The Les Aspin Fun Pages

Les Aspin received a PhD from MIT in 1966. In 1992, he returned to give the commencement address. Mercifully, he was brief, but not brief enough to avoid annoying a large percentage of the graduating class (See Les Aspin, Neuron for one student's view). Our newly instated fearless leader, Bill Clinton recently named Mr. Aspin to his Cabinet as Secretary of Defense. So now we have a draft-dodging Commander in Chief and a Secretary of Defense who can't even pronounce nuclear. Ah well, VooDoo couldn't resist this grand opportunity to have some fun at the expense of an alumnus. Here it is, the very first installment of our new feature: The Les Aspin Fun Pages.

Les Aspin, Neuron

by Benson Wen

Large government organizations cause cancer. At least that's the way it seems because I can't figure out why else there could be a Congress that declares a National Rubber Stamp Month. You would think that every Representative and Senator would keel over with labored, gurgling gasps of laughter at the sight of proposal IJe-98234-4-2-III, Jr., PhD., "The need for recognition of the service of rubber stamps in bureaucracy". But they go on, with serious looks and clad in dark suits, passing these crucial laws, frowning at papers, having scandals, and filibustering (which sounds like an unnatural bodily function or a sex act with horses, maybe both.) A normally thinking person (defined as "someone who hates Barry Manilow") would throw the proposal in the trash, unless he was environmentally sensitive (ES), in which case he would reuse it first by doodling on the back and then throw it in the trash. After doing that, the normally thinking person would get on with life, rooting around in his underwear and watching the Simpsons. But the Congresspersons actually pass laws like these. (Not that they read the proposals and bills; they throw them in the trash and then root around in their underwear, too). So I figure that everyone in Washington DC has brain cancer.

Washington, it seems, is just one big brain tumor from hell. I also think that the brain damage is like magnetism, it gradually becomes permanent the more you hang around the source. I have several friends from the DC area and the effects are humbling. It's like having friends that grew up in Love Canal, near high tension wires and with a taste for lead paint. I plan to have less friends from DC, if you catch my drift. The way I see it, you probably could apply Dave Barry's formula for computing a kid's brain power to the politicians in Washington. It states that if you take a reasonably intelligent 7-year-old boy and put him together with another boy of about the same age, the IQ of the two combined is half that of the one. With each successive little boy, the collective IQ is again halved, until you get "the destructive force of a tank combined with the intellectual reasoning of a Labrador Retriever." It's probably the same with politicians, except their intelligence falls off 10 times as fast.

'Cause I'd assume that's about what happened to Les Aspin. Now here is a man that once went to MIT. Not wanting to sound smug, or anything, but that usually is an indication of reasonable intelligence, not necessarily sound mind, but of intelligence, or at least powerful bribing skills. This is also the same (unless he was swapped by alien beings for a robot, which is also a plausible explaination) man who, at the May MIT Commencement Exercises, spent his few precious minutes to impress on the Class of 1992, the future leaders (gasp) of this increasingly technological world, the people that will build the bridges, bombs, vaccines, computers and latex leisure products of the 90's, to these bright, young, slightly intoxicated minds, Les Aspin chose to talk about the importance of nuclear superiority and the usefulness of Spam as a construction material, or something like that; I stopped listening after the first 5 minutes. But from reports I got from people with some spare brain cells to kill, he talked about the Cold War and how It was Over and how We Won. And how now no longer "We, by which I mean Us," are no longer the "Equalizer," but the "Equalizee," and how noo-kue-lyer tests still need to be conducted at the rate of one per year. He opened with something like: "thousands of commencement speeches have been written about the Cold War. Now that we have entered this new age of peace I'd like to talk about something completely different." Well, that's what I thought he was going to say, but he launched into his bit about the Cold War and noo-kue-lyer testing. Maybe they have nuclear tests in DC. That could explain some things. I know that his pronunciation of nuclear at least bugged one Course VI'er, and a Course VIII'er made fun of it, and as for the Course XXII's...they were burning him in effigy after the ceremony.

Now I didn't think that this was too important. Les Aspin, who'd ever heard of him? An inconsequential unmyelinated axon in the malignant brain tumor known as DC. But it turns out that this Clinton character, the Big Neuron himself, gave him the nod and made him Secretary of Defense. Les! In power! I can't help but think of his speech every time I see his name in the papers. Mr. test-the-Bomb-once-a-year-to-see-how-many-3-eyed-gophers-the-economy-can-handle is in power! He's on the front page of supposedly reputable newspapers! Argh! He might likely achieve the coveted award bestowed to only select individuals in the public eye, like Doc Edgerton. He could be in Doonsbury!

At any rate, there he is in Washington, DC directing our National Defense Policy, getting brain cancer. At least he has a pulse.