“M-O-O-N … That Spells
Y’know, I often seriously wonder how the rest of the world truly sees this country. I know that we tend to want to believe that other nations see us as some sort of reckless, bar-fighting cowboy, or maybe a school bully, or perhaps (for those of us who are truly and irreversibly deluded) the savior who will lead the world into a new Golden Age of freedomizationalized wonder.
But this is all just our own delusions of grandeur talking. It’s decades of not only political propaganda but, moreover, one-dimensional Hollywood images that have flickered their way into the depths (if depths they truly are) of our easily bullshat monkey brains. John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, Rocky, Superman, Rambo: isn’t this the image that we tend to want to have of ourselves and our country? Forget “want to have”: isn’t this the national image that a hell of a lot of us actually do have? Of course it is. It’s what we want it to be, what we desperately need it to be.
Unfortunately, we’re wrong.
What we’re actually seeing is … well, let me put it this way. You’re at a bar, late at night, maybe one maintenance vomit away from last call, and you’re chatting up some borderline supermodel who has taken an inexplicable interest in you, your slurred-ass drunkspeak, and your junk. You’re absolutely convinced that you’re going to get wildly laid within the hour, in part because she’s come flat-out and told you so. Meanwhile, your buddies down at the other end of the bar are alternately trying frantically to wave you off, and then collapsing in howls of derisive laughter. You figure they’re just jealous, the fuckos …
Yes, folks, our national self-image suffers from a raging case of the ol’ Beer Goggles, and we need to clear the cobwebs out of our collective noggin and see what it really is that we’re looking at before we wake up in a sweaty, naked pile with it. Okay? Right, then … You see the underdog boxer over there wrapped in the American flag whilst standing in triumph atop the fallen body of a massive, genetically engineered Russian fighting machine? Okay now, slowly remove the rose-colored glasses … blink a few times … rub the goop out of your eyes … let your head clear … and then look again.
A big, crowing, overgrown, short-bus-riding Baby Huey, wrapped in an oil-stained mechanic’s tarp, standing on top of some poor random bastard who just wanted to know how to get to the nearest Stuckey’s.
Look now, before y’all start piling on me for hating my country, let’s get one thing straight: I friggin’ love my country. Just because I’m being realistic about it doesn’t mean I don’t love it. The parents of a kid with Down syndrome can easily love their child without having to pretend that he or she is some sort of Mozart-like super-prodigy, can’t they? Well, there it is.
And I really have gotten to the point where I think that the rest of the world (at least those countries who don’t see us as some mindless threshing machine chewing them alive) tends to see us as some sort of mentally defective giant who must be talked to in soothing tones so as not to piss the big dumb sonofabitch off and get him throwing a wall-shattering tantrum.
I mean, look at our Chucklehead-in-Chief and his ongoing attempts to … uh … do whatever it is that he thinks he’s doing in Iraq. What is he trying to do in Iraq, anyway? Has anyone really figured this out yet? I mean — other than getting sweetheart deals for his oil buddies and handing over truckloads of unaccounted-for cash to his defense contractor buddies for services-rarely-rendered — is there any actual military strategery involved here? Last I heard, Bush is pulling troops out of Afghanistan (you know, as in over by where friggin’ al Qaeda is?) and sending them to Iraq … yet again. For what? Not for any strategic reason, obviously. We were losing the war with 150,000 troops a year or two ago, so I hardly think that jacking troop levels back up to that point now is going to suddenly turn the tide. All Bushy-Boy is doing is creating a slightly more target-rich environment for the Iraqis. Yeah, and I’m the asshole who allegedly doesn’t support the troops.
And for chrissakes, don’t get me started on Bush’s fervent desire to start a war with Iran before he leaves office, even though any moron could see that our military has already been bled white by this nonsense in Iraq. This latest screed of mine is rambling on long enough as it is, and so I will merely leave it at a single historical image for you all to ponder: the Russian Front.
In fact, one of Ronald Reagan’s former assistant treasury secretaries recently pointed out that from a military standpoint, George Bush isn’t all that different from late-model Adolf Hitler. There was Hitler, pottering feeble-mindedly around his bunker, issuing attack orders to German army units that didn’t actually exist, blaming his generals for everything that was going wrong, and essentially wrapping himself in a bubble of delusion and utterly refusing to admit the reality of his situation. Sounds an awful lot like ol’ President Shrubbie, doesn’t it?
Only in Hitler’s case, he was very likely in the final, dementia-wracked stages of fucking syphilis at the time! What’s Bush’s excuse for this loopy-ass bullshit of his? That he’s an untreated alcoholic? That he’s having a late midlife crisis and instead of tooling around in a red Porsche and banging some ditzy-ass little blond with comically oversized bolt-ons, he’s trying to relive the Vietnam War that he went to such lengths to avoid the first time around? That his parents touched his goddamned anus too much when he was a kid? That they didn’t touch it enough? What’s the friggin’ motif here, anyway?
And yet, this blithering idiot (who I wouldn’t trust to effectively manage a fucking board full of checkers) is in overall charge of our nation’s military strategy because the people of this country were back-ass-country-fuck rube enough to vote this terminal dipshit into office — twice! All voter fraud aside, the simple fact is that enough people in this great land of ours chose to give the electoral nod to this poo-flinging spider-monkey-in-a-suit so that a few percentage points of electoral fraud were enough to put him in the White House — and I repeat, twice!
I’m sorry, but I think that at this point the rest of the world would be perfectly within their rights to gently but firmly remind Uncle Sam that, “We don’t touch ourselves like that under the desk during milk-and-cookies time, remember?”
It’s not just a recent thing either, this imbecilitude of ours. Yes, it’s gotten far, far worse since George Bush has been holding the damned baton, but even aside from that we’ve got a long history of putting the most astoundingly damaged goods in our halls of government and then deluding ourselves into believing the patent horseshit they tell us. Case in point: a few months back, those of us who pay attention to these things read a news story entitled “FBI Releases Last of Secret John Lennon Files.”
Now, I’d known that the feds had been sitting on some classified files about their surveillance of Lennon during the Nixon administration for decades. Richard Nixon: now, there was another mentally and emotionally defective president for ya! A raving drunk with a crippling persecution complex and a lifetime of unresolved mommy issues? Yeah, okay, that’s the finger we all want on the button, right? Especially with the guy being such a juicer. Ol’ Tricky wasn’t just a run-of-the-mill drinker, either — he was a card-carrying booze hound. Hell, Betty Ford was still taking a splash of soda in her wine until her hubby was made veep and she started hanging around Nixon. By the time ol’ Dick fled the scene 10 months later, it was practically a daily thing for he and Mrs. Ford to go for an afternoon stagger through the Rose Garden all hopped-up on highballs and belting out “Sweet Adeline” in the worst two-part barfly harmony you’d never want to hear.
In Nixon’s defense, though, he did have certifiable lunatics like Henry Kissinger to deal with on a daily basis. True, Nixon was the one who was fool enough to give Kissinger the job in the first place, but if I had ol’ Mumbles over there giving me advice that led to shit like the whole “Vietnamization” debacle, I’d probably be having scotch on the rocks with my morning eggies too.
Given all of this, it’s hardly surprising that a freak-show like Nixon was deluded into seeing a popular iconoclast like John Lennon as being dangerous enough to warrant FBI surveillance and the compilation of a large file on the guy. What I didn’t fully realize (and, in retrospect, absolutely should have) was that, once again, the people who made the decision to classify those documents were a bunch of spit-bubbling denizens of the proverbial Cuckoo’s Nest who should by all rights have spent their lives never being allowed access to sharp objects, let alone being given the power to run investigations of our fellow citizens.
Do I hyperbolize? Well, you tell me. The reason given by the FBI for keeping these particular Lennon documents classified for all these years was that their release to the general public could result in (and I quote, in abject disbelief) “military retaliation” against the United States. (I shit you not — look at the link.)
Must have been some unbelievably explosive stuff, eh? Can you imagine what it would take to twist Downing Street’s oh-so-proper-and-imperturbably-British testicles hard enough to get them to order actual military strikes against us over John Lennon? Why, at the very least there would have to be unthinkable craziness like assassination orders directly from the president of the United States himself in those files, wouldn’t ya think? This shit’s gotta be big! Right?
Uh … no.
The released documents include one that states Lennon “encouraged the belief that he holds revolutionary views ... by the content of some of his songs.”
Another talks of the Beatle turned anti-war campaigner promising to finance a left-wing bookshop in London.
A third describes a 1971 interview with Lennon in The Red Mole, a London underground newspaper, in which the singer “emphasized his proletarian background and his sympathy with the oppressed and underprivileged people of Britain and the world.”
This is what the FBI claimed was going to provoke “military retaliation” against us were it ever made public! This was what was certain to bring down the wrath of hordes of fiendish furriners (mostly, I assume, the Brits) upon our defenseless collective head unless the information in question was kept under the strictest lock and key!
One can only imagine what the Brits’ reaction to such scandalous revelations might have been: “Yer wot? John Lennon was going to finance a leftist bookshop, right here in London? Crikey! And he emphasized his proletarian background and his sympathy with the oppressed and underprivileged people of Britain and the world? Hell’s teeth! And the Americans knew about this? That’s the final straw, the bahstards. The ram has touched the wall, gentlemen! No mercy! Send them … George Michael and Adam Ant! They shan’t soon recover from this one!”
Folks, when I see shit like this, it makes it painfully clear to me that the rest of the world doesn’t see us as a “superpower” — it sees us as having “retard strength.” There’s a big difference there. Gone are the days when we were feared and respected for being strong and decisive. Now we’re feared and humored because we’re just dim enough and strong enough to be incredibly dangerous if somebody sets us off — and, sadly, it’s not even in a hip, “Mr. McGee, Don’t make me angry … you wouldn’t like me when I’m angry!” sort of way. We’re more like big ol’ Tom Cullen in the Stephen King book The Stand, only without so much of the harmless little puppy-dog nature; our leaders are too damned violent for that. It’s probably best to just maintain low, even tones around us, and not make any sudden movements. And give us lots of ice cream! With sprinkles! SPRING-KULZ-SPRING-KULZ-SPRING-KULZ!
But again, just because our nation is forced to walk around 24/7 in a crash
helmet covered in friggin’ Yogi Bear stickers, and just because we’ve essentially
turned the presidency into a Special Olympics event, doesn’t mean that I
don’t love my country. I do. As I keep saying, I love the hell out of the
big dumb sonofabitch. I just have no problem admitting that it’s time to
ratchet up its meds when it starts gleefully humping the German chancellor’s
leg in public is all.
Copyright 2007, Patrick Russell
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