"Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom" Albert Einstein

"A dame who knows the ropes isn't likely to get tied up." Mae West

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Thursday Thoughts -- #2 The Eyes Have It at Public Meetings

In the great State of Illinois, local politics are often more interesting than national politics.  There is currently an amusing uproar in the Chicago suburb of Elmhurst.  You can read an attorney's take on the situation here.

Apparently a female citizen was denied the right to speak at a city finance meeting, so she heaved a loud sigh and rolled her eyes before she sat down.

"Eye-rolling conveys a message, typically something like 'I believe that what you just said and/or did is utterly stupid and its stupidity went well beyond what I, as a reasonable human being, should be expected to bear.' (Actual content may vary.)"
Now the council has authorized the city attorney to investigate adding eye-rolling to the definition of "disorderly conduct"  at a government meeting. Yep, you just can't have public citizens at government meetings all roll their eyes at once; it might shake the poor politicians right out of their seats and distract their shallow minds from the important business at hand.

"Many are rightly concerned with the potential freedom-crushing power of the federal government, but let us not forget the evil that can be done by even the lowest of low-level officials wielding a mere city code. "
The problem is there are various types of eye-rolling and most are combined with other body language, so regulating this behavior could get complicated and perhaps require the hiring of a new department head of Eye-Rolling Enforcement.

Here are my suggestions for the Eye-Rolling ordinance:

1.  If the citizen simply rolls his eyes, there would be no charge brought against him. It's probably just an eye disorder.

2.  If the citizen rolls his eyes and sighs with a breathy "Ohhhhhhh" and slumps in the chair, there would be no charge. The citizen is most likely simply exhausted from a long day of working to pay his taxes, which is commendable.

3.  If the citizen rolls his eyes and sighs with a distinguishable "Umpfffffff!" and crosses his arms, there would be a chargeable offense.  This indicates the citizen is unhappy with the powers that be and may publicly ask substantive questions that would require answers.

4.  If the citizen rolls his eyes and sighs with a distinguishable "Hmmmmm," tilts his head to the side, purses his lips to one side, and puts one finger on his cheek, there would be charges.  This indicates the citizen may be indulging in critical thinking and analysis . Logic and reason are forbidden at any government affair.

(The above woman is not a critical thinker.  She is an actress portraying her idea of one.)

Caveat to officials:  Regarding #2 -It should be noted that if the ordinance allows the release of audible air during a meeting without charging the culprit, the public may take advantage of the situation and release flatulent air as substitute for chargeable eye-rolling actions.  In that case, it may be in the best interest of officials to form a Department of Funky Air to monitor emissions.

There is always a government solution for every problem.


white rabbit said...

So expressing dissent in a mild, nonviolent, non-abusive, non-threatening manner is disorderly. Perhaps an 'Abolition of All Forms of Dissent Because They Annoy Us And We're In Charge' ordinance is in order....

Perhaps a mass eyeball rolling event is in order for the next finance meeting. Sadly, the late Marty Feldman is no longer with us to lead it.

Stacy said...

Great comeback to a stupid ordinance!

Catch Her in the Wry said...

white: I knew you'd enjoy that story. Government so much more sensible in England. ;-)

I miss Marty, too.

Ace: How could I resist?

Going Like Sixty said...

This reads like the beginning of a political platform!

DFA? I love this idea.

Chamber President to Mayor. Do you know Blago?

Catch Her in the Wry said...

gls: Hot Air/Funky Air - There's plenty of it at government meetings.

The really funny thing is, when I've entered City Council meetings, it is THEY who have rolled their eyes at me.

Crockhead said...


Catch Her in the Wry said...

crock: You need to start doing municipal work so you can draft some of these crazy city ordinances.

Red Shoes said...

Hmmm... does a "release of audible air" include a fart? Then could we distinguish between an accidental fart as opposed to an intentional fart???

I need to go home...

I miss Marty Feldman (. )( O )


Catch Her in the Wry said...

red: "release flatulent air as substitute for chargeable eye-rolling actions." I was simplying trying to say fart in a civilized manner. You must be tired, professor. ;-)