ELECTION WRAP-UP IN 28 WORDS
You get what you pay for. Bush voters, start your personal body counts. And get a strong shampoo. Shit's on your heads now. See you at the barricades.
GARY WEBB, A HERO IF EVER . . .
If you don't know the name Gary Webb, he killed himself last week, at least according to reports we don't believe, and you goddamn well should know it because he did a great deal of good in his 49 years on this gang-raped planet. Most notably, he wrote a series of stories in 1996 for the San Jose Mercury-News that not only excavated a long-buried pipeline of the well-proven machinations of the nation's right wing to poison its own people, it exposed the major media, once again, for their role as fawning, ass-kissing, dutiful propaganda whores wholly complicit in such acts. Webb exhaustively tracked the flood of cocaine that yielded the crack epidemic, following upstream from an L.A. inner city drug kingpin to couple of rich-kid Nicaraguan expatriates working with CIA mercenary armies in Costa Rica and Honduras to overthrow the Sandinista government in Nicaragua, at a time when the U.S. Congress had specifically outlawed such. The CIA and, later, Oliver North and John Poindexter's "Enterprise" shadow government run out of the White House, did business through much of the 1980s with men who massacred peasants and turned their bases in Central America into the transshipment hub of the cocaine trade, pumping so much coke into the U.S. that enterprising criminals could cheaply refine it into crack for mass consumption, versus the Hollywood shitheel and yuppie douchebag's drug it had been.
The measure of Webb's success came from the reaction of the media "of record," The New York Times, the LA Times and the Washington Post, all of which spared no effort to discredit Webb's reporting. Whether out of petty jealousy against a smaller paper with balls, or out of "patriotic" obligation to tell the government's official story and protect the Reagan Legacy, the papers created "Get Gary Webb" squads, whole teams of reporters charged not with following up the blockbuster story, but with debunking it. The Post's was spearheaded by a former, and likely current, CIA asset, Walter Pincus. LA Times insiders later admitted members of that paper's team had boasted of having "taken away the guy's Pulitzer."
The smear proved successful, though their own reporting proved facile and irrelevant, merely citing "government sources" contradicting Webb's reporting, and only successfully refuting allegations Webb and the Mercury-News NEVER MADE, such as a deliberate plot to concocted in the West Wing to dope out inner city Angelinos. As when people starve and are thrown off healthcare assistance rolls, a government fails not only in the bad things it does, but in the good things it refuses to do. Webb wrote explicitly he did not believe the Reagan administration officials deliberately sat around and planned how to use the profits of cocaine to fund its genocidal war in Latin America, and he never reported as much; federal officials did, however, wittingly allow it to happen, and put measures in place that would disallow its interdiction, which Webb did report. Further hard proof of that cropped up in a declassified memo by Reagan CIA director William Casey, which in 1982 exempted CIA officers, previously obliged to report all potentially illegal activities by their agents and assets, from specifically reporting evidence or knowledge of narcotics trafficking. It exempted nothing else. Oliver North's own diaries subpoenaed for the Iran-Contra hearings also proved that the Enterprise well knew of the coke-money funding behind its armies, and reporting by AP reporters Brian Barger and Bob Parry had unimpeachably drawn the Contra-coke connection in the 1980s, as did, later, whistle-blowing books by former DEA agents. Oh, right, and the CIA Inspector General's investigation launched amid the public uproar over Webb's stories fully validated them. Nobody reported that, though.
Gary Webb, a previous Pulitzer winner, was right in what he alleged, not because he was any crusader, but because he did his job and followed the story where it went without the blinders of that most odious of excuses, "patriotism." His book DARK ALLIANCE details, extends and annotates his reporting, which reveals not some hackneyed conspiracy, but that elite right-wing fanatics given enough power and no oversight will fuck anyone (especially the poor), as long as the end justifies the means -- even if that just requires turning a blind eye. The utterly amoral, unconscionable, malicious, cocksucking behavior of the media proved that the "Liberal Media Establishment," far from being liberal -- and by dint of being "Establishment" -- readily drops to its knees as fast as Ann Coulter would if she met Hitler. But we've found that out more recently when we "won" our war with nary a corpse to be seen, in a country of 100,000 of them and a war still going on. This country desperately needs more Gary Webbs, but, instead, we now don't have any.
Webb's death has thus far been ruled a suicide, though he left no note and "shot himself" twice in the head, a difficult endeavor for self-infliction, especially since the gun involved was a revolver, not an automatic weapon. If he did kill himself, a tragic end to a brilliant career dashed on the institutions of blind nationalism and elite power-mongering, a series of earthquakes could swallow the newsrooms and corporate offices of our journalistic institutions, thousands dead, and we wouldn't shed a fucking tear. None of them is worth one Gary Webb. If anyone at the papers who ravaged his work deigns to do their fucking jobs for a change, they will likely find that someone murdered Gary Webb. In the meantime, we will assume the government's guilt until it is proven innocent.
SUPPORT OUR TROOPS -- UM, EXCEPT THE DECENT ONES
SALON reports: On June 15, 2003, Sgt. Frank Ford, a counterintelligence agent in the California National Guard's 223rd Military Intelligence Battalion stationed in Samarra, Iraq, told his commanding officer, Capt. Victor Artiga, that he had witnessed five incidents of torture and abuse of Iraqi detainees at his base, and requested a formal investigation. 36 hours later, Ford, a 49-year-old with over 30 years of military service in the Coast Guard, Army and Navy, was ordered by U.S. Army medical personnel to lie down on a gurney, was then strapped down, loaded onto a military plane and medevac'd to a military medical center outside the country.
"We think of the patient hope of men and women across the centuries who listened to the words of the profits [sic] and lived in joyful expectation." -- verbatim from the official transcript of George Bush's speech at the White House's Christmas Tree Lighting
LEFT OF THE DIAL
by Matthew Grimm
Well, a somewhat enlightened civilization was fun while it lasted. But if we read the writing on the wall, we can only really speak of it in fond remembrance at this point. The Christians might as well pool their celebrated numbers and rename the place New Jerusalem and the Department of Fatherland Security the Ministry of Inquisition.
Hey, sure, majority rules -- and whether it did in this election is still iffy at best, and I'm looking at you, Ohio, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Florida and Diebold Systems -- and we, as loyal opposition, now have a duty to fall in line with whatever Malthusian evisceration of society our leaders command so they can afford sending more of your kids and neighbors off for more bloody subjugation of more countries full of people who don't think like our leaders. Good fucking luck. Good luck reversing the Scopes-Monkey Trial and your delusions that children and Ready Reserve insurance salesmen are being harvested to fight for "democracy" instead of rich guys' stock portfolios, cross your fingers and rub splinters of the True Cross -- doesn't matter. Actions have consequences, and millions of chanting, braying, mindwiped minions doing whatever stiffs in suits tell them most likely won't work out any better for us than it has any of the other God-blessed empires of history. And there's MILLIONS of us to make your life a living hell in the meantime.
Do your worst. Racist Christian fanatic Bob Jones bids you! "Don't equivocate. Put your agenda on the front burner and let it boil. You owe the liberals nothing. They despise you because they despise your Christ . . . Undoubtedly, you will have opportunity to appoint many conservative judges and exercise forceful leadership with the Congress in passing legislation that is defined by biblical norm regarding the family, sexuality, sanctity of life, religious freedom, freedom of speech, and limited government. You have four years -- a brief time only -- to leave an imprint for righteousness upon this nation that brings with it the blessings of Almighty God. . . If you have weaklings around you who do not share your biblical values, shed yourself of them. Conservative Americans would love to see one president who doesn't care whether he is liked, but cares infinitely that he does
Jones, president of racist Christian fanatic college Bob Jones University, wrote this to the president not long before the latter indeed shed himself of weaklings like Colin Powell, y'know, the national hero. Coincidence? He's right that I despise him, though I'm not sure how Christ became Bush's in particular, since he doesn't seem to follow Jesus teachings any more than any other Christian. And in spite of the (still tentative) 49 percent of American voters who maybe have some small issue with Jones' sentiments, post-election posturing has made it clear: we're second-class citizens. Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, the thinly veiled lobby for rapacious capitalist assholes, suggested that, by dint of Bush's blockbuster 51 percent mandate, the opposition's natural course is to know their place. Once Democrats are "comfortable in their minority status," Norquist said, "they will have no problem socializing with the Republicans. Any farmer will tell you that certain animals run around and are unpleasant, but when they've been fixed, then they are happy and sedate. They are contented and cheerful. They don't go around peeing on the furniture and such."
And by peeing on the furniture, he of course means allowing reason to weigh into human discourse. No threat of that as dusk of the new American Dark Ages descends. Federally-bankrolled youth abstinence advocacy programs now teach that touching someone's genitals can result in pregnancy and perspiration and tears can transmit HIV. Homosexuals are to be bashed liberally, as it were, and further legislated against. Bush buddy Gerald Allen, a state representative in Alabama, is now waging a campaign to have all literary works with even intimations of same-sex ardor stricken from public school and university libraries -- no more Tennessee Williams, T.H. White, Oscar Wilde for you, literature students, who knows if you'll read it and ass-fuck a boy the same way you play your video games and then go kill people with plasma rifles. Shit, while we're at it, might as well burn anything even written by queers, because who knows what fag code Truman Copote and Gore Vidal and a third of anybody who every wrote anything might've inserted in the subtext. Best not take any chances with the "homosexual agenda," as Allen calls it, since they've apparently gotten more organized since getting the shit beat out of them in high school by troglodyte thugs like, well, Gerald Allen.
Not only that, according to a Newsweek poll, the "moral values" that (still tentatively) won the election for Bush seem to show a bipartisan consensus on turning the clock back to the days of a geocentric universe. Sixty-two percent Americans, the poll found, favor teaching "creation science" along with evolution in public schools, and 43 percent favor teaching creation science INSTEAD OF evolution in public schools, and presumably this is a national poll, not just of hillbillies and stoic Krauts from Georgia and Kansas. But just for good measure, Georgia politicians hope to stamp new science text-books with a sticker admonishing them that evolution is "only a theory" -- which it isn't, its apparent suspension in America not withstanding.
The fun bit of sophistry here is "Creation Science." Creation SCIENCE. Bless you your wide-eyed adherence to your fairy tales, but here's an idea for 62 percent of Americans and I mean this sincerely: fuck YOU. Really, fuck you. Fuck you, you fucking child. You wanna smear shit on the walls and call it your God, fine, just don't smear shit on MY walls because I pay the rent here and my nose still works, dumb fucking shaved monkeys. You can call creationism "science" all you want, it's the same thing as calling voodoo "practicing medicine." You want to argue some kind of Christian mandate as your justification, fuck you TWICE, because the sheer number of people drowning women in the river to prove they aren't witches doesn't validate the act.
But go nuts. Not that you already haven't. I prowl around conservative message boards now and then, so I know the shrillest of these still consider all who oppose them some kind of remnant fifth column from the Cold War. Without resources of a monolithic communist apparatus or even hot Russian chicks to seduce us, we're still somehow doing Joe Stalin's bidding, and not just because we don't want some capitalist asshole privatizing our waterworks, and not just because we think you need to have reasons, not just flags, to go to war -- according to the international laws we drafted and signed off on -- but because they can't parse a world without someone to hate. And they, the message-boarders, have made it clear that those who don't fall down the line of order, decency and piety have no place in their America, and only because of our "freedom" are people like me free to be a godless, reasonable asshole who doesn't believe every hunk of bullshit his pale white uberklass tells him. Or, that is, I'll be free until the next terrorist act, when martial law will be declared. Then I'll get mine, won't I? That's what they say. They can taste it. So what's the difference to me between "the terrorists" and white American Christians? They both think what they're told, have God on their side, hate me and want me dead.
So I say it loud, fuck you. Loyal opposition? In your dreams, cooze. Until the First Amendment disappears from history -- most likely wiped away in the night like something on the Animal Farm barn -- fuck you, in song, in verse, on the radio, from the mountaintops. Mindfuck your children, keep them away from the horrible radio, rational thought in books and images of death on TV, let them listen only to Radio Disney, they will still hear these words, "fuck you," and when they dare repeat them, they'll be astounded and awakened to find God didn't strike them dead. It's called cognitive dissonance. Look it up. As Stanhope says, when you spot some bullshit, you start spotting it all. They will curse you, eventually, for your lies and your repression, for telling them state violence is noble and clean and then watching their buddy come home from Iraq in gobbets, and they'll listen to non-government-approved music and they'll vote for anybody you don't. Loving Gods and noble causes won't match up with "nigger" jokes and concentration camps at Guantanamo and arbitrary military adventures to fill your fucking SUV tank and beating up queers, and we'll be whispering these unqualifiable dichotomies into their ears at night, suggesting that perhaps reason and common sense would better ground a society than hatred, fear and superstition.
We don't need to take up arms, or secede to Canada, to fuck you -- corrupt systems rot themselves. People figure it out when they get hungry and their sons die for no good fucking reason. Actions have consequences. Viva la Resistance, bitches.
ZOMBIES ATE MY BRAIN
By J.D. MacGregor
I might still be sulking over the election, but living in L.A., the epicenter of all that TRULY matters, I have the luxury of moving on and staring slackjawed at OTHER train wrecks. The most gape-worthy for the next two days is that of Hollywood it-girl Lindsay Lohan, whose 15 minutes have hit their nadir with the release of -- sigh -- a pop music CD.
When Disney remade FREAKY FRIDAY, I, like most red-blooded males whose sexual peak came early, couldn't conceive of anything that could top the repressed middle-American MILF appeal of Barbara Harris, hang-gliding, hair tousled, the panty hose snagged. But I, like most red-blooded cubicle denizens, also blow off work to go to the movies, so when I found myself with nothing better to see, there I was, in the dark, giggling for the first and likely last time at Jamie Lee Curtis and, ba-boom, enchanted by that kid from the remake of the PARENT TRAP, which hadn't managed nearly so well to live down the absence of repressed middle-American MILF Maureen O'Hara. Funny, sharp, cute as a button, nice rack, and with a spark of intelligence that belied her age -- shit, I thought, this little Lindsay Lohan's a movie star.
Apparently every other person who saw this movie felt the same way. Five minutes later, high-powered horny white guys began turning this sparkling juvenile into America's whore du jour. Subsequent films of lesser quality hit (the middling MEAN GIRLS) and missed (the pointless CONFESSIONS OF A TEENAGE DRAMA QUEEN), and attendant idolization of millions of pre-teen girls nudged poor Hillary Duff out of the cool table in the caf. The requisite "I'm-a-woman-now" litmus relationship with a requisite THAT 70s SHOW star put her into the tabloids, and the requisite post-breakup hospital stay kept her there, followed by re-tox on the party circuit where she now battles Tara Reid for the title of Paris Hilton's bestest bud, promising toxic exposure to stupidity and caprice that will bust all Geiger counters in the basin.
You'd think one couldn't disrespect oneself more than associating with idiot heiress slatterns, but Lindsay's debut CD, SPEAK, probably does. A horrid piece of pop fluff that makes one long for the subtlety of the early days of imminent centerfold Britney Spears or the laughably "legit" ones of Ashlee Simpson. The album's awfulness reaches such epic proportions as to make it compelling, utterly, putridly exactly as awful as you would hope, itself a tribute to the genius of the architect of Lindsay's new pop star status, Tommy Mottola. Mottola, the svengali most recently renowned for actually marrying insane no-talent waste-product Mariah Carey, also famously transformed Jennifer Lopez from a promising actress into World's Greatest Booty and insane diva, and his and Lohan's collaborative debut portends just such tragic, vapid promise.
Much of SPEAK's initial publicity has focused on Lohan's allegedly salinized rack, which seems apropos. To even discuss the merits of the record is entirely beside the point. It'll likely sell a few copies, and she probably won't ever make another one, but it doesn't matter. Lindsay Lohan, the talented young lady, has now officially entered the realm of Famous for Being Famous, the new American Dream in this age of getting on TV by being a back-biting asshole. Achievement doesn't matter, just the fame, the kind of celebrity that once held a quaint, if not sad, end for most. If you were lucky, you'd end up as Center Square. The less fortunate had to fight for Larry Hovis' attentions on Liar's Club.
Today's Hollywood riche need suffer no such indignities. They get to continue making millions of dollars on idiot text-messaging ads, doing kitsch-value cameos on reality shows, engendering micro-economies unto themselves, maintaining their "lifestyles" and employing "their people" to actually undertake the functional requirements of life. Celebrity lingers, even if, metaphorically, they've already been found stiff in an alley off Sunset with a spike in their veins.
BLACK RADICAL SPORTS REPORT
By Tariq Coles
First of all, to all my new blue-eyed devil readers, shut the fuck up. Second, motherfuckers keep talking about how Michael Vick is fitting into Atlanta's new West Coast Offense. Why you'd even PUT Michael Vick in the West Coast offense confused the fuck outta me until, oh, yeah, his coach is The Man, ain't he? Newsflash, Ofay Taylor, but making Mike Vick play the West Coast Offense, or Donovan McNabb stick in the pocket, is kind of like making James Brown sing fucking Seals & Croft. Shit, why not just make them gas their fuckin hair and play in Brooks Brothers suits?
All y'all jarhead sportsbar Bush-voting bitches whining about welfare? West Coast Offense ain't nothing but a welfare program for tall, stiff white guys.
Dear Angry Buddhist,
Why do good people do bad things?
You're starting from a dubious axiom. There's no such thing as good people. I'm not talking the whole Catholic/Calvinist original-sin sense, that's just bullshit. In fact, that born-sinful guilt-for-existence brainwashing complex that most western theology posits mostly has to do with one particularly psychotic puritan douche named Paul of Tarsus, who didn't like sex so he wrote it into a billion books that it was sinful and gross. Which is like me not liking focaccia bread and declaring that, thus, all wheat-based products carry the seed of the devil and if you've ever eaten them or even thought about getting a pizza you utterly suck on a cosmological level. This kind of rot leads to a completely skewed duological mindframe by which you're conditioned to perceive everything in black-and-white terms, thus deluding yourself that, by wearing a white hat in some sense or another, you're somehow self-actualizing and fighting in an army of angels, the "good people." But the fact is, such aggrandizement is what leads you to notions of self-worth and material enrichment by which most in Western society judge "success," thereby creating a cycle in which delusion is rewarded, if not canonized. Hence the contemporary American Christian prejudice that a rich person is simply someone who has lived a good life and been rewarded -- which actually contradicts Jesus' teachings, but far be it from any fundamentalist jagoff to let Jesus' teachings get in the way of Christianity. Generally, selfish people do SELFISH things, such actions being short-sighted and generally disruptive of the general welfare. And of course, we're all selfish at times, given the fact that most of us have been thusly mindfucked, but the faster you spin on that wheel of Westernized rationalization, the greater your acts of selfism, the more destructive they become, a la Enron, Halliburton, whatever other scumfuck corporation you'd like to throw onto the list. The converse is, you can do selfless things, which generally benefit others, which you might call good, but the Buddha, or even Kant, would simply call common sense. It's just not gonna make you any money.
The Angry Buddhist
[Send your questions to the Angry Buddhist, care of email@example.com]