Snapshot

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I’m going to take poison. Every time I read the headlines, I want to take poison. Always they are a concentrated tale of avarice, wretched judgment, murderousness, and lugubrious taste. I’m thinking potassium cyanide. To sleep, perchance to dream….

Headlines: “Chrysler Heads Back to Bankruptcy Court Friday”; “Crash Diet: GM Getting in Shape for Chapter Eleven”’ “Economy Sinks at a 5.7 Percent Rate in 1Q.”

We’re a Second World country and working on Third, I tell you. We probably won’t be ale to make our own cars before long. The economy is croaking. So what we need to do is have a lot of expensive foreign wars. Anybody can see it. You can’t run your own country? Then kill a bunch of thirteenth-century peasants. That’ll fix it.

I think I may have to take over the economy. Yes, I hear you asking, “Fred, what arrogance, even by your vertiginous standards. You aren’t an economist. What makes you think you know anything about economics?”

To which I reply, “What makes you think economists know anything about economics? Who got us into this mess, me or economists? I have never bought anything on credit in my life, and I have zero debt. Would you rather have me running things, or economists?”

Headline: “North Korea Tests Missiles.” Oh good. North Korea has the Bomb and, now, missiles of short range. Short is how long the range is to Seoul and the American bases in South Korea. Bad juju, says my astute military mind. And so Hillary Clinton, former First Housewife turned Millie Metternich and expert on all things foreign, wants sanctions against North Korea. This makes perfect sense. They’ve got nuclear weapons, so let’s piss them off. Sanctions will have no effect on their Bomb, but may make them desperate enough to use it. What could be a better idea?

Remember when George W. Huffenpuff was never going to let the malignant Northerners have the Bomb? No, indeed. He was going to pyong their yang if they even thought about it. That worked, didn’t it? Now President Blackbush is making threatening noises at Korea as if he could do anything about it. He’s going to make those heathen behave, and put the cost on the national credit card with the Bank of China.

Headline: “Army Chief: US Can Fight N. Korea if Necessary.” Yes. General George Casey, Army chief of staff, says we’re ready. In the accompanying photo he has the daft look of a Moonie Boy Scout. I have thought that officers must be issued some form of psychological disturbance when they sign up. Anyway, the US economy is rattling its death rattle, industry either leaves the country or goes tits sunward, America is now the world’s greatest debtor nation, and this dazed silver-haired bull dog wants another war. Why? What’s wrong with the wars we’ve got?

Headline: “Israel Dismisses US Demand on Settlements.” I guess that doesn’t leave much doubt about who controls Washington. Israel, being utterly dependent on the United States for its existence, is the one country that Washington should be able to dictate to. If the US were an independent country, and told the Knesset to wear tutus and toe shoes, in ten minutes they’d be grunting their way through Swan Lake. I don’t know, though. Given how the US manages its own foreign policy, I can see why the Israelis might not be enthusiastic about American suggestions.

Headline: “Senator Lautenberg: US Won’t Be Upset if Israel Strikes Iran.” Well, Senator Lautenberg, presumably an Arab, won’t be upset. But with which Americans has he consulted? Me? I guess I missed his call.

Real answer: He has consulted with Congress, 535 commoditized temple monkeys pawing through the ruins of America in search of bribes. The bicameral whorehouse on Capitol Hill works like a vending machine. You put coins in the slot, select your law, and the desired legislation slides out.

Thing is, Israel can’t attack Iran without an American OK, which Iran knows, so that puts us at war with Iran, and our Iraqi colony shares a long border with Iran, while Israel doesn’t. Something to think about. Should we ever take up thinking.

Headline: “Study: Israeli Attack on Iran Unlikely to Work.” If I were an Israeli, I’d worry about that too. Right now, Iran and Israel are making unpleasant noises at each other, but no more. What if Israel, that least Jewish of countries, attacks but doesn’t kill Iran’s nuclear program? Bombing is an act of war. It would give Iran every moral and legal right to bomb back with anything it had, or might make soon. Kerblooey.

Both America and Israel are accustomed to attacking countries that can’t hit back. There is such a thing as getting too comfortable.

Headline: “White House: Solomayor Says She Chose Word Poorly.” She is Blackbush’s choice for the Supreme Mausoleum. Court, I meant. Apparently what she said was that a “wise Latina woman” would reach better decisions than “a white male.” Oh. Then why have a Supreme Court at all? We could just replace it with a wise Latina woman. I wonder who she has in mind.

My thought was, oh god, more smug misandry. More man-bashing from an angry brown female who doesn’t know how her car works. I’m happy with Latinos on the Court, or —as, or women or blacks or Jews. But not another wielder of mortal boredom, blathering about white males.

See why cyanide appeals?

Headline: “Pakistani Army Retakes Largest Town in Swat Valley.”

Once more we see the iron claws of the Pentagon digging at the eyeballs of backward countries. Have we no shame? (No.) We want the gas of the Caspian Basin so we invade Afghanistan, yelling and honking about democracy and terror. Next we start murdering Pakistanis from the air with really fun drones, and now we force the Pakis to kill their own people. This is the Southeast Asian paradigm. We killed a million Vietnamese for no particular reason, savaged Laos, brought Pol Pot to power, and then went home to swim at Malibu. Iran, however, is a rogue country.

New headline, just popped up: “Gates: Nuclear Armed North Korea Not Acceptable.” What the hell does that mean? They are nuclear-armed. You either nuke them, invade them, or accept them. Which? Anything any country does is acceptable unless you are prepared and able not to accept it. Fizzing and blowing serves only to advertise impotence.

Headline: “Swine Flu in Ecuador.” I guess that explains why it isn’t in Mexico: It’s somewhere else. For weeks Mexico has been standing on its head to repel the dread epidemic. Schools closed, bars closed, public events were canceled, the government handed out little masks. No flu. I’m thinking of importing a case and charging people to look at it. It would be a bigger draw than a three-headed goat. We have yet to see a case of flu.

I can’t stand it. I’m off to Farmacia Guadalajara for something deadly. There are limits.

Fred Reed is author of Nekkid in Austin: Drop Your Inner Child Down a Well and the just-published A Brass Pole in Bangkok: A Thing I Aspire to Be. Visit his blog.

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