After a lapse of several years, I have cable television again. I got it just in time to watch the Detroit Tigers play like a bunch of Republicans in the World Series, their pitchers firing fastballs at more than 100 miles an hour at hitters but hopelessly inept at tossing balls to first and third base.
The Series, in turn, ended just in time for Halloween, when the cable channels showed every hokie horror movie ever made, most of them starring Vincent Price or Boris Karloff. I watched the first film version of Frankenstein again, including the unforgettable scene where Igor, Dr. Frankensteins assistant, sneaks into the lab and steals the wrong brain to put into the monsters cranium, with unfortunate results.
Man, that always creeps me out. I mean, how hard can it be? Each brain is kept in a jar with a sign identifying it, in clear scientific language, as a normal brain or, alternatively, abnormal brain. Igor takes the normal brain but drops it, and then, unaccountably, takes the abnormal brain instead. Anyone can see trouble ahead.
Youd think a brilliant doctor performing an experiment of historic importance would be sure to hire a competent assistant, a trained professional, rather than a minimum-wage bumbler like Igor. But important experiments in these films have a way of going seriously wrong, as in the Vincent Price classic The Fly, another one that still creeps me out. As you may recall, Price plays a scientist who carelessly gets his body parts mixed up with those of an ordinary housefly, and it doesnt do the fly much good either.
By now Im sure you know where this is headed: the Iraq war. The mad scientists and their blundering assistants remind me of the Bush administrations experiments in spreading democracy. I dont want to press the analogies too far, but I look at Defense Secretary Rumsfeld and Im thinking Igor. Someone forgot to specify normal brain.
If there is one thing this administration could use, its a normal brain. Here is where the movie analogies break down. You can see the neoconservatives who agitated for this war as the brilliant but deranged scientists and President Bush as the Igor who, only dimly grasping his instructions, botched his assignment. Or you may see Bush as the monster who gets the abnormal brain by mistake and staggers around the countryside grunting inarticulately and wreaking havoc. There is no single right way to apply the parallel.
This brings us to Senator John Kerry, who even without makeup vaguely reminds one of Boris Karloff. This being an election season, tempers are raw. Candidates (Im Joe Blow, and I approved this message) are accusing each other of ax murders, pedophilia, and even, when they really get rough, Holocaust denial. Their opponents reply in kind, and everyone demands apologies, which only a fool would give.
Well, Kerry told a joke about Bush being so dumb he got stuck in Iraq, and Bush was so dumb he didnt get it and construed it as an insult to our brave fighting men (and women). He demanded an apology, and all the Republicans demanded an apology, and then even the Democrats demanded an apology, so Kerry, like a fool, apologized. Cut and run, eh, John?
Neither Bush nor Kerry has what is scientifically known as a normal brain, but Kerrys seems to be even more defective than Bushs. Republicans accused Kerry of snobbery, pointing out that our armed forces are in fact highly educated, and that if you walk into any barracks you are sure to hear them discussing Plato whose most famous dialogue is called, significantly, The Apology.
Kerry, it must be remembered, once recalled that his dying mother gave him three words of advice: Integrity, integrity, integrity. This may help explain his odd behavior. At any rate, the Republicans took his apology as a vindication of their cause. He had enraged and activated their base, and suddenly they had high hopes of holding both houses of Congress next week.
The voters face a clear choice between the two parties. The Democrats are placing their hopes in Barack Obama. But the Bush administration has made it absolutely clear that it will not allow him to acquire weapons of mass destruction.
|Copyright © 2006 by the
Griffin Internet Syndicate,
a division of Griffin Communications
This column may not be reprinted in print or
Internet publications without express permission
of Griffin Internet Syndicate
Archive Table of Contents
Return to the SOBRANS home page.
|FGF E-Package columns by Joe Sobran, Sam Francis, Paul Gottfried, and others are available in a special e-mail subscription provided by the Fitzgerald Griffin Foundation. Click here for more information.|