Burning Bush

Freedom. Democracy. According to Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the Great American Language, George W. Bush couldn't string two sentences together to save his life. A brain ravaged by the vigorous snorting of Yale cocaine and the copious intake of alcoholic beverages as if there was no tomorrow is, after all, capable of little else than intoning the lies and simplifications of the War on Drugs and How Baby Jesus Cured My Alcoholism.

Doesn't stop your daughters from illegally downing one shot of tequila after another, does it now, George? You gotta wonder whatever happened to those 'Three strikes, you're out' laws in the good ol' United Outlaw States of America. One Nation Under God. For make no mistake -- there is no room for all you atheist freethinking homosexual civil-liberties fetishists in This Our Great Nation, where freedom and democracy reign supreme.

Freedom. Democracy. Freedom for billionaire CEOs to spread corporate lies and cheat their employees out of their life savings. You got a problem with that, hippie? Well if you're so smart, how come you ain't rich? At least Kenny-boy made something of himself. Can't say the same for all those single mothers on welfare out there. They should have practised the only form of contraceptive officially condoned and sponsored by the Most High and Sacred Bush Administration, that is to say abstinence. Hell, if we start teaching these kids about condoms in school God knows what might happen. America will turn into a haven for Internet paedophiles and losers without girlfriends stupid enough to book a transatlantic flight if a fifty-year-old FBI agent posing as a teenage girl as much as types a smiley on AOL Messenger. Better keep things as they are. Either you don't fuck, or you suffer the consequences. It's what Jesus would have wanted.

And to those of you wondering if the FBI doesn't have better things to do than to entrap foreign citizens while fighting the spectre of teenage sexual abandonment I say you have no respect for the values upon which America was built. Hell, next thing you'll be telling me Pocahontas was twelve years old when John Smith slid his proud white cock into her savage Indian pussy. I mean, haven't you seen that animated feature they did a couple of years ago? No red-blooded American man wouldn't have wanted to fuck the eyeballs out of that red-skinned little floozy, that gay bastard Elton John singing in the background or not.

Which brings us to the concept of plutocracy. Never trust of a form of government named after a Disney character. Let alone a government owned and sold by the Disney Corporation. Hand over those European computers! What, no Microsoft Digital Rights Management System installed? Downloading valuable American intellectual property without permission of the Motion Picture Association of America? By God, you're worse than those camel-fucking towelhead lunatics who blew up the World Trade Center.

Ah yes, September 11. "Many consider that a wise leader, when he has the opportunity, should craftily foster some animosity against himself, so that, having crushed it, his renown may rise higher."

That's Machiavelli, in case you're wondering, writing almost five hundred years ago. That's a long way in the past. Longer than the US of A of the United United States of America have even existed. Seems nothing ever changes. Politics are still like a septic tank, the biggest shits still floating to the top. Never opened a book in their lives, but somehow they manage to magically end up with an Ivy League degree and a chair on some Big Oil company's board of directors. Then when Daddy becomes head of the CIA you can be damn sure it's gonna be their fingers on the triggers of all those ICBMs we weren't supposed to be making anymore. If that isn't what Jonathan Edwards meant way back when I don't know what is.

For the United States are a nation that enjoys the special favour of the Almighty. And if that isn't enough, we'll back it up by flexing those military muscles the formation of which has bled our educational system dry and made us feared and laughed at throughout the entire world. Let no international criminal court touch such American luminaries as Henry Kissinger, for the United States Special Forces will have them out of The Hague faster than you can say, "Wait a minute! You still haven't captured that Bin Laden guy!"

Make no mistake. We honestly don't care. Making Ford and GM's SUVs five miles per gallon more efficient will make us independent from Saudi oil forever, you say? Well, I hardly call that science. You think some four-eyed nerd in a lab coat is going to tell a jock like me what to do? I mean, I don't even believe in evolution! As far as I and the Board of Directors are concerned it's time for those caribou to be wiped out in the name of the Almighty Yankee Dollar Bill. How's that for survival of the fittest?

Don't like it? Then get the Hell out of here! What are you, a terrorist? Probably smoke pot as well. Don't you know that Jesse Helms has no vested interest in the consumption of that particular smoking substance whatsoever? Anslinger and Hearst saw to that in the 1930s. You might as well be shooting American babies with an AK-47. For in the United States of the United States of America there is no room for drug-abusing atheists anymore than there is for fundamentalist terrorists and their friends in high places. Unless those friends happen to be Saudi, in which case we are more than happy to turn a blind eye. For does the Good Book not tell us to let those who live in glass houses throw the first stone? And if it's good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for me. Amen.

And whoever questions the ineffable wisdom of those favoured by the Almighty Lord God we will have arrested and transported to a US Navy brig somewhere in the middle of nowhere, without a trial or even an indictment, awaiting his secret military tribunal without the benefit of as much as an ambulance-chasing shyster lawyer. Three judges, secret evidence. Two of the judges vote for the death penalty -- off you go to the electric chair, the gas chamber or any other means of ending a human life we would never approve of people using to end their own lives with, no matter how much pain they're in. Let the American Civil Liberties Union stick that in their crack pipe and smoke it!

"Let a man in power have the credit of conquering and holding his state -- the means will always be considered honest, and he will be praised by everybody, because the vulgar are always taken by outward appearances and results. And in the world there are only the vulgar, for the few find a place there only when the many have no ground to rest on. One of today's leaders, who shall remain nameless here, never preaches anything but peace and good faith, even though to both he is most hostile, and either, if he had kept it, would have deprived him of reputation and kingdom many a time."

Again, more than four hundred years before television was even invented, some wop in a codpiece says it all. Thanks to MTV we have successfully commodified dissent. "Look, it's a guy on a skateboard jumping into raw sewage! How's that for a counter-cultural statement? Wow, this guy is radical! And no drugs, either! How post-ironic!" And the best thing is, Mom and Dad don't have to worry, because we have dutifully censored Mr Sewage-Jumper's buttcrack. After all, we do have a certain standard of decency to protect.

Decency. Freedom. Democracy. They're like three sides of a double-edged sword of Damocles poised over the heads of our Great and Fearless Leaders. But they will not be daunted. They will fulfil their task. Coming soon to a theatre near you. Real soon. Now go back to sleep. Everything is fine.

This piece was written in July 2002 and read by the author at an "open mike night" in Amsterdam the following month.