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Exclusive Evil - Perfecting the Union
The letter exchange beyond democracy
Today, we’re trading letters with Field Research. And impersonating the bottom of the internet. Have fun, be warned, and enjoy the fancy discount on both newsletters.
Field Research and Extra Evil have united to save thought. You’re welcome.
For prime thinkers, discussion is the point. Words exist to generate more words. Recently, visionary theorists Amran Gowani and Dennard Dayle noticed a shortage of political debate online. Fertile issues like emancipation were taken for granted instead of generating precious text. American culture lay dead.
The silence is over. In the Gowani-Dayle Letters, everything is game. The definition of “human” in “human rights.” The return of debtor’s prisons. The ups and downs of suffrage. We look inward, lest outside noise distract us. There, we find the seeds of even more letters.
Stretch your brain thoroughly before reading. To preserve a future for brilliant words, buying a year of either newsletter gets you three months of the other.
Subject: Rebooting America
Dear Professor Dayle,
Political polarization. Religious extremism. Climate apocalypse.
These are trying times.
Despair is warranted, but solves nothing.
Now, more than ever, we intellectuals — we arbiters of truth — must rise above petty, partisan politics and opaque, untrackable Super PACs. We must inspire our fellow citizens by engaging in rigorous, reasoned, good faith debate.
Debate stimulates knowledge, and knowledge confers power.
Our motion: which constitutional amendment, if repealed, would create a more perfect union for all Americans?
Before we begin, I want to thank you for agreeing to this crucial examination, and offer a shocking admission. I’d never read the Constitution. Tone-deaf fiction by slave-owning, genocidal maniacs with atrocious grammar and zero grasp of basic syntax isn’t my preferred genre.
But I’m glad I took the plunge because, frankly, the Constitution is wild. If America wants to remain a going concern, there’s a handful of amendments Congress could and should throw out as soon as possible.
Take the Nineteenth Amendment:
Did God not make the duplicitous Eve subordinate to the venerable Adam? This indignity subverts His wisdom, and creates more problems than it solves.
Tossing that sentence onto the scrap heap of history would reverse the feminization of boys and eliminate LGBTQ+ grooming faster than you can whistle Dixie.
Or how about the so-called Reconstruction Amendments (e.g., Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth)? I have thoughts, but they’re better left unsaid, lest I get canceled by the mob. I’m told it’s more “culturally sensitive” for someone of your stock.
While those constitutional affronts to decency and democracy are obvious low-hanging fruit, there’s one truly dysfunctional amendment that needs to get got. It’s one of the earliest — a staple of the Bill of Rights — and it imperils every American’s right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
This antiquated and irrelevant passage, littered with ambiguous and unnecessary commas, which was mistakenly enshrined into law almost two-and-a-half centuries ago by short-sighted hypocrites, and all but guarantees the risk of perpetual American carnage, must be jettisoned.
It’s a proverbial gun pointed at the head of the people.
The Third Amendment.
Behold this debasement:
This further proves the flawed but honorable geniuses who wrote the Constitution couldn’t possibly have imagined the peace-imposing prisoner’s dilemma holding sway over existence.
At any moment, with nary a warning, our great and noble President can launch enough thermonuclear missiles to kill everyone on the planet. If he does, a handful of wizened bureaucrats will respond in kind, and humanity goes the way of the dinosaur. If he doesn’t, utopia prevails.
Quartering soldiers is an ossified relic of a bygone era. Repeal the Third Amendment. And create a stronger civilization for all.
I eagerly await your riposte.
Yours in democracy,
Amran, Conscientious Objector
Subject: Re: Rebooting America
Thank you for helping me elevate myself. And discourse. It’s time to bring respect back to both. The old channels drip poison.
Your proposed cuts are all brilliant. But words must be satisfied. So I’ll express my polite, measured disgust at your birth and survival. Both were mistakes, but you can still fix one.
First, virtual quartering is a real threat. As a proud watchlist superstar, I host the entire intelligence community when I check my phone. A dozen Computer Science B-students share my home office, and not one has pitched in for utilities or tolerated a Hinge rant. This echoes 1984. Probably. My class read Brave New World instead.
For this oversight, you should mix a mercury highball and party like an emperor. Respectfully.
I actually agree on the Reconstruction amendments. We should deny Clarence Thomas the pleasure of destroying them himself. However, I see a chance to win back the moral ground lost by accepting this project. Cutting the Reconstruction amendments is reprehensible, and you should fall on a rusty bayonet for thinking it. Sure, I’ve promoted your views, which I knew existed, by accepting this trade. But the eyes of history are judging you. Only you. I’m fine.
For being so backwards, you should go back in time and cause your own crib death. Respectfully.
The proper amendment to cut is clear. The amendment mowing down the innocent. The Eighth, which denies the cruelty that makes us unique.
America without cruel and unusual punishment is like this sentence without a simile. Imaginary. If you disagree, something’s wrong with your vision or education. Cruelty’s as American as lying about cherry trees.
The Eighth hasn’t made us any kinder, more measured, or able to spell rehabilitation. It only keeps us aware of our lunacy. It’s a test that exists for us to fail.
A cruelty-addicted society can’t live with this kind of cognitive dissonance. And we are addicted. Cruelty-free sports languish behind ConcussBall. Cruelty-free food invites mockery. Cruelty-free courts are an excellent sci-fi premise. We can keep failing to change ourselves, or change the rules. The votes are clearly there.
For missing this obvious truth, you should find a flashy way to self-terminate. Perhaps something loud, chrome-plated, and mass-produced. Nothing less would satisfy the national spirit.
Subject: Re: Rebooting America
Sadly, my teenage mother chose poorly while she had the right. Now that I’m living large off my wife’s pharmaceutical rents, I’ll decline your enticing suggestion to purify our species. Respectfully.
Nonetheless, your measured and thoughtful response raises several valid and compelling ideas. “The cruelty is the point” is a common lament among the radical, victim-worshiping left. While they’re not wrong, they’re weak, and weakness betrays our great nation’s Schumpeterian ideals.
Codifying sadism into the rule of law would undoubtedly create a more perfect union, and I commend your compassionate vision of the future.
However, for the sake of proper debate, and because I’m, for lack of a more civilized term, a contrarian, critical-thinking cuck, allow me to assert the following: you’ve willfully overlooked the AR-15 in our arsenal.
There’s a notorious amendment lurking inside the Constitution which wreaks havoc on our most remunerative citizens.
This amendment authorizes the deployment of tools so destructive, so violent, and so lethal, they decimate gated communities and destroy Ivy League livelihoods.
Which death-dealing devices do I dare decry?
I present the depravity of the Sixteenth Amendment:
Have you, impoverished Princetonian, ever feasted your famished eyes upon more violent rhetoric? Makes 4chan feel like Bluey.
This constitutional weapon of mass destruction was ratified in 1913 and, against all odds, the United States still became the world’s military and industrial hegemon over the ensuing century.
Thank God for Woodrow Wilson and World Wars.
Anyway, talk of finance and economics and accounting can quickly become wonky and esoteric. I’d rather our debate not devolve into defining capital gains, dividends, or diminution of loss.
Instead, let me state an irrefutable fact, without equivocation: taxes are bad, mmmkay.
There are two types of people in this exalted country. Wealth makers, and wealth takers.
Wealth makers bestow upon Americans the amazing gifts which make our daily lives the envy of the world.
DraftKings and payday loans. CDOs and corporate bailouts. High-fructose corn syrup and synthetic insulin. Cryptocurrencies and schadenfreude.
Only the blessed receive fentanyl for migraines and naloxone for overdoses.
Taxes punish the heroic wealth creators behind those crucial innovations.
They’re an unjust, pernicious, nihilistic construct designed to “redistribute” prosperity from the righteous, deserving few to the indolent, parasitic masses.
Consider the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Plan (SNAP), a federal program which purports to reduce poverty and food insecurity.
If these proles really wanted to eat, they’d get jobs. Plural.
Or how about entitlement programs such as Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), or the Basic Health Program (BHP)?
Must I waste more words on bootstraps and self-actualization? Apparently so, because these miscreants are all too satisfied to suckle on the state’s teat while whining about “structural inequity.”
Taxes are the knives in the backs of the select few who make America the shining city on a hill.
Doing away with the Sixteenth Amendment would be the ultimate act of patriotism. And if I can be so bold, Congress should strike all allusions to taxation in Article I, Sections 2, 8, and 9 while they’re at it.
But we need to keep poll taxes. They’re beyond reproach. And effective.
Amran, Welfare King
Subject: Re: Rebooting America
I see where you’re coming from. Like any champion of progress, I hate the unknown. Three decades of flawless evasion have left taxation a mystery. I know the state wants something in April. Presumably my soul. I defend my soul with every tool in the TigerMasons alumni newsletter.
Still, I’m aiming elsewhere. At a single amendment’s endless carnage. No paragraph’s eaten more American lives. In this chaos, only my vintage gatling gun collection brings me comfort. Two-hundred pounds of hand-driven, belt-fed liberty protect my words. And my gold, but that’s another letter.
Term limits are killing America. Or rather, making it kill itself. Look at this insanity:
I brought up cognitive dissonance. Respectfully, I’m not sure you can spell that. It’s simply when your mind and reality clash. Thinking one way, and acting another. Desiring a king, and banning them in the Constitution.
There’s no logic. From day one, we’ve eagerly marched towards monarchy. Disappointment at Washington dropping the crown drips off his era’s letters. And ours. Each presidency wields more imperial authority than the last, regardless of party, agenda, or dementia. Why keep a rule ensuring random and needless violence?
Let’s embrace the age of kings, and become sane.
Dissonance strains the mind. Just a little, every day, until it cracks. That’s why these massacres unfold. We ask people on the edge to ignore observable reality. When the pressure becomes unbearable, they grab their kitchen knives. You know the rest.
And you know it’s the term limits. The lobbyists know. Your children know. Your dog knows. Every puppet in a red “Twenty-Two, Through and Through” trucker hat knows. We still circlejerk around the same six sound bites before tabbing back to Love Island. Until the next madman grabs an automatic taser.
It’s a new depth of civic failure. It’s a punchline to every civilized country. As long as term limits are in place, American greatness is a mescaline daydream.
Dennard Dayle, Prime Patriot
Subject: Re: Rebooting America
Much as it pains me, you make a compelling case, and I must concede there’s a pristine logic to putting the Twenty-Second Amendment before a firing squad. A proper king could do away with any troubling laws at his leisure. Torture and serfdom are small prices to pay for law and order.
I regret not recognizing this sooner. Then again, I regret being a state school product who’s never known his father’s love.
So let it be decided.
And let me state for the record: it’s been a disgrace and an embarrassment exchanging “ideas” with a “person” of your laughable intellect and ridiculous accolades. I don’t recall any of the Founders writing a column for 1-900-HOTDOG.
That this country lets you read and write without limitation is its own constitutional failure.
Amran, Illegal Immigrant’s Bastard Child
Subject: Re: Rebooting America
It’s been lovely exchanging constitutional scholarship with you. Our fistfight will be even lovelier. It seems that the middle point between my city (paradise) and your city (shit) is an Applebee’s parking lot in Lorain, Ohio. That should do nicely.
I look forward to future exchanges of ideas (the tattoo on my right knuckles), wit (the tattoo on my left knuckles), and respect (the bat in my trunk).
Your manuscript is excellent. It will make a fine last testament.
Dennard “Clinch” Dayle, Future Defendant
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Thanks for reading, entertaining you makes me saner. Though honestly, I’d still be moody in paradise. So stick around if things improve, I’m confident in my utopian punchlines. Think The Dispossesed, with slapstick.
P.P.S - Email me/Amran any issues with the offer.