The River

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Adverse reaction

Well, who else? Who else watched the State of the Union address and saw a boot stomping a human face forever?

Who else cringed repeatedly? Who else felt revulsion for not only the man delivering the speech, but for the perpetual heart-burn, permanent-grimace look on Cheney’s face? The smug satisfaction on Ashcroft’s? The malice on Rice’s? And the blankness of Rumsfeld’s visage? Who else searched in vain for compassion and empathy? For human feeling and care?

Who else felt unease at the entire media event’s inability to reveal truth? Who else thought, when will the little boy stand up and say it? The cliché that applies to all Emperors? The one that could remove the scales, break the spell? Who else thought: it can’t and it won’t happen, until a movement overwhelms and shakes the country from its slumber.

Did anyone else find the looks of exasperation and disapproval on Ted Kennedy’s face the only rebuttal even remotely adequate? That is, in addition to the applause when Bush said the Patriot Act was due to expire next year. Did others notice the look on Bush’s face when this happened? The one of hate and disdain during the pause before he continued his sentence, asking for (surprise!) renewal of the heinous, and brilliantly named, legislation?

Did anyone else see a TV reporter or pundit mention the applause for the end of the Patriot Act? I didn’t (is anyone surprised?).

Did anyone else go to bed later thinking “George Orwell, 1984, yes, but Invasion of the Body Snatchers is also one of the scariest, most prescient works to be committed to both paper – and, in a similarly shuttered and frightened America, celluloid.”?

Is there anybody out there?

Just wondering.

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