Thursday, December 12, 2013

Putting Lipstick on the Pig

There's an elegant, if pithy, expression for putting the best face on a bad situation: putting lipstick on a pig. The idea, of course, is that a pig with glossy lips is still a ... well ... pig.

There was a wonderful recent example of an attempt to put lipstick on a pig, courtesy of the government of China*.

According to state-run television, the terrible choking smog that has enveloped much of the company is actually beneficial, if only you'd stop gagging and coughing enough to think about it. Here are the reasons given by Chinese television for why the smog is beneficial (with my comments, of course):

1. It unifies the Chinese people. Everyone gets to suffer equally ... unless, of course, you're a party bigwig and can buy better air.

2. It makes China more equal. More equal to other heavily polluted countries? I'm not sure that's a real benefit but, hey, I'm not Chinese.

3. It raises citizen awareness of the cost of China’s economic development. This is probably true, but I'm not sure I'd consider it a benefit.

4. It makes people funnier. People wearing masks and hacking their lungs out is a real gas, isn't it?

5. It makes people more knowledgeable. Of what, I'm not sure ... probably of the effects of polluted air on lungs.

If the Chinese government can get away with ludicrous explanations like this, I don't see why it couldn't be used in other areas. For instance, Congress could explain why its complete and utter dysfunction is beneficial to the country ...

1. It keeps them from causing any more trouble ... if it could give us the Sequester, heaven knows what it would give us if it could get its fecal matter together.

2. It keeps 535 people from claiming unemployment insurance ... leaving more for Real People**.

3. It will be easier for future historians to write about its accomplishments ... but history texts full of blank pages won't be much of a help for future students.

4. It provides employment for the thousands of lobbyists and people who work for conservative and liberal think tanks to generate ideas Congress can't generate on its own ... if they didn't work there, they'd probably be panhandling in the Metro stations or mugging tourists.

5. It provides employment for thousands of opinion writers who professionally castigate their political opponents ... while obfuscating the real issues that need to be addressed.

So what do you think? What other pigs can we put lipstick on? Leave a comment.

Have a good day. Tomorrow will be this week's Cartoon Saturday, as I'll be in Pittsburgh celebrating my father's 90th birthday this weekend and won't have time to post on Saturday. Be here. More thoughts then.


* Winner of the Ass Clown of the Month Award for this month, but for another reason. This one would be icing on the cake.

** At least until the GOP gets done eviscerating it.


Mike said...

China 6. It culls the older population making room for the younger generation.

Elvis Wearing a Bra on His Head said...

Congress 6 -- It keeps them off the streets, making it safer for drug dealers.