FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Stand Up and Clap! Have You Been Serviced?

by David Vest

The president has been talking about “service” again. Urging his audience to “make a culture of service a permanent part of American life,” President Bush promised graduates of Ohio State University this week that they “will gain satisfaction that cannot be gained in any other way.”

It was not the first promise the assembled students, faculty and family members had heard.

Moments earlier, they had been promised that anyone who demonstrated or heckled the commencement speaker would be subject to expulsion or arrest — and they had been instructed to service the president with a “thunderous” ovation.

Sounds like something an announcer in China might say to a crowd of university students before bringing out President Jiang Zemin to speak to them.

Perhaps the comparison is too harsh. After all, Bush is uniquely qualified to lecture people about service. His entire administration has been about service. He learned a lot (as he would say) about service in his role as a greeter at the Ball Park in Arlington, the only real job he ever had before he met Ken Lay.

Soon after that fateful handshake he was providing service to all kinds of people from his new home in Austin.

He served the petrochemical industry by letting polluters write environmental regulations (for starters).

Now he’s in a position where he can really service a lot of people. He can make Secretariat look like a eunuch now.

Just look at his service to Enron. (You do remember Enron, don’t you? Haven’t heard much about it lately? That just shows how unobtrusive the service has been.)

He’s ready to perform service for anyone who wants to gouge, cut, dig, drill, rape and loot the American landscape. The Afghan landscape, too — don’t forget that pipeline.

Nobody can say he hasn’t done outstanding service for the nuclear industry — providing us all with an opportunity to serve by standing at attention as deadly nuclear waste rolls through our neighborhoods. (Remember not to heckle or demonstrate, ok? Wouldn’t want anyone to get held without trial.)

This president is devoted to serving all manner of special interests. (What makes them so “special”? the service they get, of course!)

Of course, the president is only human. His record of service is not flawless. Vietnam Vets of Alabama, for example, put up a cash reward for anyone who can prove Bush actually performed his military service in the state of Alabama, as he claims to have done (Dubya’s commanding officer says there’s no record he never showed up for duty). As far as I know, the reward is still there for the taking.

No one’s perfect. And lecturing students about service is an improvement for Bush: in Texas he used to lecture the poor about “responsibility.”

 

DAVID VEST writes the Rebel Angel column for CounterPunch. He and his band, The Willing Victims, have just released a scorching new CD, Serve Me Right to Shuffle. His essay on Tammy Wynette is featured in CounterPunch’s new collection on art, music and sex, Serpents in the Garden.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

May 29, 2017
Jim Kavanagh
No Laughing Matter: The Manchester Bomber is the Spawn of Hillary and Barack’s Excellent Libyan Adventure
Vijay Prashad
The Afghan Toll
Melvin Goodman
The Washington Post’s Renewed Attack on Whistlblowers
Robert Fisk
We Must Look to the Past, Not ISIS, for the True Nature of Islam
Dean Baker
A Tax on Wall Street Trading is the Best Solution to Income Inequality
Lawrence Davidson
Reality and Its Enemies
Harry Hobbs
Australia’s Time to Recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Sovereignty
Ray McGovern
Will Europe Finally Rethink NATO’s Costs?
Cesar Chelala
Poetry to the Rescue of America’s Soul
Andrew Stewart
Xi, Trump and Geopolitics
Binoy Kampmark
The Merry Life of Dragnet Surveillance
Stephen Martin
The Silent Apartheid: Militarizing Architecture & Infrastructure
Weekend Edition
May 26, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Anthony DiMaggio
Swamp Politics, Trump Style: “Russiagate” Diverts From the Real White House Scandals
Paul Street
It’s Not Gonna Be Okay: the Nauseating Nothingness of Neoliberal Capitalist and Professional Class Politics
Jeffrey St. Clair
The ICEmen Cometh
Ron Jacobs
The Deep State is the State
Pete Dolack
Why Pence Might be Even Worse Than Trump
Patrick Cockburn
We Know What Inspired the Manchester Attack, We Just Won’t Admit It
Thomas Powell
The Dirty Secret of the Korean War
Mark Ashwill
The Fat Lady Finally Sings: Bob Kerrey Quietly Resigns from Fulbright University Vietnam Leadership Position
John Davis
Beyond Hope
Uri Avnery
The Visitation: Trump in Israel
Ralph Nader
The Left/Right Challenge to the Failed “War on Drugs”
Traci Yoder
Free Speech on Campus: a Critical Analysis
Dave Lindorff
Beware the Supporter Scorned: Upstate New York Trump Voters Hit Hard in President’s Proposed 2018 Budget
Daniel Read
“Sickening Cowardice”: Now More Than Ever, Britain’s Theresa May Must be Held to Account on the Plight of Yemen’s Children
Ana Portnoy
Before the Gates: Puerto Rico’s First Bankruptcy Trial
M. Reza Behnam
Rethinking Iran’s Terrorism Designation
Brian Cloughley
Ukraine and the NATO Military Alliance
Josh Hoxie
Pain as a Policy Choice
David Macaray
Stephen Hawking Needs to Keep His Mouth Shut
Ramzy Baroud
Fear as an Obstacle to Peace: Why Are Israelis So Afraid?
Kathleen Wallace
The Bilious Incongruity of Trump’s Toilet
Seth Sandronsky
Temping Now
Alan Barber – Dean Baker
Blue Collar Blues: Manufacturing Falls in Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania in April
Jill Richardson
Saving America’s Great Places
Richard Lawless
Are Credit Rating Agencies America’s Secret Fifth Column?
Louis Proyect
Venezuela Reconsidered
Murray Dobbin
The NDP’s Singh and Ashton: Flash Versus Vision
Ron Leighton
Endarkenment: Postmodernism, Identity Politics, and the Attack on Free Speech
Anthony Papa
Drug War Victim: Oklahoma’s Larry Yarbrough to be Freed after 23 Years in Prison
Rev. John Dear
A Call to Mobilize the Nation Over the Next 18 Months
Yves Engler
Why Anti-Zionism and Anti-Jewish Prejudice Have to Do With Each Other
Ish Mishra
Political Underworld and Adventure Journalism
Binoy Kampmark
Roger Moore in Bondage
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail