CORPORATION, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility.
Archives for October 2005
In a speech from last year, novelist E. L. Doctrow describes, with simple dignity and humanity, the spiritual void at the heart of George W. Bush:
I fault this president for not knowing what death is. He does not suffer the death of our 21-year-olds who wanted to be what they could be. On the eve of D-Day in 1944 General Eisenhower prayed to God for the lives of the young soldiers he knew were going to die. He knew what death was. Even in a justifiable war, a war not of choice but of necessity, a war of survival, the cost was almost more than Eisenhower could bear.
But this president does not know what death is. He hasn’t the mind for it. You see him joking with the press, peering under the table for the weapons of mass destruction he can’t seem to find, you see him at rallies strutting up to the stage in shirt sleeves to the roar of the carefully screened crowd, smiling and waving, triumphal, a he-man.
He does not mourn. He doesn’t understand why he should mourn. He is satisfied during the course of a speech written for him to look solemn for a moment and speak of the brave young Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
The Onion, in their deviousness, will never admit that this article is about me, but I know it is. They’ve changed the name of the student and the school, but it’s me, just the same. In the heady days of the late eighties/early nineties, when the Simpsons were the new kids on the block, Kurt Cobain was between his first hit and blowing his head off, the US had taken part in only one war in Iraq, and we were innocent enough to think that Republicans couldn’t possibly get more venal than George Herbert Walker Bush, I went to Moorpark College in an attempt to undo all the damage that I’d done to my academic record during high school. While I was there, I took Beginning Ethics and Philosophy 101, both from a teacher named Mike Rosenthal, who is apparently still there. And yes, boys and girls, I was that asshole who kept his hand in the air and was always interrogating the teacher about some point or other.
At long last, my past has caught up with me.