Drain Cleaner as a Political Palliative

Self-Poisoning as a Philosophical Tool

April 1, 2008

I’ve had it, up to the gills. (All right, I don’t have gills. I’ll get some. Maybe I could live in a geothermal vent. The company would be morally superior. Don’t underestimate tube worms.)

Following politics today is like drowning in mayonnaise. I’m going to Colombia for a couple of weeks. At least, I hope to. If it weren’t for Vi and Natalia and our perverted dog La Pelusa, who keeps trying to hump the rabbit, I’d probably stay there.

Colombia is a swell country. It grows drugs, which half the world wants, and doesn’t force them on anyone who doesn’t want them. They’re pro- choice. What could be more liberal and enlightened? The cartels are like the Capone mob during Prohibition: a public utility. They gave the country a drink when it needed one, at a decent price, and only killed each other, which was an internal affair. The feds always want to meddle in what doesn’t concern them.

Sudden insight: I prefer a Louisiana swamp to Washington. (Truth in advertising: I’m in my office in Jocotepec with a bottle of Padre Kino red, and zydeco blaring at obscene and admirable volume from the speakers.) I’ve been in the bayous. Them swamps rock, brethren and cisterns. Nobody in the black water and cypress knees and coiling serpents ever told me to fill out some goddam stupid form about things that weren’t their business in the first place, which in the case of government is pretty much anything at all. Let us now praise organized crime—the free-market variety, I mean. The last frontier of freedom. Ain’t it weird when you have to depend on criminality for human values?

World events. Last year or so Israel, which is some little country somewhere that I’m tired of hearing about, just invaded Lebanon and got handed its hat. I’m supposed to feel some sort of approbation. Well, OK, as long as they don’t do it in Mexico. I mean, it’s not my problem.

Trouble is, with the depletion of the ozone layer and the consequent global smarming, the twaddle level rises. The righteousness level begins to kill the rain forests. Everybody involved is unpleasantly noble. Jews talk about their unending virtuousness and ethics and all, but act like Christians. So, most unfortunately, do Christians. I’m not sure Moslems are any better. Let us pray.

I don’t get it. We keep hearing about Rogue Countries, usually meaning places like Libya, North Korea, and Iran. Yeah, well. I don’t guess I’d site a condo in any of them. No doubt, but, well, ladies and germs, are not Israel and the US the acting rogue countries? Give me a short lists of places attacked recently by Iran, Libya, and North Korea.

Now, the national elections. Here are deep waters indeed. The question comes to this: Which would you rather do, shoot up with weaponized ebola virus, drink a quart of Jonestown bug-juice laced with cyanide, or eat the contents of a sink strainer in a back-alley restaurant in the Central African Republic? You see why I’m for Hillary. With her, we just might survive, though probably not.

We’ve got Obama, an empty suit with a good line of patter and a past few write about, and McCain, a pugnacious senile temper tantrum who can’t remember whether Al Qaeda is Sunni or Shiite. Not too promising. That leaves Clitler, a strange visitor from another planet probably and crooked as kite string in a ceiling fan, but neither stupid, ignorant, nor crazy.

What this country needs is a return to the stability consequent to predictable corruption. It is not wise so rashly to abandon the values of our forefathers.

We used to have sordid pols cutting deals in smoke-filled rooms to impoverish widows and orphans. Well, OK. We were used to it. The widows and orphans certainly were. Now we have ambulatory clusters of cerebral lesions, apparently from a home for defective children. From Reuters I have the following, by President Bush, speaking of his dilettante foray into Afghanistan:

"I must say, I'm a little envious. If I were slightly younger and not employed here, I think it would be a fantastic experience to be on the front lines of helping this young democracy succeed…It must be exciting for you ... in some ways romantic, in some ways, you know, confronting danger. You're really making history, and thanks."

This bears thought, though not by the faint-hearted. Yes, we expect elected officials to dissemble to gull the rubes. This is after all the world’s greatest democracy. And sure, fourth-grade English is coming to be a sign of advanced study. Fine. But, dead serious, the man is crazy. “Romance” in Afghanistan? Democracy in…has he never been out of his back yard? The splendid fun of confronting danger? His condition sounds like organic brain damage or a serious case of arrested development. It’s great to be Peter Pan until Tinkerbelle gets gut-shot.

Don’t misunderstand me. I have nothing against an honest liar, but he seems to believe this stuff. I’m not kidding: He needs to be shrink-wrapped and put somewhere safe for the duration.

Bill Clinton was said to be the first black president. W is the first kinky president, which is a whole new approach to democracy. All sorts of countries torture people, because intelligence agencies naturally attract cowboys, assassins, incorrigible juveniles, and sadists. But W’s S&M operation in Gitmo is a first. Whipseys and Cheneys. It’s because he’s a Christian. Poor Jesus. His followers act like the Marquis de Sade—torturing, burning old women at the stake, turning water into water boards. I’d love to know what movies you might find on hard drives at the White House. We are ruled by heels mysteriously on high, but do they wear high heels?

We’re diving back into the Third World, I tell you. Today I read that in some appalling number of big cities, over half the kids in school drop out. We’re spending twelve billions dollars a week, or hour, or nanosecond, to kill kids in Baghdad, who seem to expect us to give them free bombs, while our own kids think a street sign is mysterious as Linear B. The alphabet has twenty-six little squiggles. In twelve years of school plus kindergarten, the students would have to learn two letters a year. No. That’s too hard.

And we’re going to compete with the Chinese. That will work. Don’t we have any adults at all? I need to forget about this. I’m thinking IV Drano….