Point-Counterpoint 1: Toasted Skin Syndrome and Spending

Point-Counterpoint is a regular feature of the Bad Apples Blog, pitting conservative pundit Jack Hammer against uncredentialed liberal Fox P. Wisconsin. Because Mr. Wisconsin is a pacifist and terrified of conflict, we let him go first.


A 12 year-old-boy who played computer games a few hours a day for several months with his laptop on his legs developed permanent sponge-patterned discoloration on his left thigh. Though he knew it got hot, he didn’t adjust the laptop.

This is why scientists everywhere recommend that if something feels like it is hot and burning your skin, you should get away from it.

He is one of 10 patients documented in a recent study who reported the condition, which has previously been seen on people’s legs who work in front of hot stoves or old people with electric blankets. The heat comes from the laptop’s processors. In addition, placing a laptop on your lap may block the exhaust fan.


Great. Just great. Now laptops are roasting children’s legs. Is this what the invisible hand of the marketplace was meant to accomplish?

Of course, any program to study and solve the problem of Toasted Skin Syndrome (the new TSS!) is destined to be derided by conservatives as part of the wasteful spending they’re trying to curb. Not that conservatives themselves can figure out what wasteful spending it is that they’re trying to curb:

So let me get this straight, Mr. Republicans: there isn’t any specific thing we need to cut spending on, except for everything?


Listen here, you wussie communist greaseball, talking about specific spending cuts is not how you cut spending. You just cut it. Everywhere and all the time. If you were running out of money, would you keep buying your lattes and organic granola bars for breakfast anymore? No, you would CUT SPENDING.

As for the invisible hand of the marketplace, you’re lucky I don’t slap you in the face with it, you pompous hippy jagoff. Maybe computers wouldn’t burn people if the computer manufacturers didn’t have to waste their money paying taxes to our socialist president, or if they didn’t have to waste time finding ways to circumvent his tyrannical standards for environmental safety in manufacturing. Do you think the waste created by smelting rechargeable laptop batteries is going to negotiate secret deals to be buried dangerously close to nearby water supplies itself?

Jack Hammer is the president of Americanism Without Borders, a conservative think-tank. He is also a member of the board of directors for Americans for Things Americans Can Believe In. Fox P. Wisconsin shops at Whole Foods and wears sandals.

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