Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

1,001 problems but UT ain’t one

I have a problem — and a serious one at that. You see, I have quite a lot of trouble making decisions. Just this afternoon I was in my local Walmart for two full hours trying to choose the right type of lightbulb. When I reached the checkout line, I held up the others behind me trying to choose the bag that best fit my needs. And as I got gas on the way home, I saw some tempting Marlboros that left me quite curious about what it would be like to become a smoker. Thankfully, my country, city and most recently University have all got my back, happily ready to remove those pesky decisions from my life.

Banning incandescent lightbulbs was a fantastic idea. Their soft, warm light fills me with rage, and the way they immediately turn on at full brightness makes me suspicious of potential black magic. I much prefer these newfangled compact fluorescents, and my government agrees with me. Waiting for the bulb to illuminate in any room I walk into adds a quaint sense of suspense and joyous anticipation. I love when my household appliances can do that.

But the federal government really doesn’t do enough. There are still far too many choices I make in the day. For example, President Barack Obama is OK with my choosing what type of bags I use! What nonsense. I have 1,001 decisions to make every day, and I don’t want my type of bag to be one of them.

Thankfully, the ever-benevolent city of Austin has come to the rescue, banning those insidious disposable bags. Hallelujah! Those darn bags were too convenient. And having them right there at the register made me feel like I was being a lazy American. I want to work to buy my groceries, dang it.

Reusable bags know how to keep me on my toes. By having to consciously lug them around everywhere from Walmart to the Home Depot, I exert far more time and energy. While some might call that an obnoxious burden, I call it a glorious government-imposed workout, as well as useful mental exercise.

Also, I used to reuse those plastic bags as elegant liners to the trash can in my dorm. But with the ban in place, I get to buy specific liners, thus supporting the trash can liner industry and stimulating the economy. Austin really is brilliant.

But I still feel like more could be done to really streamline my day and inhibit those pesky choices. Thankfully, I am a proud student of the University of Texas at Austin, where they understand my need for this. Therefore, they recently helped make it almost impossible for me to choose to use tobacco products by banning them everywhere on campus.

And I’m not the only one ecstatic about this new authoritarianism. I know a brilliant professor who has also been greatly assisted in his decision making as well. Forced to choose between teaching at UT or Harvard, this poor man and casual smoker was plagued for months with the choice. But with the new tobacco ban in effect, the decision was made much easier, and my dear friend Winston Smith is now happily enjoying life in Cambridge.

Still, more could be done. We all know that water is better for us than soda, so it would be smart to ban all carbonated beverages. And since electric vehicles are better for the environment than gas vehicles, perhaps UT should make it illegal to park on its campus without an EV. And while we’re at it, we all know PCs are better than Macs, so let’s just ban those, too.

Despite the inherent brilliance of all of this, some people disagree for some reason. They are against government intrusion in their lives, and they feel that these governmental and institutional moves are overbearing and infringe on people’s rights. I say pish posh. Those silly anarchists must realize we’re far too dumb to be left to make any
decisions ourselves.

I am in love with government. In fact, I truly think it is infallible. Every decision it makes about my life is surely for the better, and the less choice it leaves to me as a consumer, the better off I am. I know it has my best interest at heart and could never compromise that for the sake of any corporate, political or financial gains.

That would be utterly absurd.

McGarvey is a business honors freshman.

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1,001 problems but UT ain’t one