Uncle Frank's Diary
Number 29 / November, 2005
Uncle Frank Approaching Land, or,
A Lunch with Jesus,
and an Evening with Joe
Dear friends: Jesus thinks George W. Bush is a jerk.
Uncle Frank thought you might want to know. He had lunch with Jesus yesterday, and over a plate of fish & chips, Jesus waxed despondent.
“I can’t believe the baboons' backsides who claim to be my pals,” he said, dabbing at a spot of ketchup on his white shirt with a damp napkin. “I mean, holy crap: If he were in Dante’s hands , that weasel Bush would be lucky if his down elevator stopped at the seventh circle of Hell. And that evil bastard Cheney—what IS it with this guy, plumping for the CIA’s ability to torture people? What the hell does he think this is, Chile under Pinochet? He gets off on yanking out people’s fingernails, or what? Cattle prods? You think he has one under his desk in the White House? What does he do, diddle interns with it when they bend over?”
Jesus was really irked. He took a long drink from his Iron City beer. Some of it ran down into his beard. He wiped his mouth with the back of his hand.
“What did I say? Love others as you love yourself? Something like that? How does that work out to beating the crap out of people so they’ll tell you what you want to hear? Hell’s friggin’ bells, Lenny Bruce had the whole torture thing pinned down decades ago. He said if the guys came around to administer the hot lead enema, he’d tell them anything they wanted to know. He’d make stuff up, if it would make them happy. Who wouldn’t, when it got down to that?
How Many Fingers?
“This is nothing George Orwell didn’t make clear in 1984.
How many fingers am I holding up? Yeah, four. Well, if we work you over sufficiently, you’ll not only say five, you’ll believe you see five. That’s the great thing about torture: Not only is it vicious and inhuman, it’s completely counterproductive as far as intelligence gathering goes. Information derived under duress is nothing that you can count on—unless, of course, you’re like those bastards in the White House, and all you care about is hearing someone say what you want to believe is true. And then these SOBs have the nerve to invoke me and my teachings. Christ. Oh, can I say that and still make sense?”
So that was lunch. Jesus had to leave early; he let me finish his fries. They were still warm.
Last night I went to hear Ambassador Joe Wilson speak at Michigan State University. The crowd, composed of people ranging from student age to the elderly, was large and rapt. Wilson talked for close to 90 minutes about his diplomatic career in the Middle East and Africa, and dwelled at length on the White House campaign to smear him in the wake of his New York Times piece discrediting administration claims about Iraq trying to buy uranium from Niger.
Wilson—a certifiable American hero determined to speak truth to power—spoke with eloquence and passion, and the crowd responded with enthusiasm.
Wilson’s wife, of course, is Valery Plame Wilson, vindictively outed by the White House as a CIA operative following Wilson’s piece in the Times. The truth goes down sideways for the Casa Blanca Gang; when they choked on Wilson’s revelation of the hyped-up “intelligence” they used to justify the invasion of Iraq, they found the treasonous revelation of Mrs. Wilson’s identity just the payback they thought would suit.
Trouble is, as Wilson points out, what they did was illegal—and even in Boy George’s USA, high officials can still get their butts in a sling for wanton lawbreaking. Vide “Scooter” Libby. (Any grown man who answers to a name like “Scooter” damn well ought to be indicted.) One can only hope that Patrick Fitzgerald has enough nails left in his tool apron to indict Rove, as well—and Cheney’s hide would look appealing hanging on the barn door, wouldn’t it? Can anyone seriously think that Cheney didn’t know what his own chief of staff, Libby, was doing regarding the Wilsons? Can anyone be that naïve?
Jesus Is Dead, but Hope Springs
I admit that Uncle Frank didn’t have lunch with Jesus. Jesus is dead. Uncle Frank doesn’t eat dead men’s fries. But I’m convinced that if Jesus were able to watch today’s American goings-on, he’d be just as put out as Uncle Frank imagined him at lunch yesterday.
Nevertheless, let us not abandon hope. There is something blowing in the wind. Maybe not the answer, my friends, but at least some new questions. I felt it last night in that audience, starved for the truth, listening so intently to Joe Wilson. I sense it in Dick Cheney’s 19 percent approval rating. I sense it in the joyful results of the school board election in Dover, Pa., where every one of the eight boneheads who inflicted indoctrination in “Intelligent Design” on the town’s public school students was voted out of office in favor of candidates who advocate science, not mythology, magical thinking, and superstition. I sense the fresh breeze in Californians’ rejecting every ballot initiative that the despicably faux public servant Schwarzenegger pushed so hard.
Yeah, I know, that leaves Kansas and its ID-weenies, God love ‘em. There always has to be a Kansas, to keep the forces of Goodness and Light from becoming complacent.
Kansas and three more years (likely) of Boy George notwithstanding, the wind is blowing, folks. And there’s a sweetness in it that has been long missing. I think maybe we’re approaching land.
Graphic by Karen McGinnis