Cliptatorship

2010 October 15

by Wesley M. Brown

There is a new tyranny on the rise in the United States. No longer will I
fear government above all else. We are now suffering under the oppressive
pen and paper of the clipboard people.

We all know clipboard people in our lives. They are model citizens to the
core. Their taxes are paid and their lawns have no weeds. As comedian Lewis
Black calls the Jews the people of “The Book”, so too the clipboard people
are those of “The List”. Checklists and outlines, bullet points and safety
tips, they sleep the deep slumber of the self-righteous, confident that they
are not flawed like the rest of us. They hold the list to be an object of
devotion, and demand that we do the same, et album divinus.

My wife and I were forced recently to attend an anti-drug meeting at the
local high school as parents of a middle-schooler. Although we both consider
the “War on Drugs” to be both farcical and a complete scam upon the American
public, we learned that our daughter would not be allowed to attend any
middle school dances this year unless we attended. Not wishing to deprive
her of an experience, and expecting nothing more than one long hour of lies,
half-truths, and the worst sloganeering that government grant money could
buy, we duly trudged into the building.

I will not go into the details of the meeting itself, but suffice it to say
that I would rather be forced into sitting in a musty and humid revival tent
with a bellyful of evangelicals for a thousand lifetimes than to have to
endure one more minute of their anti-drug crusade. But, the illogical and
hypocritical message aside, what struck me as most telling was the parade of
clipboard people that spoke that night, each equipped with their binder,
checklists, and the smug assurance that they alone were doing the Lord’s
work.

When Gutenberg introduced the first printing press in 1440, mankind, for one
brief moment, had a chance to rid ourselves of these uppity pests once and
for all. The mystic power of the scribes, who controlled language and thus
information, seemed on the verge of being eradicated forever.

But human beings are pretty dumb and forgetful. Soon enough we reverted to
our old ways. Because of universal drug abuse, or an inability to retain
much information, the scribes, and their descendants the clipboard people,
soon infiltrated government and other instruments of power. They became an
army of gray-faced and poorly dressed nastocrats whose only near-sexual joy
was the rejection of incomplete paperwork. We’ve all seen them at the DMV or
welfare office, smirkingly brandishing the “DENIED” stamp like the Sword of
Damocles, poised to fall upon us and crush our very souls.

While it is bad enough to suffer the institutionalized mocking at the DMV or
other government office, the clipboard people have now made their revolution
complete. They have infiltrated our system so completely that not even an
innocuous middle school dance is free from their influence. As a parent, I
must attend their meeting simply for my daughter to have permission to
attend a dance.

Their role as the martyrs of paperwork is predicated upon only one premise:
that the person standing in front of them is there because they are flawed,
and only the clipboard person can bring them to salvation. They alone have
the burden of informational responsibility that is too important to entrust
to us, the great unwashed

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