This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only.

Hubris in the White House What Would J.R. Do?
What Would JR Do?
by WENDY BRINKER

A common element found throughout the Greek tragedies is the damnable condition of hubris. Through a character flaw inherent within the hero’s psyche, a flaw sometimes referred to as hamartia or bad judgment, the hero becomes lulled by his own charm. Miscalculating reality and overestimating his invincibility, he begins to believe his own myth and defy the gods. As a matter of course, our misguided hero develops a raging case of hubris, or megalomania, and through his defiance and arrogance invites catastrophe and with it, his own demise. We, the audience, experience a catharsis and feel purged or psychically cleansed witnessing this tragic figure fall to humiliating, complete and total ruin.

W was born the least of the Bush sons, into an empire headed by an ex-CIA director and ex-president who’s used the lines of the globe as his own personal chess board for decades. At first glance it is difficult to understand why the story should read that W rises to power. But it becomes apparent if you follow the subplot. Terrible forces have intervened and W turns out to be a mischievous god’s gift to the Carlyle Group–a perfect patsy. And he’s just stupid enough to believe his own myth. A terror to those he rules, but a blessing to those who rule him. Biggy Rat and Itchy Brother have finally ousted King Leonardo and they reign supreme over Bongo Congo. (Biggy’s the one with the smirk–the one whose company got the no-bid contracts.)

And if there’s anything to be learned from one of pop culture’s greatest "real-life-as-told-by-rich-Hollywood-stars" episodics–there are two things an oil man can never get enough of–oil and power and they’ll stop at nothing to get more. Greed and power-driven Cheney and Bush could not resist the urge to take the blank check they imagined receiving on 9/11 and spend it taking Iraq, a country rich in oil and strategic position. And they really thought they could get away with it–however nonexistent the evidence for an invasion. This current scenario in America’s foreign policy is a worse farce than the infamous "dream" season of Dallas. The audacity of the writers to think we’d buy it! Well, we did keep watching.

Joseph Campbell, a scholar in the field of comparative mythology, would have perhaps characterized the present quandary as a classic "Good v. Evil" tale. A maniacal madman sets out to rule the universe. Like a dark overlord, Bush has used the US military to build his empire, sending young Americans to kill and die for oil, insulted the world community, broken international law and set dangerous protocol. At home, he’s given the rich huge tax cuts while unemployment is estimated in double digits, is spending 5 billion a month to occupy the Middle East, and reversed years of progress on protecting the environment. But everyone knows when you mix total evil with total stupidity, stupidity always foils the dastardly devils, unraveling the evil plot in the end.

Surely good will triumph–right? We’re more connected and much more educated about what’s happening in geopolitics. And even under the well-crafted stewardship of Colin’s begotten, Michael, the FCC, the corporate media conglomerates like Clear Channel and the defense contractors posing as journalists have not managed to block out every ray of truth in the media. Some truths do survive and grow, even thrive between the cracks of gray area and doublespeak. Surely mainstream media’s smart enough to get with the program and hard questions will keep coming forth–right? Here is where we, the audience, must pick up our pens and write the end of the story.

The cold fact is that war doesn’t read like fiction to the people of Iraq nor the soldiers sent there to carry out the oil men’s bidding. They can’t pick up another book, they can’t turn the channel. Death, war and occupation are their reality. Thousands of innocents have died since this unprovoked campaign of violence and greed began in March. We must demand that special prosecutors be appointed, impeachment procedures initiated, and we should accept nothing less for this administration than complete and total ruin. There is no happy ending, but a lesson in justice would be the cathartic closure the world needs to experience.

WENDY BRINKER is an artist, activist and co-host of The Seed Show, a morning drive-time talk radio show in Columbia, SC. She can be reached at: maat156@earthlink.net