With this post ThomasPaineBlog.org starts a new column called “Paine and Loathing”. A humorous, irreverent look at our world. You may not like everything said here, we’re bound to ruffle some feathers. And for that we take as our inspiration Thomas Paine himself.
“Pop Goes the Weasel”
Every night when I go out
The monkey’s on the table
Take a stick and knock it off
Pop goes the weasel!
There is no more big news. Every image you see, every soundbite that attacks the psyche is no longer about new information. It’s about saturation, and if you haven’t figured it out yet, THEY have won.
If you need me to point out who THEY are, you’re beyond help. Jump out a window. Casually walk in front of traffic. If you know THEY’ve won, well, despair is not an option and this is a call to arms.
NO NEWS IS BAD NEWS
Bush jumps on the airwaves and lets his fellow Americans know that we’re staying the course. We’re augmenting, we’re surging, we’re Big Sizing, but we are definitely not escalating. Near 22,000 soldiers is a daunting number; six battalions is a lot, but it puts us nowhere near troop levels we’ve had in Iraq in the early days of this war and only puts us back on track with where levels were about this time last year.
People aren’t happy to hear this. They’re dissatisfied. But this is what Papa says and what Papa says goes. We did, after all, (re)elect him. Even with the Democrat’s slim victories last November, what wisdom is our Commander-in-Chief supposed to take away from it? Okay, he knows people aren’t happy with a lot of his policy, but he’s made it clear from the start he’s in the driver’s seat with regard to Iraq. November meant he’d be more than happy to “listen to suggestions,” but the last word was always going to be his.
Last word: 21.5K more bodies to latch the seal on a pressure cooker.
I’m not going to pretend to exhibit the divine wisdom Bush claims to have. I don’t know what SHOULD be done. Pulling out will save lives now, but the Baghdad Vacuum would make mid-ninties Bosnia look like DisneyWorld. It’s already a heluva mess, but maybe McCain’s 500,000 soldier march would make a difference…for now. But how long are we going to need to be there to pacify Sunni/Shiite animosity? How long, oh lord how long?
“My friend my friend, do not be afraid. I have hated my brother since the beginning of time. You leave tomorrow or next year or next millennia, we will be at each other’s throat as soon as your Black Hawks are in the air.”
Either solution is ugly and difficult. Both have sour consequences for the short- and long-term. But at least they’re new ideas, something to fight the monotony. However our man is staying the course; his idea is the same as it’s been for the last six years. I had no idea that between two shitty solutions, our C-I-C manages to come up with something that makes them both smell like roses.
A lot has been made of Dick Cheney’s interview with Wolf Blitzer on CNN last week, specifically the awkward exchange they had regarding Cheney’s daughter Mary, and her pregnancy. Thanks to modern technology that I’ve perfected in secret with Apple and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, I give you a partial transcript not of what was said, but more importantly, what was MEANT:
Wolf Blitzer, CNN: So, your administration really doesn’t care about gays having equal rights, but you have a gay daughter, who is pregnant–isn’t that a little bit of a conflict of interest?
Dick Cheney, VP: No. You’re an asshole. I will crush you.
WB: I like your daughter…not in that way but, well, I’m sorry. Please don’t get me fired.
DC: Listen, jerk. She’s a lesbo. Can’t change that. She campaigns for me, which means I love her. It also shows that our administration thinks that even mutants like gays have a place in our society; a perfectly subservient place in our society.
DC: I don’t want to have to tell you again. Do you know where this interview is taking place? Do you think you can kick me in the shin and walk out of here like nothing happened? I can end you any time I want to, Blitzer.
WB: I am so so sorry.
DC: Yeah we shit on gays. Who cares? Most people don’t like ’em, so we don’t have to like ’em. I’m not going rogue with the gay issue like Nancy Regean did with stem cells. Too much of a hot button. Gotta keep those Evangelical blocs behind us.
POP GOES THE WEASEL
I used to think that the Internet was for porn. Turns out it’s for snuff videos. Saddam Husseins last humiliating moments are up for free perusal to the billions, and your V-Chips can’t stop your kids from watching it over and over again. I wish I had more to write about it, but the subject is exhausted. And it’s more fun to talk about it when a hanging goes wrong!
Dwight Eisenhower helped design the modern hanging chart for military punishment, which factors in weight with regard to the length of rope needed to effectively break the neck of a guilty party. It is a dark and cruel science, but a science nonetheless. When the neck breaks, you’re paralyzed and then you choke to death without feeling it. Hooray!
But if you don’t follow the chart, two pretty awful things can happen. If the rope is too short, the guilty’s neck won’t break and they get to dangle by their own body weight and writhe in pain until they suffocate. If the rope is too long, the guilty’s head will pop right off. I’m no head scientist, but I’ve read in crude French Revolution romance novels that the head remains alive shortly after being separated by the body. So, if you’re unlucky enough to have too much rope to hang yourself with, not only does your head come off, but you also get punched in the face, because your head has to land somewhere and I’m pretty certain no one’s going to catch it before it hits the cold concrete floor.
That happened a couple weeks ago, didn’t it?
Insult, meet injury. Food for thought. Think of it while watching “Capote” or “Dancer in the Dark.” Until then…