Mankind is basically a battlefield... a dark cellar in which a well-bred spinster lady and a sex crazed monkey are forever engaged in mortal combat, the struggle being refereed by a rather nervous bank clerk. -- D. Bannister
The Rev lays it down, once again. Kinda like Joyce Carol Oates, except he's bald and wears leather.
There's nothing like a morning's slap of broken glass across my
freshly-shaven face. Pleasure may remind you that you're human, but pain
reminds you that you're still alive and trapped on this insanely
underdeveloped plane of existence. You can run, but the machine will follow
you wherever you scurry. And like the mad mechanisms depicted in
post-apocalyptic movies, it doesn't matter if you gun down one because
another will follow.
When I was a kid, I used to listen to Bono cry out about how he couldnít
believe the news today, or close his eyes and make it go away. And weíll be
singing that song for the rest of our lives, friends.
Itís easy to be a cynic in an age of blind fear. Maybe thatís because the
elements of society that make you so cynical keep re-affirming your
blackened perspective. Like the Enron hearings, for example. Have you seen
anything more pathetic since the Iran-Contra hearings? Thereís some great
similarities, like a Chief Executive who canít remember diddley, another
executive who died under mysterious circumstances, and a whole lot of
Congress members who turned coat to save face when the walls came crashing
down. Donít fool yourself: the Enron hearings wonít produce nearly what the
Iran-Contra matter did. There will be no convictions and no real pursuit of
the bad guys who made out like banditos. On the other hand, we will get the
same blighted picture of the gross abuse of power.
Picture the classic symbol of idiocy: the three monkeys who illustrate the
concept of ďhear no evil, see no evil, speak no evilĒ. Now transpose the
faces of Enronís top management onto those monkeys and you have realtime.
Jeff Skilling didnít hear anything, Ken Lay didnít see anything, and Andrew
Fastow didnít say anything. Collectively, these three epitomize what we
already suspected: that corporate officers are deaf, dumb, and blind, yet
they always seem to make that all-important leap from the plummeting plane
and thud to the ground under the terrible weight of some questionably-gained
golden parachute. Check your calendars: wasnít it about this time last year
that we saw the same story at PG&E?
The best example for the former officers of Enron to follow is that of
Clifford Baxter, who blew his brains out in a car two weeks ago. This is
the American version of Hara-Kirió-the ultimate price for failure in
classical Japanese culture. However, Americans really know nothing of
responsibility for their actions, as we insure all of our risks away and
teach our corporate soldiers that they are never to take responsibility for
anything that does not make money. But donít worry yourselves too much,
kiddies: old Uncle Satan is working with Agent Karma to design a special
place for all these fools in their next life. Or three.
And speaking of the Great Satan, whatís with the Shrub trying to usurp my
responsibilities? ďAxis of EvilĒ. Feh. Watered-down regurgitate from a
bygone era. But it could prove pretty effective in doing what a few
millennia of geographic co-existence has not: uniting the Sunnis and the
Shiites against the us. ďAnd the lion shall lay down with the leopard on
the broken carcass of the eagle.Ē Iím sure thatís in the Koran somewhere.
Meanwhile, we have the CIA doing exactly what theyíve been doing for
decades now: trying to scare us into thinking that the senior spooks have
some relevance which justifies their existence. This despite the fact that
the Agency has provided as much real intelligence on the whole terrorist
affair as the guy who sells pencils out of a cup outside of the Civic Center
BART station. The latest flashes of brilliance involve the rather obvious
ideas that large event gatherings could be targets for future terrorist
attacks. Well, no shit. Iím sure glad we have these brave American heroes
out there 24 hours a day. Maybe now Iíll stop drinking so much Robitussin
in the evenings.
However, it would take at least a quart of the stuff to get me through the
latest Schwarzenegger opus. Itís really pathetic to see Ahh-nuld trapped in
a perpetual state of denial that his life is trudging on towards the
obscurity that has already swallowed Sylvester Stallone and Jean-Claude Van
Damme. The trailers for ďCollateral DamageĒ are enough to convince you that
the filmís aptly named, and that the body bags near the concession stand are
for those of you who will be done in by the filmís pedestrian gourmet of
explosions, machine-gun fire, and that twitchy look of vengeance in Arnieís
left eye. Recycling and recapturing former glories obviously isnít limited
to our ďPresidentĒ. But this is where Schwarzenegger is perfect for the
times: like the discombobulated Enron cavalcade, Arnieís a man who doesnít
know what to do when heís not working, nor is he comfortable enough in the
world at large to go out and experience more of it while he still has enough
health to do so. And the theme of ďone man, above the lawĒ backs the
Bushmeisterís plans to unleash our Special Forces in ďAxisĒ countries quite
Oh, monkey see, monkey do, monkey doo-doo. Itís this kind of shit that
fills my cheeks with the deep, bleeding scars that a cool alcohol splash
makes so much more insanely agonizing. I know itís all so real because no
delusion could hurt this much. But I love the pain, for it keeps me singing
like a robin with itís tail shot off.