Thursday, April 14, 2011

Arizona Makes Basic PhotoShop Skills a Requirement for Being on the Ballot

Oh, Arizona.

No matter how many times you say it, it never gets old. Every time you think the absurdity bar can’t possibly go any lower, the state magically finds a way—possibly by operationalizing Zeno’s paradox—to find another notch closer to the floor. And after we run out of floor, the event horizon of fucking batshit end-of-the-world stupid can’t be far behind. It has been a busy week. The legislature approved a bill allowing people to carry guns into public buildings (although arenas, stadiums, and conventions are exempted), which will certainly make next week’s annual emissions-testing trip to the Motor Vehicles Department interesting. Even better, the crazy birther bill also was approved. The meat of the bill is ho-hum, standard-issue Orly Taitz material, requiring presidential candidates to file an official long-form birth certificate with the secretary of state before being allowed on the ballot (never mind that some states, like, say, Hawaii, won’t release the long-form document even if your name is J. H. Christ). The interesting bit is the amendment introduced by long-time Boltgirl nemesis Frank Antenori, which allows (presumable Hawaiian) candidates to instead submit… an early baptismal record or circumcision certificate.

The fuck?

I confess to not understanding this, even though the Social Security Administration similarly accepts baptismal records as proof of identity. I looked at my son’s baptismal record, just to see. It’s a little 6x9 piece of paper with fancy calligraphy spelling out “St. Joseph’s Church,“ with blanks left that the church secretary dutifully filled in with names and dates, and that the priest signed.

That’s an official document. Wait, let me fix that. That’s an official document that I could crank out in under five minutes with PhotoShop, a decent printer, and a Bic pen. And if that’s an acceptable proof of identity, citizenship, and being squared away with the sky fairy, that tells you all you need to know about the birther bullshit.

Oh, and Antenori’s adorable sop to the other Mosaic religions? A circumcision certificate? Like from a bris? Or whatever the Muslims call their version? That, love, is the legislative equivalent of sticking a menorah next to the manger scene you want on the courthouse lawn, just to prove you’re being ecumenical. Never mind that his oh-so-inclusive gesture excludes Jewish and Muslim people who aren't circumcised, like, say, women. Much like the "early baptismal record" exemption excludes baptizin' folk who fling the water later in life, like, say, most Protestants. And I can't believe I have expended even this minimal amount of energy thinking about the relative merits of the provisions of this oh-so-serious bit of fakery that is now law in this state.

We must know if the president is a Kenyan socialist Muslin. Or if he knows his way around Adobe products. Either will do.

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