Secret Pop

Sep 10, 2004

It's not the heat. It's the economy, stupid.

Woe to us with working sweat glands. I am anti-perspirant. And I mean that in an ideological sense. And yesterday morning, before I jetted out of L.A. (in a Honda, not a Lear), it was sprinkling maddeningly warm bits of rain on the scorching sidewalk. There's nothing grosser than moist heat. I need clothing made of that desiccant substance they put in boxes of candy but warn you not to eat.

I was listening to NPR while driving back home this afternoon, and I kept wanting to call someone and make sure they knew about the partisan nonsense that was being said. I didn't, though. I just listened patiently and hoped that I would retain my arguments for future publication. It's hard when you're driving. I have so many ideas on the road, but I only have so many palely-colored pieces of trash in the car to scrawl them on.

Rumsfeld's been talking about why we haven't been seeing or hearing from Osama bin Laden in recent months. His theory? It's because we (America) have been keeping him very busy. Rumsfeld wanted America to think that Osama bin Laden hasn't been sending out videotaped tauntings because we're on the right track. That we're warring on the correct paths now, and that's got Osama bin Laden stuck in meetings all day. He's probably working longer hours than ever. I'll bet he hasn't even had a chance to catch the latest few episodes of The Surreal Life.

There was also an adviser to the Bush administration being interviewed on The World, and I wanted to fork her in the face. With a fork. She spoke very calmly and eloquently, but what she was saying was a bollocks sandwich. She was saying that we should not ignore the fact that George W. Bush's original campaign message in 2000 contained an assertion of our need to shift U.S. foreign policy to deal with rogue leaders, or something equally inane. She said that we should remember that and not act as if Bush decided to invade Iraq without having offered us a proper excuse for it. It was not an argument that I would say lacked, shall we say, perforations. She kept insinuating that the case on the weapons of mass destruction is not yet closed. I guess one of these days our troops may dig up a really big hammer and show it to us so that Bush can prove that Saddam Hussein was planning to hit us each over the head with it. The interviewer mentioned Cheney's recent penchant for asking voters to choose Bush in November because of how much less safe they will be if Kerry gets elected. I think she may even have asked if this wasn't outright audacity given the fact that the September 11th attacks occurred on the Bush-Cheney watch. That question was also weaseled out of in a good and weasely fashion.

A different interviewee spoke about her discomfort at how the Republican Convention so selectively used the 9/11 topic. She pointed out that, as much as the Bush camp would like to pat themselves on the back for the work accomplished by the 9/11 Commission, no one seemed to remember that the families of the victims experienced a shamefully tribulation-filled struggle in their attempts to even get an investigation underway. And when the interviewer asked if she feels safer today, she said, "No, I don't." And I think that's a very important question to be asking yourself. Because, even if we are quicker to shoot with George W. Bush behind the trigger, the net result has not been a downturn in terrorist atrocities nor has it been a rise in the worldwide comfort level of civilians from any but the very most Arabian of countries. It's a double-edged sword, this Republican propaganda. They want everyone to be scared by how bad the terrorism is right now so that fearful, shivering citizens will want to have their goose pimples smoothed by a guy who can start a nuclear holocaust without actually being able to pronounce "nuclear holocaust." But they also want to take credit for how much better things are in the world today than they were three years ago tomorrow -- or for that matter, four years ago on election day. They want us to believe that we are winning the war on terror, while Bush announces that this is a war that can't be won. And then changes his mind about it. I just wish that they would pick a premise and stick with it. Are we in grave danger? Or are we safer than ever? To hear Rumsfeld and Cheney tell it, we're both. It's fun to create these kinds of contrasts. Maybe it should be an exercise in an English class. A way to teach students the meaning of antonyms. "I'm happier than I've ever been . So happy that I want to kill myself." "Chocolate is my favorite food. It makes me want to puke." That sort of thing.

It's been a while since I said anything politically charged. I wish I'd spent more time writing this. I would have wanted it to be a humdinger. C'est la guerre.

So, it took a while for Mark the Cobra Snake to get the photos up, but my friend Jessy and I were captured at the Curiosa Festival after party a few Fridays ago. I have some photos from that night, too. Unfortunately, temporal displacement makes me too lazy to go fish them out and post them right now. Can't you just be happy with what you have?

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