Monday, February 21, 2005


By Jack Random

Tornadoes in California, twice the rainfall of Seattle in Los Angeles, melting glaciers in Alaska, a triple slam of hurricanes, the harshest weather in recorded time, and you still don’t believe in global climate change? You don’t believe that filling our atmosphere with more contaminants in the last decade than in the previous history of human life on earth has any impact on the climate?

“Standing knee deep in garbage, throwing rockets at the moon.” Pete Seeger.

We are stoking the fires and stripping the brakes, like a bat out of hell on a train to nowhere, headed straight for an environmental Armageddon that (surprise!) will make no distinction between the righteous and the heathens.

“There ain’t no time to wonder why, whoopee! We’re all going to die!” Country Joe MacDonald.

While we were watching the latest in the Jeff Gannon saga or the give-and-take on the secret tapes of GW Bush (did anyone fail to notice they are nothing less than a promotional for the president?), the world’s scientific community reached absolute consensus that global warming is real, that its effects are happening now, and that human pollution is a prominent cause.

While we were watching the spectacle of a royal wedding (how can anyone possibly care about the rituals of a feckless and antiquated monarchy?), the presumptive American Emperor lectured Russia before a European audience on the prerequisites of democracy: a free press, a strong opposition, shared power and respect for international law. Curiously, he omitted any reference to free and fair elections (and no, I do not concede that Bush won in Ohio when the evidence is compelling that he did not). He did not mention government or corporate-government controlled media (hello Italy), corporate control of political parties, government sponsored propaganda, the Kyoto Accords, the Geneva Conventions, the United Nations Charter, or the International Criminal Court.

As he demanded an end to the Syrian occupation of Lebanon, he seemed unable to appreciate the irony. As he praised “the world’s newest democracy,” he seemed oblivious to the obvious: There can be no democracy in an occupied land and an election does not a democracy make.

There was an election in Vietnam: remember when?

The French opposition is slowly eroding. What was that nasty business in the Gold Coast and how about democracy in Haiti? No training for the Vichy agents! Remember the Bastille!

Ukrainian troops are still in Iraq! Where is the sea of orange protesters now?

The Canadians are giving up John Graham after all these years and the wounds of Wounded Knee will never heal!

Gerhard Schroeder, hold the line! The captain is drunk and the ship is going down!

Another injection! The patient is dead. Give him comfort in his passing!

Somalia-Mogadishu, Sudan-Darfur, everyone is dead and dying!

East Timor and the avian flu, dead and dying!

Earthquake-tsunami, dead and dying!

Ramadi, Mosul, dead and dying!

Starvation, hunger, dead and dying!

Pharmaceutical killers, dead and dying!

Peace and freedom, dead and dying!

Sandra Dee (whatever happened?)… Kerouac, Arthur Miller, dead and dying!

The Gonzo is dead! Long live the Gonzo!

We loved you, man, even when we shot you down.

We loved your fearless loathing.

We loved the way you hated Nixon, the way we could never hate Bush.

The old man is dead. The most irreverent of them all.

May you rest in peace.


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