It pains Buzz to say it, but God love those little imps with the Young Conservatives of Texas, affectionately known around the Dallas Observer offices as the "Hitler Youth."
We don't really believe they're fascists; we just think "young" and "conservative" is an unfortunate mix, like "middle-aged" and "punk rocker." Still, while we disagree with what the YCT says, we dig the way they say it. For example, last year the YCT group at SMU held an affirmative action bake sale in which the prices for the goods varied depending on the purchaser's race and sex. SMU shut it down, but we liked the humor and in-your-face activism.
Now the organization's University of Texas at Austin chapter is holding an essay contest for people who wish to leave the United States because of President Bush's re-election. First prize is a one-way ticket to Canada.
"It's kind of a commentary on how silly the whole idea is," says Kevin Potter, a UT junior and communications director for the chapter.
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"The Brian Boyko 'Canada, eh?' Contest" was inspired by a column by journalism grad student Brian Boyko published last month in The Daily Texan, the student newspaper. "America is now officially a nation of jerks," Boyko wrote in a column filled with the sort of measured analysis you might expect to find in a student newspaper--or this one. Boyko hopes to immigrate to New Zealand after graduating.
"It's a little bit of an honor to essentially be loathed by people," says Boyko.
Potter says the YCT contest essays should be 1,000 words on why you plan to leave America and can be submitted to CanadaContest@austin.rr.com by January 20. The winner has to promise to stay in Canada at least a year.
Boyko, meanwhile, plans his own contest--"The YCT Pork Barrel Essay Contest." Essayists should reconcile the YCT's statement that "liberal tradition is using someone else's money" with one of the following: corporate welfare, House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's corporate-supported political action committee or the fact that blue states generally get less for their federal tax dollars than red states. First prize is a canned ham and five New Zealand dollars. The Taco Bell bonus prize--a burrito--will go to whoever submits the best essay written by someone else, to honor the conservative love of profiting from someone else's labor. Send your 500-to-1,000-word entries to firstname.lastname@example.org.