BREAKING: Existence of U. of Oregon Student Senator Miles Sisk Confirms Failure Of American Experiment

[AP] EUGENE, OR:Leading scientists across the globe announced yesterday that they have confirmed the irreversible failure of the American experiment in liberty and self-rule based upon their observations of University of Oregon Student Senate Vice President Miles Sisk.

"Pack it in, we're done here," snapped University of California Professor Emeritus James Clyden, who helped announce the scientists' findings at a grim press conference. "It's all on Canada's shoulders now," added Clyden, shuddering.

Sisk, recently appointed to his position, is nominally heir to an American tradition that includes the 1781 Siege of Yorktown, the bloody 1965 Selma to Montgomery March, and the moon landing. Recently, on October 22, Sisk warned mean bloggers on the internet that he would have them silenced disciplined by authorities if they kept making fun of student government:

"What is happening on these blogs is cyber-bullying and I believe that this is a crime. The people running these blogs are criminals,” Sisk said. “Frankly, I’m done with it.”

Sisk went on to announce that he will be taking firm action to ensure that the blogs are terminated.

“In response to this, I have communicated with a friend of mine. He has acquired the IP addresses of those blogs. If these blogs are not shut down within the next 48 hours I am turning these in to the administration. They are able to connect these IP addresses to the people running them.”

Image Courtesy of Daily Emerald:  Sisk, whose existence renders vain and hollow our grandfathers' sacrifices at Iwo Jima and Utah Beach.

Image Courtesy of Daily Emerald: Sisk, whose existence renders vain and hollow our grandfathers' sacrifices at Iwo Jima and Utah Beach.

Sisk has not provided any evidence that the mean bloggers have made threats of harm as opposed to trite gifs and memes about banal student politics. "If a privileged kid who is a student leader at a good university feels he has to demand that the state protect him from criticism, what possible hope do most Americans have of governing themselves?" asked Yale historian Margaret Scott. "Freedom is hard. Self-governance is hard. Living together without resorting to tyranny is hard. Our founders pledged to each other 'our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor' to achieve those goals. This kid won't pledge to put up with someone mocking student government with a Parks & Recreation screencap."

Scientists agreed that Sisk's lack of fortitude — which was described as "pusillanimous," "snivellingly serfish," "contemptibly spineless," and "typical for a sophomore" — marked the rise of an American citizen unable to carry the burdens of representative government, individual rights, or unregulated daily interactions with other humans. "It's not just his craven thirst for totalitarian rule," agreed Duke professor Wil Trent. "It's also the abject ignorance. Running a society together requires a baseline of civic literacy. When even a student leader at a good university is ignorant of the most basic rights of other citizens — game over, man. Game over."

In addition to some basic civil knowledge one might reasonably expect mainstreamed fifth-graders to possess, liberty also requires at least primitive-hominid-level common sense, confirmed Trent. "This guy says critics are criminals, gets no result because of the rule of law and a hundred years of unbroken constitutional tradition, and then whines because of the bad publicity," Trent said, his voice cracking. "I renounce my citizenship," he continued, rending a dog-eared pamphlet copy of the Declaration of Independence.

As Trent suggested, Sisk has expressed what scientists called a "hamster-like befuddlement over cause and effect" when his threats did not produce the desired results:

“The student government has such a negative image already that the existence of these blogs makes it even worse, and it’s hurt and they are saying hurtful things about people,” Sisk said. “And the fact that they are now being reported on, it’s apparently going over to other organizations, the news about these is really the exact opposite of what I wanted to do, which was just make them stop. Now everybody knows about them.”

"People can't govern themselves if they're that stupid," shrieked Trent.

At press time, a spokesman from the Foundation for Individual Rights In Education was screaming and slamming his head repeatedly in an elevator door.

"Patrick Henry said 'give me liberty or give me death,'" said Princeton University professor Wayne Jacobs. "Nathan Hale said 'I regret that I have but one life to give for my country.' This guy is saying 'I'm going to hold my breath until police use the criminal justice system to protect me from satirical Pokemon GIFs.' And this is the future of America?"

"We're so fucked," concluded Jacobs glumly.

Last 5 posts by Ken White

Comments

  1. C. S. P. Schofield says

    Student Government is always such a mess. It combines Sophomore enthusiasms, overreach, delicate yet rampant egos, just a salad bar of the less attractive aspects of governance. At least in High School (so far as I recall, anyway) nobody takes it too seriously. In college, with the more vapid members of the faculty pretending just as hard as they can that it matters, the opportunities for grotesque comedy abound.

    Somebody needs to whap this dolt upside his haid and explain to him that his butthurt Simply. Doesn't. Matter.

  2. ZK says

    I wouldn't want to be this guy right now; he's really a kid, and it's not his fault that nobody teaches basic civics anymore.

    That said, we truly are fucked. And part of the reason is that the parody quotes in the article above are completely unbelievable: we're supposed to think that the AP could find at least four professors to speak against the importance of hurt feelings? At Yale, Princeton, UC, and Duke no less? Totally unrealistic.

  3. odelay says

    And there are people criticizing student government? Why? When its spokesidiot so obligingly gives the bloggers such excellent publicity? And, material.

  4. says

    The other side of this is that once upon a time someone's sophomoric pronouncements would be confined to the small geographic area of a college newspaper's distribution and the mockery would be shouted across the quad or laughed at while lunching in the cafeteria. Now that we have the interwebz, sophomoric dweebs can be mocked from many thousands of miles away… I'm not sure that it's a actual improvement in the state of affairs.

    As to mocking Miles Sisk, it would be akin to shooting squirrels with a bazooka – not terribly sporting – though IMHO the academic adviser for the student government should probably explain the First Amendment tomorrow morning.

  5. odelay says

    I think the real targets are the professors here, who should have helped the student to get a grip. ZK is right. You're not going to find four professors who will call this nonsense.

  6. Christopher Jones says

    Dammit, Ken. You just made me read like 7 pages of stupid gifs referencing people I don't even know. That has to be a crime of some sort, right? I bet Sisk could tell me.

  7. David C says

    You know, I was in the student senate my freshman year. Blogs weren't quite a thing yet, but we had an underground newspaper that was sometimes critical and sometimes vulgar. We never considered banning it or attempting to get its writers punished.

    Some leniency may be called for when dealing with student government. The members are barely adults and don't really know the details of the First Amendment. But I totally blame the *adviser* for the student government for not explaining this to them. That's what he/she is there for.

  8. Mich says

    Normally this kind of juvenile "waah my poor fee fees" nonsense by the cellophane-skinned makes me mad enough to start throwing things, but this clueless kid's utter stupidity is just too funny for words. He's being introduced to the Streisand Effect in the most effective way, with the very Bad Hurtful Things he was so desperate to be made to Just Go Away getting more attention than ever before.

  9. says

    Whelp, Ken, that barrel of fish you stuck the shotgun in certainly had it coming…

    Looking forward to you posting the tear-stained legal threat you'll be receiving from the kid, you big meanie.

  10. Paige Hi says

    @Lizard
    You know, the Mythbusters proved it's actually very hard to hit a fish with a gun, even if it's in a barrel. (Of course, the shock wave kills the fish anyway, but there won't be bullet holes…)

  11. Cromwell Descendant says

    Shout out from Eugene! U of O citizen government is a serious mess, with a scandal of illegal recordings being posted online, and other online activities that indeed violate the rules of Student Government. And then there have been problems with administrators stepping in to over-rule the student body, and prove they are not sovereign even over the things they're granted sovereign control over. I don't think there is a good side, or a "side" that hasn't ham-handed the traditions of Freedom. If only they would ask the law students what to do, they could sort this out! But no chance of that.

    This Hamster Boy duffus deserves his lumps, but it is not his fault if the student body is confused about civics.

  12. Bob Brown says

    @odelay: Well hell! I am a professor, and I call it nonsense. (Or worse, BS.)

    I teach in the so-called STEM fields, where we don't worry about the soft stuff. It doesn't make any difference how strong that girder feels if it won't hold up the bridge.

  13. ShelbyC says

    First amendment and civics aside, people on blogs are making fun of him so he's…telling?

    Yeesh.

  14. True (well, sometimes) American says

    Good heavens! I was sure Ken's article was a parody, what with the unusual name and (probably) bogus quotes. But there really is a Miles Sisk (well, maybe more than one, but one of the other ones died in Oklahoma in 1949 so that's not our boy) and that really is his picture and speech! However, while he may be sophomoric, he's actually a thin-skinned junior (and political science major, yet) at that school. So sad.

  15. Kevin says

    “The student government has such a negative image already that the existence of these blogs makes it even worse, and it’s hurt and they are saying hurtful things about people,” Sisk said. “And the fact that they are now being reported on, it’s apparently going over to other organizations, the news about these is really the exact opposite of what I wanted to do, which was just make them stop. Now everybody knows about them.”

    Ken, when you post these kinds of "satirical" articles, it can be really difficult sometimes to figure out which parts are the fictional and which parts are the non-fictional aspects of the story. I would really appreciate it if you didn't go so far as to hack into 3rd party websites and update them to include these kinds of obviously-fictional quotes. It really just confuses the issue.

  16. Jeff Andersen says

    Leaving aside the ridiculousness of censoring these blogs, I find it funny his plan is to turn over the blogs' IP addresses, given that it'd be the same IP address as any other Tumblr blog. Tumblr doesn't assign each blog its own IP address; backend servers differentiate based on the Host header to serve up the correct blog contents.

  17. Just a thought says

    Is Clark living in Ken's brain now? I had to go back and check who'd written this one.

    Personally, I think we should just shut down the internets, ban books and newspapers – especially newspapers – TV and radio: Sisk's problem solved.

  18. b says

    Beautiful.

    And since this idiot is in essence a cartoon, I can only add the classic line that improves every cartoon strip: "Christ, what an asshole."

  19. Dion Starfire says

    As a former resident of Eugene, I just thought I'd provide a bit of context. It's the hippie/pothead/vegan/etc. capitol of Oregon. I wouldn't be surprised if a good portion of the staff were regularly stoned off their gourds, let alone the student body.

  20. AP² says

    Two notes: (1) This post seems to be (it's always hard to tell, with the targetting) the 1º result in Google for "Miles Sisk". So, you know, prepare for more publicity.

    (2) You're being plagiarized by a weird channel (I was going to say "one of the weirdest", but we know that's not true) on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eL1bEUOIZkg

  21. says

    I'm a political science professor, and I'll call this out as ridiculous. What's more, I could round up a roomful of colleagues pretty quickly to condemn this attempt to suppress speech. Sorry, critics of the academy, but you're mistaking a handful of loud people for the whole body of academics, which means the real idiot in the room just might be you.

    I'm also a UO alum–Ph.D. 2000. It's sad to see this from the student gov at mu alma mater, but not really surprising. Student gov't is a microcosm of government in general, attracting the busybodies who want to pursue their agenda under the guise of public service. One of my clearest memories was teaching a class as an adjunct there, and having two students who were in the student gov't ask me what changes I'd make to student gov't if I could. I replied that I'd keep the student fee in place, but instead of letting student gov't distribute the money I'd let each student designate how their fees were distributed among student orgs. It was interesting–I'd never seen anyone's face literally turn white before, but it happened with both of them.

  22. odelay says

    @bob- I am relieved to take the comment back. It's only hyperbole but sometimes in a fit I feel like we are bargaining to find a sane person in the university system like Abraham bargaining with God to find a good person in Sodom. 50? Uh, how about 45? Or maybe 1? I wouldn't presume to know but my guess is you feel this profoundly, given your profession. But maybe not.

  23. Robert What? says

    I guess if parents and family tell a kid from the day he/she is born what a special unique incredibly smart and talented snowflake they are for doing absolutely nothing, this is what you get. Someone who has a meltdown when the world doesn't recognize his specialness and doesn't bend to his every whim like his parents did.

  24. pablo says

    We really are fucked. Liberty resides not in a set of documents but in the hearts and minds of the people. The attitude exemplified here is not unique to student government and these are the kind of citizens we are raising to vote.

  25. sinij says

    To me, liberty means to not have your communications, online or otherwise, intercepted, collected, and analyzed without a court's order. Some ignorant kid throwing a fit over hurt feelings is orders of magnitude less severe.

  26. A.Nagy says

    @James our school put tons of the budget up to a vote every year and what each amount of money would mean services wise it was cool. Even though it pretty much resulted in budget raises across the board except for the school doctor/hospital office thing which actually got a cut :(.

    Of course they also put up to a vote one time the rebuilding of one of the main building because the building was "lame" and it got voted down by around 70% and had 3 times the turn out of the student election…they did it anyways SLOW CLAP.

  27. Andrew S. says

    At press time, a spokesman from the Foundation for Individual Rights In Education was screaming and slamming his head repeatedly in an elevator door.

    That's the part where I lost it.

    Though I'd watch out, Ken. He may get your IP address after this story. And if he does, he might contact the internet police. You'll be in trouble then.

  28. SirWired says

    Well, to be perfectly fair to this butt-hurt college student, many of the fondly-quoted "founding fathers" found it within themselves to also vote for the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798, which made being a Meany McMeany Pants to government officials a criminal act. According to Wikipedia some of the statements prosecuted under the acts included:
    – "call[ing] the Adams administration a "continual tempest of malignant passions" and the President a "repulsive pedant, a gross hypocrite and an unprincipled oppressor"
    – "accusing the administration of "ridiculous pomp, foolish adulation, and selfish avarice""
    – "accus[ing] George Washington of incompetence and financial irregularities, and "the blind, bald, crippled, toothless, querulous Adams" of nepotism and monarchical ambition."

    Jefferson made these acts a central point of his campaign for the presidency and did indeed work to get them repealed and refund any fines levied. (But, in a classic act of Jeffersonian contradiction, didn't hesitate to use the acts to oppress his opponents up until the acts were actually repealed.)

  29. Gomez Toth says

    Patrick Henry said 'give me liberty or give me death,'" […] "Nathan Hale said 'I regret that I have but one life to give for my country.' This guy is saying 'I'm going to hold my breath until police use the criminal justice system to protect me from satirical Pokemon GIFs.

    Beautiful!

  30. says

    @SamWilson – Um, I think the situation she's calling "ridiculous and unacceptable" is the so-called "bullying" on the blogs. She hasn't issued a clear statement against what Sisk is doing that I can find anywhere, and the article you're linking implies that she's the one who put "Senate discussion on social media" on the agenda.

  31. Lagaya1 says

    And Thoreau said, (paraphrasing): Show me one man with a bone in his back you can't pass your hand through.

    I'm reminded of this sentiment almost daily.

  32. Colin says

    I don't really see this as punching down; given that this precious little idiot is a political science major, I see it as an indictment of our education system as much as anything else.

    Also, delightful satire, as always, Ken.

  33. Colin says

    And, damn, if he can't handle mean-spirited Pokémon gifs, I hope he never has to read Hustler Magazine v.Falwell; the facts behind that case might put him in therapy for decades.

  34. Evan Þ. says

    @SirWired, I've heard before that Jefferson prosecuted his enemies under the Sedition Act, but never any specifics about who or when. Do you have any sources?

  35. Rich says

    what a whiny little douchebag. He'll go far when he graduates, moves to Washington and gets a job in a think tank

  36. ArtK says

    I'd enjoy this a lot more as satire if it wasn't a good summary of most political "dialog" these days. That may explain why this sanctimonious asshole bugs me so much:

    Miles, if you're reading this, here's some more butt-hurt for you: You're a smug little prick who needs to go back to middle school and relearn all of your civics lessons; I know 7th graders who have a better idea about how free speech works than you do. You're a complete failure when it comes to understanding the First Amendment (and probably the rest of the Constitution as well.) There are a lot of kid's books explaining the Bill of Rights — perhaps one of them is simple enough for you to understand.Frankly, if you're a poly-sci major, you should be tossed from the school. It's obvious that you don't have even the basic knowledge necessary for that major. How is it that someone as stupid/ignorant as you got admitted to college, much less elected to a position in student government? If you're any example, no wonder there are critical blogs all over the place. Instead of whining about the critics, why don't you and your fellow senators do something about the issues? Or is that too hard for you? Try to go from "Oh noes, we're being critcisumized" to "Crap! There's something wrong with student government." You'll never grow or improve if you don't stop trying to blame others for your misfortune.

    Did you think that joining student government was some magical route to being a Big Man On Campus? Governing's hard work and comes with a lot of criticism. To quote a real politician "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen."

  37. Aiser says

    Yes the American grand experiment HAS IN FACT FAILED.

    Public and private debts amounting to the trillions, none of which will ever be payed back.
    A republic turned into a majority rule Democracy, what the founders wanted to avoid at all cost.
    An out of control Govt constantly raising and enacting new taxes.
    An out of control Govt constantly passing yet more and more laws that hamper freedom and work against the individual.
    And finally the death knell, the insidious lie that is Multiculturalism. The false ideal that absolutely EVERY culture can thrive and should be promoted here no matter how backward has damaged this country beyond repair.
    Diversity = code word for anti white.

  38. says

    Regarding this:

    At press time, a spokesman from the Foundation for Individual Rights In Education was screaming and slamming his head repeatedly in an elevator door.

    Ken are you sure this isn't just a random professor who just received 250 frantic requests for "extra credit " from students he had never seen until the last few weeks of class?

  39. Fasolt says

    @Ian. That's perfect. One hopes our young Mr. Fisk doesn't actually run for political office somewhere if that skin of his doesn't thicken. He will indeed curl up into a fetal position like that guy in the cartoon you linked to after the first round of his opponent's campaign ads.

  40. Smock Puppet, "Si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses." says

    As to mocking Miles Sisk, it would be akin to shooting squirrels with a bazooka – not terribly sporting – though IMHO the academic adviser for the student government should probably explain the First Amendment tomorrow morning.

    Troutwaxer, the fact that they certainly won't is why it needs to be done from afar. Gone are the days when academia did anything like that.

    Nowadays, they're the ones telling him he should be ABLE to silence criticism

  41. Eggo says

    First you laugh at them, then they win. Mean blogs violate college speech codes, and whether or not the students running them are punished for it or not depends entirely on the power of the people they're attacking.

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