11 November 2008

Last Rights

I’m reading a great deal of garbage about the graciousness of His Royal Highness in his recent meetings with Barack Obama. In the Daily Beast, Mark McKinnon writes, “But no matter what you think of George W. Bush, he is a true gentleman.” Well, in the worlds in which I move, that would all depend on the definition of ‘gentleman?’ I do believe it was gentlemen who colonized India, Australia, and Africa, at least. I think it was ‘gentlemen’ who purchased the slaves captured from Africa. The label gentlemen provides no description, and certainly no answers. A man all dressed up while an American city drowns is not a gentleman. A man who , with pinky daintily raised, drinks his tea and lies to my face, is hardly a gentleman. A man who will not have pizza delivered to the White House, but will torture and starve illegally held prisoners is hardly a gentleman. A man who insists on wearing a suit but eagerly strips American citizens of their civil liberties is hardly a gentleman. The list goes on and on and on, but it sickens me to record it: but, as Rush Limbaugh defined the word, these gentlemanly postures , to my mind, makes Bush a ‘thug.’ And I don’t know what to call the gun-toting Cheney. I read in the press that Rahm Emanuel is noted for his quick temper, his hard politics, and his refusal to listen to dribble. Nothing in these reports about his needing to hunt and kill animals with his friends, some of whom he may shoot by accident.

Sometimes, when I have been in a horribly uncomfortable situation for a period of time, and the moment of its ending seems to be approaching, I gather my energies and I assume a pleasant manner, as if I am sorry the event must end. Oh well, la-de-dah, we must get together again soon. Have you heard the one about . . .?”

The imminent relief is so palpable that I am transformed into an almost civil person. America seems in that state right now: so relieved that the Reign of Terror is over that it looks with some sympathy on the nightmares that have occupied the White House for the past eight years. But really the terrors have been here since at least 1994, when the unethical Newt Gingrich rode to town on a platform of ethics and rightness. And how can I forget Ronald Reagan, though his forgetting is memorable.

No, I will not go gently into that good night; I will not wax nostaligic over the gentleman George Bush, nor forget what he did and what he and his ilk stand for. I will rage, rage, and continue to rage. And with Golde, in Fiddler on the Roof, spit onto my pinkie to keep the evil spirits away.


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