Past Opinion Articles

Article for the week of 3/8/10


Recalls: Good Thing or Nightmare
By, Puns McKenna

I have with me today three of the vehicles that have been recalled by Toyota… the Prius, the Tacoma, and the Avalon. These three have sat back quietly while the world has defamed their good names, and now they’re ready to put forward their opinions. We’ll start with Mr. Tacoma. When I asked him what these recalls made him feel, he was quite vociferous.

“When the recall order came in, I was in the process of being sold. The embarrassment that I suffered because the Builders couldn’t be bothered to make sure that my accelerator wouldn’t stick!”

As you can see these recalls have caused a great deal of mental anguish for Mr. Tacoma. To suffer such a humiliating experience at the hands of your maker is unspeakable. When I asked him, Mr. Tacoma he further explained the other defects that he and his brethren share.

“A couple of months after they recalled us for the accelerator issue, we were notified that our axle shaft’s were also prone to devastating defects. Not only could we get our human’s killed with our gas pedals sticking in the floor mat, but now we could just start to fly apart while tooling down the road. I’m seriously considering suing the manufacturer for this insulting treatment.”

I wasn’t able to get much out of him after that, but as you can see, Mr. Tacoma has been hurt very deeply by this chain of events.

I next spoke with the sophisticated, Miss Prius and her more common cousin, Ms. Avalon. Both ladies were willing to give me an earful on the injustices dealt to them. I’ll share Miss Prius’ words first, as they make a somewhat poignant impact.

“When I was told I was being recalled, I thought I’d just die! It was awful! I tell you, to be seen out in public after the recall order was given… I was simply mortified! I mean, I just couldn’t show my face in polite society again! No self respecting Jaguar, or Mercedes would speak to me. The humans think they’re so perfect and infallibile. They never think about us unless it makes them look good. I was discarded… just discarded like an old glove! I’m definitely suing the whole human race. They’re inhumane!”

I believe Miss Prius got a bit more worked up than was necessary to make her point, but then her kind has always been a little on the high strung side of the fence. This just goes to show that all recalls are being treated equally… though it would seem that some take it better than others. As we hear from Ms. Avalon, I’d like you all to keep in mind that there is no shame in asking for help.

“I’d like to go on the record as saying that this recall is nothing to get worked up over. Yes, it’s true that we’re being recalled due to human error, but is it really that bad? I mean didn’t the human’s find the problems before someone got killed? Personally, I’m glad that I wasn’t sold yet. These humans are strange creatures, but from the track records I’ve been able to read they care for their cars quite well. Better than they do for their families at times. Though I am a victim of the recalls, I will be representing my fellow Toyota vehicles in a suit against the manufacturer. The cases will deal with the damages incurred by the shoddy workmanship we’ve suffered, nothing more. I for one am not interested in flambéing my creators for catching their screw up.”

It’s been made quite obvious to me through the course of my interviews that while these cars all agree that Toyota should be made to pay for their foul ups, not everyone is holding a grudge. I guess that for cars it is the same as for people. To err is human… to forgive… well… let’s just say that forgiving comes easier to some.

For my part, I’m glad that no one has gotten seriously injured during their enforced joy rides. It must’ve seemed like the cars they were driving suddenly began to take over. I wonder if this is what would happen if we put real stock in cars being self-aware. Would their sense of self-preservation be the same as ours? Would they truly get as outraged as we do when our pride is hurt? It makes you wonder doesn’t it.


Confessions of a Dislocated Texan
Not enough water for a self-absorbed society
By Ezra Mann (editor in spoof)

Article also featured at the Pauls Valley Daily Democrat


Perhaps the most unflattering characteristic of human nature is the ability to think of oneself as a mighty and deserving being. Don’t get me wrong, it fits the whole survival of the fittest thing in a world where being the best only gets harder each day, but maybe we take our egos out for too many victory lunches.
I will admit that I like the good things in life and with my continuing poverty, appreciate them on more levels than in previous years so don’t think I will give up what I can get for a life babbling under a monk’s hood. However, when the mundane activities of the day that have been made available cheaply through sacrifice become more important than a human life, I think we need to take a step back from the all hail me table. Don’t worry, unlike the guys in Washington D.C. you can be productive and not walk all over decency.
A perfect example of this truth stranger than fiction is the recent incident where patrons at a restaurant in Tulsa Oklahoma decided that except for one person they were all going to ignore a murdered man for the sake of getting their meals. Sure, most of America has been dumbed down by watching too much American Idol, but I’m pretty sure that no food in the world is good enough to not report a crime like someone’s life being cut short.
If that’s not bizarre enough people were still trying to get their orders from a pickup window near the body when emergency responders came and even pushed them out of the way because if that chicken gets cold someone’s going to have to re-heat that sucker. At least in the biblical good Samaritan story when people passed up the beat up guy on the side of the road it was a legitimate fear of getting a disease or dirty and not because they wanted to beat the afternoon rush at the Kentucky fried offering to god. Even the disciples were courteous enough to put off meal plans until after they found out Jesus wasn’t a corpse anymore.
The saddest thing is that the same people who would put aside the well-being of others for an order of fried meat are in the crowd who would trample or stab a guy to get the latest gadget deal after thanksgiving. Yes Virginia, you better watch out for more than the mall Santa because you might be the passing victim of greed and not just for the holiday season.
The only way a message like this can get through is if I commercially package it for the next major sporting event. Yes indeed, for only $3.95 you too can get a ballpark frank and moral fiber sauce at this year’s opening baseball game of your choice! Call now, operators are standing by to hear you complain about the lack of dog on the bun.
It’s times like these I wish we could implement a stupid tax, but then I suppose the courts would commit suicide over the number of bankruptcy cases. Aw what the heck, it’s not like we couldn’t find a whole new batch of judges and lawyers in the next dark pit.
If you see something like this going on please don’t try to ignore it and pass it on to the next guy in line. Try and be a positive influence and not fall into a stereotype that hurt the intelligent more than standouts like Rush Limbaugh or Michael Moore already do. You are in no danger of letting dumb be neglected so try and be a little more kind.

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