“OneTwoThree: F-” — the Beatles
“What’s that spell?”– Country Joe and the Fish
“There came a voice from over the sea…” — Percy Bysshe Shelley
My, my, she was just seventeen hello, hello good finger pie, and then John Lennon died and President-elect Reagan bitched about how anybody un-American enough to get himself shot and killed must be on drugs and ought to be shot and killed; after all, he himself was popped plenty of times and just picked himself up by his bootstraps and walked away; anyway, folks know how to play it cool with guns in Californucopia, where he was hatched like Athena from Knute Rockne’s golden calf… and that’s all I remember of America…
(Ante Dubius: A few days after the First Caricature narco-ambulated through his coronation like Boris Karloff – Frankenstein? The Mummy? – in Edwardian drag, a friend, Ivan, appropriately named, asked me if I knew that “the letters of the name ‘Ronald Wilson Reagan’ signify ‘666?'” Come on, he didn’t believe in Revelations, did he? No, but apparently Ronnie did, and had the Defense Budget to make the big score. Armageddon: Jesus – the nice Nordic one, not the real one, who probably looked more like Arafat, or Nelson Mandela, or those Sephardic Israelis you don’t see on TV – leads the faithful in the rumble of all Manichean rumbles; the Jews are gathered in the Holy Land so the former carpenter can finish what the former painter started. Unfortunately, Godless Gorby delayed this Second Coming. But Emperor Georgius Dubius has no bona-fide Lucifer to sucker him into peace. Did you know the letters of the name “George Dubya Bush” signify nothing?)
Where were we?
Oh yes: those were the days, my friends, when poets were as unacknowledged as the legislators of the world (at least in Washington), before Amiri Baraka called Jews a spade, and New Jersey seceded from the Union whistling “Born to Run.” Mighty lucky of Waylon Jennings to finally join his buddies, Holly, Valens and the Big Bopper in Death (Oh, Baby, that’s what we like!) because such goings on under these (RedWhiteAnd) blue skies would surely make him puke. Hell, we used to wanna be Bugs Bunny, not Yosemite Sam. Now even Tweety sings for TIPS and Tony Blair flitter-flutter-and-frets openly:
“What’s we gonna do massa George? What’s we gonna do?”
“What do you mean, ‘we’?”
Plain as the blood on your boots, me Limey Lackey; plain as the tooth in your shorts, plain as Summer in October (Summer of brown skies gray skies beige skies. Global warming and environmental stress caused by, say, the murder of two very tall buildings? Fuggetaboutit!). We’ll kick terror’s fearsome ass. And Emperor Dubius said as much, more or less:
“Off-ense is the best dee-fence, (next to non-sense). So we’ll be offensive!”
True, this chicken hawk in the henhouse defended (offended?) the Nation on 9/11/01 the way he defended it during Nam as an FFF (Fleeing Fire Fast): in an airplane high over god blessed America. Nevertheless, though Emperor Dubius wore no combat clothes, he sure caught Congress with its proverbial pant(ies) down:
“Of course, you can use the citizens’ tax money to defend the Empire from the ever-scheming barbarian hordes, Georgius Dubius. We just wanted you to ask, is all. We like to feel like we’re, well, you know, we like to feel needed.”
Honestly, why do we bother to pay for a large, gelatinous Congress (true, some pay more than others, but now’s not the time to beggar GE’s right to free speech) when we can use that tax money to buy good, solid firepower? And why should Emperor Dubius waste time, that is, money, explaining the obvious to the dim-witted UN that we couldn’t have bombed the Soviets because they’d have bombed us back, big time, but we can bomb Iraq because they have weapons of mass destruction and might … well, again, why should the Emperor of America have to explain anything to anyone when we’re the biggest best-est number one-est super-powerful-est democracy ever, and the best place for anyone in his right(wing) mind to live since Santa busted the elves’ union, thereby liberating the North Pole from Communism and ending the cold war? Being America means never having to say you’re sorry (cause the folks you’d be apologizing to have disappeared, their stories, grievances, whatever, long forgotten).
You Can’t Stay the Course Till Your Feet Start Runnin’
What I’m getting at is this: when will we finally bomb Saddam, just blast the black outta his fat stock-villain mustache? When will we do what Emperor Poppy (Oh, Father Totem of the great Taboo, if you’d only stayed the course and not withdrawn so…prematurely, we could have, we would have made that Jezebel come!) should have done? I’m going mad with impatience – I’ve been waiting since yesterday! So where will you go my blue-collared sons? Where will you go, my dark-skinned young ones birthed after Bruce sang ruefully of others unfortunate enough to be Born (into the wrong class, at the wrong time) In The <U.S.A>.? Fear not. There be ditties yet unsung. So. All together now:
Leviathan swallowed Miss American Pie. Poor old woman I fear she’ll die (refrain)
(A Value Added Warning Fable — yours free for reading the above)
The Top Banana (TB) entered the assembly of Unctuous Hominids (UH), towers burning in the darkness of his eyes, and said to himself aloud, aloud:
“Why are there so many damn simianese baboons in here and why must they grunt like, like apes?”
Many simians (and simianese), wondering if the Alpha Male was carrying some sort of “peace-keeping” device, closed their eyes and prayed their godless monkey prayers; others bit their nails and nervously crunched lice between their teeth and day-dreamed of justice and opposable thumbs. Sighs and applause resounded through the UH assembly when the TB was through saying whatever he had meant to say but didn’t really have to because it was well understood. The assembly, thankful the TB withheld his heater for another chump chimp in whose obliteration he’d graciously welcomed them assist, or at least not resist — or risk the same and then some!
The hominids began to rise, but the Top Banana arched his ridged brow, thumped his chest and bellowed:
“Pain can be killed by Poppy and Fear can be killed by Poppy. Yet what can kill better than Poppy, but the end of days, the end of pain, both so easily arranged. Thank you, and god bless US, but not them. You neither. Night.”
ADAM ENGEL writes and lives in NYC. His most recent and engaging project was providing editorial consultation for the book, She Comes First: A Grammar of Oral Sex, by Ian Kerner. He supports a war on terror because fear is a bad thing and should be eliminated, so long as nobody gets hurt in the process. He can be reached at email@example.com.