The Knights of the Auto Order Proudly Present: The Auto Body Estimate: Vol. II, #91, June 2009

I love conspiracy theories. One favorite suggests that the U.S. government was instrumental in introducing drugs into the 1960's sub-culture. You know, young people were starting to show some independence, thinking outside of the box, and doubting our need to be in Vietnam. The government recognized that it needed to do something. In a genius move they employed the help of top musicians and film makers to glorify drug use. As a result, a significant number of impressionable youth spent the bulk of their discretionary time eating salty snacks, reclined in bean bag chairs, listening to Pink Floyd on headphones - instead of rioting in the streets.

More recently our police departments worked with other branches of the government to create hip hop culture simply to insure that inner city perpetrators would wear their pants so baggy and low that nearly any officer could catch them in a foot race. Plus the gaudy gold jewelry makes the bad guys easier to spot. I mean, what kind of serious criminal drives a car with gold plated wheels? Real bad guys drive non-descript late model sedans - just like undercover cops - but I digress.

The latest insidious infiltration of this type is called "social networking." Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace are all examples of government-driven initiatives to insure that reasonably affluent and computer literate youth spend the lion's share of their free time doing absolutely nothing at all.

By the time Johnny or Suzie responds to every communication on their Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace accounts, they'll have no free time left to storm Wall Street or whatever. What's worse, is that next week there will be newer, more attractive social interaction services, but as these will not replace Twitter, Facebook, or MySpace, our reasonably affluent and computer literate youth will simply have to add these networks to those they already manage. This, combined with the latest in gaming advancements, satellite TV, and movies on demand, will insure our youth will have no time to protest or oppose anything the government dishes out. In fact they might have to start eating astronaut food and wearing adult incontinence products just to get it all done.

As for us old guys who might eschew the latest technological advancements, the government saved up an even bigger weapon - they let us elect a president we actually respect. That really took a lot of the wind out of my revolutionary spirit! It's genius!

But all that is just small change in the big conspiracy bucket. Here's the covert initiative that REALLY gets me upset: How hard would it be for Apple or Microsoft to warn you when you're about to print a letter-shaped document onto an envelope (or visa versa)? Unlike the annoying "Are you really, really sure you want to shut down?" message, I'd truly welcome something like: "Someone in the office put an envelope in the printer and you're about to print a letter on it. Do you really want to do this?"

You can't tell me that there's a technological reason this couldn't be done for peanuts. It's clear to me that paper manufacturers (not to mention the evil ink cartridge cartels) already got to Steve Jobs and Bill Gates (or whoever).

Before someone figures out how much fun it is, and conspires to kick us out, the Auto Body Experience is still enjoying the heck out of the Eagles Club, where we'll be playing on Friday, July 10th. We'll create two sets created just for this night, including more songs Doug (our new keyboardist) has never played before, and our pal Mike Anderson will join us on the saxophones.

The only thing that would make this gig any better would be if you joined us in the fun -- we hope to see you there!

Love, Scott Yoho, Grand Pooh Bah, The Knights of the Auto Order

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