Saturday, August 30, 2008

Things Are Awfully Not Funny around Here art: Robert Craig

“You know, Mark,” moaned fellow satirist Kram Ettleord recently, “I just don’t feel funny anymore.”

“How so?” I asked my longtime friend. “There’s tons of stuff to riff on. What about those photos of Bush appearing blotto drunk at the Olympics?”

“Hmph. That’d be like sending up Hitler’s breezy side.”

“Wow,” I said. “That’s severe.”

“So are Bush and his murderous cohorts. They savage the world and burn the Constitution, yet what do we get? Sanctimonious editorials about John Edwards’ peccadillo. Please!”

“Well,” I said, playing devil’s advocate, “the media did condemn Larry Craig for his airport restroom follies.”

“Yeah, but most of that outrage missed the boat by focusing on how Craig floats his. Who cares how rocks are gotten off? No, his and ilk’s real transgression is the hypocritical vote-getting anti-gay agenda they cynically press, until, you know, one of them gets caught with his pants down.”

“Ha! At least you can still turn a phrase,” I chuckled.

“Yeah, well, that and signing a loyalty oath’ll get me a cup of swill at a Halliburton-built detention facility. One thing’s for sure: I’ll end up in one sooner rather than later if I write what I’m really thinking.”

“What’s that?”

He furtively scanned the café and then whispered: “I want us to lose. Big-time.”


“Whatever next all-forsaken place the American imperialist war machine decides to pulverize into a fine radioactive dust — whether Iran or the oil-rich plains of the planet Gruptar — I want the U.S to get its ass kicked.”

I gasped. “You realize what you’re saying, right?”

“That more U.S. soldiers would have to die for that to happen?” he said, sadly. “Yeah, I get it. But their fates, and those of untold others, were sealed by the jingoistic bloodlust of millions of American yahoos who mindlessly exhorted Bushco’s slaughter in Iraq from the trumped-up beginning. Sure, the public’s hinky now but that’s mainly because gas prices rocket ever skyward. No, not until America suffers an undisputed, all-out, thoroughly humiliating military defeat is there a chance its global rampage will finally be abated. ‘Course, there might not be a human left alive after such a confrontation but that’s another matter.”

“Wow, that’s not very funny,” I said.

“Nor are a million dead innocents or the transformation of the cradle of civilization into a toxic waste dump. Or that such madness hardly dents the myopic American collective psyche, the same appalling apathy that now allows Vietnam to be retroactively recast as a righteous cause that should have been doggedly pursued until the freedom-bestowing U.S. military could ultimately produce an honorable victory that, in truth, could only exist in the reptilian brains of Bush and his neocon masters, an Orwellian reworking of history that first gained traction during the 2004 faux presidential campaign and steamrolls today with the glorification of the GOP’s standard-bearing buffoon, John ‘Drop ‘Em If Ya Got ‘Em’ McCain, as some untouchable hero.”

“I get all that. But what about the grieving families of U.S. military dead?”

“I feel bad for them, sure. But,” said Kram as he carefully looked around again, “here’s the bloody bottom line: anyone stupid and savage enough to join the military now to willingly participate in one mammoth war crime deserves everything he gets.”

“Man, I hate to see you like this,” I replied. “Plus, that sort of talk could result in your property being confiscated, as per Bush’s July 17, 2007, executive order, for ‘threatening the peace or stability of Iraq or the Government of Iraq, or undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq or to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people.’”

“Why do you think I’m wearing this fake beard?”

“I was wondering about that,” I replied. “But isn’t the wig a bit much?”

“All in preparation, my friend.”

“For what?”

“Undercover research on my new book, inspired, interestingly enough, by the aforementioned Craig: As America Goes Down the Toilet, a Between-the-Stalls Peek at Gay-Bashing Fascists Who Do the Same in Same.”

I laughed. “A bit unwieldy, perhaps, but it’s great to see you’ve not left the funny business altogether.”

Kram smiled. “No, I guess not. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to Google the floor plan for the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota.”

“Whatever for?”

“That’s where the GOP holds its convention next week. The men’s room there should be a gold mine.”

Mark Drolette is a writer who lives in Costa Rica. He can be reached at: Read other articles by Mark, or visit Mark's website.


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