Sarah Palin is “The Dear Hunter!” (a film synopsis)

Outline for Pitch

Title:            The Dear Hunter

Authors (information privileged pending contract)

Plot:

This is the story of Sarah Palin, a young Alaskan girl from a small town who enlists in the culture wars and ships off to foreign lands.  When she comes home, she is forced to come to terms with how much she, her friends and her country have changed (if at all) and finds out that the war at home can be as painful as the one she left. She is eventually tragically destroyed by petty enemies of freedom.

Synopsis:

Scene One:            The Wedding.

Sarah is turning eighteen in a few months and trying to decide what to do with her life. She thought of joining the army but didn’t for two reasons–first because it was the middle of the 1980s and Ronald Reagan had made war go away, and second because Reagan himself had both gotten out of the army by flunking an eye test and been able to win elections based on his war record!  Sarah who was very religious by nature considered this a miracle and also a sign. So instead, she decided to follow the more traditional path that so many teenagers who truly value domestic life follow—one of ferreting out government waste wherever she could find it by going to college and training to become an investigative journalist.

Tonight she is at the wedding of her older sister, Malkin [note: Malkin is not Sarah’s actual sister; she is a composite character designed to represent what happens to young women who give in to lust and have unprotected sex.].  Malkin is getting married in a hurry, because she is pregnant and first, must consummate her marriage early enough to declare that her child was born premature, and second early enough to realize her dream of dancing on television by appearing on Soul Train.

While at the wedding, she and her other college-bound friends see Senator Ted Stevens sitting at the bar. [This fictionalized meeting is intended to advance the plot. While it never happened and would probably be considered a baseless, unethical attack in any other medium, it is necessary to the flow of the script and hence justified.] Sarah and her friends offer a toast to the man who in their eyes represents everything they love and respect about America, but he refuses to accept the gesture and instead asks the girls if any of them would like to control his pork. Angered and disappointed, they leave him and go back to partying with their friends.

Scene Two:            The Jungle.

The heat, the primitive customs of locals an especially the distance from home terrified Sarah, but she had decided on her own to come to Hawaii, and she resigned herself to make it work.  While she never shied away from adventure, she felt as though people back home had misinformed her. She was told Hawaii was part of America, but everywhere she looked all she saw were Polynesians, Samoans and Blacks—hardly any Americans at all. It was a brutal life, and it would change her outlook on the world forever.

Scene Three:            Wasilla Roulette.

[This scene is also composite. The game itself doesn’t actually exist; it is a plot device to symbolize visually a developing pattern of interior thought.] One night, she meets one of the white-ish cheerleaders and a couple of tourists from the mainland for a drinking party on the beach. After they get drunk they play a new game Sarah has invented: Wasilla Roulette. She brings out the pistol she always carried in her purse in case of a Hawaiian moose attack. It is Truth or Dare, but instead of choosing the player shoots the pistol into the air. If the chamber is empty, you tell the most horrible secret about yourself you can think of. If it goes off you have to “do it” with one of the other players. Since the gun is never loaded, it ends up being a boring game but a great way for Sarah to get dirt about her companions. Sarah becomes obsessed. In her mind she has never lost a single game, because she has never ever revealed a “truth” about herself that is even remotely true. In life, Sarah had always had to worry about whatever she did or said, because she might be held accountable for it later. In Wasilla Roulette, she can just flat out lie and get away with it. It is amazing even to her. It’s like when people think you are revealing a moment of your innermost soul they never even bother to check if that moment is consistent with any of the other moments you have ever revealed before.  If your revelation were gritty or poignant enough, they would just hang on it, embrace it, and then abandon it in hope of another.  Playing Wasilla Roulette was as close as she got to God.

Scene Four:            One-Shot.

Sarah had always been known in hunting circles as One-Shot, because she loved having her picture taken with dead animals. She hated chasing them or carrying them, but she loved having her picture taken with a dead one. That and her natural good looks made always made it easy for the photographer to get a good picture of Sarah and her corpse in “one shot.”   When Sarah’s tour in the jungles of the Pacific were over, she returned stateside, bummed around at a few other schools in a few more traditionally American states, then returned home. But she didn’t return home as the little girl who left.  In this scene, we go back to Wasilla, where Sarah seems to be living a normal life as a mother and housewife. What we see, but that the other townspeople don’t know is Sarah sneaking out almost every night and playing Wasilla Roulette with local gossip mavens and business people. Soon she has enough dirt on people to become the skilled insurgent she was never able to become in the jungle. She gets the hunter’s lust for power. She is no longer able to fulfill her fantasies with phony pictures of dead animals. She wants human pelts, and she wants to drop them herself!  She stalks and corners a God-fearing mayoral incumbent named John Stein.  Even though he has been a steady church-goer for two decades, a local radio station champions her as Wasilla’s first “Christian Mayor.” She takes Ol’ John Stein down in One Shot!

Scene Five:            Mama Grizzly.

As the film closes, we develop the theme of the basic human tragedy that people who are more honest, harder working, just better than other people just like them are eventually attacked and destroyed by the inferior, less deserving people who envy them.  In the climactic scene, Sarah is playing Wasilla Roulette with Mika Brzezinski and Whoopie Goldberg, and the game is not going well. Whoopie isn’t actually lying; it’s just that she has told so many contradictory stories about her past she honestly can’t recall which ones are true. Meanwhile, Brzesinski, who can count, recognizes that the six-shooter has been fired eight times without going off.  Sarah is so confused by trying to keep track of Whoopie’s ramblings that when Mika begins to confront her with her own inconsistencies, she retreats into a fugue state where she imagines herself as a Jewish woman in a concentration camp whose children are being stolen away and sold by Christians. She is dazedly screaming about “Blood Libel” and crosshairs that look like crosshairs but aren’t, and other bewildering things as her house of cards come crashing down around her.

The End.

 

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My 2011 Psychic Predictions: Part One.

  • Distressed by the continuing anger of the Tea Party, all of the rest of Americans will band together to give them everything they want–which will just piss them off.
  • Despite the risk to national security, 2,110,541 American men will sign a Maxim Magazine internet petition demanding amnesty for redheaded Russian intelligence agent Anna Chapman so she can come spy on us again.
  • Fans of 24 hour news channels will be shocked at the revelation of Keith Olbermann’s and Tucker Carlson’s gay love tryst. That shock will quickly dissipate when after just a few moments of reflection those same fans realize that . . . yeah . . . they really sort of saw it coming.
  • This will be the year when Conservatives finally figure out that Valentines’ Day and Arbor Day are really just a plot by the bacchanalians and the Druids to get an eight-to-ten month head start on the War on Christmas.
  • The Travel Channel will debut it’s new reality show in which Christine O’Donnell will travel the length and breadth of her home state looking for a Delaware Water Gap that is actually in New Jersey.
  • Speaking of New Jersey, in the debut of this season’s Jersey Shore, Snookie will have consumed so much alcohol that the simple act of grinding against the crotch of the new male cast member, “Brillo”, will cause her to spontaneously combust.
  • The brain trust for Barrack Obama’ 2012 campaign will announce that they are changing his slogan from “Yes We Can” to “If My Supporters Don’t Like It, They Can Kiss My Ass!”
  • Speaking of politics, New York Governor-Elect Andrew Cuomo will be rushed by ambulance from his inauguration to a local hospital when saying “My goal is to bring to the Statehouse the fresh perspective of a political outsider.” makes him laugh so hard he spits up blood.
  • In order to save money, middle schools all over America will just give blue ribbons to teachers’ kids and the usual award winners instead of actually holding science fairs.
  • Yale University will go an entire academic year without giving any grade lower than a B.
  • The President of Yale University will give a keynote speech to wealthy alumni and donors decrying public school grade inflation.
  • Michael Vick will score a rushing touchdown in the Super Bowl and celebrate by killing his mascot.
  • The academy award for best picture will go to The Story of Why, a film only released on Sony Picture Classics Co-CEO Michael Barker’s 84″ plasma flatscreen.
  • An unidentifiable flying object, bluish in color and roughly 12 feet long will descend on London, liberate Wikileaks editor Julian Assange and return him to the mother ship.
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Goodbye . . . Hello: A First Decade Homage to the Lost

Here at the end of the first decade of the new millennium, it is time to take stock.  I view the decade of 9/11 as an historical airlock—a chance to purge from our lungs the excess carbon dioxide of having to live up to the selflessness of the “Greatest Generation” and down to the boot-strapping grit of those who survived the “Great Depression” and suck up the fresh O2 of grossly romanticized and overly self-congratulatory social fantasies of our own.  We have earned that right—nay, that responsibility– at the cost of some who will not be making the trip with us—some who, because they refused to believe that their air supply was finite or simply chose to remain in the ocean and spend their final hours enjoying the view, got the bends and died.  Travel back with me one more time. Say so long to those we have lost and hello to those who have taken their place.

Goodbye Reputation . . . Hello Personal Brand.

There was a time when one burnished one’s reputation to avoid being talked about. Of course let’s face it. When was the last time someone good flip his good name for enough money to spend the rest of his days playing World of Warcraft through a laptop perched on the perfectly rounded ass of an 18 year old supermodel?

Goodbye Privacy . . . Hello Privation.

The more we as individuals feed the Econometrisaurus, the less able we become to express ourselves as individuals. On the other hand, isn’t the prospect of every big business on the planet having access to your entire personal, financial and social life pretty insignificant in exchange for the occasional tasty virtual cupcake?

Goodbye Knowledge . . . Hello Righteous Indignation.

What we see here is the law of supply and demand.  The broadest and most comprehensive access to information since Eve abused the conditions of her library card, has apparently rendered that information valueless. It’s now more important to live in the world that we feel—the world where the Pilgrims rose as one, through Tea in the Harbor to protest Lame Duck sessions and abstracted the Constitution word-for-word from the Book of Leviticus. What else do we need to know?

Speaking of Knowledge . . .

Goodbye Lecture Hall . . . Hello Internet Café.

“Why does this idiot keep droning on and on while I am trying to distract myself from all of the money I am paying for this useless degree? Yeah, I know the lectures are online, but they are long and boring and no one smashes his nuts falling off a bike. And while we’re on the subject, how did I get a D on my paper? I should have earned an Adult Content or at least a Mature.”

Goodbye Jobs . . . Hello Unpaid Internships

Don’t get me wrong. I am a big fan of unpaid internships. We get dozens for our students every semester. They give you valuable real-life experience, and you meet professional contacts who will be instrumental in helping you not get the jobs that would have been available at graduation had they not been filled by this semester’s unpaid interns!

Goodbye Seasons . . . Hello Seasons.

A season of scripted television used to be 30 shows. Then it went down to 24, then 22. Now in many cases its down to around 10. From the programers’ perspective, this makes perfect sense. Why try to charge someone $50 for one season of 24 shows, when charge $30 each for two seasons of ten? Heck that’s a savings of $20 for every season you buy!  Buy three short seasons and you would have saved more than enough money to buy a whole season–of there were any for sale!

Goodbye Programs . . . Hello Apps!

Let’s face it, computers had started really just getting in the way. They are production machines in a consumer culture. Why go to all of the trouble to dumb computing technology down to the level of chimps then insist that that install their own banana trees? The marketplace now knows more about what we want than we do (see privacy and privation above), so it only makes sense to streamline the process of delivery. Got a problem with that? Feel that tension building up? Just sling a few angry birds at the pig fortress. Works for me.

You get the drift. There are many more, and there is a comment button below. What will you miss and what has taken it’s place?

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Dear Reprimander-in-Chief:

I know you are busy. Heck either standing tall on the world stage or bending over backwards to placate your opponents here at home would be a full time job. Working overtime everyday to do both must be taxing.  Nevertheless, I feel obligated to reach out to you because you were recently thoughtful enough to reach out to me. Okay technically you didn’t reach out to me by name, but hey what has two thumbs and is a “sanctimonious purist?” THIS GUY!

I know you are frustrated. Who wouldn’t be?  Republican Presidents aren’t expected to keep their promises. Republican Presidents get to be dim witted oafs who hire religiously correct incompetents, kill thousands of innocent citizens in ginned up wars, and spend thirty percent of their year on the set–sorry, at the ranch.  But your prickly supporters hold you to a different, much more unrealistic standard. They expect you to mean what you say! Yeah, I know! What the hell?!  When you said you were going to change the culture in Washington, we shouldn’t have expected you to do it overnight, or over say over 365 nights, or even 707 nights. I look at it this way. At the rate you are going, you will be a failed one term President, and the loonies on the extreme right will be so emboldened and the left so deflated that there won’t be another Democratic President in a generation. That will definitely change the culture in Washington.

Promise kept!

So yes, I sympathize with you–wouldn’t trade jobs for all the e-coli that is still in my fruits and vegetables. That said, there are a few things I would like to suggest:

1. Get your head in the game. I don’t know where it is right now. I know it’s not up your ass, because if it was Boehner or McConnell would have found while they were poking around in there.  You came up as an organizer, not a suit, but now you are sitting around like the Vice President of Human Resources.  You seem to think that campaign-mode is unbecoming the Commander-in-Chief. But it’s not. Be a little more like Clinton. Getting head from an intern in the Oval Office is unbecoming the Commander-in-Chief (and just generally creepy) so don’t do that, but sustaining the zeal of your transformative campaign would be heroic. Your ascension to the Presidency was a watershed, and you are treating it like a water park. Which brings me to my second point.

2. Get Over Your Daddy Issues. I know it’s going to hurt, but I have to say this as boldly as I can. These guys are NEVER going to respect you.  Never. Never ever ever ever infinity. The more you try to be like them, to treat them as equals, to show them you are grown-up and that you have “put away childish things” the more their contempt will grow. The current generation of Republicans firmly and wholly believe the the Presidency of the United States of America is their property. No Democrat, especially not a liberal Democrat, deserves to squat there. It is theirs, and they even have a Supreme Court to help them back that up. They have so little respect for your party that they deliberately refuse to pronounce its name correctly. You aren’t the Democratic Party, you are the “Democrat Party.” Do you call them the Repulicos? Or the Repos (which these days would be more accurate)?  They do not see you and yours as their opponents; they see you as their inferiors. Which brings me to my third and, I promise, final point.

3. You have to make them understand that they work FOR you before they will ever be willing to work with you.  You are the President of the United States. You are the first among equals, yet you insist on bringing a putty knife and a box of donut holes to a nuclear war.  You have to negotiate from a position of superiority–from strength. You claimed that they were holding the unemployed hostage.  That makes them kidnappers or terrorists.  Do we negotiate with kidnappers and terrorists? NO! We do what Reagan did–stand tough, get our people back, then sneak them weapons and money later when no one is looking. You got “the best deal you could.”  So you gave the kidnappers the money and head start but not the plane? Do you think the people who will still get benefits for another few months will really be grateful to you? Do you think they are glad you are President, because McCain would never have given them the extra money? You are wrong. No Republican President would cut benefits in this economy. They only threatened to, because they knew you would blink. You blink so wildly and so often, people think you are having a seizure.  Deference is only a successful strategy when you have made it perfectly clear that deference is yours to use or choose as you please. Once it becomes your habit, you are doomed.

Okay, I am going to wrap it up. You are a busy man, and it can’t be easy to read this tiny print in the darkness under your desk. Besides, Immigration Reform is coming up. These guys are going to run you ragged.

Yours,

Just another Barry from the hood.

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Bah! Humbug! Christmas 2010

Twas the night before Christmas and as was his stead

Santa went off with his gift-laden sled.

With toys for the tots and great gifts for the rest,

He was certain they’d all feel joyous and blessed.

He hit Canada first in his usual way.

Then he headed due south toward the great USA.

Such a beautiful place, full of rivers and trees

And a people accustomed to relative ease.

Oh sure they had problems, sure things had turned sour

But all told they were still a great cultural power.

Their standard of living so enviable,

They might not even notice their stockings are full.


Yes, the great USA with its can-do élan

Would have one special Christmas when they met the dawn.

He swept down through Maine, took the New Hampshire fork

And delivered his way into Upstate New York.

As he fell to a rooftop all covered in snow,

He heard loud, angry voices contesting below.

A bonfire blazed near the old village green,

Where two nincompoop neighbors were causing a scene.

“You are not welcome here, so it isn’t your call!

We will say ‘Merry Christmas’ or nothing at all!”

“You black-hearted bigot! You ignorant Hun!

‘Happy Holidays’ values us each every one!”

“You commie fanatic!”

“You fascist buffoon!”

“You can go straight to Hell!”

“Yeah. We’ll see you there soon!”


So laying his finger aside of his nose

He pulled back on the reins and his sleigh slowly rose.

He drove down to the green in his bright red attire

And settled his reindeer right next to the fire.

Jolly St. Nick on his Christmas Eve nights

Had not one ounce of patience for screaming or fights.

“Ho Ho Ho!” said St. Nick. “What’s the trouble, you guys?

You will wake up the kids. You will spoil their surprise.

Oh, Come All Ye Faithful? Fa La? Midnight Clear?

All this yapping is damaging my Christmas cheer.

So what do you say? Just head off to your beds

And let visions of Krispy Kremes dance in your heads.”

And with that old St. Nick wheeled back toward his sleigh,

But he took not one step, ere he heard someone say. . .

“Hey, Fatso!” they said.

“Hey, you corpulent toad!”

“Who asked you?”

“Hit the bricks!”

“Take a hike!”

“Hit the road!

“We have freedom of speech!”

“We have god-given rights!”

“And we have every right to keep fighting our fights!”

“We don’t care how you moan.”

“We don’t mind if you pout!”

“Just deliver our booty and get the Hell out!”


“Deliver your booty?” and with that he turned.

His cheeks freshly sooty, his eyes how they burned.

“It’s just–” “Ssh!” said St. Nick.

“You can’t–“”Shh!”

“Sure. Okay.”

“I’ve let you two talk, and now I’ll have my say.”

Then he took off his spectacles, cleaning each glass.

He would quiet things down, or he’d kick him some ass.

He strode up to the jerks who’d been haughty and loud

Then squeezed in between them and spoke to the crowd.

“I’m not trying to preach. Please don’t think ill of me.

Mrs. Claus watches Maury; I love TMZ!

But by some stroke of luck I can soar through the air

And a guy can see things much more clearly up there.


“For decades I’ve heard guys like this prattle on.

And others take up their crusade when the’ve gone.

They have always been here–all their spittle and phlegm.

The difference is lately you’re listening to them.

Is it jobless statistics? The wars? Rising tides?

Where you used to just laugh, now you’re choosing up sides.

Once you’d lose some and win some and come back for more?

Now you lose one and panic and deadbolt the door.

On fascist, on commie, on Arab, on gay.

On ACORN, on NAFTA and on NRA!

Be they top of the heap or the least little guys.

There is something in each you have learned to despise.

You might not respect the commander-in-chief,

But he isn’t a monster or traitor or thief.

He’s just trying to do the best job he can do.

And the guy there before him? He tried like that too.

Not all rich folks are crooks, nor all poor on the take.

They’re just people like you all, for criminy’s sake.

There’s a fat load of profit in ginning up fears

And it’s stock has been rising for these past few years.

Folks I’m here to tell you just kiss them goodbye.

Whatever they sell you you don’t have to buy.

Seek your neighbor’s advice; don’t cascade him with blame.

For each way he is different he’s eight ways the same.”


Then St. Nick gently bowed, gave his forehead a wipe

And took a slight draw on his old meerschaum pipe.

“Hey, the one thing I’ve learned over hundreds of years?

There’s less truth in our tongues than there is in our ears.

If your God’s in his heaven, your motives are pure,

You’ve no cause to worry, your world will endure.

That neighbor you’ve lately been dousing with shame

Will come through when you need him–and you’ll do the same.”

And with that he retired to his team and his cache

And flew up to the sky to deliver his stash.

And I heard him exclaim as he rose out of sight…

“Peace on earth’s at your core, not your left or your right.”

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Biscuits and Wavy Gravy: The Tea Party’s Roots in the Summer of Love

Ever since these Tea Party folks began yapping about in the wake of the Obama Presidency, I have sensed something vaguely familiar and frighteningly sort of endearing about them. I wrote the feeling off over the past few months as a creeping nostalgia for my youth in the Heartland. I recognized the people in the press photos of the rallies–their clothes, their accents, even their demeanor. The people on my side of the political spectrum, along with the press and late night comics reinforced my conclusion that ol’ Merle was just off his feed again.

But even snug in the warm embrace of the popular wisdom I felt as though I was jumping on a bandwagon that I would later regret–partially because my image of people in the middle west is woefully out of date. I have been back to visit but never for long and rarely far from my parents’ home. I have only made it to one reunion in what will this coming spring be forty years. Also partly because the Tea Party is not a midwestern, southern or even rural phenomenon.  I have witnessed first hand it’s roots in upscale neighborhoods from Rochester, New York to really upscale neighborhoods in Northern New Jersey. I have seen people of all colors (okay mostly shades of white), varying accents and widely dispersed geographies embrace the metaphor if not the agenda. Primarily  though I have resisted fully committing to the Tea Party common wisdom for the same reason I have on those rare occasions resisted beautiful women who seemed to be flirting. It’s too simple; if she is as perfect as she seems why is she so interested in me? Nothing so cut-and-dried is ever as simple as it seems.

It was just a couple of days ago that it finally hit me. I had read the third or fourth in a row of stories about Tea Party people turning on the right wing career politicians they had carried to their clear win in the midterm elections. By early Wednesday morning it had become obvious that it wasn’t the democrats they wanted to defeat; it was the system.  My murky nostalgia wasn’t for the midwest per se; it was for our high school’s first and I suspect only “underground” newspaper, for the lunatics at Ball State University who threatened (unconvincingly) that they would ignite the cute little puppy with napalm if their demands weren’t met.  Tea Party activists aren’t children of the Klan; they are children of the revolution.

Consider the parallels.

Burn it down!

There is a lot of nihilistic fury these days. Members of the movement think the system is so corrupt that it can’t be saved. The call to get big government off our backs is not fundamentally different today than when the young radicals insisted that all authority was corrupt, that people should be left alone to do their own thing, and that morality was not subject to legislation. The sixties radicals turned their movement over to some really off the wall extremists. Their leaders more often than not kept the podium by spouting outrageous and uncompromising versions of the movement’s philosophy. We knew they were nuts, but they were so committed we bought into it. What our opponents saw as irresponsible reckless fanaticism, we saw as autheticity.  Is there any difference in degree between Sharron Angle and Abbie Hoffman? Between Rand Paul and Tom Hayden? Content, yes. Style and pure out gall? One and the same.

Jesus Freaks

A lot of the people in the movement tossed off religion as a tool of suppression. Some though, the Jesus freaks, fashioned an organic belief in religion as an unfettered natural experience–a direct link between the savior and the not-yet-saved. The jesus freaks knew it because they felt it.  They were, in other words, not so different from the radical evangelicals who drive the right wing populists today. They need no evidence save their own experience of the truth of God. They can be a tad more militaristic and lot more political, but their uncompromising passion is the same. The Jesus freaks were light on vengeance and not much concerned with the end of days, but every time they were pressed they doubled down.

You Can’t Legislate Morality

The incidence of teen pregnancy is unsurprisingly the highest in the deepest bastions of abstinence education. Spousal and child abuse is nearly epidemic in communities where people identify themselves as strongly Christian. But if you ask those people to speak to that irony, they will say that they see none. They will tell you that problems of teen licentiousness and broken family structures are the results of decades of government interference in people’s lives. They are not failing, because their methods are unrealistic; they are fighting a gargantuan battle against nearly unstoppable opponents. Were it not for their valiant stand against the forces of social experimentation, they would be living in a totalitarian nightmare where babies having babies would be the least of their problems.

The hippies and yippies and all of their variants found themselves in the same circumstances.  The more they’d tried to free their minds with reckless chemical experimentation, the more they damaged themselves. The more they banked on doing their own thing and letting it flow, the less livable their lives became. It only took a few years for the ground zero of the movement–Haight Ashbury–to become an unlivable eye sore of illness and victim-age.

In conclusion

Someone once said that a neoconservative is a liberal with a daughter in high school. Is it really that big a stretch to see the modern Tea Party members not as true-believing children of Maddox and Wallace, but as disillusioned followers of Huey and Bobby? Think about the thirty years since then. Virtually every left-wing social movement has threatened to tear itself apart with infighting and lack of willingness to compromise. That chemistry is much more evident in the Tea Party movement than the rabid, paranoid exclusionary character of truly ultra-right wing groups.

We will know soon enough. We already see reports of turf battles among various local groups. Can a leaderless mass of people with what they believe to be a righteous cause buck the tide of history and stave off the inevitable dissolution of a rudderless swarm? History does not bode well for them. After the third or fourth rally it starts to get old. After a while you look back at the swill you were fed by your demagogues du jour and feel little more than embarrassment. The question is not whether they will prevail. They won’t. The question is whether they can see the light and get themselves back to the garden before their spirits are destroyed.

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The Walking Dem!

Despite what “experts” claim, there is no consensus—scientific or otherwise—about how it started.  The tin hats still say Hillary Clinton, the clear front runner in 2007, was co-opted by the powerful economic elite by whom she had always dreamed of being accepted, immunized then pumped full of enough of the virus that she could travel through the transition process freely infecting most if not all of the serious players. Some say a cabal of ultra right wing global warming deniers replaced the fluoride in the water supply at the DNC with a waterborne chemical agent.  Others say it was simply an act of God. We do not and probably never will know for sure.

What we do know is that in the days following the election of Barrack Obama, some sort of virus turned most of a population of recently vital, excited, committed and well-organized Progressive Democrats into the lifeless, mumbling, stumbling disoriented sub-humans that have come to be called The Walking Dem!

The symptoms of the infestation were subtle at first. While most of Obama’s acceptance speech was in full campaign stride—claims that “change has come to America” and pointing to a “new spirit of patriotism”–in hindsight we can see that even then the disorientation and delusion that would become so pronounced in the coming months were subtly manifested. Little things like adding to the list of American sub-groups the “not disabled.”  Bigger things like believing that he would be able to work with McCain and Palin “to renew this nation’s promise in the months ahead.” Telling white folk from crop to shining crop that he was “your President too.”

Once the infection took hold, its effects were stunning and irreversible.  Previosuly vibrant people would shuffle around, their commitments dragging behind them like a ball and chain. The disease attacked their speech centers and short-term memory. Months after signing an executive order to close Guantanamo Bay, it had not been done.

“Mr. President, why haven’t you closed Guantanamo?”

“uumm. . . . gaa. . . relocation . . . erggg . . . blarggg . . . study . . .”

“Mr. President, why haven’t you repealed “Don’t ask; Don’t tell?”

“gleeepppp . . . . schmuuuu . . . panel of experts . . .whuufff . . . more than anyone . . .”

While the disorientation and inability to function were evident and spreading among all who came into contact with the growing horde of Walking Dem the worst was yet to come. The heat of the summer—apparently the optimum breeding ground for the disease– mutated their simple incomprehension into an actual taste for human flesh. In August, 2010, the Presidential Press Secretary leaped from his podium and attempted to devour an entire group of “professional left” supporters who “ought to be drug-tested.” Others in the throng were at first sedately unraveled, but the smell of blood was in the air, the flesh laid bare, and the horde came to find that liberal tasted “gooooooooood.” Even while the President labeled his left wing critics “glass half empty” liberals, his rabid, gut-hungry mob was ready to wolf that half-glass down.

By the time the midterm election season came, the zombie menace had reached its full, unnatural maturation—wandering the campaign trail unable to utter a coherent sentence in defense of their two years on office, often not even recognizing the man around whom they had been orbiting for months. Many lost their memories completely, forgetting how they had voted, what they had said—wandering, stumbling, incoherent, hungry for they did not know what.

To date, none of us know for sure whether the severity of the infection has peaked.  It is difficult to imagine that it could get much worse, but then who ever dreamed it would come in the first place?  For the time being, all we can do is survive—we, the hunted. We whose broken trust and shattered expectations drive them ever more rabidly to feast on our timid flesh. Will the disease be burned out of them by exposure to the harsh light of day? Having driven us to a safe distance will they turn on one another? Will the Republican alpha-dogs constitute a worthy predator?

All I can offer in the way of optimism is the promise that some of us have not given up. Some of us are still trying to find a way to cure the ones who aren’t lost and drive off the rest. In fact, I am going right now to a secret meeting of my local NYPIRG group to get an update on—

–Wait! What was that? Oh, it was just————

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