The River

Thursday, October 28, 2004

One man's war

“Nothing is sacred to liberals.”

He reads the headline on the piece by conservative columnist Jim Wooten in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Hot coffee on the breakfast table at his elbow . In his head, he talks back.

Nothing? Surely there’s something. Ya know, like maybe they love their kids. Maybe? (He shrugs.)

“No! Nothing! Nothing is sacred to liberals. Immoral heathens. America haters. Godless. Me! Me! Me! Be gone with you!”

Lord have mercy. Last night it was your favorite channel. Fox. Only about 30 seconds. It’s all I can take, but it's all I need to get the entirety of their message. Last night it was, “can you believe the disgusting, liberal, fifth column New York Times is trying to take down our commander in chief with this missing explosives story? Incredible. Nothing is sacred to liberals.”

Just like you, Jim. One note. Let’s see what else…(he reads some more). So, Wooten, you say it’s the 60s, eh? Gave birth to unfettered immorality. You're talking about the decade that gave birth to me and all that I hold holy and sacred. Oh but it scares you, right? Right, Mr. Newspaper Columnist? Without conservative conformity, you might have to become an individual, deal with all that messy stuff. What to do? Become a conservative! Kill the 60s! Kill yourself!

No, wait. Just the 60s.

What do you say, Jim? (He reads further)

“You can be saved. Jesus. Come to Jesus. Vote Republican. All will be forgiven.”

(jabing his finger at the area that would be Jim’s chest, if the mug shot wasn’t cropped so closely) Do you really want dialogue? Or are you going to continue to preach from the pulpit your time-honored homilies? Hey, isn’t that where Puff the Magic Dragon was from, a land called homily?

Joking. 60s, you know.

So you say John Kerry is a product of those traitorous 60s and that explains a lot. Well I am too, although I was just a tot. That Kerry, though. Famous anti-war protester! Yow!

Can he be saved? (he scans hungrily)

Hmm…not likely, eh Jim?

“The U.S. -- and God -- are behind 0-7, thanks to John Kerry. Because of his antiwar activities, we lost to Vietnam! Vee-eht-Nam! But thanks to George W. Bush, we will score in Iraq! Tie it up. And then…”

Iran? (“What honey?” Asks Leigh, pouring milk for the little ones.)

(He peeks from behind the paper) Nothing.

“If coach Sharon calls that play, by God, it will come to pass.”

Wow. That would be something, Jim. What do you suppose the ad rates for something like that would be? Better than the Superbowl?

“You think you’re funny.”

Oh, no. I wish I was. But what I want to know, Jim, is do you really think the 60s liberal assault on all that is good and right in our government came “without any responsibility for preservation of social order or for offering workable alternatives”?

“Yes.” (flatly)

Projection! I call upon the court to note. The conservative is projecting.

“What, uh, I…”

That doesn’t describe the civil rights movement, it describes the neocon plan for Iraq!

(Bringing the paper closer, nose almost touching the newsprint) Then you go on to say, (rapid, back and forth eyeball movement) in this column, that “the left,” like it’s some organized goon squad ready to march on your suburban chateau and turn your son gay, was hypocritical and “shrill” when it “attacked” the Catholic Church for its failure to stop priests from sexually abusing children. You say it proved liberals are all about “me” and are unconcerned with the survival of the institution. Gee, that doesn’t sound anything like the right’s attack on Clinton, does it? Except the former is legit and the latter was bogus!


...Jim? Jim! (he ruffles the paper) Stop smiling so idiotically and speak to me. I’m right! I’m right! Come on, say it. I beat a conservative. Yes! Stunned him into silence by my superior intellect. Hahaha.

Jim. What are you doing? Why are you on the phone? You can’t call in an air strike. No! No one knows my coordinates. I’m too good for that. I’d never reveal my…..

(he dives beneath the kitchen table)

“Sweetheart, NPR just said Kerry is up in the polls.”

(from beneath the table) Doesn’t matter. Read this. (hand with newspaper appears from below the table).

They’ll come for him. Jim Wooten will lead them. Followed by O’Reilly. Airstrikes. Maybe metaphorical. Maybe not. They keep smiling. Nothing shakes the smile. “One paar-tee. Wuuhhnnnn paaarrteee. Nuhthiing is sacred to lib-ruhls.” They’ll keep chanting it. I think they’re zombies.

“Yes. Subscription department. Yes…..Hi. I’d like to cancel our subscription…”

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