Liberals lose on 'Reality Check'

(The scene opens on an elaborate soundstage. Voice-over begins.) "And now, direct from a campus near you, it's time for everyone's favorite game show, Reality Check! Where YOU play the game, and REALITY always wins!" (Music starts.) "Wel-come to Re-al-i-ty Check, / Where the li-ber-al dreck / Makes it fun-ny as heck!" (Voice-over continues.) "And now, here's your host, Glen O. Hijinks!"

"Thank you, thank you! Welcome, one and all! And a very warm welcome to our contestants! We've got the questions prepared and our special isolation booths all set. Which lucky player will get past the Reality Check? We'll find out today! But first č let's meet Contestant Number One!"

"From San Francisco, Calif., Barbara Amapumas! Come on down!" "Oh, wow! I can't believe it! Oh wow!" (etc.) "All right then, let's get you into the isolation booth. Comfy? Good. Now listen closely. Two years ago a California woman was killed and eaten in a public park by a mountain lion. State officials then destroyed the animal. Here's your first question: Did they do the right thing?"

"Oh, no! Animals have rights too, and that lion was probably striking back for centuries of mountain lion oppression. It couldn't help needing food! Besides, we have to learn to live in peace and harmony with nature. And, you can always replace a human, but you can't always replace a mountain lion." "Judges?" (BZZZZT!) "Uh oh! Looks like you need a Reality Check! Let's see how you fare against a hungry mountain lion!" "Oh, no! Wait! Nice kitty! AAAAAA!" (growls, screams, etc.) "Ooo, too bad! Well, while they're cleaning up Booth 1, let's go to Booth 2! Ward?"

"In Booth Number 2, from Key West, Fla., Val Yewfree!" (applause) "Val, are you ready?" "Oh, this is such a trip! I'm ready." "All right then. In the 1960's, a lot of people rebelled against restraints on personal behavior. They figured, if it felt good, it must be OK! Your question is: Were they right?"

"Definitely, absolutely, yes on that. We have been enslaved by so-called 'morality' for too long, and forced to deny our inner feelings and pleasures. We have to be free, and nonjudgmental! Follow your heart! If it feels good, then do it!" (BZZZZT!) "Whoopsie! Here comes another Reality Check! Val, we'd like you to say hello to the Cincinnati Strangler! Or should I say, good-bye?" "Help! Help! Aaaagh! (gurgle)." "Oh, dear! Looks like Val won't be coming back tomorrow! Did that feel good, Mr. Strangler?" "Sure, man. That's why I did it. It makes me happy." "Well, let's move on. Ward?"

"All the way from Stanford University, Dr. Bea Mellow!" (applause) "Dr. Mellow, recently some scholars have attacked the idea of multiculturalism, saying that some cultures are actually worse than others. How do you respond?"

"That is totally wrong. That's what is tearing our country apart! We have to learn to respect and appreciate all cultures. We have no right to say we're 'better.' Everyone needs to feel self-esteem about his or her culture, beliefs, and attitudes." (BZZZZT!) "Uh oh! Time for a Reality Check! Ward?" "Entering Booth 3 now, a dozen ancient Aztecs! They're looking for a human sacrifice, and č oops! č it looks like they've found one!" "Aieee! Let go! No! No! I didn't meanč" "Ooo, ouch! Looks like she's experiencing Aztec-nical difficulties! Well, who's next?"

"In Booth 4, Max Vapid, from Washington, D.C.!" "Thanks; it's a pleasure to be here." "Now Mr. Vapid. Your question is about size and strength requirements for jobs usually held by men. If not many women make the cut, should they lower the standards?"

"They absolutely should, and we need to pass laws to make sure they do. What's at stake here is women's rights. A woman has just as much right to a job as a man, and if the standards favor more men than women, that's discriminatory, and the standards have to go." (BZZZZT!) "I'm sorry, but that calls for a Reality Check! Let's see what happens when we set Booth 4 on fire!" "Hey! Fire! Fire! Let me out!" "Don't worry, Mr. Vapid; the firefighters are on their way. Here comes one through the window now! Ooo, and she's cute, too! Uh oh! Looks like our contestant's passed out from the smoke! Let's listen in on the radio."

"He's passed out! I can't lift him; I need backup!" "OK; it's on theč" (booth floor caves in) "Sheila? Come in?" "Ooo, too bad! Looks like they both got a Reality Check! Well, that's all our contestants for today. I'll see you next time on Reality Check!" (Credits roll, fade to black.)

John Keisling is a Reality Check champion and math Ph. D. candidate whose column appears Wednesdays.

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