Sticks and Stones
Well, how to begin? The world gets crazier and crazier, as far as I can tell, and if it weren't so damned dangerous I'd be rolling in the aisles.
My recent column about monkeys, DNA and President Pipsqueak's padded crotch generated more angry mail than anything I've written since last fall, when, as a "whining" liberal and traitor to the United States, I reported that Iraq's then-vice president, Taha Yassin Ramadan, had challenged George Bush to a duel with Saddam Hussein.
But no: Let me wail like Cassandra on the walls of Troy, crying my prophesies of doom, and all the mailman brings to my door are Land's End catalogues and the latest newsletter from AARP. Make fun of a straight man's winkie, however, and see how quickly your box fills up with curses, threats and third-grade grammar.
"Why is it when perverts, traitors and degenerates like you start carrying on in the streets it's 'democracy,'" one furious specimen of manhood inquired, "but when the overwhelming majority of Americans support the President and supported the war, they're somehow brainwashed? You cry over the deaths of worthless ragheads, but self-righteously rejoice over the death of innocent Americans and brave American soldiers. Get a clue, scumbag! It's typical of creatures like you to boil all "anal"-lysis of everything down to its lowest common denominator, in your case being the size of a guy's dick. Don't you AIDS spreaders think of anything else?"
Charming country, no? Another correspondent put it boldly: "Fags are inferior, pathetic, low-life scum and deserve to be bashed! Hell, I'd love to beat on some fags, but I don't want to get blood on my clothes. So the next best thing to physical violence is verbal abuse! YOU ARE ONE SORRY MOTHER FUCKER!"
I could go on, but modesty forbids. Only one of my readers, mercifully brief in his comments, saw his letter published in Seven Days -- the rest were too insane and obscene for the public prints. All came by email and all, with one exception, were unsigned -- not a new trick, but typical of cowards on the right.
But what can you expect in a country where, according to polls, more than 70 percent of the population believes in guardian angels? Where a lawless attack on a sovereign state is called Operation Iraqi Freedom? Where those deadly weapons of mass destruction, poised any minute to slaughter us all, turn out to be nothing but empty cans -- "two of the most lethal tractor-trailers ever devised!" as Dubya might say -- which Saddam Hussein couldn't have driven from Texas to Florida without stopping six times for an oil change?
Ah, the oil. Now there's a thing we did really well, securing all those pumps and pipelines while gallons of nerve gas, germs and uranium somehow went on the lam. Either they never existed -- the most likely scenario -- or they've been smuggled by now into terrorist hands. Either way, they'll provide the excuse for more battles and bombs, the Bushmen having no coherent policy whatsoever on anything but the squirt's re-election.
You wait and see. Bush's numbers are already falling. It doesn't take long between crises, disasters, terrorist scares and "orange alerts" for even the dullest of American voters to see through this junta's façade. And while Dubya dismisses as "pure speculation" the idea that Iran will be his next target, his chief puppeteer, Vice President Cheney, tells a crowd of West Point graduates that "the battle of Iraq was a major victory, but the war on terror is far from over. With such an enemy, no peace treaty is possible, no policy of containment or deterrent will prove effective. The only way to deal with this threat is to destroy it, completely and utterly."
So get out your gas masks, all and one -- it's not over 'til the fat lady sings.
"How stupid are we, finally, how easy to fool?" asks columnist Hal Crowther in the Durham (N.C.) Independent. Desperately, he quotes Einstein -- "The tyranny of the ignoramuses is insurmountable and assured for all time" -- and George Santayana -- "Perhaps the universe is nothing but an equilibrium of idiocies." Finally, Crowther lands on Teddy Roosevelt, no slouch in the war and big-balls division, who nevertheless told the truth in 1918 when he said, "To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."
So there. I don't want to hear another word about "supporting our troops" while that bald-faced liar in the Oval Office cuts $15 billion in veterans' benefits and 60 percent of education funds for the children of the people who fought his war. Is our attention span now so limited that we don't know the difference between finance and theft? Or do we all have "amnesia," like Jessica Lynch, private first class and public hoax, whose family has been warned by the rodents in power to keep quiet for God and man?
"There's no room for hateful and destabilizing messages that will destroy the emerging Iraqi democracy," says Mike Furlong, a "senior advisor" in what's euphemistically called the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad. Similarly, that great buffoon Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense and leading advocate of the new, modern, no-plan war, tells the Associated Press that "the transition to a democratic government in Iraq can't be rushed." Rummy cites the Ger-mans and Adolf Hitler as "an example of what can go wrong" when "liberation" runs amok.
"If you think about it, Hitler was elected," Rumsfeld says. "So elections are not the certain judge."
No? And where does that leave our own Little Adolf, Dubya Bush? He wasn't elected, but he sleeps in the White House all the same. "Speak softly," rednecks, as Roosevelt said, and put that big stick where the sun don't shine. You'll be surprised how snugly it fits.