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number 3

Bush’s Buffet Shack of Horrors!
(You Will Eat) All You Can Eat!

by Adam McKay

So this was the month I was going to have some fun and write a short story or a joke review or some kind of absurdist poem. You know, be clever and cute and maybe funny. Prance around a bit. Show off the goods. But then this administration comes out with a whole new buffet of legislative horrors and Constitutional fuck-yous that have been treated like a gourmet meal by our frightened, cynical press. So now my funny fun-fun times piece seem insane. Like playing the Sims during the Battle of the Wilderness.

In just a month this dried apple puppet motherfucker of a President has laid before us a fine meal of grayish flank steak in a still water sauce covered in marshmallows (massive tax breaks for the rich as an answer to a flagging economy), with a side of lukewarm ratatouille (foreign policy maneuvers that have ignited North Korea and turned Iraq into a crusade), shriveled red peppers stuffed with brown tuna fish (attacks on a more-than-fair affirmative action system that placed race on par with legacy considerations for admission to university), with a dessert of chocolate pudding encased in a TV dinner type skin (judicial nominees who make Pat Robertson look as “easy” as David Carradine in Nashville). And then to top it off the chef hurls an egg at your head from the kitchen door (still pushing the idea of privatizing social security in the face of a floundering stock market). That’ll be $59.65. What’s that sir? Well, the egg wasn’t included in the buffet special. Oh, the sodas were twenty dollars apiece. No, we never said anything about free refills. Your bill is $79.65. No, I did not add more to the bill. Well, we appreciate your business but remember that you chose to eat here. You didn’t? You actually chose another restaurant and were forced to eat here? Well, I can’t do anything about that, sir. $298.90, please.

And as each wave of thieving and borderline illegal policy sloshes out of the White House, or as I now refer to it, the Corporate Day Spa and Hand Job Center, the press reacts like they’re reporting on a pithy game of You Sunk My Battleship. No matter how destructive or clearly two-faced the proposal is, when the Democrats respond it’s all “political posturing” or “searching for issues to capitalize on in the next election.” According to the network news, this is just a nifty back and forth between two old irascible rakes jockeying for bragging rights at the Yale Club.

What would it take for the press to actually come out with a human response to this horrendous administration? I get the feeling if the Republicans set forth a proposal to behead every citizen of Rhode Island the coverage would go like this: “The White House proposal to provide more housing and goods by ‘privatizing’ the state of Rhode Island was met with partisan rancor today by congressional Democrats. Minority leader Tom Daschle, hoping to capitalize on a declining Bush approval rating, called the planned action ‘Barbaric’ and ‘Highly illegal.’ Senator Kerry of Massachusetts, in an attempt to add wind to the sails of his planned Presidential bid, called the proposed mass murder ‘An act of madness’ and ‘Just flat out disturbing.’ Tune into Crossfire tonight as we hear both sides of this beltway brouhaha from Paul Begala and Tucker Carlson. Also we’ll hear why Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut thinks the President’s plan only needs some minor modifications. Now let’s hear the latest on a new diet pill researchers are saying may allow you to eat as much ice cream and jawbreakers as you want without ever having to go to the bathroom….”

Republicans refuse to even respond to the point that Bush Jr. only got into Yale because of his legacy status. A form of white affirmative action that is much more widespread than race considerations. And yet the press says nothing.

This month the FCC, chaired by another legacy, Michael (son of Colin) Powell, will have a hearing to determine the future of the rights of corporations to own many stations and thus even more completely dominate media content. It hasn't even been mentioned on most networks or in mainstream papers.

And because people are so influenced by the media and the media’s determination of what is worth thinking about or discussing most don’t even seem to be aware of the serious, serious trouble we’re all in. The network comedy shows and news magazine shows that in the past have set the drum beat for outrage are locked in their colorful vacuum, behaving as if the only problems we face are shady lawyers, bad reality shows, and obnoxious people at the water cooler.

Here’s the thing, this isn’t about Democrats vs. Republicans or the right vs. the left. The only reason I’m bothered by or even use the category of Republicans is because they seem to be involved in some game or rivalry that I don’t even care about. Yet my every statement is filtered as being “typical dem” or that of a “lefty.” I’m not even a registered Democrat. Just because I don’t want to be broke, or have my daughter breathe in toxins or have our country hated by the world doesn’t mean I own a silk baseball jacket with “Go Dems” written on the back and my nickname “Welfare Lover” stitched stylishly in cursive on the front.

Where are the GOP equivalents of all of Clinton’s progressive detractors? Why can’t a right-leaning person or a Republican just look at what’s going on and say, “boy, we picked a bad one. Sorry!” But instead we’re all being pulled down out of some competitive pride. It’s not like this in sports – Cubs fans admit their team sucks. They don’t call anyone who thinks that letting Greg Maddux go was a bad idea an “Anti-baseball-ian.” And if you like this administration because in the back of your mind you’re bored and want all hell to break loose then there’s no need to involve all of us. Self-destructive behavior can be personal not social. Try drinking a lot or maybe blowing up model airplanes with firecrackers.

Just make sure that when you blow up the model airplane the glue doesn’t catch fire and spread to the house. What? That is not big government! I’m just saying don’t burn down the- I’m not moving to Europe! Why would I do that?....

Okay, at least his approval rating is starting to drop. People are noticing what a grizzly jack knife this regime is. And Europe and the international community were hip to it the second Bush Jr. admitted to one prominent world leader that he never thought he’d win this thing. But still the hideous decisions and carnage continues. You see, people like this don’t ever admit they were wrong. If the economy crashes it’s because of what Clinton did. And if we launch nukes at Iraq or Syria or France then it’s because they were asking for it. And if they strike back, then we need the liberals to shut up so we can have real law and order etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.

So unfortunately, for now at least, my uproarious and absolutely winning piece on doorman uniforms (what military history are they descended from?) or my piece on the top fifty prefab Manhattan Irish bars where the Foo Fighters are always playing on the internet jukebox will have to wait. It’s too bad, too. It was going to be very, very special.

Adam McKay is a writer for film and television such as Saturday Night Live and Michael Moore’s The Awful Truth. He has also performed at the Second City in Chicago as well as being a founding member of the Upright Citizen’s Brigade. He currently resides in Garrison, New York.

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