Coll Writes

You know how I do.

My Modest Proposal

Written By: Colleen - Jan• 07•06

Being a journalism major, I’ve spent the past four years learning about the First Amendment and the wonderfulness that is free speech. Thanks to this little addendum, any American can supposedly go out and say whatever they want, whenever they want and chances are they’re protected under the Constitution of our great country.

Thus said, I’d like to briefly share with you all a little proposal of an idea that I came up with back in high school. This idea is so brilliant that I’ll probably one day win a Nobel Prize for coming up with the solution that’ll bring about world peace, or at the very least, bring an end to every day headaches. So what’s this miracle idea? Speech quotas.

Think about it. How many times have you been sitting in class or standing online at Target or stuck in a room with your family and simply wished that there was a way to shut everyone up? It’s brilliant. I’m not saying to silence the dumb drunk girls you hear conversing in the bathroom at Darby’s; I’m proposing that we simply limit the amount of unintelligent banter.

I realize that it sounds ridiculous, but hear me out. Here’s how it would work. Periodically, everyone has to take a test that will determine the amount of time that they’re allowed to speak a day. It does not need to be based on intelligence. Can you imagine how much better classes would be if your professor just got to the point of their lecture, rather than trying to fill up an hour and fifteen minutes with filler? Several factors will be taken into account, with the criteria including common sense (or lack of), an ability to understand and tell jokes, the amount of purely ridiculous things said in public and political parties. Hell, based on my own criteria, this column would have been over about two paragraphs ago.

There are several purposes and advantages to having a system of speech quotas. First, there’s the obvious: it would save a lot of hassle by preventing the waste of time that it takes to listen to such ridiculous verbalizations as “Katie Holmes and I are really in love!” This would prevent the annoyance these declarations cause and we’d all be in a lot better moods. And think about it. With less time spent sitting around and talking, more time can be devoted towards physical activities, resulting in increased national health as well as ability in sports.

Such a system would also serve the interests of politics. Bleeding hearted liberals and compassionate conservatives can unite under this solution. How so? Well, limiting the amount that a person is allowed to say each day will not only save them from the embarrassment that results from them opening their mouths, but will also increase the time they spend thinking before they do it again. Then we’d be spared from hearing things such as “I did not have sexual relations with that woman,” or “Iraq has weapons of mass destructions.”

Even celebrities would probably benefit the most. Ashlee and Jessica Simpson would have been silenced a long time ago and people would still think that Kanye West was intelligent. The world would never have to hear from Dr. Phil or Alec Baldwin again.

Of course, the increased time spent thinking would better the chances that when someone actually speaks, it will be a worthwhile contribution to a conversation. With each sensible sentence, there will be a chance to raise the quota. Periodic reviews will allow people to move up in rank.

I’d like to finish up by sharing with you my two favorite celebrity quotes from this past month. The first one is from Robbie Williams: “Courtney Love went to me once, ‘I was asking my friends who I should sleep with when I visit England and they said you. But I can’t sleep with you because of the pop thing.’ And I went, ‘Well, I can’t sleep with you because of the ugly thing.’”

Personally, I’m not a fan of Robbie’s music. However, I must say that this may be one of the most genius retorts I’ve heard in a long time. Granted, it’s not difficult to make fun of Courtney Love, the woman’s a walking train wreck who’d be granted no speaking time at all, but good job, Robbie.

And finally, I’d like to end with my personal favorite quote and possibly my strongest piece of evidence for why there should be limitations on speech. It comes from our good friend Paris Hilton. Enjoy! “I think I’m sexual in pictures and the way I dress and my whole image, but at home I’m really not like that. All of my ex-boyfriends would be like, ‘what’s the matter with you? You’re so not sexual.’”

Yes, Paris. And Lindsay Lohan’s never inhaled.

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