The Rip Post                                Riposte Archive


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(June 1, 2006)

THIS: Eight previously unknown invertebrate creatures have been discovered in an underwater cave in central Israel.

THAT: Dick Cheney was not among them.

: Description of new video game coming this Christmas---Imagine: you are a foot soldier in a paramilitary group whose purpose is to remake America as a Christian theocracy, and establish its worldly vision of the dominion of Christ over all aspects of life. You are issued high-tech military weaponry, and instructed to engage the infidel on the streets of New York City.

THAT: More description---You are on a mission - both a religious mission and a military mission -- to convert or kill Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, gays, and anyone who advocates the separation of church and state - especially moderate, mainstream Christians. Your mission is "to conduct physical and spiritual warfare"; all who resist must be taken out with extreme prejudice. You have never felt so powerful, so driven by a purpose: you are 13 years old.

THE OTHER: I see trees of green. . .red roses, too. . .

THIS: Charles McGee, state director of New Hampshire Repugnican Party, pleads guilty to conspiracy involving illegal phone tampering in a political campaign, serves seven months, then goes right back to work at Repugnican political marketing firm Spectrum Monthly & Printing---teaching campaign tactics.

THAT: Twenty-three prominent federal government officials are involved in the exposure of CIA agent Valerie Plame, who was working up information on Iran’s nuclear program. This is textbook treason. None have been convicted of anything, most are still in office.

THE OTHER: I see them bloom. . .for me and you. . .

THIS: ABC News poll finds 83 percent of the country believes global warming is a serious problem. Super hurricanes, massive loss of coastlines around the world, environmental mayhem seem all but assured in the next 50 years.

THAT: With the country already bankrupt from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, in hock to China and the Saudis, Fox news asks, “Al Gore’s global warming movie: could it destroy the economy?”

THE OTHER: And I think to myself. . .what a wonderful world. . .


THIS: The coach of Iraq’s tennis team and two players were shot and killed by militants who objected to their wearing shorts.

THAT: What was it that Bush and Queen Condi said? Their democracy won’t look exactly like ours?

THE OTHER: Sometimes I think we could use the Iraq fashion police.

THIS: McDonald’s CEO Jeff Skinner says that fast food is unduly criticized, and that McDonald's is a leader in food safety and quality, charitable giving, animal welfare and the environment.

THAT: Seen Jeff lately?

THIS: Something like 15 to 20 percent of Amazon rainforest has been cleared for Mcsoybean farms and Mccattle raising. The cattle grow up to be Big Macs (and other burgers.) The soybeans grow up to be eaten by Mcchickens, who grow up to be McNuggets (after a fabulous Mclifespan of 37 whole days!) Genetically modified corn grows up to become the McVeggie, the Big Mac patty, etc. High fructose corn sweetener is in the Mcbun, the Mcsoda, the Mcketchup, the Mcsauce, and probably the Mcbathroom fixtures.


THIS: McSkinner said McDonald’s will soon “ramp up” a healthier menu in view of the publication of “Chew On This: Everything You Don’t Want to Know About Fast Food,” by Eric Schlosser and Charles Wilson.

THAT: The book, among other things, reveals that: a fast-food hamburger may contain meat from hundreds, even thousands, of different cows (not sure which parts), each can of soda has ten teaspoons of sugar, chickens are sometimes killed by being stomped and/or thrown into walls, waste from cattle and chicken slaughter houses is sometimes added to chicken feed.

THE OTHER: McDonald’s. I’m lovin’ it!

THIS: GAO announces that Bush’s programs for the voluntary reduction of pollution have failed.

THAT: “I am shocked, shocked to find that there is gambling going on here!” ---Claude Raines, “Casablanca.”

THIS: News item---“Self-help” books/DVDs/lectures are an $8.5 billion industry.

THAT: Tony Robbins, Dr. Phil, Dr. Laura, Suze Ormand---they’re helping themselves, all right.

THIS: It’s an addiction, much as psychotherapy often is. In the book, Sham: How the Self-Help Movement Made America Helpless (Crown Publishing Group, 2005), author Steve Salerno explains how the talks and tapes offer a momentary boost of inspiration that fades after a few weeks, turning buyers into repeat customers.

THAT: Steve is helping himself, too.

THIS: Comparing his role fighting terrorism to President Truman's leadership at the beginning of the Cold War, President Bush told hundreds of new Army officers Saturday that they were entering a "great struggle" destined to persist long after he leaves office.

THAT: Scientists analyzing the skull of a hobbit-like human found in Indonesia determined that the creature was smart enough to make stone tools despite its small brain.

THIS: Increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere causing global warming will enormously increase the amount of poison ivy in the world.

THAT: You’re gonna need an ocean. . .of calamine lotion. . .

THIS: “President” Bush learned of the execution of two dozen innocent Iraqi family members by U.S. Marines through the news media.

THAT: He’s finally started reading some newspapers.

THIS: New York columnist Taki Theodoracopulos notes that all the grand sounds of the great American city---trains, docks, ships, foot traffic---are gone, supplanted by traffic. In their place: “The city hums all right, in a constant hungry roar, but the sounds are those of Delhi and Calcutta, Abidjan and Lagos, Cairo and Beirut. And Mexico City.”

THAT: Toyota recalls 320,000 Priuses.

THE OTHER: Won’t help.

THIS: The Rip Post has for weeks been trying to write a column summarizing exactly how this country has gone nuts, bonkers, crackers, around the bend. How everyone is dealing without a deck, driving without a car, whistling without Dixie.

THAT: A guy named Stephen Pizzo has done it! His piece is entitled “The Clownification of America.” He’s right. If you just think of everyone you see every day on the street, on the tube, in cars, as clowns, it takes all the pressure off.

THE OTHER: Play "Yackety Sax," the theme music from “Benny Hill” in your head, and it even gets to be fun.

THIS: Writes Pizzo: “I flashed back to the 1967 cult TV series ‘The Prisoner,’ starring Patrick McGoohan -- a British spy kidnapped and imprisoned on an island with an Orwellian-like society. Each morning radios, newspapers and speakers announcd it was ‘another wonderful day on the island.’ Every day was another wonderful day. There never was a bad day -- never mind that everyone on the island was a prisoner. And so it has come to pass on our island, where the papers, radios and televisions no longer differentiate between news and entertainment. Where ‘American Idol’ finals get page 1 treatment and genocide in Darfur is pushed deep inside the paper in the shadow of a 1/2-page Best Buy ad trumpeting a sale on iPod accessories.”

THAT: The Rip Post makes a habit of viewing the entire “Prisoner” series---which is being remade---once every couple of years, and has done so for decades. It is the most creative television program ever made, and one of the greatest statements on film in championing privacy, individual freedom, and courage.

THE OTHER: Item---New CIA Director Hayden Plans Massive Spying on Americans. Item---Attorney General Gonzalez Wants All Internet Activity Tracked.

THIS: Be seeing you.

THAT: And you.

THIS: Department of Homeland “Security” head Michael Chertoff cuts off $83 million from defense and security for the the prime 9/11 target: New York City. The other prime target, Washington, D.C. also took a huge cut.

THAT: Item---Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld wants $65 billion more for the war in Iraq.

THE OTHER: Scientists analyzing the skull of a hobbit-like human found in Indonesia determined that the creature was smart enough to make stone tools despite its small brain.

THIS: The cuts were based on the judgement that New York City has no giant landmarks worth protecting---not the U.N. building, the Empire State Building, or the Statue of Liberty.

THAT: Rumor is that the Chertoff added $100 million for the protection of Chicago's giant landmark, Oprah Winfrey.

THIS: The New York Daily News called for the immediate firing of Chertoff, with a great front-page denunciation.

THAT: Who says there are no hard-hitting papers left?

THE OTHER: Chertoff could have a second career in vampire flicks.

Chertoff                                      Nosferatu

THIS: “President” Bush’s newly appointed top domestic advisor, Karl Zinmeister, recently wrote of the war in Iraq: “What the establishment media covering Iraq have utterly failed to make clear today is this central reality: With the exception of periodic flare-ups in isolated corners, our struggle in Iraq as warfare is over. Egregious acts of terror will continue -- in Iraq as in many other parts of the world. But there is now no chance whatever of the U.S. losing this critical guerrilla war.”

THAT: I see. . .it’s not a war---it’s “warfare.” No wait---“Iraq as warfare is over.” I see, so it’s not warfare, either. It’s now just “egregious acts of terror” and “periodic flare-ups.” (Wonder if that includes Marine executions of civilians.) Okay. . .No, wait---it’s really a “critical guerilla war.”

THE OTHER: Zinmeister? Spinmeister.

THIS: Of course, the Zinmeister is also a great defender of that hallowed Chinese---I mean, American---chain stuporstore, Wal-Mart.

THAT: I like columnist Mark Morford’s description of Wal-Mart, where countless millions of unemployed, outsourced Americans shop: “They are the George Bushes of the retail world -- drunk with power, cheaply made and full of crap. Not to mention that vaguely nauseating feeling, when you walk through their (or almost any) big-box store, that your soul is being slowly coated in rat saliva.”

THIS: News item---India eunuchs demand fair share of government jobs.

THAT: God, what a straight line.

THIS: Item---Batwoman is coming back in a news comic book---as a lesbian.

THAT: The colors of the rainbow. . .so pretty in the sky. . .

THIS: Michelle Goldberg in Alternet writes: “In addition to the “Christian” war on evolution, there will be campaigns to teach Christian nationalist history in public schools. An elective course developed by the National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools, a right-wing evangelical group, is already being offered by more than 300 school districts in 36 states.”

THAT: Are also in the faces. . .of the people passing by. . .

THIS: 89 Guantanamo prisoners, all being held indefinitely without charges by the United States of America, are now on a hunger strike.

THAT: I see friends shakin’ hands. . .sayin’ ‘how do you do?’. . .

THIS: Marines shoot and kill two women driving where they should not have been driving in Iraq. One was pregnant.

THAT: They’re really sayin’. . .I love you. . .

THIS: Bush acknowledges 30,000 civilian deaths in Iraq since the war began---men, women, children. Others put the figure between 100,000 and 250,000. A Johns Hopkins University study said that most civilian deaths are women and children.

THAT: I hear babies cryin’. . .I watch them grow. . .

THIS: Deaths from global warming will double in just 25 years---to 300,000 people a year. Sea levels could rise by more than 20 feet with the loss of shelf ice in Greenland and Antarctica, destroying coastal areas worldwide. Heat waves will be longer and hotter. Droughts and (constantly burning) wildfires will occur more often. The Arctic Ocean could be ice free in summer by 2050. More than a million species worldwide could be gone by 2050.

THAT: They’ll learn more. . .than I’ll ever know. . .

THE OTHER: And I think to myself. . .What a wonderful world.

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