Just as the Free the Egos movement has begun to gather momentum, a conservative ground swell calling for their permanent incarceration or even destruction has emerged. At a recent rally, one woman with teabags hanging from her hat began the chant, "Not in my backyard!" "Send them to that Gantanamo place — back in the Middle East where they belong," said a man wearing a "Ban the Bums" tee-shirt.
At the center of this increasingly vociferous debate is the box of disembodied egos recently found in New York City. The public seems generally convinced that these egos are evil. Scientists seem not to agree. "Although they certainly exhibit self- and other-destructive tendencies," said a sociologist who is studying them, "I do not see how we can call them inherently evil. They are, after all, natural phenomena." "These people seem to have forgotten that there are presently 7 billion egos in the world, including their own," added a psychologist.
It would seem, however, that it is their disembodied state which has people most upset. "It just isn't natural", said one protester. When asked if this meant they were supernatural, he only re-affirmed, "They ain't natural!"
"Because the egos are disembodied," opined a psychiatrist, "people are able to project their own self-hatred upon them without the guilt of actually hating someone. It is a classic example of the scape-goat syndrome." "Admittedly," he added, "they already probably hate embodied egos, but at least these disembodied egos deflect some of their ill-feelings away from actual people. If for no other reason, this may be a good reason to keep them safely incarcerated."
Meanwhile, the Obama administration has taken a hands-off, wait-and-see approach. "Let's allow the scientists to finish their investigations before we decide on a final solution to the ego-problem," said a spokeswoman for the president.
The Republican presidential hopefuls have not been so non-committal. "The American taxpayers should not be made to foot the bill for their incarceration; let's at least put them to work as janitors in our schools," said front-runner Newt Gingrich. "Send them to Texas," said Rick Perry, "we'll figure a way to execute them." A spokesman for Mitt Romney said they were waiting for the latest opinion polls before commenting. Someone on the sidelines was heard to mumble, “I have no recollection of ever having sexually harassed a disembodied ego.”
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