The River

Thursday, August 21, 2003

A good friend of mine made a compilation tape some years back which I listened to recently. He included an Arlo Guthrie monologue where Arlo is talking about the unNeutron bomb, saying you can’t have a Neutron bomb without an unNeutron bomb (and you can’t have a dark without a light to stick it in, as Arlo puts it). So I thought about…

The unBush Administration

Mr. President?


What are we gonna do about North Korea?

Order take out?

You mean nuke ‘em?

Nooo. Ha. Good one. Just hungry for some kimchee. Shit, do we still have nukes?

Yes sir. Armed and ready.


Yes sir. Millions will die at your command.

That is fucked up. Could you get someone to quietly disarm them?

But sir. What if North Korea finds out. The last administration treated them very badly. They might be holding a grudge.

Well hell, we have global communications. Planes. We can ask. I say we fly over there. That way we can eat in. In a real North Korean restaurant. Holy shit. We can actually do that. Amazing. Amazing world.

Yes sir. It would be historic. Of course, I hear the quality has gone down, what with the way we’ve insisted they remain isolated.

Shit, take a memo. “North Korea will no longer dwell in the shadow of paranoia and isolation. With my new North Korea Plan, the United States will extend a hand of friendship and cooperation.” Oh good god. I can’t do this official decree stuff. Let’s just go. People will get the message. Actions! Actions speak.

At least a news release sir?

Yeah, sure. Let my poet friend write it.

And a news conference?

Of course. I’ll bring it up at the weekly open-house on the lawn. Reporters, regular folk, the homeless, whoever, they can hear it straight from me, with some free grub to boot. Which, of course, they paid for in the first place.

About that, sir. Some people have been writing all kinds of mean things about it. It has gotten loud and raucous a few times, especially when Willie Nelson played. You do have enemies, sir, and some still own media outlets.

Have you noticed their circulation and viewership is going down? More and more people are seeing with their own eyes. Once you’ve been here, you can’t believe the vicious soul-dead spew some folks try to sell. The contrast with “what’s happening on the ground” or “the facts on the ground” as the military likes to say, is too great. And the word spreads. We still have an Internet, and millions of online journalists. By the way, I know you’re new. We try to get a different intern in here regularly so more and more can learn about what The White House is. But you don’t have to call me sir. My name’s George.

Sir. Uh, George, can I ask how you came to have this position.

Ha, ya got me. I guess there’s nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come.

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