Browsing the blog archivesfor the day Thursday, August 31st, 2006.


Before I Forget

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Bush Administration, economy, workers

I had planned to blog about this Harold Meyerson column on the devaluing of labor from yesterday’s Washington Post and ran out of time. But be sure to read it. In a similar vein — “America Eats Its Young” by Garrison Keillor in Salon.

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Long Live the King

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Bush Administration, entertainment and popular culture

A fictional docudrama made for British television features the assassination of President Bush in October 2007.

Death of a President, shot in the style of a retrospective documentary, looks at the effect the assassination of Bush has on America in light of its ‘War on Terror’.

The 90 minutes feature explores who could have planned the murder, with a Syrian-born man wrongly put in the frame.

Peter Dale, head of More4, which is due to air the film on October 9, said the drama was a “thought-provoking critique” of contemporary US society.

He said: “It’s an extraordinarily gripping and powerful piece of work, a drama constructed like a documentary that looks back at the assassination of George Bush as the starting point for a very gripping detective story.

“It’s a pointed political examination of what the War on Terror did to the American body politic.

“I’m sure that there will be people who will be upset by it but when you watch it you realise what a sophisticated piece of work it is.

“It’s not sensationalist, or simplistic but a very thought-provoking, powerful drama. I hope people will see that the intention behind it is good.”

The film will premier at the Toronto Film Festival in September and was written and directed by Gabriel Range.

Before Michelle Malkin sees this and uses up the world’s supply of exclamation points blogging about it, let me say that I sincerely do not want President Bush to be assassinated.

I’m not saying it was wrong to make “Death of a President,” which of course I haven’t seen (and don’t expect to anytime soon, as I sincerely doubt it will be shown on American television). The work may or may not be good drama and may or may not make some excellent points about American political culture. I’m just saying I don’t want Bush to be assassinated. Really, truly. Here are the top ten reasons why:

10. Regular television programming would be pre-empted for days, except maybe for the Super Bowl.

9. News coverage of the assassination and state funeral would shine the rosiest light possible on the President’s memory, causing some viewers to think maybe he wasn’t so bad, after all. (In fact, this might be the only way Bush could get his approval numbers over 50 percent again.)

8. Darryl Worley would record a song about it.

7. For the next several months you wouldn’t be able to pass a supermarket tabloid rack without seeing pictures of Bush and Jesus — together forever.

6. You’d have to listen to your wingnut father-in-law rant about it all through Thanksgiving dinner.

5. The Right collectively would become even more paranoid than it is already.

4. For the rest of your life, you’d have to listen to people referring to Bush as a “martyred president.”

3. The assassination would fuel a whole new generation of conspiracy theorists.

2. Bush wouldn’t live long enough to see what historians will write about his presidency.

1. Dick Cheney.

Need I say more?

Update: Gracious, poor Rick Moran of Right Wing Nut House came down with the vapors over my post, above, which I figured even a rightie would recognize as mere silliness. (Some people have no sense of humor.)

He also says “Malkin has a tour de force roundup of the history of lefty assassination fantasies.” So I took a look and was stunned to see the first entry: “Sarah Vowell’s best-selling murder travelogue of assassinated Republican presidents, Assassination Vacation.”

Wow, talk about distortion! Vowell’s book describes her travels — something of a pilgrimmage — visiting monuments, museums, and myriad historical sites connected to the first three presidential assassinations — Lincoln, Garfield, and McKinley. As it happens these guys were all Republicans, but it is hardly Vowell’s fault that no Democratic presidents were assassinated in the 19th century. Vowell’s schtick is to find little-known or fogotten places and facts and dredge them out of the history memory hole, and Kennedy’s assassination is too recent — and still too much discussed — to have given her much to write about. It’s funny but also thoughtful and respectful — affectionate, even — toward the presidents she discusses. This book is especially recommended for history nerds.

If this is the best Malkin can come up with in the way of “lefty assassination fantasies,” that pretty much proves Dave Neiwert’s contention that righties express wishes for death or physical harm of their political opponents much more often than lefties do.

Her other examples were :

* A novel I never heard of by an author I never heard of — Nicholson Baker’s Checkpoint. I cannot comment as I have not read the novel. I googled “Nicholson Baker” but found no clues about his political opinions.

* Something Randi Rhodes said in 2004.

* A comment by a Guardian columnist, Charlie Brooker, also from 2004:

On November 2, the entire civilised world will be praying, praying Bush loses. And Sod’s law dictates he’ll probably win, thereby disproving the existence of God once and for all. The world will endure four more years of idiocy, arrogance and unwarranted bloodshed, with no benevolent deity to watch over and save us. John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, John Hinckley Jr – where are you now that we need you?

I’ll let that stand without comment. The rest of Malkin’s “evidence” consists of four examples of “art” — a poster, a T-shirt, a button, and a hand-drawn protest sign — wishing violence on the President. I have never seen these anywhere but on Malkin’s blog.

And that’s it. Hell, you can get more examples of rightie assassination fantasies from Ann Coulter alone.

Have I mentioned before that righties are pathetic? I believe I have.

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