Tuesday, August 9, 2011

No Joking Matter

Saturday night I was at a party with a bunch of intelligent, good-hearted liberals.

One of them told a joke about Bush. He dies and goes to heaven, but is stopped at the pearly gates and told that he must preview heaven and hell, and then choose which one he wants. He says that of course he wants heaven, but St Peter insists on him following the rules.

So he goes down to hell and there are Cheney and Rumsfield, driving around a golf course, drinking and carousing with women. Bush refuses a drink, but they tell him "You're dead now, George. You can drink again".

Then Bush goes to preview heaven. The pearly gates open, and there are a bunch of nice people sitting around listening to classical music on NPR.

"Well", says Bush. "I never thought I'd say this, but I want to go to hell".

So they send him back, and there is fire and brimstone and people screaming in agony.

"Hey!" says Bush. "Where's the golf course and the booze and the women?"

"Oh", says Satan. "That was just the campaign!"

We all laughed heartily. Then I said, "That joke would work even better with Obama!"

Instant hostile silence. Then the hostess asked me what I could possibly mean by that.

Gosh, just that Bush never promised much, but Obama did. You know, Obama promised peace, rule of law, openness, the end of torture, prosperity, and the end of a government for the rich. Instead, the torture continues, the wars have widened, secrecy prevails and whistle-blowers are prosecuted, war crimes go unpunished, and Obama prescribes austerity for the working class and subsidies to the rich. Really? I have to explain this?

That's when I noticed the framed Obama poster on the wall.



Pangolin said...

Americans, not good with reality whatever their political affiliation.

wagelaborer said...

You got that right! For all the liberal sneering at the idiotic teabaggers, they themselves sure don't pay attention to the reality that both parties dance to the tune of the oligarchs!

Anonymous said...

Joan Baez said you get the choice of cancer or polio. If our media gave some intelligent third parties as much publicity as the Teabaggers, we could hope for change.

Anonymous said...

On first glance, the British riots don't make sense. The Norwegian camper murders is another example of irrational behavior at first glance, but both are pretty human actions.

Did the Columbine killers get up in the stands during football practice and blast away at the athletes that relentlessly bullied them? Hell no, they went to the library and killed the quiet kids who were able to read.

Did the Oklahoma federal building bombers attack the ATF or FBI because of anti-government rage about Waco? Hell no, they blew up some low level cubicle drudges.

Did the Americans of African descent attack the homes of the brutal police or burn the court of justice that could dismiss a crime caught on film as inadequate proof? Hell no, they attacked stores and beat up working stiffs.

Did the Islamic fundamentalist attack the military bases in Saudi Arabia for invasion of their holy land? Hell no, they attacked office buildings (well, the Pentagon makes a little sense) and we retaliated by attacking one war torn country and one country decimated by sanctions.

Did the Germans eliminate their military machine after World War I bankrupted them? Hell no, they built cohesion by torturing gypsies, political dissenters, and unpopular religions.

Did America attack Russia because Communism was so evil that loyalty to the state could warp family values so that children reported on their parents? Hell no, we attacked Korea and established the House Committee on UnAmerican Activities.

When Reagan was in trouble for selling drugs and guns to fund a private war, he ordered an attack on Grenada.

When Clinton was in trouble for his wayward asparagus, he ordered an attack on a medicine manufacturer.

When America's delusional economy met reality, did we impound the property of the tricksters that created the financial fraud instruments and make the populace who bounces from one bubble to the next pay their debts? Hell no, the unions and the national pension plan for working people must go and poor people cause all our problems. Middle America is so white that kids stare at brown complected people. They think all non whites spend their time shooting heroin and squirting out welfare babies. Greg Palast called America an "Armed Madhouse" but all the gun-toting fearful fanatics should worry about the people who have more. Bad things trickle down, good ones seem to percolate up and only rarely.

According to Christian lore, humans lost paradise by disobedience and can be saved by persecution and death of an innocent. Religion finally makes sense to me - it fits with blind obedience and bullying and is human from kids at school to Karl Rasputin Rove's strategies.

Temple Grandlin is right. Humans just don't make sense.