Sir, Would You Like a Scone with Your Revolution? by Mark Drolette

Dandelion Salad

by Mark Drolette
Dissident Voice
December 3rd, 2007

In a recent conversation that may or may not have occurred amongst local peaceniks who may or may not exist (since this article may or may not be perused by Homeland Insecurity), the topic was revolution. As in, might there be a second American one? None voted “Aye” but, with the oppression strangling today’s America fresh in mind, discussion did ensue about how subjecting deposed leaders of an overthrown government (pick one) to post-rebellion guillotining, machine-gunning or even (shudder) unending media coverage of yet another O.J. Simpson trial does bear a certain appeal.

This wasn’t the first time I’d heard such a brutal sentiment expressed (if, that is, I did). Having it uttered by folks long dedicated to non-violence, however, reveals an immense well of rage and hopelessness born from wearying struggle against unrelenting tyranny.

For what else but tyranny, by theft, can one call $2.4 trillion (per the Congressional Budget Office) to fund the profiteers’ wet dream wars in Afghanistan and Iraq? Do you know how much that is? It’s one billion dollars times 2400. In other words, about the same number of grammatical gaffes one can expect from a George W. Bush press conference. (OK, so 2.4 trillion’s not that high, but it’s still misincomprehensible.)

And to think a tax on tea helped foment rebellion against our first King George. (Maybe what’s needed to fire us up is a levy on venti nonfat frappacrappos.)

Or what else but tyranny, by terror, is it when our government gleefully authorizes torture while Congress, bizarrely, debates its definition? The topic is torture, for cryin’ out loud (which, by the way, waterboarding is great at preventing). Just what, exactly, is there to discuss? I sincerely doubt Patrick Henry went to his grave thinking: “Damn! ‘Give me stress positions or give me death’ would have been so much pithier.”

Occasionally, as I wax nostalgic about the good old days when we had a Constitution, I wonder how the Founding Fathers would view today’s treatment of their blood-birthed document that once came in pretty handy before the Bush administration decided it was overly bothersome because it was just, like, so legal and stuff.

The odds, though, of a second American revolution, followed by a good old-fashioned bloody purge, are practically nil, at least for the foreseeable future.

Why? (Thanks for asking.)

Because there would be a second (un)civil war first, that’s why. Lest we forget, while many lefties have long (and ill-advisedly) rejected the right-to-bear-arms clause of the Second Amendment, other types, not a few of whom can be found in the hills in camouflage and munching on tasty muskrat (don’t knock it if you haven’t tried it), have for years been a-stockpilin’ and a-shootin’ and generally a-preparin’ for that wonderfully glorious day the bullets start flyin’ for keeps.

But it wouldn’t be our current non-representational guvmint they’d go after first, no way, Billy Ray. A long-fantasized target of another kind would have manifested at long last, for it would finally be open season on all them Jesus-spurning, latte-sipping, tree-hugging, abortion-loving, sex-having America haters.

Plus, can you imagine mad-as-hell lefties taking to the streets anyway, ill-shod for the task at hand, or foot, in their Birkenstocks, wildly waving firearms with which they were wildly unfamiliar? If they didn’t fill themselves full of holes first, they’d be instant sitting ducks for those who actually know where a trigger is located, thereby providing an even easier score than a hummer in the men’s room at a GOP convention.

So, while jarring to hear devoted but fed-up peace lovers suggesting linin’ ‘em up and mowin’ ‘em down may have its place (if, um, you know, such a suggestion has actually been made), the reality is that Americans’ modern-day oppressors are probably safe from being ripped limb from limb by Grandmothers for Pieces, at least for now.

And maybe, for our own humanity’s sake, that’s a good thing. (Or, uh, not.)

(Published originally in the Sacramento News & Review.)

Mark Drolette is a writer who lives in Sacramento, California, and whose next book, Why Costa Rica? Why the hell not?, will also be his first. It will be available once it’s finished, published and then made available. Mark can be reached at mdrolette@comcast.net. Read other articles by Mark.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid. And if You’re Not, You’re Just Not Trying by Mark Drolette

Dandelion Salad

by Mark Drolette
Dissident Voice
July 21st, 2007

Did you know you stand a better chance of either being eaten by a shark (in your bed) or hearing George W. Bush use proper subject-verb agreement than you do of being the victim of a terrorist attack?

From where does this information emanate? Well, I just made it up, but if that approach is good enough for the White House, it’s good enough for me.

Seriously, though, I know my chances of dying at the hands (or feet) of a suicide shoe bomber, or even one with an explosive sock, are infinitesimally small. And even if it happens, it happens; I’m not going to let unreasonable fears run my life. (As opposed to reasonable ones, like, say, getting married for a fourth time, but that’s another story. Or several, all available at the county courthouse.)

But way too many Americans don’t think like that. Millions are scared out of their wits of being blown to bits, judging by the way they swallow whole the feary tales they’re fed by the Brothers Grim (aka Bush and the Dick). They accept as true the most fantastic things, booga-boogas that even a nanosecond’s worth of introspection would show to be utterly laughable.

Continued…

Don’t Even Start Calling Things Bushian by Mark Drolette (Big Bro; 1984)

Dandelion Salad

by Mark Drolette
July 16th, 2007

I’m sick of lefties snidely comparing the grim totalitarian society of George Orwell’s 1984 to today’s freedom-spewing United States, a country few Americans would dare call dystopian, even if they could define it. The following analysis exposes these aspersions as utterly specious.

Unfounded, even.

War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength. These are the best-known examples of 1984’s “doublespeak,” the deliberate misuse of deceptive language. Some may proffer that George W. Bush calculatingly utilizes doublespeak, but I say no.

His unique linguistic approach comes naturally.

Then, there’s Orwell’s “doublethink”: holding two opposing thoughts simultaneously, which Bush has gone one better by mastering “nothink,” a concept characterized by being devoid of any original thought whatsoever. Unpatriotic types (you know: showoffs who consider intelligence desirable) disparage this, but in reality, it allows our brave decider more freedom to tell the bloody truth, as demonstrated at a February press conference when he boldly pronounced “money trumps peace.”

Cynics who doubt Bush’s sincerity should ask liberty-defending weapons manufacturers if his words ring as true as, say, a non-stop cash register. Admittedly, the non-partisan Center for Public Integrity did announce in 2004 the military industry had given Bush $5.4 million since 1998, tops among politicians, but tellingly didn’t mention somebody’s gotta be number one.

Big Brother is watching you. Orwell’s protagonist Winston Smith horrifyingly learns his trysting den has been secretly monitored when a picture crashes to the floor, revealing a previously-hidden telescreen through which his “crimes” have been observed. Among his subversive activities? Making love. (Which, come to think of it, sounds like a plank from the GOP platform.)

In 1984, everyone’s under constant surveillance. Or are they? It doesn’t matter: it’s the thought (crime) that counts. Thinking you’re being watched chills your very core, sorta like how you blanched the morning following yet another spirited night of porn-surfing when it appeared your computer’s history had been searched by your (now ex-) wife.

It’s preposterous, however, to suggest Americans would ever allow impingement of their constitutionally-protected right to privacy. Courageous, magnet-affixing patriots that they are, they’d rabidly fight outrages like cameras at every corner, microchipped passports, a national ID card, no-warrant searches or having the FBI investigate their borrowing of A Marxist History at the library. (Then again, maybe the local field agent should discover why acolytes consider Harpo the funniest of the bunch.)

Two plus two makes five. I’m sure my long-suffering high school algebra teacher was convinced this was my motto. Nevertheless, once I finally comprehended basic addition, I knew Orwell, by having sinister Inner Party member O’Brien inform Smith two plus two makes five if the state says it does, was averring that with enough coercion (or voltage), the government can make one believe even the most absurd notion.

Clearly, no such inane assertions have emanated from the Bush administration.

Which, by the way, had its number of (s)elected office-holders reduced by half recently when Dick Cheney declared the vice presidency isn’t part of the executive branch.

It belongs to Congress, apparently.

Or the Rotary Club.

Or something.

Which makes sense when you do the new (world order) math: Two minus one equals George W. Bush; I’m sorry, check it: a big fat zero.

In 1984, Oceania is always at war. Oceania’s rulers classically rechannel the masses’ potentially dangerous resentment by creating a perennial national foe. Actually, they fashion two, Eastasia and Eurasia, deeming one a mortal enemy and the other an ally before suddenly reversing the roles, thereby keeping the proletariat further off-balance. The similar-sounding names produce additional beneficial confusion.

Obviously, no comparable situation exists here. We know exactly where the enemy lies: in Iraq.

Or is it Iran?

Room 101. In dreaded Room 101, Oceania’s nascent rebels (that is, independent thinkers meaning, thankfully, most Americans would never see the place) are shattered via the ultimate torture: being forced to face the “worst thing in the world.” Smith experiences this literally when a cage, strapped to his head, allows access to his face by his greatest fear: rats.

You’d never see such shenanigans in America: PETA would howl.

Besides, everyone knows torture doesn’t work. A brutalized person admits to anything, true or not, to stop the pain. Threaten any American with credit card (or American Idol) cancellation and just wait for the babbling.

Plus, torture is distinctly un-American even if, as White House counsel in 2002, U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales tried to make it a project for the new American century when he called Geneva Conventions proscribing it “quaint” and “obsolete” in his attempt to justify its use in the never-ending War on Terror.

Or is it Tarot?

No matter. Bush luckily saved the day by forcefully putting his foot down (almost as if stamping on a human face), stating: “America will never torture, arbitrarily imprison, kidnap, rape, murder people or take their stuff even.”

Didn’t he?

Down the memory hole. In 1984, Smith rewrites history at the Orwellian-named Ministry of Truth, revising old newspaper articles and then slipping the incriminating evidence down a slot leading to an incinerator where old facts go to fry.

Incredibly, some folks claim our government does the same thing! A Web site called The Memory Hole (how’s that for coincidence?) showcases materials it implies prove public information is regularly removed or doctored à la 1984.

OK, so it was interesting to view the headline over a May 2003 White House screen shot of Bush on a carrier that read “President Bush Announces Combat Operations in Iraq Have Ended” only to see, five months later, the word “Major” had been inserted before “Combat.” America-haters would likely say there’s nothing like a pesky insurgency to make you eat your words (or add one). But, honestly, who could’ve known before the invasion Iraq didn’t really endanger our beloved country?

I mean, besides the millions of protestors proclaiming before the invasion Iraq didn’t endanger our beloved country?

Let’s say the administration does rewrite history. So what? Wouldn’t your very own memory hole have come in mighty handy when you got your last probation report, the one in which you discovered much to your chagrin your supervisor does, indeed, know the meaning of “porcine”?

Personally, I don’t need government assistance to help me forget things. Why, just this morning I –

Uh… what was I saying?

Never mind. I’ve already proved my point, whatever it was. It’s time anyway for my shift over at the Department of Attitude Amendment where we’re finishing our week-long re-education seminars:

“Totalitarianism: Why the bad rap?”

It’s a four-part series.

This is the fifth installment.

Long rule Oceania! I mean, wherever.

(published originally in the Sacramento News & Review)

Mark Drolette is a writer who lives in Sacramento, California, and whose next book, Why Costa Rica? Why the hell not?, will also be his first. It will be available once it’s finished, published and then made available. Mark can be reached at mdrolette@comcast.net . Read other articles by Mark.


FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. This material is distributed without profit.

See:

Big Brother/1984