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IRREGULAR ADVICE: Introducing Frankly Selma

Irregular Times' advice experts are the Unitarian-cum-Buddhist Franklin and Selma Wheeler of Tacoma, Washington, where they spend most of their time meditating on different local mountaintops, coming down only to write this column and feed their cats. Franklin has worked as a reverend in the Unitarian church. In winter, when mountain conditions are most hazardous, Selma teaches industrial arts at the local community college. They have been married for a mostly happy thirty-three years, despite raising one now-adult child. Email Franklin and Selma your transcendental, political, and fashion quandaries to:

Dear Frankly Selma,

I live in central Idaho, and around here, our anti-government sentiments run pretty strong. The problem is that, as much as my neighbors and I love to complain about big government, we only have little governments around here to protest against. The nearest town has just 300 people, and it's hours to anything that's much bigger. What's a libertarian communal conspiracy theorist like myself to do?


Idaho Ian

FRANKLIN:Well, no matter how small your local governments are, I'm sure you can find some unnecessary funding, mandates, etc. Maybe offices are using too much paper, or abusing the internet during their workday (which is okay in moderation, especially if any of you dear readers are doing that now.) You have to deal with what you are given. So you're in a small place with a small government. I'm sure that you and your ideological compatriots can whittle the existing structure down to a mayor working out of his or her garage. Have fun!

SELMA:Public protest? I thought Libertarians didn't come out in the sun. Aren't you all holed up somewhere underground with your guns? I don't like this guy. I'm ignoring him.

Dear Frankly Selma,

My three year old son likes to mix stripes and plaids. Should I worry?


Mommy in a Little Black Dress

FRANKLIN: You could try dressing him with the lights on. Oh, wait, is your toddler doing the dressing or is an adult? Hmmm...I need more information.

SELMA: Oh, get the Gucci stick out of your butt, and let the little bugger express his or her individuality. relax. That clashing sort of thing may come back around some time soon. Economic conditions are ripe for Punk.

Dear Frankly Selma,

I live in co-operational in mid-sized city in Tennessee, where I am an active member of the Green Party. Lately, I have been feeling some conflict regarding the upcoming election: John Kerry comes off as such a stiff, and yet Nader has ostrasized himself from the Greens, and is running as an Independent. It does not help that I am surrounded by evangelical, anti-gay, Bible-belters. The pressure is on to make a decision between "electable" and my own conscience--even if that conscience is a bit sore. What can I do?

Torn in Tennessee

FRANKLIN: I sympathize with your dilemma. I, myself, am a re-registered Democrat (formerly Green) in our area of the world so I could participate in the primaries. My gut reaction is that your vote is your own. Our nation casts secret ballots for a reason, and discussing your personal vote with others will only create more anxiety and confusion about your ultimate decision. I am concerned that you may have "buyer's remorse" if you vote for someone strictly because you believe he can beat the other guy. On the other hand, I can understand being put off by Nader, as he had a perfect opportunity to continue with the grassroots revolution in 2000, but dropped the ball. Both of your choices, if you are definitely leaning left, are inarguably better than the third choice you could make on the right. I suggest you keep to yourself during these months up to the election and continue to research the candidates and their positions - and, most importantly, their records, as that is a (somewhat) reliable predictor of their course if elected. Following your heart in the polling booth is always preferable to holding your nose and pulling the lever.

SELMA: If you fuck up this election, I will track you down in your Southern hippie commune, and personally tear off your arms.

Dear Frankly Selma,

What is the sound of one hand clapping?

Om Boy

FRANKLIN: Cripe, not this one again...

SELMA: By definition, one requires two hands to clap. Therefore, one hand on its own in insufficient to clap, let alone produce a sound from it. The question is absurd by its nature.

Ain't that the point?

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