The Rip Post                                Riposte Archive


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Sept. 13, 2005

          I’ve figured it out. I know how to get us out of Iraq, how to restore sanity to the White House (well, let’s say restore routine corruption), how to avert another New Orleans. Even how to fight terrorism.
          We need Batman. That’s the answer. Someone with an undying, unquenchable desire to defeat cruelty, avarice, crime. A person who experienced such injustice and tragedy in formative years that he has become the sworn enemy of both, for life.
          You know, kind of the opposite of George W. Bush or Dick Cheney.
          That’s it. Batman. It’s the only way out.
          Before you laugh this off as puerile, consider the fiends Batman routinely opposed, and defeated. The Riddler, The Joker, Mr. Freeze, Catwoman. All twisted, depraved, devoid of heart, compassion---megalomaniacal monsters shaped by alienation, sculpted by arrogance, who refined their criminality to high art.
          If those images do not bring to mind (in order) Donald “Known Unknowns” Rumsfeld, George W. “Heh Heh” Bush, Dick “Go F--- Yourself” Cheney, and Condoleezza “Imelda” Rice, you must not be a fan of comic books---er, politics. Hell, I think Condi could actually play Catwoman in the next Batman flick.
          And now, I give you. . .Bobblehead.
          That’s his Batman arch-criminal name. You know him better as Pat Robertson.
          If you’ve never seen Pat, well, he has the peculiar habit of almost constantly shaking his head from side to side, or nodding up and down, as he speaks. Almost as if he’s arguing with himself, or as if an itty-bitty devil is whispering in one ear, and an itty-bitty angel is whispering in the other. Stick his head in the back window of a car, and no one would know he’s human. He also looks like a guy with bad hemorrhoids when he prays, but that's beside the point.

Batman. The only hope.

Robertson: Hemorrhoids for Jesus?

          Pat, of course, is the good Christian who thinks that the 9/11 attack was       Gawdallmightee’s revenge against gays and lesbians (okay, that was Falwell, but what's the difference?); who recently recommended killing the president of Venezuela because he threatens to deprive us of SUV fuel. Pat generally views storms, earthquakes, and possibly Oprah as punishment meted out by Hay-zoos and his Pop for various reprehensible human exploits, such as abortion and “Desperate Housewives.”
          One has to wonder, of course, why this troglodytic concept is not universally applied. Why, for instance, does the Creator punish oodles and oodles of children around the world with dysentery, blindness, Tuberculosis, AIDS? Why do amoral billionaires lord over the planet, pillaging the air, water, and land in order to make more money, and suffer nothing worse than nasty divorces and the impending shortage of Gulf of Mexico oysters?
          Ah, well, God moves in mysterious ways his wonders to perform.
          And so does Bobblehead!
          Anyone who thinks Pat is just an avuncular Jesus Boy occupying a quixotic TV niche probably also believes that Halliburton operates for the public good.
          I mean, did you know that Bobblehead once claimed he was helping little starving African children with swollen bellies and flies in their eyes---you know, the favored moneymaking bait of every self-respecting millionaire Christian televangelist---when he was really helping himself to African diamonds? Kids aren’t forever, you see, but diamonds are!
          What a wacky, fun-loving Christian dude!
          It all happened way back in prehistoric 1994---that’s before 9/11, friends---during the Rwandan genocide. You know, Rwanda---another one of those funny ol’ African “countries” where one tribe wipes out another, largely with machetes, until the whole place is one big pile of hacked-up corpses. They do it all the time, while the superpowers sort of spectate, the way you watch two guys duke it out in a bar. Think of it as “bumfights” for world leaders.
          Well, Bobblehead went on the tube on his “700 Club” show, which is one of those Bible-banger programs disguised as news and commentary, and asked that good Christians send him some shekels so he could fly supplies into Zaire to feed and treat Rwandan refugees. And boy, did the Jeezo bucks flow! The money went straight to Pat’s “Operation Blessing” charitable tax-dodge---er, that is, wing---and he dispatched a few airplanes full of goodies over Africa-way.
          Except. . .he didn’t. Well, he did, but the real purpose of the planes was to ship lots of nifty high-tech mining equipment for an outfit called African Development Corp. You know, you develop Africa by digging up its precious gems---that sort of thing.
          Well, bust my buttons if the principal executive and sole shareholder of African Devilopment---er, Development---Corp. wasn't. . .
          Holy Duplicity, Batman!
          Don’t believe it? Check with the Virginia attorney general’s office, who investigated the whole deal, I guess because Batman wasn’t available.
          Now if you think that Bobblehead was punished for this sin, or that his viewers lost faith in him, or that the attorney general prosecuted him for fraud---or that Gawdallmightee put a hurricane on his ass---well, oh ye of little faith. This is America, land of the fee. Robertson took $400 grand, which was allegedly the amount fleeced from his flock, and---no, he didn’t pay it back---he put it back into Operation Blessing.
          Essentially meaning that he covered the diamond flights out of his own pocket, or well, that it would look that way on the books. It’s just the old shell game, but it was enough to mollify the Virginia A.G. folks. They must be good Christians, too.
          As must be the people in charge of FEMA!
          We all know FEMA, the human relief government outfit headed by a guy who used to run horse shows, which recently worked so effectively to do exactly nothing for thousands of Americans who drowned and died of thirst in Louisiana, including lots of crippled people in rest homes, and sick people in hospitals.
          FEMA, you see, really likes Bobblehead. Likes him so much that it listed Operation Blessing right on its website, as one of the bestest places you could donate money to, in order to help the poor hurricane victims! Yup, Pat “Diamonds are a Christian’s Best Friend” Robertson’s charitable tax-dodge---er, wing---was listed right behind the American Red Cross!
          That’s FEMA, the Faith-based Emergency Management Agency.
          Of course, you know that Bobblehead learned his lesson from that nasty wrist-slapping he took from the Virgina A.G., so none of the donated money will go to ancillary purposes like, oh, flying the last oysters out of N’awlins so Pat can have a little fais do do.
           But wait! FEMA just removed Operation Blessing from its site, because the press got wind of the whole deal and revealed that---well, guess who gets Operation Blessing’s biggest charitable donations! C’mon, guess!
          The Red Cross? Don’t be silly! The Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs of America? Get real, now. Kids with big bellies and flies in their eyes? Nope---why, it’s Bobblehead himself who is blessed with Operation Blessing’s biggest bucks! Swear to Gawdallmightee! In fiscal 2004, $885,000 hard-earned donated public dollars were given to the needy, destitute, and starving folks at. . .
          CBN. Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network!
          Say hallelujah!
          And fire up the goddamn Bat-signal. Now.

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