Sunday, January 02, 2005

The Impossibility of Reason and A Meaningless Confession

a true american psycho
"I have all the characteristics of a human being: blood, flesh, skin, hair; but not a single, clear, identifiable emotion, except for greed and disgust. Something horrible is happening inside of me and I don't know why. My nightly bloodlust has overflown into my days. I feel lethal, on the verge of frenzy. I think my mask of sanity is about to slip."
- Patrick Bateman from American Psycho

I have to admit that it was Dubya who got me involved in politics again, and now that he's getting hit from all sides, suddenly it's starting to feel like it has all been worthwhile. He is a freak in the truest sense of the word. As long as Dubya remains in the White House - and he will hide in Crawford more now, and will probably stay completely away once the bitter end draws near - the reality-based community could always find solace in the knowledge that we know where the universal foe slithers, somewhere alongside the ditch of his own mind. There is nowhere else to look, for evil lurks inside the soul of our preznut ready to strike at any moment - like the Patrick Bateman character in American Psycho, played with wonderful sociopathic precision.

"There is an idea of a Dubya; some kind of abstraction," he will tell you in a private moment. "But there is no real me: only an entity, something illusory. And though I can hide my cold gaze, and you can shake my hand and feel flesh gripping yours and maybe you can even sense our lifestyles are probably comparable... I simply am not there."

I have had my own blood feud with Dubya since he entered national politics and disembowled John McCain on the backroads of South Carolina, but I am not worried that I will end up in Hell beside him for it. We have all joined the ride with that vile little bastard, whether we liked it or not, and we will be better people for having survived his time. Dubya has that Nixonian quality of making his enemies seem more honorable than they might be in real life; and therefore, anyone who opposes him shares a strange sense of brotherhood. All of my closest friends and allies share a hyperbolic disgust for the man. My first mate, Dr. Carlos Mongrel, hates him, entire blogs are dedicated to this hate, talk shows are filled with hate on both sides of the political spectrum, and this vicious hatred has brought us all together in a fellowship of the damned.

"My need to engage in homicidal behavior on a massive scale cannot be corrected, but, ah, I have no other way to fulfill my needs."

That will be Dubya's legacy - the constant and undeniable hate in everyday life now choking off the air supply - and if you ever forgot how deep his rage is seeded, he would strike up and kill you just to spite his overbearing mother. Psychopaths are never short in the motivation department, Sparky. That is why God gave us the imagination to create electric chairs.

"You're a fucking ugly bitch. I want to stab you to death, and then play around with your blood."

Dubya likes to remind everyone that he's a Yale creation, and how he lasted there is anyone's guess. Most of his friends never went there - mostly because he had a difficult time fitting in with his classmates, along with a cultural estrangement from a campus torn apart by the Vietnam War - so it's hard to determine what exactly he did there beyond the C-minus work his campaign spin-meisters have spun into an ignorant Mother Goose tale told to children with free samples of black-tar heroin.

Patrick Bateman: He was into that whole Yale thing.
Donald Kimball: Yale thing?
Patrick Bateman: Yeah, Yale thing.
Donald Kimball: What whole Yale thing?
Patrick Bateman: Well, he was probably a closet homosexual who did a lot of cocaine. That whole Yale thing.

Many people have told me that words like freak and scumbag only serve to undermine the cause of open Political Discourse - which has some serious truth to it, but the usual complainers and Dubya apologists overlook the point. Dubya has been a product of the margins and the blind spots of honest political reporting, allowing him to sneak into the Oval Office almost without guilt or association. He appears so homespun to some people that they could vote for him based on a single photograph from the ranch. The tone and style are so American Wasteland, so Will Rogers giddy and high on prozac and xanax, that he has been able to slither through the political minefields and deep investigative analysis which has crippled many national figures on their climb to the summit. You have to get down and dirty with the rats and flies and cockroaches to take in Dubya completely, and the sudden moment of understanding is as revolting as it is excruciating.

Dubya's spirit will be with us until our minds snap or old age claims us - if you're me or the next guy on the street or John Kerry or Oprah Winfrey or Snoop Dogg or Larry King or the Olsen twins or your deranged half-brother the skinhead with a wall covered in Nazi propaganda facing a life long odyssey with hate in front of him. This is not a temporary thing. Your unborn children and the kids they will come to call their friends in the neighborhood will hear the name Dubya, and it will remind them of the ugly, neo-fascist essence that ended the American Century, because nobody from here on out will be left unscathed. Who knew that a pansexual freak from the bowels of West Texas was a megalo-crazed monster with a soul filled with torment and a presumptuous, greedy desire to be Boy King.

Patrick Bateman: Do you know what Ed Gein said about women?
David Van Patten: The maitre 'd at Canal Bar?
Patrick Bateman: No, serial killer, Wisconsin, the '50s.
Craig McDermott: So what did he say?
Patrick Bateman: "When I see a pretty girl walking down the street, I think two things. One part wants me to take her out, talk to her, be real nice and sweet and treat her right."
David Van Patten: And what did the other part think?
Patrick Bateman: "What her head would look like on a stick..."

That is Iraq, in synopsis, for readers with a deliriously short attention span. The total picture is a lot crazier and reads like the bizarre transcript from a kangaroo court. Anyone associated with the decision to invade is human scum, but only Powell was smart enough to waltz away free and clear his name. What's left now is a pack of barbaric, knuckle-dragging thugs with the moral capacity of brain-damaged ferrets on speed. But they will be Dubya's inner sanctum for the next few years, and he will not alter for a moment the rack of delusions that comprise his policy position on the Middle East unless he's caught red-handed on tape taking a bribe from Halliburton or Bechtel or Parsons or any of the Private Military Corporations currently vaporizing the Iraqi homeland into a parking lot for a McDonalds and a Circuit City.

"Hell is the impossibility of reason," the popular Vietnam allegory known as Platoon once admonished. And that's what Iraq now feels like ... Hell. And somewhere out there is the beast and he's hungry today, tonight and tomorrow.

How else are we to explain the administration's plans plans for lifetime detention of suspected terrorists, including hundreds that the U.S. government could not get convicted in an open court. As part of its newest - dare we say: final - solution, the Defense Department, which already holds 500 prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, plans to ask the U.S. Congress for $25 million to build a 200-bed prison to hold detainees. These suspect are unlikely to ever reach a military tribunal for lack of evidence. The new prison, dubbed Camp 6, would allow inmates more comfort and freedom than they have now, and would be designed for prisoners that have no more intelligence to share, which amounts to detainees that no longer respond favorably to "lit cigarettes [being placed] in ear openings" and other various "environmental manipulations." We all know that the administration appreciates the use of "stress positions" where prisoners are chained by hand and foot in the fetal position for 18-24 hours at a time during which most defecate on themselves. Or leaving these prisoners unconscious in small rooms where the temperature can exceed 100 degrees.

Patrick Bateman: Come on, Bryce. There are a lot more important problems than Sri Lanka to worry about.
Timothy Bryce: Like what?
Patrick Bateman: Well, we have to end apartheid for one. And slow down the nuclear arms race, stop terrorism and world hunger. We have to provide food and shelter for the homeless, and oppose racial discrimination and promote civil rights, while also promoting equal rights for women. We have to encourage a return to traditional moral values. Most importantly, we have to promote general social concern and less materialism in young people.

Ah, yes. The young people. Dubya has poisoned them forever. The range of search-and-destroy operations underway in Iraq should eventually fill the nation's V.A. hospitals with enough PTSD cases to make another generation forget all of the mental and emotional wounds suffered in places like Saigon, Da Nang, and the Mekong Delta. Killing and maiming the same people that you're trying to democratize can lead to some long-term flashbacks and hard periods of depression, especially at night when memories of killing a lot of innocent people creep back into view. I wonder if this is what Dubya learned at Yale during the salad days of Nixon's secret plan to end the Vietnam conflict: "Grab them by the balls, and their hearts and minds will follow" was the standing order back then. The Chimperor certainly did not learn from past mistakes, and for that he should be sent to Gitmo - or Camp 6 - until they can pin a charge on him that will stick.

Dubya will be found guilty of many things, to be sure, but he will be remembered most as the classic example of a bonafide carpetbagger and capitalist pimp who spent just enough time in charge to steal your valuables and shit in your bed. But he also has proven that he will reach across the ocean to shit in even more beds, and for that crime he will become known as the most wretched and disgraceful leader of the first half of the 21st Century, and he will bear the scarlett letter "W" for weasel in our history books, only because Dubya won't have a Henry Kissinger to massage the otherwise rough edges of his failed and treacherous Presidency. By degrading and scandalizing the United States as the world's only free superpower, and by fleecing its citizens of billions through the somewhat legal appropriation of U.S Treasury resources, the sheer mention of his name will cause young women to faint and old men to take up pitchforks and lanterns just to rid themselves of the beast's terrifying memory.

"There are no more barriers to cross. All I have in common with the uncontrollable and the insane, the vicious and the evil, all the mayhem I have caused and my utter indifference toward it I have now surpassed. My pain is constant and sharp and I do not hope for a better world for anyone, in fact I want my pain to be inflicted on others. I want no one to escape, but even after admitting this there is no catharsis, my punishment continues to allude me and I gain no deeper knowledge of myself, no new knowledge can be extracted from my telling. This confession has meant nothing."


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