Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Today, we Americans bid 22% of a fond farewell to a man who has touched so many of us, in so many ways (others, he has simply ogled, yet it was enough): George W. Bush.

We would have bid more than that sad little two-bits' worth, but the other seventy-some percent of said fondness prematurely staggered out of the barroom door five years ago to drunkenly beat its Middle-Eastern mail-order bride. (We smacked around her retarded cousin for a while too, but that was during a sober spell, and really where's the fun?) The hangover from that exotic little dalliance is ongoing--you wouldn't believe the splitting headache--but after some fluids and a few mild painkillers, we should be back on our feet in no time, thanks for asking.

And so, we offer our most heartfelt god-by-ye's to:

--A man who has made the most important television program ever worthy of its pretensions.

--A man who did more to creatively expand the English language than the Irish--including that wonder of Celtic sexual dysfunction, James Joyce. Mr. Joyce's work, I'm told, is finally able to be anatomized after a graduate school program and years of devoted study. Dear Leader's bon mots suffer no such structural flaw; his linguistic flourishes resist the tyranny of sense and scrutability. Instead, they float, perfect and indivisible, like molecules of one of the noble gases.

--A man whose spiritual conduit ran directly from his mysterious, (graven) image-conscious sky-god directly to his tummy-wums, like some divine feeding tube slipped down the throat of a brain-dead patient. (I realize I'm stretching the very idea of metaphor here, but bringing reality dangerously close to satire is a nonpareil skill of our departing leader, and one must pay homage appropriately.)

--A man who made science magic again. For too many years in this country, the scientific method--forced to blindly accept the results of empirical testing, no matter the desired results--languished in the open light of the public eye. Bush, in both his compassion and his conservatism (the combination of which, alone, signaled his devotion to radical--some said, lunatic--AP-level chemistry) brought the poor, hounded creature in from the unrelenting klieg lights of reason and gave it direction. I.e.: wander no more in the indeterminate landscape of inquiry, thou bedraggled rational procedure; I will tell you what to discover. Now...hup, hup, fetch!

--A man who showed that being a cowboy takes more than the advantages of elite Northeastern roots. One must also learn the ways of ambulating with the properly pronounced, Texas-style pelvic irritation. They do not teach this in Kennebunkport. Nor do Mainers teach the subtleties of metathesis. Considering the consequences to an outsider of either the walk or the talk coming off as false to the wide-brimmed natives, we may add a healthy dash of personal courage to the man's resume. But then, many were already keenly aware of this.

--A man whose youthful worldview and joie de vivre compelled him to bring the good-natured ribbing of his Delta Kappa Epsilon years to a stuffy international community.

And finally,

--A man whose embodiment of the ideals of his party and the peerless way he met his historical moment have insured that those ideals will live on past his departure.

In short, the man loved this country till it hurt. In his own words: "Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."

President George Walker Bush, we who are about to die, salute you!

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