Knock, knock!

Who’s there?

Too toothy.

Too toothy, who?

Two to the eleventh power.

Thus reads the text of Proposition 2048, a deceptively simple ballot measure whose fate will be decided today. Does it surprise you, dear reader, to see a knock-knock joke in your voter information packet? Or, perhaps, you didn’t leaf through that massive tree corpse that was mailed to you at all? Maybe you instead opted to follow a voter guide such as those tailored to progressives, conservatives, and San Franciscans.

I loathe to put it in such terms, but WAKE UP, SHEEPLE!!!! Such guides are meticulously assembled by activists, academics, and journalists after dozens of hours of fact-checking and research. Quite simply, they rob one of one’s ability to think by handing out intelligent, measured, and well-thought-out recommendations on a silver platter. More egregiously, they fail to appreciate the elegant beauty of Proposition 2048.

Yes, Prop 2048 is a joke. But that does not make it a joke. My English professor would be devastated if I did not come to the defense of the humble knock-knock joke, a widely-used literary form thought to have originated in Macbeth. The knock-knock form is crisp, punny, and formulaic, three attributes that expand civic participation to the masses by simplifying heavy political discourse.

What’s more, the self-referential nature of Prop 2048, or Prop 2^11, as one might call it, demonstrates a nuanced awareness of modes of expression and re-expression, as well as the ability to poke fun at oneself. A yes vote on Prop 2048 is thus not a ridiculous idea, as those voter guides would have you assume. It is a bold stand for thoughtful humor, an affirmation that we as a society can make fun of each other and be better for it, as well as a searing indictment of elitism in the realm of legislation and policy. Please join me in voting Yes on 2048 today to ensure that California remains a haven for comedy and commoners alike.

This message is sponsored by the Yes on 2048 Coalition, Californians Against Sheep, and William Shakespeare.

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