Thursday, October 28, 2004

The Axe Man Cometh

The Mayor of Simpleton
Whenever Joe Scarborough - MSNBC's Mayor of Simpleton - offers a piece of advise on the "flyover states," a nation of crazed heartland whackjobs come to the mentally incompetent deduction that The Mayor speaks to the common man so well that they regurgitate these moronic stylings in the company lunchroom. Maybe Joe should have stayed in Congress, they say, because he's such a strong GOP figure.

Nope. Forget about it. The Mayor doesn't have a sane bone in his body. His fastidious and maniacal bearing should be inspected by the FBI's Behavioral Sciences Unit for evidence of anti-social personality disorder. Clear affirmation of his megalomania can be found in the opening sequence of his talking heads show, where The Mayor is shown in a military flight suit like his imbecilic patron saint. But The Mayor never served in the military.

Let's face it: The Mayor is more pathological than Marion Barry - when he was smoking crack.

Tonight he phoned into his own television show -- the one where MSNBC puts on its tinfoil hats for an hour with Swift Boat vets, thuggish campaign operatives and political hacks -- and The Mayor was resplendent with tales of excitement all cutting the preznut's way in Florida. He must have been busy with the GOP voter suppression efforts already underway, because he sounded somewhat distracted.

Ever notice how Kathryn Harris and The Mayor never appear in the same room at the same time? Rumors are afloat. Rumors that The Mayor and the former Florida Secretary of State are the same person. It recalls a Michael Caine movie, Dressed to Kill, featuring a wannabe transsexual killer who's compelled to slash up any attractive female who reminds him--the blinding horror!--that he's still very much a man.

And, yes, The Mayor has a murder in his past -- just like another prominent character in this year's election. (Hint for fun: She's in the hot tub and she goes by the name "Pickles" when T-boning with a pickup truck.)

"The people of Florida are going to send a message" The Mayor cackled. "The preznut is moving this electorate to - "

The pipe dream is the "essential action" that unifies the Florida campaign's motley crew of down-and-out characters. It takes on a number of permutations. In the case of Larry (The Mayor), Hugo (Brother Jeb), and Parritt's mother (Kathryn Harris, also played by Scarborough), it figures as a dream of political salvation; Hickey's (Dubya's) fantasy of salvation is more explicitly religious. Most of the other characters belong to what Larry sardonically describes as the "tomorrow movement," each sentimentally reminiscing about their glory days and pledging to return to them tomorrow.

Hickey will arrive on the scene to demystify these pipe dreams. Only by killing tomorrow can man achieve peace with himself. This murder of the fantasy of tomorrow will condemn the characters to a sort of living death. Moreover, Hickey's gospel of salvation will ultimately reveal itself to be a pipe dream of another sort, one that enables the evasion of guilt.

The campaign's primary symbol is the Axe Man. The phrase, "The Axe Man Cometh," recalls the story of the wise and foolish virgins in Matthew 25:6 and its description of the coming of the Savior: "But at midnight there was a cry made, Behold the bridegroom cometh." The messianic figure of the play is certainly Hickey. In killing the fantasy of tomorrow, this messiah does not bring salvation, however, but death. As Larry notes: "Death was the Axe Man Hickey called to his home!"

As told in the Book of Daniel (5: 1–6, 25–8), Belshazzar, King of Babylon, gives a banquet for his nobles, blasphemously serving wine in the sacred vessels his father had looted from the Temple in Jerusalem. Hickey will call the party to judgment for drinking from their pipe dream vessels, bringing them to their ruin.

Sometimes art does imitate politics and the level of high theater has an Enquiring sense of mind.

Which leaves the final bitter point. Where has The Mayor been and how does he know how the campaign is cutting way down there in Florida? Did he organize a few of the indoor Klanish rallies for the GOP? Is he on the Bush Cheney payroll? Some important questions that will probably go unanswered, because The Mayor's sudden disappearance from GE's nightly conspiracy theory showroom says more about the preznut's chances in Florida than even Rove dares to imagine.

Next time you travel to Florida, ask somebody down there if they ever saw The Mayor and Kathryn Harris in the same room.


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