COLUMN: Bugs of the Modern Democracy

This is my Sunday column for the July 1, 2012 edition of the Hibbing Daily Tribune. I’ve rounded up Iron Range Fourth of July parades, street dances and fireworks displays here.

Bugs of the Modern Democracy
By Aaron J. Brown

Two years ago I depicted an historical reenactment of the Continental Congress as it would have been conducted by common northern Minnesota insects that somehow developed cognitive skills such as speech and reason. I called it “Bugs of the Revolution.” Today, it’s time to see how anamorphic bugs might handle the problems of our times. I bring you “Bugs of the Modern Democracy.” Naturally, I’ve reduced the cognitive abilities of the bugs to reflect contemporary politics.

(We hear much buzzing, which gradually subsides as a gavel sounds).

SPEAKER JOHN BUGGER: Members of the House Flies of Representatives, we now enter debate on HF-456zzzzzzz, the Americans for Responsible Repeal of Bugocare Act. Majority Leader Skeeter, you have the floor.

SKEETER: Mr. Speaker, there is but one reason we must abolish Bugocare and it has to do with fiscal responsibility and freedom. If all bugs have access to Bugocare those who most deserve the abandoned lollipop lying in the street will have to jostle with the simpletons whose mother didn’t have the good sense to lay the eggs near the lollipop to begin with. I yield the balance of my time and my position of Majority Leader to my son Skeeter Jr. as my life cycle is complete. (Skeeter dies; younger mosquito pries microphone from his still-twitching sixth leg.)

SKEETER JR.: What dad said! (mummers of agreement from his side of the aisle.)

BUGGER: The chair recognizes the opposition leader, Representative Mantis.

MANTIS: My fellow representatives, are we bugs or are we beasts? Do we wish to breed, reproduce and carry on our species to a better tomorrow? Or do we wish to be snatched up in the beak of injustice. Well, beaks. Beaks of Injustice, for there are many birds that would have us as their supper. And also spiders, those eight leg devils.

REP. BEETLE: Six! Six is the correct number of legs. Huzzah!

MANTIS: Allow me to continue. Bugocare means that we are moving toward a society in which what matters is your ability to gather food, attract and eventually eat a loving spouse, and deposit eggs in a safe location, such as a decaying roadside mammal. Where we live and the kind of bug we are wouldn’t matter. We would be free to start new hives and colonies, creating new jobzzzzzzzzz without the worry of bankruptcy should we break our wings or bruise our thoraxes. Every female should be able to deliver her 15,000 eggs without wondering how to pay for prenatal care. Doing this will ensure the advancement of our kind. (Cheers from the other side of the aisle)

REP. BEETLE: (Attacks and eats Rep. Mantis) Om nom nom! My fellow bugs, we all know that the continuation of Bugocare would create social insect death panels, deciding which bugs should live or die, a privilege currently reserved for large insects with pointy mandibles! It is not right!

(Sounds of arguing bugs grow louder, to be replaced by desperate screaming).

SPEAKER BUGGER: Look out, everyone! It’s the Supreme Court!

(Suddenly, a murder of crows appears from above and begins eating the 12,435th Bug Congress. Some bugs seek shelter beneath their rock desks, but the birds easily move the rocks and finish their meal).  



Happy Fourth of July! In celebrating our great nation, let us remember that America’s best moments occurred when people weren’t thinking about themselves, but rather the eggs we lay in a food source that will hatch long after our life cycle is complete. Metaphorically speaking, of course.

Aaron J. Brown is an author and college instructor from the Iron Range. He writes the blog and hosts the 91.7 KAXE‘s Great Northern Radio Show, heard on public stations.

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