Excerpts From My Controversial Speech at Columbia University

Students, faculty, President Bollinger:

I was happy to accept your invitation to speak this afternoon. It’s a long trip from 119th St, but I wanted to set the record straight regarding my role in the creation and leadership of what some term a rogue nation, but what I quite affectionately call home.

  • President Bollinger, you have called me a petty and cruel dictator, and I assume you are referring to my stance on cleaning the bathroom and obeying the tasks noted on the chore wheel. My position on these matters is inflexible, and if our citizens don’t like it, they are free to leave, as long as they give one month’s notice and find their own sublettor. I, for one, don’t feel that “dictator” is such a bad word after all. It comes from “dictate,” which means to make others take notes while you’re speaking, and that is certainly not the policy in our nation, at least not since Daniel developed carpal tunnel syndrome.

  • There are no homosexuals in our breakaway republic. This is a shame. If there were, our nation’s bathroom would probably be cleaner, our fashion sense would be sharper, and the parties we throw would be more fabulous. I want to use this forum to welcome any and all homosexuals who are looking to emigrate and can afford $700 per month in rent. All of our nation’s bedrooms are full, but we do have a very comfortable couch.

  • As a scientist and man of learning myself, I have nothing but the greatest respect for science and the spirit of inquiry, especially the ‘hidden’ sciences. How to purify water when it runs brown out the sink, how to overload a circuit, how to make ice—all of these are hidden sciences which we have mastered in our nation. Some have criticised us for using human subjects in our experiments, but I say to you, if Daniel had not become sick from that brown water, then nobody else would have known that it was not OK to drink.

  • This Holocaust of which you speak—really, it was only a few cockroaches and no more than half a teaspoon of boric acid. They were all over the national kitchen. Still, all I am saying is that more research on the subject needs to be done. What are the cockroaches’ root causes? How much boric acid is too much? Why didn’t we notice them before we signed the lease?

  • In terms of the running dogs in apartment 25, I have nothing to say other than that apartment ’s citizens are nothing but illegal sublettors. What about that apartment’s rightful owners, who have been exiled in Gainesville for three months while Gerald finishes his consulting job? What recourse do they have when these interlopers play their salsa music on Tuesday nights, driving down the entire region’s property values? Is it fair for our homeland to be held hostage to the interests of one arrogant and uncommunicative state? Is that just?

  • I would very much like to place a wreath on the front door to honor the spirit of the upcoming Halloween season, but I am not allowed to do this for some reason. The wreath is comprised of imitation vines and papier-mâché ghosts, and our nation merely wants to demonstrate its holiday spirit. Instead, the “super” will not allow this.

  • We ask you for fuel, not to build nuclear bombs, but to make cakes, and cookies, and to heat our national bedrooms. But I guess that instead we will be forced to burn this wreath, which for some reason we are not allowed to place on our door. America, you brought this upon yourselves!

  • I would like to invite you all to come and visit our land and talk to our citizens. Please do not come before 7:30, because our citizens work late, and please bring beer, because sometimes we like to unwind after work, and also our nation’s water is not always safe to drink. And Daniel, if you are in the audience today, I have called the super, and he said he will come fix the pipes this afternoon. Sorry again about the dysentery.


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