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(April 7, 2004)

        Ever see that goofy John Carpenter science-fiction movie, "They Live!"? If you haven't, the premise has to do with evil extra-terrestrial zombie-oid creepos taking over the world. Only certain people wearing certain sunglasses can see them. Otherwise, they look like perfectly normal, respectable humans.You know, like Michael Jackson. (Okay, not the best example.)
        Put those shades on, though, and it's Alien Freak City. Here's a plot summary from the Internet:
        "John Nada, a down-on-his-luck construction worker, discovers a pair of special sunglasses. Wearing them, he is able to see the world as it really is: people being bombarded by media and government with messages like 'Stay Asleep,' 'No Imagination,' 'Submit to Authority.' Even scarier is that he is able to see that some usually normal- looking people are in fact ugly aliens in charge of the massive campaign to keep humans subdued."
         Have a sneaking suspicion what I'm getting at here, do you?
         You see, not only are there ugly aliens everywhere in "They Live!", but they turn out to be the most important members of society---lawyers, directors, newscasters, mayors, government bureaucrats---and yes, they are dedicated to keeping humans in blissful ignorance while ruling the world with subliminal mind-control.
       Folks, I am John Nada. I don't need the glasses; the see-through spook-vision is built in. It's a lonely condition, and it is my hope that there are others out there who are similarly afflicted (please write!). I mean, I don't know if Bush and Cheney hail from Andromeda, or if Condi Rice winged in from Arcturus. I doubt that Wolfowitz and Rove come from anywhere more extra-terrestrial than Ivy League universities, but when I see them, I see ugly authoritarian aliens. (Is it a private joke that they refer to themselves as "The Vulcans?")

Rip Post Rebuts the Prez!

The Rip Post Editorial Board responds to Bush's Iraq Anniversary Speech.

        Of course, I've always been this way. I look at sitcoms and see monsters, troglodytes, garish beast- clowns from the 8th dimension. I glance into surround- ing vehicles at stoplights and see slavering wolves, witless chimpanzees, covetous vragos, obedient automaton trolls. What's more, I can read their minds! Yes, yes, I know it's fantastic, but it's true. Unfortunate- ly, the reading tends to be fairly uniform and uninter- esting. Things like "Accelerate quickly---got to get nail polish!" and "I wanna eat" and "Uh! Uh!" and "Nice ass!" and "Wonder if I have anything hanging out of my nose" and "Cut in front of me, and I'll kill you!" and "Why is that jerk hippie in that junker staring at me?" and "When will I have sex?" and "So f---ing what if I'm on a cell phone, ass----."
       To my poor eyes, billboards selling cigarettes and SUVs actually proclaim things like "YOU WANT THIS, DUNDERHEAD," "BE A GOOD LITTLE CONSUMER," and "OWN THIS AND YOUR FRIENDS WILL THINK YOU ARE COOL."
        As for the media, well, I turn on the evening news and I hear "DOESN'T MATTER. . .BE ENTER- TAINED" and "'EXTREME MAKEOVER' WILL BE ON IN A FEW MINUTES." Peter Jennings, incidentally, has three eyes and a trunk. Britt Hume and O' Reilly and all those people on Fox are leprosied studies in teeth, saliva, and dripping blood.
        On the other hand, jabbering drunks and homeless people, perhaps not surprisingly, look to me like Roman emperors, Elizabethan noblemen, princesses.
        The point of all this is that the Bush administration has brought my "gift" to the fore, as never before, and I am frightened by what I see. To whit:
        When the President says "we will stay the course" and stumbles through Xanax-stoned sentences about "the murderers" in Iraq, I hear---just like John Nada---things like "STAY ASLEEP" and "WE'RE THE GOOD GUYS." When he says things like, "I believe God has called us into action," I hear "WE WILL WIPE HEATHENS OFF THE FACE OF THE EARTH IN THE NAME OF JESUS, IF WE HAVE TO NUKE THIS WHOLE F---ING PLACE."
        Whenever I see the President smiling, standing in front of an orgy of flags and stalwart, redoubtable words like, oh, "INTEGRITY" or sugary slogans like "NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND," I see things altogether differently. For one thing, Bush's $14,000 Oxford suit is nothing but hideous, filthy rags. And his neatly combed hair is a matted tangle unseen since Lon Chaney Sr. donned that Quasimodo wig. The smile is an insectoid mouthfull of patronizing contempt. The eyes belong to a cornered badger, and the backdrop words actually say things like "BIG DADDY," "BE COMFORTABLE," "GO BACK TO YOUR BURGERS AND SIX-PACKS AND CHURCHES."
        All those "terror alerts?" Heh, heh. . .Here's how they really read: "BE AFRAID! BE VERY AFRAID!" And "GIVE UP YOUR RIGHTS AND FREE WILL AND WE WILL TAKE CARE OF YOU" and, above all, "SUBMIT TO AUTHORITY." When Aschcroft talks about the certainty of a coming terrorist attack on U.S. soil, I hear "WE REALLY DON'T GIVE A DAMN ABOUT YOU BECAUSE WE ARE ENGAGED IN THE BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON."
        What's more, the flag behind Bush---which has throughout my life looked so beautiful---is utilitarian, sinister, manipulative. You know, they way those Nazi flags were behind Adolf and Goebbels. This disturbs me greatly, as Old Glory has always been a lovely work of art in my eyes, and symbolized only good stuff. Funny thing: it still looks perfectly grand anywhere except behind Bush or Cheney or other members of this administration.
        Then there is Condi Rice. Nice looking lady? Uh-uh. I'm telling you, she has winding, sharpened fingernails and a head full of snakes. Yes, a Gorgon! Well, I could go on here and tell you how Dick Cheney has the face of a gila monster, and how Rumsfeld speaks out of his armpit, and Ashcroft is actually a kind of giant, talking kidney, and White House spokesman Scott McClellan has little hooves and merely repeats the same phrase over and over and over---"I WILL TELL YOU NOTHING AND YOU WILL LIKE IT"---but that would get boring fast. (Oh, okay, one more:: Laura Bush has shiny green gills and a two-foot tongue!)
       I must, however, take a moment to share with you one recent incident. You are free to dismiss it as paranoia, shizophrenia, hallucination, or even worse: liberalism. I merely report:
        When I heard Richard Clarke's testimony---by the way, Clarke looked perfectly normal---I got to thinking about how the Clinton Administration vigorously and repeatedly urged---pleaded, even---that the Bush Administration make terrorism and Osama Bin-Laden its top priority. I remembered Clinton advisor Sandy Berger explaining this years ago, and mused then about how most of the press and public dismissed Berger's comments as blame-shifting and sour grapes. And I got to thinking about all the massive evidence that irrefutably shows that the Bush Administration did absolutely nothing about terrorism and bin-Laden before 9/11. And then I remembered how the Project for a New American Century---the detailed battle plan for this administration, including the permanent occupation of the Middle East and seizure of oil---called for a "Pearl Harbor-like event" to galvanize public support for the hegemonical, bellicose, theocratic, and potentially dictatorial policies of Bush, Cheney and the neocon cabal.
        Small wonder, then, that when Bush said that his administration lacked necessary information to prevent 9/11, I heard this instead:
        "I hope to hell they never find out that Dick and the rest of us just sat here, waiting for a terrorist attack, in order to panic the public into buying our plan. The thing is, we just thought Osama might blow up a gas station, or a mall. . ."
        And then he scratched his left mandible.
        They live!
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