In the wake of the scandalous discovery that Democratic state Senate candidate Colleen Lachowicz of Waterville is a devotee of the online game World of Warcraft, the Maine Republican Party has prepared a list of acceptable leisure-time activities for its members, so they can avoid similar public embarrassments. GOP state chairman Charlie Webster said it was necessary to distinguish between those hobbies that are consistent with conservative values and those that foster a sense of dependence, an attitude of entitlement, and a tendency to allow the culture of foreigners with green skin, odd clothing, and anachronistic weaponry to subvert the American way of life.
"That video-game stuff isn't how working folks relax after a long day on the job," Webster might have said, but didn't. "The truck drivers, factory workers, and call-center representatives who've been the backbone of Maine's economy since 1820 all go home, crack open a cold one, and turn on the tube, just like their ancestors did."
The chairman also made it clear he was upset by rude comments Lachowicz made on discussion sites. "She was disrespectful," Webster said. "Almost as bad as Paul LePage."
Republicans haven't yet released their list, but a copy was leaked to me by a dissident orc (actually an unemployed 20-something living in his parents' basement, where — when he's not too busy skewering night elves — he hacks into Webster's laptop and plants phony information about trolls disguised as out-of-state college students registering to vote in Maine).
Here's the uncensored guide to GOP-sanctioned recreation:
1) Read the complete works of Adam Smith. Smith is revered by right-wingers as the 18th-century patron saint of free-market economics, but the closest I've come to picking up his books is P.J. O'Rourke's distillation of his major points. Considering that Smith's The Wealth of Nations is 900 pages of impenetrable prose, that volume alone should keep Webster's working folks occupied through a long winter. And if modern readers find Smith to be less than entertaining, they need to be reminded that he once wrote, "The vices of levity are always ruinous to the common people."
2) Watch movies based on Ayn Rand's books. Rand is the other icon of Tea Party philosophers (could someone turn off the oxymoron alarm), but reading her books might be disconcerting for them, since she favored abortion and was a militant atheist. The Fountainhead skips over all that cognitive dissonance by stressing individual initiative. I haven't seen the new Atlas Shrugged film, but I suspect it's not nearly as heavy on rejecting the tenants of Judeo-Christian morality as Rand was in print.
3) Visit recent immigrants from places like Somalia, and explain to them why their culture sucks. For one thing, it almost certainly lacks high-speed Internet connections, which would allow them to play World of Warcraft. If the wretched refuse appear to be having trouble understanding you because of a limited grasp of English, remember that shouting and waving your arms always helps convey your message.
4) Bundling. Not the phone-cable-Internet kind. This colonial practice involved unmarried sweethearts attempting to keep warm during the winter by wrapping themselves together in blankets, chastely separated by a wooden board. Bundling did wonders for increasing the birthrate among white, Anglo-Saxon Protestants, and there's no reason to think it couldn't do so again. Obviously, no same-sex couples need apply.