Politics isn't about reality, it's about the perception of reality. This is news to no one, of course, at least no one who relies on more than one source for news. Unfortunately, perception, as you probably noticed, is often incredibly off-base. Realizing this is important when discerning what is actually marginally good for society, as opposed to bizarrely out of touch.
The vaguely heart-shaped -- more upside down liver? -- state of Ohio hasn't realized that.
Back in 2006 this was made evident on April 1st when -- in what I would have thought was a rather lazy, though somewhat creative, prank – a handful of young women in Ravenna, Ohio, placed a number of Super Mario Bros. Style Question Mark boxes all around the city. That fateful morning a passerby found a small cardboard box covered in gold paper with question marks painted on it on the steps of a local church. The concerned citizen logically assumed that the terrorists were winning and flagged down a police officer. The officer agreed that the small town was under attack and called HAZMAT and bomb squads.
The ensuing chaos left the mayor and county prosecutor trying to figure out how they could send a bunch of 15 year-olds to prison forever. As it turns out, putting video game references all over town is not actually illegal. Undeterred (and embarrassed at their complete overreaction), city officials decide to force them to write letters of apology.
As such, it became obvious that attempting to be the Riddler was a bad idea in my home state. Sadly, if a bill proposed by Rep. Kris Jordan of Powell passes, comic book villainy will be even further limited.
Mr. Jordan would like to outlaw human-animal hybrids, which he believes are immoral, unethical, and real. He might be two-thirds right, but that doesn't mean we need a $1,000,000 fine and 5 year prison term for anyone attempting it. Especially since I'm fairly certain no one is attempting it.
But really, I'm less concerned that Jordan lives in some delusional world of fiction and more about enforcement of his new law. Sure the bill doesn't set up some sort of regulatory committee to make sure this sort of thing isn't happening, so it's not wasting any more tax money than the time it takes to draft, present, debate, and vote on the bill. But that's the important bit. There is no oversight committee, so that leaves enforcement to the normal police. The scientists who design human-animal hybrids don't respond well to threats from that sort of authority. They won't just roll over and submit themselves to the fine. On the contrary, they will send their Orangu-Men to fight the police in the streets, holding the state hostage until it is the citizens of Ohio who will be paying them that $1,000,000, thank you very much.
And in these tight financial times, we just can't afford to pay that ransom.
I, for one, welcome our new manticore overlords. It just makes economic sense.