Some Thoughts on the Final Two Years of George W. Bush’s Presidency
A guest post by Mark W. Bradley
Like nervous passengers on a roller-coaster carelessly assembled by a toothless carney bearing a broken crescent wrench in one hand and a canning jar full of homemade amphetamines in the other, the American people are finally starting to notice, with growing alarm, every fissure in every bolt that holds the rickety structure together, even as they fly helplessly past each one at breakneck speed. Perhaps they should have paid a little more attention to the fine print on their Diebold “optical scanner” ballot stubs that reads “Bush Brothers / Barnam and Cheney - Ride at your own risk.” Oh well, three laps behind us now, one lap to go. Hold onto your cookies, and whatever you do, don’t look down. Here are a few random thoughts to distract you during the last few harrowing dips and turns.
1. First of all, I have some advice for all of you aspiring presidential “talent scouts” out there. When it comes time for you to make your obligatory pilgrimage to Yale University with an eye toward selecting the next Intrepid Leader of the Free World, this time around make sure you interview all potential candidates on the “short” bus, not just the guy who sits next to the driver reading comic books out loud, and regaling other passengers with his realistic sounding fart noises. Remember, just because someone starts out with an I.Q. of 72 doesn’t necessarily mean it will stay that high forever. A steady diet of cocaine and Jack Daniels, for instance, can kill brain cells at an alarming rate. So while it’s true that every presidential handler worth his or her salt knows how difficult it is to control the behavior of someone whose intelligence qualifies him as “gifted”, it’s also important to remember that this is equally true of Irish Setter puppies who have eaten too much lead paint, for precisely the opposite reason.
2. Secondly, in retrospect, it probably wasn’t such a good idea for Dick Cheney’s elementary school teachers to allow the other children to beat him unconscious with shoes, rocks, and coat-hangers every day at recess. While this may have been standard operating procedure in Wyoming schools at the time, it now seems painfully obvious that such treatment inevitably led to more, not less, anti-social behavior on the part of the future vice-president. In particular, the persistent beatings appear to have fostered in him a significantly diminished capacity for human empathy, coupled with a morbid (yet detached) curiosity regarding the ability of others to withstand the sustained application of protracted and excruciating pain. Perhaps imposing occasional “timeouts” on the misguided boy might have resulted in a less catastrophic outcome for Mr. Cheney in particular, and for Earth and its neighboring planets in general.
3. Thirdly, I have recently come to realize that once a person learns to operate a chainsaw safely and correctly, cutting brush can be a satisfying, manly career for anyone who likes the great outdoors and enjoys strenuous but stress-free physical activity. Assuming you have the requisite aptitude, you, too, could become an “expert” brush cutter in just a few weeks, thus filling up otherwise empty spans of useless time, even as you indulge your energetic mind in endeavors of a more contemplative nature - such as planning exciting bike trips, memorizing clever bits of bathroom humor, and crafting vacuous and unimaginative nicknames for people you barely know.
4. Finally, it strikes me as an unfortunate twist of fate that Saddam Hussein and George W. Bush were deprived of the opportunity to be friends as children. Had they grown up together designing explosive suppositories for hapless animals on the mean streets of Sao Paulo, for instance, they might have become nothing more dangerous than a couple of gun-toting pimps whose combined total of cowardly and ignoble homicides might have numbered in the mere dozens. What an untold blessing that would have been.
Unfortunately (barring any unforeseen good fortune), we’re stuck with these two festering pustules of distemper (Bush and Cheney, I mean) for at least the next two years (perhaps more, should they choose to avail themselves of the ominous machinery of martial law they have so painstakingly constructed over the past six years). Fortunately, we can draw some measure of comfort from the fact that we are all precariously cradled in the misleadingly anthropomorphized imaginary “hands” of an entirely fictitious pseudo-deity whose lack of actual existence, by definition, makes it impossible for him/her/it to give even the tiniest modicum of a shit one way or the other whether we pathetic humans thrive amidst plenty, or perish without a trace.
But try not to think about any of that, and have a nice day.
Mark W. Bradley is a history teacher and political satirist in Sacramento, California. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org