The Accidental Oracle
Me and my frat bro’s think Condi Rice is HOT! I hear she went to Stanford, so I bet my bro’s a keg of Bud Light she made Playboy’s “Girls of the Pac 10” way back when.
Then my bro’ Dwayne says she looks a little like George Bush (and both of them look like the “What, Me Worry?” guy), so he bet us a keg of Coors they’re related.
Then my bro’ Washington bet us a keg of Olde English that George Jefferson – he’s the president who had the black girlfriend, right? – is their great-great grand-daddy.
I can barely keep track of all the bets, and we already started drinking the kegs, and…can you settle the bets, dude? I think I’m gonna hurl…
- Bifford “The Biffer” Squalls, Jr., Lincoln, Nebraska
First, let me state that I do NOT referee drunken trivia contests (especially when I’m not invited to the party), so you should direct your George Jefferson scholar-Playmate questions elsewhere.
As for your second question, though it may seem tasteless – an insult to both President Bush and Secretary of State Rice – it is anything but: America was built on the backs of slaves, and we owe their memory a frank and open discussion of the facts, not some whitewashed, virgin-Birth of a Nation fantasy.
And the sickening fact is that white slave masters did take carnal advantage of their black human “property,” producing children of mixed race who were taken in by black kinfolk and shunned by white relations.
Anyway, as far as I know, Bush and Rice are not related. While there are a lot of black people with the last name Bush, and Texas does grow a lot of cotton, and both George W. Bush and his brother Jeb do seem unusually comfortable in the swampy climes of the unrepentant South, I have no idea if the Bush clan made its fortune from slavery.
Freed slaves – robbed of their real names and ancestry – could name themselves after someone they admired, or more likely in the case of “Bush,” the lonely little tree they saw after escaping the plantation just before dawn, set aflame by the rising sun and still crowned by the North Star, lighting the way to Canada.
Where, after traveling hundreds of miles underground – dodging upstanding citizens ready to ship them back to hell – the fugitives might emerge into the light and rejoice in their right, as free human beings, to freeze their ass off like anyone else!
How do they keep Vice President Cheney alive? Isn’t he like 500 years old, or something?
- Denzel Boone, Cooter, Missouri
Your curiosity is not unusual – I’ve received more letters on this topic in the past year than any other, asking about rumors linking the Vice President to ancient “blood cults,” and to prehistoric extinctions blamed in native legend on the “Chay-uh-Nay,” a malevolent wind spirit that “set upon the mammoth beasts and devoured them where they stood, so their bones shivered whitely for a moment amidst the meat bees, then rattled to the dirt.”
The truth is, Vice President Cheney’s exact age is unknown because his father never married his mother. Technically, this makes him a “bastard” – though of course we all know him to be above reproach, the sober Wally Cleaver to President Bush’s mischievous Eddie Haskell – and in the unforgiving frontier days when he was born, bastard births were not recorded. (Estimates of the Vice President’s age, by an informal panel of experts assembled last night at Gurke’s G Spot, a nearby lounge, ranged from 130 to 165.)
We do know that Mr. Cheney was born in what became the Wyoming Territory, to a woman called Deadeye Daisy Cheney, who rose from “varmint plinker” (exterminating prairie dogs with a slingshot) to run a chain of mixed-meat jerky stands along the route of the trans-continental railroad. It was only his mother’s hard work and sacrifice that saved Mr. Cheney from the typical fate of a bastard, cleaning spittoons or geeking for medicine shows.
How is the Vice President kept alive through all his heart attacks and other ailments?
With fresh organs from the War on Terror.
The organs are harvested from dying insurgents and terrorists, then flown fresh daily from the Middle East to a secret medical facility in Virginia. There, in a former intensive-care nursery, rows of cribs hold hearts, livers, spleens, etc., ready for implantation.
Though the transplant program runs with typical Bush administration efficiency, there have been a few screw-ups, like the time the janitor accidentally turned off power to the nursery, and surgeons had to implant the heart of a pig from a nearby farm in the Vice President – alongside the leaking terrorist heart already there – to get him through a televised campaign debate.
That is why the Vice President – renowned for his charming but razor-sharp debating style – was “bedah, bedah, bedahing” like Porky Pig during the debate: his Islamo-fascist heart was rejecting his pork heart.
Luckily, soon after the debate was over, sturdier organs became available when what may have been the last Euphrates crocodile on earth was run over by a speeding Humvee in the marshlands of southern Iraq. The Euphrates crocodile is an ancient creature, with 6 hearts, 7 stomachs and 3 livers, and the Vice President came out of surgery like his old self – full of piss, vinegar and crocodile parts.
Why is everyone always picking on Tom Cruise and his faith? Why can’t they admit that the airtight arguments and proven techniques of Scientology have helped Tom achieve a level of consciousness so superior to their own that he would have to get down on his hands an knees, like someone looking for ants in the weeds, to even notice them?
- Devendra Steele, Queens, New York
[For those not familiar with Scientology: it is based on the writings of L. Ron Hubbard, who warned us of the need to exterminate alien beings called “thetans,” who flew their microscopic spaceships up our nostrils eons ago and have infested us ever since. (If my theology is a little off, it’s because I couldn’t afford the church’s seminars and had to get it from the internet)].
You know that itch deep inside your forehead, Devendra? It’s just the computer chip the Scientologists implanted to monitor thetan activity and summon you to the Celebrity Centre whenever Tom needs his shoes shined.
I’m jealous; the Scientology missionaries selling books in the subway said I was so infested that an implant would be wasted on me. I was depressed until I heard about Tom’s bizarre outbursts, which made me wonder if – in severe cases – removing thetans can cause more damage than leaving them alone, like fumigating a house held together by termites can cause it to collapse?
The jackals of the media pick on Tom because they’re jealous of his inevitable transformation into the Jesus Christ of Scientology. And some of them are still bitter about all the sleepless nights they spent, clutching a baseball bat under the covers, afraid the Scientology bogeymen of their paranoid fantasies would show up and murder them in their sleep. If they would just read L. Ron’s Dianetics, and let Scientology’s trained technicians attach electrodes to their genials and start smoking the thetans from their diseased flesh, they might be able to stop chasing phantoms and make something of themselves!
The other reason reporters pick on Scientology is because they are timid. But then – given the choice between Scientologists (too busy to defend themselves, as they work hand-in-hand with the IRS to become a “real” religion) and Muslim fundamentalists, with their knee-jerk death threats and beheadings, or equally thin-skinned Mormon fundamentalists, with the whole state-terror apparatus of Utah behind them – which faith would you choose to take on?
But thetans and paranoid fantasies aside, another thing that L. Ron advocates is the need for competence – his belief that the modern world, with all its complicated technology, is no place for bumblers and nitwits. And of course competence is what makes Tom Cruise the #1 action star in the world, able to jump motorcycles over burning buses better than Jesus ever could.
Competence might be a costly ideal, however – just imagine what could have happened if U.S. evangelicals had forced George W. Bush to take some silly “competence test.” I shudder to think what the world would be like if he had failed, and wound up just a mild mannered drunk, sleeping on a cot in the tool shed on his parents’ estate, getting a beer allowance to stay out of the neighbors’ garbage!
Carl Craig: Party/After-partyBy Simon Wu
MARCH 2021 | ArtSeen
Party/After-party (2020) is the five-year lovechild of Detroit-based DJ/producer Carl Craig and curator Kelly Kivland, a sound-and-light-installation that turned the basement of the former Nabisco packaging factory into a hologram of a night club.
The State of the Plague
SEPT 2021 | Field Notes
For this issue of the Brooklyn Rail, Aminda Smith and Fabio Lanza interviewed Chuang about their first book, Social Contagion and Other Material on Microbiological Class War in China, forthcoming in October as one in a series of new titles from the historic Charles H. Kerr Publishing Company.
J.V. Martin: Something is Rotten in the State of Everything EverywhereBy Hunter Braithwaite
JUNE 2022 | ArtSeen
In March 1965, a bomb ripped through the apartment of J.V. Martin, painter, provocateur, and leader of the Scandinavian chapter of the Situationist International. In what was rumored to be an attack by the Danish secret service, the bomb injured Martins five-year-old son, burned out the entirety of his apartment, and destroyed the bulk of his work and archive up to that point, including his Thermonuclear Map paintingsheavily loaded canvases documenting the landscape in the hours after a nuclear Armageddon, their savagery evident in a materials list that included diapers and chunks of rotting cheese.
The Money Theory of the StateBy Jamie Merchant
FEB 2021 | Field Notes
Kafkas unfinished final novel, The Castle, can be read as a parable about the misrecognition of power.