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Ahh, 'tis a lovely Easter morning here at Blogistan Polytechnic Institute, where our motto remains Magis vinum, magis verum ("More wine, more truth").  The faculty are comfortably ensconced in the wine cellar library, drinking thinking up ideas for next week's lectures, and the staff poker game is proceeding apace, although the Janitor has chosen to eschew wine truth for beer bluffing a bit too often, so the Chef is holding her own and some of his as well.

And speaking of holding one's own and others' as well, that captures the essence of this week's mail.  Who could have imagined that, almost 233 years after our split from the British Empire, our national obsession would return to ... tea.  Or words that begin with T.

More below the fold....

Our Chef has prepared an Easter breakfast of boiled eggs, gaily decorated with the school colors of Blogistan Polytechnic Institute: blue, bluer, and bluest.  While she helped your lowly mail clerk review this week's mail, she brewed the staff a lovely pot of green tea rather than our usual iced latte.  Thus nourished and emboldened, we turn to the mail....


Dear Ms. Crissie,

Is Blogistan Polytechnic Institute inviting tea baggers to protest President Obama's proposed socialist tax policies this Wednesday?  Our nation began on a cry of "No taxation without representation," and since the other party controls the White House and Congress, we Republicans have no representation.  If BPI is not inviting tea baggers to protest, that just proves you're a bunch of communists.  So what will it be?  Will you go a robust red, or just a limp pink?

Glenn in CT

Dear Glenn,

So far as we're aware, no one has advocated for or against tea bagging at Blogistan Polytechnic Institute.  Oh ... wait ... the Janitor just said he is very much for it, though we're not sure he means the same thing you do.  All that bluffing beer may have clouded his good judgment.

Still, we turn to the substance behind your tea bags, the taint of your argument, as it were.  Simply, you seem to have mistaken "representation" for "winning elections."  Your candidates were permitted to run in the past two elections.  Your supporters were permitted to organize and vote for those candidates.  And most of your candidates lost.  We suggest that is how "representation" works: a process rather than your desired outcome.

As to the rest of your argument, we suspect your focus is less on taxes than on another word that beings with T and rhymes with Nestea's - which Chef notes are not always the best teas - and an attempt to prove your party's abundance of same.


Dear Ms. Crissie,

Okay, please tell me an advice columnist is not going to make a joke about green tea and tea bagging.  That's my schtick, and what's more, I'll be upset that we didn't do it first on my show.  By the way, do the faculty, staff, and student body at Blogistan Polytechnic Institute watch The Daily Show regularly?

Jon in NYC

Dear Jon,

Actually your program is quite popular here at BPI, among faculty, staff, and the student body.  We considered inviting you to give the address at our next commencement exercise, but we could not afford your customary honorarium, and we don't have commencement exercises.  The Chef says she does do Kegel exercises though, and has tried to do them while watching your show, but the combination of laughter and contracting those muscles caused her a terrible cramp.

As to green tea bagging, the Janitor informs us that would indicate a severe hygiene problem.  And he should know, as he recently taught one of his Astrology courses wearing nothing but cream cheese.


Dear Ms. Crissie,

Okay, enough joking around.  This is serious.  Americans are outraged, and we intend to keep them outraged.  That's my civic duty, at least while the other party holds the reins of power.  If your "Institute" does not invite tea baggers to protest, my producers will stalk you until we catch you doing something un-American, and I bet it won't them long.  Like having "gaily" colored eggs for Easter breakfast, which I'm sure you know is a pagan fertility tradition, and apparently your "Chef" has made it a lesbian pagan fertility tradition, thereby declaring War on Easter.  That sagging decay is exactly why Americans need tea bagging.

Bill in NY

Dear Bill,

Oh dear.  We were not aware of any sagging decay caused by any lack of tea bagging.  Perhaps a felafel loofah would help?  And has anyone else noticed that the first alternative spelling Mozilla offers for felafel - a word it does not recognize - is another form of oral interaction that often correlates to today's topic?  But we digress.

We are aware that the Easter egg began as a pagan tradition, specifically a rite of spring signifying rebirth and renewal.  As happened so often, the Christian church adopted pagan traditions - like the Christmas tree, and indeed the placement of Christmas in December to correspond with the pagan winter solstice festivals - as a way to enable local peoples to practice their traditional celebrations in the context of a Christian celebration.  As the Christian teaching of Easter is the rebirth and renewal of mankind through Christ's death and resurrection, the Easter egg seems to us a fitting symbol.


Dear Ms. Crissie,

Yeah, yeah, yuk it up.  But we're on to you.  Just yesterday your "faculty" proposed that President Obama is just like Bush, or denied it, or something.  We're not sure which.  But we're sure you're wrong.  So why don't you apologize to everyone for being an idiot, or a dissembler, or an assembler, or an apologist, or ... well ... whatever you said?  If you don't have the 'tea bags' to apologize, we can send you some.

Confused in Outragistan

Dear Confused,

Actually we should apologize for the faculty not having been clearer, because the intent of that seminar was to explore some reasons people can reasonably disagree even when both are well-informed and sympathetic to each others' perspectives.  If that was not clear, then on behalf of the faculty we apologize, which we suppose makes us an apologist of a sort, though we hope not an idiot, dissembler, or assembler, because we tried to learn assembler years ago and felt like an idiot then.  Or would that be dissembling.

As for sending us your 'tea bags,' we must graciously decline, as we do not encourage or endorse political activism through self-mutilation.


Dear Ms. Crissie,

As always, you liberals miss the point, and this is exactly why you're not fit to lead.  We conservatives are talking about a sacred moment in American history, and asking our followers to recreate that sacred moment.  And you're making fun of a sacred moment ... on Easter Sunday.  Conservatism will always crush liberalism because you people don't know what sacred means, and we conservatives do.  Like terrorists and despots, you liberals are the evil from which we must be delivered.  So invite tea baggers to your not-a-university, or have your own tea bags crushed by the weight of history.

Sean in NY

Dear Sean,

We are well aware of the significance of the Boston Tea Party in American history.  Indeed, we suggest that conservatives who act as if losing an election is tantamount to having no right to vote at all - which was the case for the colonists who rebelled against the English - diminishes the very argument the Tea Party and our Founders were making.  For it seems many conservatives believe your movement is entitled to rule by divine right, rather than by consent of the governed, a claim that would surely be endorsed by any monarchist, including King George III.

As to the not-a-university that is Blogistan Polytechnic Institute, we are perhaps a fitting counterweight to the not-a-news-organization that is your network.  But if you insist on mailing us tea bags, Chef notes we're nearly out of both Earl Grey and Camomile.  She notes, lest there be any confusion, that the latter is not the diet of a desert ungulate.  Rather, it is a kind of tea noted for its soothing, calming effect.  Perhaps you might ask your cafeteria to stock more of it.  A lot more of it.


Happy Easter Sunday!

Originally posted to NCrissieB on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 03:04 AM PDT.

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