Can we first start by saying that we here at Pol Position are thrilled that somebody is finally putting a little touch of old-fashioned family values into the justice system?
That said, Queens Assemblyman Anthony Semenario re-introduced a bill at the start of this legislative season that would make paddling part of the punishment for kids 13 or older who are caught making graffiti.
That's right, instead of community service, probation, or even jail time, judges would now have a new weapon in their arsenal to punish the common street vandal, the most effective form of punishment known to man: a good hard spanking.
Let's look at the facts. For years, spanking has been deterring activities that would otherwise completely undermine the very fundamentals upon which our society is founded. Could you imagine what the world would look like today if people refused to pick up their toys, argued with their siblings, or sassed their mother? We think it would be a very different and unrecognizable place.
So why not extend this proven form of punishment to other facets of life?
Seminerio argues that his proposal would add a little degradation to the mix. We agree, but only if the spankings are public. Really, Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn is just sitting there, hardly used. What better backdrop for public spankings can you think of?
Imagine taking the kids on a sunny Saturday afternoon to Grand Army Plaza with a blanket and picnic basket packed with lunch for a few public spankings. The spankings could be simulcast on NY1 for the benefit of the city's shut-ins and chronically lazy.
The only question is who should mete out the humiliating blows? The logical answer to that question would be the mayor, but it's not like we have Arnold Schwarzenegger running our city. No, it would have to be somebody much stronger and intimidating, like a retired drill sergeant (although anytime one of those turns up in a situation outside of actual boot camp, it's just comical). Perhaps a paroled felon?
Pol Position can only imagine the conversations on the street between would-be vandals (and here's what we imagine):
Graffiti Vandal #1: I'm about to spray-paint this fence, see, and ain't nobody gonna' stop me, not the sheriff, not the judge, nobody.
Graffiti Vandal #2: Ain't you worried about gettin' caught, Sonny?
Graffiti Vandal #1 (apparently now named "Sonny"): Heck no! Even if I did, I'd be back out on the street in less than 24 hours.
Graffiti Vandal #2: Ain't ya afraid of the spanking?
Graffiti Vandal #1 (while doing a spit-take): Wha?!
Why stop at spankings, though? There are surely other valuable lessons that the home can teach us when dealing with society's deviants. For instance, who liked getting yelled at by their mother or father? One punishment could include getting that guy from "Hell's Kitchen" to berate you all day long as you go about your daily business.
And what about Seminerio himself, who is currently wrapped up in some legal troubles of his own, accused of taking under-the-counter kick-backs to the tune of $1 million for favors up in Albany? What kind of "humiliation" could we add to his punishment if he were indeed found guilty? Maybe an embarrassing appearance on "The Biggest Loser" or "What Not to Wear"?
(Hmm, maybe the answer to crime isn't childish punishments, but reality television!)
Look, if you don't believe us that spanking will work, just ask Michael Fay. Surely you remember Michael Fay? The American teenager who became a media sensation after he was caught vandalizing cars in Singapore and a judge ordered him spanked six times. Well, actually he was sentenced to six "canings", which we understand is quite painful and leaves lifelong scars.
Americans were in an uproar, and his sentence was dropped to four whacks with the cane. However, we can't help but believe that if he had been given those other two strikes, he wouldn't have gone on to horribly burn his face in an unfortunate butane-sniffing accident.
So we say bring on the spankings (but only if they are public and the producers of reality television shows refuse to accept non-celebrity petty criminals in the name of justice). Maybe now that the Democrats control Albany, we can finally get some action on this important piece of legislation.