Dear Dr. Progressive

web posted March 19, 2001

(Important Note: It is with great regret that we inform our readers that Dr. Progressive has made a brave and daring escape from the mental hospital. He is now running loose on the streets. The latest sighting was by a witness who saw Dr. Progressive disguised in a surgeon's uniform sprinting down a busy intersection. The witness testified that Dr. Progressive injured himself quite seriously after trying to bite the tires off a speeding car. He now, apparently, walks with a limp. He has a long beard and can pass for a 19th century hermit. It is hard to say whether or not he is considered dangerous, but it is clear that he is not of stable mind. Two psychiatrists have affirmed that he is suffering from megalomania and delusions of grandeur. A nurse has reported that he is also convinced of a conspiracy operating against him. Notwithstanding these bizarre and unfortunate developments, it is with great pleasure that we announce that Dr. Progressive has been phoning in from pay phones to talk to his volunteer assistant, who reads Dr. Progressive his letters and then writes down his verbalized answers. Thus, those wishing to ask questions can still write letters, but it is highly recommended that writers keep their questions brief). Send your letters to

Dear Dr. Progressive,

I have been a leftist all my life, but lately something has been troubling me. The other day this guy asked me why we leftists don't want to redistribute all things, not just money, such as long hours in the office, time on the beach, time on the couch, spare time in general, worries, basically everything. His point was that you can't just pick one piece out of a whole picture, like money for instance, you have to redistribute everything. That would be the only fair thing to do. I think I agree to that so I've been thinking all week on how to do that, but I can't see any solution to the problem. What should I do?

George Balder
Oslo, Norway


First of all, who was "this guy" you were supposedly talking to? I don't believe that this person exists. I can see a set-up here of some sort and I will not fall for it. In any case, I am freezing in a phone booth right now and a derelict is banging on the door waiting to use the phone. So you write me to tell me that you think it is only fair that a Leftist like you should redistribute everything, but that now you don't know what to do. Let me see, I see an apple on the table and I want to eat it, but I don't know what to do. Are you just plain literally stupid? Let me give you a hint: if a person wants to give a penny away, and he has a penny in his pocket and he sees someone to give it to, then it just might make sense that, instead of agonizing about what to do, he will give his penny away. I can't believe I am wasting my time on this. As always, Leftists are wasting my time. They are always talking about redistributing wealth but they don't redistribute their own. Trust me, you will not do anything about this little problem of yours -- because you are a Leftist. Why would you be asking me such a stupid question? It's like me writing to you and telling you that I want to go to the store and that I need to know what to do. I must go now, this guy is really scaring me outside of this phone booth. He could easily be an imposter, from either the left or the right.

Dear Doctor Tourettes, I mean Doctor Progressive,

I have been pondering this question and maybe you can help me figure it out. Have you ever wondered why an inverse proportionality exists between short fat men who play with little balls and tall skinny guys who play with big balls? The evidence of this is no more stark than on the golf course and the basketball courts. Can anyone argue that the basketball is the biggest ball we have and that the golf ball is the smallest? Of course there are the tweeners in football where both fat and skinny play with a mid-sized balls. Shouldn't the reverse be the norm. One would think those fat guys would play with the bigger ball and the skinny guys would play with the smaller ball.

By the way that guy who was writing his dissertation and got it mixed up with his strawberry shortcake recipe...I think I kicked his butt while drinking a Heineken the other day. My buddies and I were watching basketball while pondering the effects Tiger Woods would have on all the fat bottomed golfers, and this guy walked by muttering about some crazy doctor with tourettes syndrome who dissed his dissertation. We asked him what he was muttering about, and then we beat him up after he explained it to us. We didn't understand why we had the urge to whup this guy until we read about that whup ass syndrome in your most recent advice column.

In light of this newest syndrome, which after further study may prove to be genetic, do you have any advice for import guzzling, basketball playing, porch dwelling white trash to help us control these urges to knock the snot out of cone headed Ph.D. candidates who ask stupid questions? I know that you are a progressive male and have overcome this quirky urge.

Pondering progressiveness in Rockford, IL.

Dear DH,

Um, look, I don't know. First of all, watch how you address me. Furthermore, big balls, small balls, basketball and golf. Look, whatever you say. I have no time to talk about balls right now, and I see no connection to the issue of social justice. Perhaps I would see a connection if Karl Marx had said, "Workers of the world unite, you have nothing to lose but your balls." Then we would be talking. Um, in any case, I hope you will discontinue your violence. I do not encourage anyone beating up Leftists. I only said that Leftists nurture the instinct in others to give them a slap, but this does not mean that the slap itself is justified. Well, at least I don't want to encourage it in others. I think you need to find some new friends. I must go now. I am in a bar and it is very loud and I can't concentrate. I think the bartender has recongized me and called the authorities. So I must run. I am like the fugitive in the movie "Fugitive." I don't know if you saw it. It's the one with Harrison Ford in it. But my situation is far more political and serious. The helicopters haven't come yet but they will be all hovering around very soon. Hundreds of helicopters chasing me down. But I will not surrender until the revolution.

Dear Dr. Progressive,

I am a Leftist and I have heard you escaped from the mental hospital! I have set up a hideaway room for you in my house. I have posters in there of Che Guevera and made you your own bed with Leftist sheets and progressive pillow cases. I am willing to hide you and protect you, as long as you help me write my Masters thesis, which is about how Angela Davis depersonalized and politicized her struggle for liberation. Are you interested?

New York

Dear Peter,

The thought of living with you in your house sounds more depressing and boring than the potential of your Masters thesis. But give my assistant your address anyway. I might take you up on your offer. Meanwhile, to prepare for my arrival, replace the posters of Che Guevera with pictures of Richard Simmons. I want a big screen T.V.. and a V.C.R. in my room and my own lock and key. Also find out if you can get me some prescription drugs under your own insurance plan. Thanks. I must go now, I could swear that I just saw a U.F.O.

Jamie Glazov holds a Ph.D. in History and is the author of 15 Tips on How to be a Good Leftist.

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