An Inordinate Fondness for Beetles

April 22, 2010

Georgia Legislature: Embarrassing Us in Front of All the Other States, Again

So, there’s a bill before the Georgia legislature right now, banning Georgians from non-consensually implanting microchips in each other. Fair enough, I’d figure that would fall under assault or something, but sure. Forcibly implanting something under someone else’s skin is Not Ok.

A few years ago, some friends of mine were doing a study on bats where they were implanting  subcutaneous RFIDs about the size of a grain of rice into the animals and releasing them. They got drunk one night and decided they should inject themselves with a chip each, to see what it was like for the bats. Apparently, it hurt more than a little, but less than a fuck ton.

Yet no one is currently running around Georgia like a mad animal-shelter worker, tagging residents with their own home addresses in case they get lost (though that might do my brother some good). Nor do they plan to. As near as anyone can tell, the fine ladies and gentlemen of the Georgia state legislature are pushing SB 235 to protect us all from the Mark of the Beast ™, which they seem to think will take the form of a microchip implant (I think they mean an RFID tag, in this century. But who knows).¬† Despite growing up mostly in the bible belt, I have no real idea of what the hell they’re talking about. I think it has something to do with Satan tagging people to take to hell, or somesuch. I don’t know, my parents are atheists. Form what I’ve pieced together from incoherent billboards and Chick tracts, the Unholy One will kick off the end times with some sort of game of Mafia, where if you get tricked into letting yourself get marked, uh, you lose. For eternity. Until Jesus un-tags you, or you reach base.
But the real question is, why is this matter up for debate in the state legislature? Are they tired of trying to end droughts with prayer? Trying to draw attention away from their massive budget shortfalls, their education cuts, or their refusal to pony up even a little bit of cash for mass transit, even when the federal government is offering to pay for high-speed passenger rail through the state? Getting bad press for trying to sue to stop Georgians from getting healthcare? Probably. But so what if the state falls apart for the next 10, 20, or 50 years? They’re protecting us for eternity. That’s why they can’t be bothered to worry about the trifling details of governing in this world.

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