September 1, 2004

Skull & Bones A or Skull & Bones C

In an interview with Matt Lauer of the NBC News program "Today," reportedly taped this Saturday, August 28, 2004, President George Christian Bush slipped.

It's the first decent, honorable, reasonably truthful thing I can recall hearing the man say about the war, about the war in his name, "Christian Bush's War," his "War on Terror":

I don't think you can win it. But I think you can create conditions so that those who use terror as a tool are less acceptable in parts of the world.

Immediately afterward, by all reports, Karl Rove took Little George out back to the shed behind the White House and gave him a whipping he'll never forget.

Today, of course, Christian Bush is dutifully making busy retracting and attempting to qualify away those words, as the Kerry-Edwards campaign, in pure glee, attempts to nail him more firmly to the Jingoist Cross of American Optimism. According to Edwards,

After months of listening to the Republicans base their campaign on their singular ability to win the war on terror, the president now says we can't win the war on terrorism. This is no time to declare defeat -- it won't be easy and it won't be quick, but we have a comprehensive long-term plan to make America safer. And that's a difference.

What's that difference? Who's the more manly? Who's the more brave? Who's the more blindly optimistic? Who's fooling whom here?

As we begin our final election-year descent into the maelstrom of American cultural dysfunction, before we founder beneath the coming wave upon wave upon wave of proud, flag-flying, viciously oafish "Who's Preventing Me From Being A Millionaire?" mass imbecility that is the American populace "making up its mind," before we discover ourselves too much exhausted to speak in the face of all that is so unspeakable about the American people and the American media, we would do well to pause at this summit of the loftiest crag to consider the vertiginous achievement of our peculiar institutions:

Skull And Bones, Yale

How it is that in 2004, four years after an American electorate supposedly up in arms for "term limits for career politicians" were offered the stunning choice between the Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dumber of hereditary politicians in Al Gore, Jr. and George "Dubya" Christian Bush, The (Not-Really) Second, we are offered this time the, if possible, even more mind-numbing choice between Skull & Bones A and Skull & Bones C in John Kerry (Yale '66) and George Christian Bush (Yale '68)?

What might be the odds of selecting two such candidates, if we, say, madly resolved to choose presidential candidates from the general population by qualification and achievement alone? What might be the odds, then, of choosing two such candidates who not only attended the same relatively small undergraduate college but also, within that, by any measure, tiny, tiny portion of the overall American population, belonged to the same miniscule not pool but puddle of some 45 "boys" inducted into the same senior society between 1966 and 1968?

I'm no believer in conspiracy theories. Skull & Bones is and ever has been too pathetic and obvious a rich and would-be rich boys' self-indulgent exercise in drawn-out adolescent vanity to threaten "A New World Order" anywhere, anytime.

But, please, please, next time, could we possibly pick our presidential candidates from a narrower cultural gene pool?

Perhaps, the way things are going, we can look forward a couple decades hence to choosing the first female president of "The Greatest Democracy the World Has Ever Known" from amongst the spawn of the same womb. If only the Christian Bush twins can be brought to vie with each other to extend that dismal family's dynasty. After all, they're only fraternal twins. And that's a difference.

No, I don't need to be told that there is a difference in 2004. That for the clear and present danger its continuance in office presents to the environment, the economy, the market, even to the rich as well as to the poor, to the very status and prospects of Global Capitalism and the American Empire itself, the Christian Bush team of incompetent pork-barreling ideologues must be removed from Washington as soon as possible.

With this kind, Better late than never.

But as we go to the polls, thinking to use the vote to end the nightmare, we'd do well to open our eyes to the evidence right there before us on the ballot:

When the best this nation can do is to force a choice upon voters between two immeasurably privileged individuals, nay, men, who, children of privilege from generations beyond conception, in their early twenties, were identically "tapped" for the exact same ritual coffin, robes and Bones' procession....

If that's the best that's offered us, we no more live free in a democratic system than do the peoples of those one-party, third-world autocracies we flatter ourselves to look down upon around the world.

Until We, The People, in that still dangerously revolutionary phrase of 1776, can bring ourselves to refuse the onion-layer sham that is the Quadrennial Two-party Electoral Pageant, truth, forthrightness and native honesty will always take a licking, even when they slip unexpectedly off the loose lips of less than responsible politicians.

Our managers know. Too much is at stake for that kind of talk to get around.

Posted by Raoul

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