Friday, February 23, 2007
No One's Heard From The Cat In Years

I think Vice President Richard Bruce Cheney is largely misunderstood.

This, I think, is largely because of his odd and utterly unique speech impediment whereby he is only capable of communicating through a series of rudimentary squeaks and growls that, on his best days, can only approximate human speech. We've seen him on TV giving interviews and it sure sounds like he's making sense, but I think if you listened really close, you'd notice that the sounds he's making have the pacing and timbre of words but are really just a guttural collection of yips and snarls that less intelligent creatures--a gazelle, for example--would immediately recognize as danger and bound away from.

For us as humans, we're complicated beings; he's our Vice President, so we like to think--hope!--he can actually talk much in the same way some people insist their dog can say "I love you" when the rest of us really know it's simply a trained rhytmic yowl that in intent is probably closer to "I don't mind if the Humane Society puts me down, just get me away from the crazy-ass dog-talker."

Because he is misunderstood, people like to fill in the blanks and suggest that Dick is an ideological nutcase or an empty-suit Big Oil apparatchik or maybe a violent sociopath with a basement wallpapered in human skin.

Sure, all those are true. But that doesn't make Dick Cheney a bad guy. That thing about hating gays while having a gay daughter kind of takes care of that. The rest is just gravy.

The thing is, people take the surface evil scariness and sometimes allow themselves to focus on that when really something much more deeply sinister is going on. It's like the talking-dog-voice again, except instead of mordant canine pathos, think more military-industrial-complex undermining of basic human liberties and assumed American social and political freedoms.

Like for instance, he says "You better fucking watch yourself, China!" The responses are obvious. Those on the right go "Yeah, go get 'em, Dick! Fuck them kung-fu chopstick motherfuckers right in their dog-eatin' mouths!" And then those on the left are supposed to go "Oh Holy Jesus, he doesn't think Iran is big and scary enough! He's going to kill us all!"

Top-of-the-fold Friday end-of-the-cycle out-with-a-bang news is what happens when Cheney clicks and wheezes his way to "Maybe next week, we invade the billion-person country, maybe we don't..."

Meanwhile, amidst all the Doomsday noise, what gets pushed way, way down into the human-interest sidebar?

Residents of Weatherford, Texas get electricity bills in excess of a billion dollars.

We sort of notice, we all kind of laugh, those of us who can hear over the China feedback.

Meanwhile, the people in Weatherford get their names in the paper, everyone else gets a quick laugh at the rubes in Texas who can't use a fucking computer properly and it all goes away.

Until a few months later, when everyone's forgotten and we're paying attention to the buildup to a reinvasion of Vietnam or Britney Spears gets her labia pierced or something. And the people down in Weatherford are down at the power company laughing about how they still haven't quite gotten this billion-dollar electric bill thing quite figured out and, haha, why don't we go ahead and take care of that right now while we're down here?

And the nice lady behind the Plexiglass partition wants to know if that will be a cashier's check or if he'd like to talk to Mr. Smith (the one with the sunglasses on indoors) about financing options.

You've heard it before, but freedom isn't free. The burden of paying for its marchin' boots falls more heavily on some than others. Some pay in time or energy or blood. Others get a bill directly from their electric company. It was just Weatherford's time. Could have been any of us, really.

Before you get too relaxed, just think: they only asked them for money. What will they ask when its your turn?

Laugh it off if you want to, but remember, these are the same people who had Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman's blood drained and replaced with Quaker State 10w30. It seems like an extreme thing to do, but it makes some kind of logical sense when you consider that his blood was just not doing the lubricating job they wanted on the inline 4-cylinder 1.8 liter engine they replaced his heart and lungs with.

These are the connections that most people miss in the course of their daily work routines. Luckily for you I have time to think about these things. And there were no good movies to review this week.

This post on the Narcissus Scale: 4.8




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