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Consider:

"It is better to be drunk with loss and to beat the ground, than to let the deeper things gradually escape."

- I. Compton-Burnett, letter to Francis King (1969)

"Cynical realism – it is the intelligent man’s best excuse for doing nothing in an intolerable situation."

- Aldous Huxley, "Time Must Have a Stop"







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Sunday, 25 January 2004

Topic: Bush

Go ahead. Take a satire break. Indulge yourself.

On the web you might have come across the site WHITEHOUSE.ORG - a wildly uneven anti-Bush, or anti-establishment, satire site.

As some of you know, my honors thesis in college, and my work in graduate school, was on the satires of Jonathan Swift. Yep, I was particularly fond of A Tale of a Tub and the famous section "A Digression On Madness." I wrote about that here back in mid-July - "What Jonathan Swift would say about Merrill Lynch were Swift still around...".

In the "Digression" one will find a discussion implying that the world can be divided into "fools" or "knaves" - the only two options. It's quite funny, and nasty. And very cynical. Swift only implies a third alternative - there are fools, and there are knaves, and then there can be total cynics who trust no claim about anything, ever.

I'm working on that third option.

Satire these days isn't so subtle. But you might want to check this out.

THE 2004 STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS: COMPLETE TRANSCRIPT OF PRESIDENT BUSH'S SPEECH TO CONGRESS AND THE NATION
WHITEHOUSE.ORG

Here are my favorite parts:
THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Speaker, Vice President Cheney, fellow Republican CEOs, terrorist-coddling liberals, telegenic colored toddlers, and uniform-wearing military props:

America this evening is a nation whipped into a state of perpetual paranoia over terrorism. And I, your Supreme and Omnipotent Leader, am rising to sustain that. (Applause.)

In short... BE AFRAID. Be very afraid. Be constantly and persistently afraid. Be totally consumed by fear. Be absolutely, shit-in-your-Dockers terrified. To do otherwise is to voluntarily lay your blue-eyed babies at the Muslamian altar of sacrificial murder. Of course, don't be so a'scared that you feel like you can't let your kids play hopscotch on the sidewalk or go about your daily business as if you were living in the 90's. I've got your back. In fact, I'm the only one who knows how to protect this country from the hole dwellers who tried to kill my daddy.

As we gather tonight, America's military is stretched paper-thin across the face of the Earth. The servicemen and women for whom I feign respect are committing suicide and resigning their commissions in droves. Yet by scattering them around like so much disposal bio-confetti, we keep our domestic news media fixated on war, and in so doing continue to pound the enormous bongo drums of fear which buoy my approval ratings so gloriously. (Applause.)

Indeed, hundreds of military grunts are losing their lives so that you and I can secure the SUV juice we need to keep our country running. Who controls the spice... er, "oil," controls the UNIVERSE! And we thank the Hailiburton Corporation for their tax-deductible, pre-war donation of over 100,000 beautifully ornate military tombstones. (Applause.)

After all, our veterans deserve no less. (Applause.)

Tonight, members of this Republican Congress can take pride in having joined me in donning a fabulous star-spangled toga, invoking terror ad nauseum, and successfully imploding six miserable and horrifying decades of misguided legislation designed by evildoers (yes, American evildoers!) to interfere with God's divine plan for our nation's socio-economically inferior. Way to go, boys. (Applause.)

I want to thank the Democrats, in particular, for having purged their skeletons of the unruly vertebrae which might have otherwise prevented me from experiencing the groin-moistening satisfaction of effortless domination. I know that after this speech, Tom Daschle and Nancy Pelosi will stutter through their prepared remarks with all the persuasiveness and gravitas of a Richard Simmons tutorial on eating pussy. And for that, I am doubly thankful. (Applause.)
And this further on:
Moving forward, our nation faces a choice. We can act like a sissy little school girl, and waste a bunch of time thinking and talking about boring, non-terror-related stuff - or we can be a massively studly dude, and stay totally focused on bringing the world's most powerful arsenal to bear upon a few hundred hole-dwelling, lice-bearded boogey men. Now some say I'm thick as a brick, but I'm not blind to the irony there. Whoever would have guessed that Americans could believe that the only way to be "tough" is to twist your panties in a frantic perma-knot over some boxcutter-wielding religious loonies all named Mohammed? Not me, for one. But hey, whatever works! (Applause.)
And this:
Lately though, some whiners have been rudely dwelling on the fact that I sold America on an illegal war by promising to unearth weapons of mass destruction, which I have since failed to do. To them I say, "Who cares! Saddam's out of power, and that's a good thing!" I mean, I just don't get those folks. For instance, if I write a check for a new lawn mower, and the dealer brings me an ice cream truck instead, am I going to complain about it? Hell no! I like ice cream! Well it's the same thing with Iraq. Sure, the transaction may have technically been fraudulent, but ice cream is yummy! You'd think liberals could get that through their thick skulls. I mean, sheesh!
And it goes on, covering gay marriage issues, the Patriot Act and the economy.

I guess it's funny.

The link will take you to the whole thing. It's lame in places, and okay in other places, and rather good here and there. We have no contemporary Swift yet.

Posted by Alan at 22:28 PST | Post Comment | Permalink
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