Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Mr. Bush the First Goes to War

The following journal entry is from January 1991:

Bush has gone to war. Always obscene, but what is particularly obscene this time is the immediate media transformation of this tragedy into spectacle. No new observation, this. Yet the process this time is further down the road than in Vietnam. This time, big t.v. studs—Rather, Brokaw—jaw with big army studs while all the world is supposed to look on breathless. It’s no more and no less than a football game, the telecaster conferring with the coach.

And what coaches. The living dead, swaggering and fit for the finest board rooms, these generals stand before the camera and deliver grave messages. They love it, love their attention. It’s as if the real scene behind the scenes is finally before us—these men who run it all behind the scenes finally on camera to tell us who and what and why. I don’t recall any war in which this has occurred so prominently as in this “war.”

Why so? Two terms of Reagan have made the always passive, always hypnotized American public even more susceptible to media manipulation. Comments in the newspaper today about the job our boys are doing—awesome to see the planes take off, just have to deliver those bombs, business to do. The sense of suppressed excitement that something is finally happening. Stay tuned, folks—the next installment of WWIII airs shortly. Popcorn in the bomb shelters.

+ + + + +

Always the same mideast city as a backdrop,
Muddy against the screen behind the t v man
Asking us to humanize the bombs
In the comfort of our living room.
Play by play the war unfolds,
Red starburst streams on maps
Fondled o so lovingly by Mr. General
So and so.
His pointer trembles with suppressed delight
That at last now today Jan. 17 1991
We're finally doing something
Kicking some oilgreasy Eyeraqui ass
To shout it to the world, America is BACK!

And how.
Rambo couldn't say it better--
Kaboom! Kachuga! Pow, pop, pow!
The movies pale beside this theater
Of George's little war.

While mamas pray
And widows weep
And justice cries to heaven for one day.