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The Aristocrats

Suddenly stealing the 2000 election seems like peanuts, and Clinton's blowjob seems like that zit you had for an entire weekend in high school.
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The shit is so deep with W & Co it's almost dizzying, which is of course the point. You barely have time to focus on one single embarrassing historic catastrophe -- lying about the war, say, or lying about Katrina, or lying about torture -- and suddenly you're blindsided by new scandals, like PlameGate, wiretapping, Abramoff, the Dubai debacle, global warming denial, cutting veteran's benefits or Medicare, Delay, Cunningham, Frist, intelligent design, cash handouts to oil, mining, and natural gas multinationals -- whew.

Suddenly stealing the 2000 election seems like peanuts, and Clinton's blowjob seems like that zit you had for an entire weekend in High School.

It's like the GOP is giving us their version of the joke in that film The Aristocrats:

"An arrogant silver-spoon asshole posing as a down-home bumpkin walks into a talent agent's office and says, 'have I got the act for you.' He starts the act by wrapping himself in the flag and carrying the cross, and then begins sodomizing the entire armed forces by sending them one by one into an illegal and immoral hellhole of plunder and torture, mumbling 'bring it on, bring it on' with every thrust.

"Then he brings in the families of the dead to act out over two thousand military funerals and turns his back on them, pantomiming the ripping up of veteran health benefits while embracing a bed-ridden Mary Matalin made up to look like Terry Schiavo. The Vice President then enters the office and pisses all over the grieving mothers as Donald Rumsfeld watches a writing machine sign the death certificates before wiping his ass with them and handing them to the weeping fathers.

"In an interesting flourish to appeal to a multi-ethnic audience, the bumpkin hangs the families of over 200,000 Iraqis from the roof so they can watch through the office window, screaming in a horror we can't hear since the windows are closed.

"The bumpkin pauses to catch his breath and gargle with a $700 bottle of champagne and the agent tries to kick him out, realizing full well no rational audience in the modern world would sit for such an abysmal vaudeville, let alone pay for it, but the bumpkin points his finger at the agent and tells him to shut up, 'No one interrupts me until I want to be interrupted, and then it's not called interruption, it's called dialogue.'

"The act then escalates in ways that even the agent is horrified by, and this from a man who during his thin years booked strippers and barn sex acts at backwater Klan rallies.

"The bumpkin brings almost a million people from the South into the tiny office, axes a sewage pipe in the ceiling, and rides on a stationary bike with Lance Armstrong as the drenched descendants of slaves are flushed out into the hallway and onto the street. He and Lance act out riding all the way to California, floating really, atop the flood of shit and piss as a group of retired actors enter to play senior citizens being force fed over-priced Lipitor while the bumpkin lectures them on the biggest threat to their survival -- Social Security.

"After sitting through close to eleven hours of an ever-escalating narrative that includes lecturing the heads of India and Pakistan (played by Ron Silver and Stephen Baldwin) on the differences between their cultures, the talent agent -- terrified to ask a question and getting labelled either unpatriotic or un-Christian since the bumpkin is still wrapped in the flag and holding the cross -- braves a meek interruption in the most subservient tone he can muster;

"'How does it end?'

"To which the bumpkin responds 'um,' and looks to the wings for a line cue. It is at this moment the agent realizes the bumpkin is in fact not a man at all but a huge puppet, when he sees crouching behind the bumpkin a porcine man whose fake smile barely hides the bitter contempt he has for the puppet, the agent, the potential audience and show business in general, and that this man has his arm up the puppet's ass.

"The puppet turns back to the talent agent and furrows his brow just long enough for the agent to realize it's not resolve that's being expressed but a futile search for something that might sound at once homespun and clever, but, having run out of time on the long road to clever, the puppet simply settles for rude.

"'It never ends,' says the puppet.

"Flabbergasted, the agent blurts, 'what do you call this act?' knowing the ticket price to such an extravagant epic would surely be out of each for the average theatergoer and would therefore require a pithy title to catch the eye of the uber-rich. The bumpkin pauses for affect and, not knowing what an affect is so much as being dimly aware that smiling sometimes can create one, smiles and replies,' it's called "Compassionate Conservatism."

Whereas in real life the talent agent would simply kick this pathetic puppeteer out of the office and move onto more substantive talents like Jessica Simpson or Tom Cruise, in the world of the joke the porcine puppeteer merely sells out an open-ended theatrical run with advance ticket sales to members of the Wal-Mart and Carlisle dynasties. Then he lets people off the street in for free, only to pull a bait-and-switch at the two hour mark and charge them a 'convenience charge.'

The joke is, of course, that this isn't a joke; it's our lives.

It's clear that the intended victims of all this GOP shock and awe are us.

And so we whine about the unprecedented parade of immoral abominations and wonder why each new one isn't 'the one that brings them down.' We rub our eyes and spit, 'lying about a war?! Spying on our fellow citizens? Torture?!' in amazement that any single one of these near biblical catastrophes wasn't the straw that broke the camel's back.

Finally, deflated, we pick up the remote and lay back on the couch and say to ourselves, 'I guess the world isn't what I thought it was. If everybody thinks these things are okay and I'm the only one that thinks the entire White House should be emptied, I guess I'm just out of touch with my countrymen. Maybe I'm just overreacting and I need to get with the program. Hmmmm. The Oscars are on.'

Which is of course the goal of the programming. The medium is the message, and the medium of Karl Rove is 500 channels of catastrophe, 24 hours a day. Don't think for one second they haven't planned this, done studies of it. They're smart enough to figure out the way you use the internet and the blogosphere and instantaneous news is that when disaster strikes you do nothing; simply hem and haw and float half-assed denials and within a nanosecond some new episode will take center stage, and Jay Leno and Jon Stewart will have fresh meat for monologues about non-issues like Cheney's quail hunting which is a lot funnier than the story of the Afghani cab driver hanging from his toes as his ribs are broken at Guatanamo.

The worst part of the 'Compassionate Conservative' act is we are not just the audience, we are participants. Given the freedom to leave the theater, throw vegetables at the performers, tar and feather the theater owner, run the performers out of town, or burn the theater to the ground, we send the kid to the snack bar for nachos and sit back and await the next scene in history's longest running porn act, hoping the actors in the next skit will maybe bring on something new.

And the skit they'll be coming on with next is called 'Bomb Iran Now.'

Because if we're not willing to get up off the couch to impeach a cabal of lying thieves that have not only stolen our democracy but are dismantling our very national identity right before our eyes -- daring us to call them on it -- we might as well just stand and applaud as the next wave of actors take the stage.

Hell, they'll probably have an audience participation segment where we can feel like we're actually contributing to the narrative -- you know, like American Idol., or the Electoral College.

Because it's public knowledge in the sane world -- you know, all global media outside the American ideological stranglehold, where things like being anti-torture gets you labeled a chickenshit--that Iran will be invaded. The Pentagon has admitted the plans are in place, and Israel has made public its plans to attack in June, and, when Israel says they're going to bomb someone, what that means is American bombs are dropped by American planes paid for by American tax dollars -- but manned by an Israeli pilot.

And then when the terrorists -- er, I mean attacked Iranians -- launch a retaliatory attack on Israel -- er, I mean defend themselves -- who's kids are gonna come to Israel's defense in the name of freedom?

Why shouldn't they continue the performance? We're glued to it.

We can't we believe we have the power to simply bring down the curtain.

Why? Because the curtain coming down is what really scares us. That would mean the show is over, leaving in its wake a deafening mental silence in which we may have to actually turn to the person in the seat next to us and begin writing a show of our own, which is so much harder than surfing the remote.

And the show we will be writing? It'll be called 'Democracy in Action.'

(In my next entry we'll look into what the little people like us in the audience can do to bring down the curtain; be prepared to contribute)

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