt
OReally: Thats because its my right to fly into an irrational rage every now and then, whatever the gay cowboys might say about it!…(takes a seat again) But speaking of green beasts, youre an Environmental Studies major, right?
Pat: I thought wed already covered this
OReally: Shut up! I wasnt finished. You also occasionally write for the student paper at Chicago. The Maroon, right?
Pat: Yeah, thats our paper. Im a humor columnist.
OReally: Humor? Now I dont mean to stereotype, but if you ask me, humor is one of the more insidious trademarks of the liberal conspiracy. Isnt humor a peculiarly liberal trait? Arent they just trying to push their humorous agenda on the rest of America, diverting us with laughter? I thought that Chicago was supposed to kill fun, not let it run rampant in the press.
Pat: Im not sure I understand what youre talking about. I dont think having a sense of humor is exclusive to liberals
OReally: What did I tell you about shutting up!? Now, this paper of yours, this Chicago Maroon. From what Ive read, its just another bastion for liberal propaganda, a fortress for radical thought. Look at the stuff they print! Fumes in I-House. President Randel Holds Brown Bag Luncheon. Gah! I hate that word, luncheon! If there were any doubt our country is being overrun by a liberal media conspiracy, this shameless agenda-pushing commie-mag offers the final proof. And, as one of the cronies in the humor department, youre a part of this conspiracy, arent you?
Pat: I dont think the Maroons got much of an agenda.
OReally (shrieking, head vein visibly writhing): Like hell it doesnt! Ive got the proof right here in your own words. (Tosses a paper on the desk.) Youve written some radical articles linking Marxist philosophy and distance running. Pushing your little liberal humor agenda is one thing, but when you start undermining the ideological foundations of this nations exercise regime Hell, I used to be a jogger, but I cant get past a walk now without fearing that I might encounter this so called species being monstrosity and join with it to turn on my homeland. What, are you all a bunch of anti-American flag-burning communists on that cross-country team? I hear you even wear red shorts! If that isnt enough to indict you as a subversive socialist renegade, I dont know what is.
Pat (trembling): I think runnings good for people…
OReally (stands, smashes chair against wall before jumping up on desk and stomping wildly): Dont give me that! Youd better start running right now, because if youre not gone in five seconds Im going to beat you out of this building myself! Im gonna
(Guards rush to restrain OReally; Pat is rushed off camera.)