The cat was away so the rat came to play. While Tony Blair, our favorite sort of feline, jetted to summitry at Camp David, the hairy and long-tailed M. Dominique de Villepin dared reveal himself in a London back alley. To hold off an exterminator, he declared he’s not about to pick sides in the Bush-Saddam confrontation. It’s hard to imagine how much pride he swallowed to feign neutrality. Back on his home turf in the garbage dumpsters along the Quay d’Orsay, he’d have flashed his buck teeth and bellowed straight out that he’s for Saddam, no questions asked. You think France ever betrays an ally?
War progressed on other fronts. At a Tennessee Ivy League school not far from the family plantation, the former Al Gore lectured students on the media’s shortcomings in not paying full attention to the great antiwar movement and its critique of U.S. policy. Unfortunately, confusing the Tennessee college with a Southern California Buddhist temple, the former Gore refused to discuss his appearance at the school with the press. The students were no help either. After asking, “Are we going to be quizzed on this?” and being told no, not one of them took notes.
At the University of Wyoming’s formidable School of Education, former senator and presidential candidate George McGovern, the nation’s founding McGovernik, re-enlisted in his great cause by accusing the President of the United States of lying about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. The best proof none exist is that none are being used at the moment. But, according to George, give Saddam the benefit of the doubt. “If they are ever going to be used — if in fact they have them — I would expect it to be done within the next couple of weeks…when they are being assailed and cornered in the heart of Baghdad.” Keep you fingers crossed.
After the crushing blows delivered to piles of Dixie Chickie CD’s, the little chickadees found a new admirer in columnist Paul Krugman. (He must have first come across them during his secret consulting stint for a Texas company called Enron.) Now the Dixie gals have a new fan who already seems to be a Villepin groupie. Ms. Ann Alexander announced in today’s New York Times that she has added two items to her shopping list: “the new Dixie Chicks album and a bottle of Beaujolais.”
Martha Burk is this war’s Big Bertha, taking advantage of weakened security at home to lob loud shells at bucolic Augusta. “It’s an insult to the 250,000 women serving in the United States military,” she said in what may live as the most memorable flourish to come out of this war. “It’s appalling that the women who are willing to lay down their lives for democratic ideals should be shut out of this club.” We’ve struck a deal with mighty-mouthed Martha: she enlists to bring the count to 250,001 and we’ll make sure she’s admitted.
When Saddam finds out she’s over there, then we’ll know we’ve won.
But all bets are off if we throw in Susan Sarandon. Her way is not the united way, the United Way decided. At post-Oscar parties, her baby boy of a husband, Tim Robbins, threatened the Washington Post‘s Nobel Prize winning gossip columnist Lloyd Grove with bodily harm and dismemberment if he ever wrote accurately about Ms. Sarandon again. Grove’s New York Times counterpart Alessandra Stanley wasn’t going to be caught dead repeating his mistake. She took the embedded route to praise Ms. Sarandon for the “classiest flash of protest” at last Sunday’s Academy Awards. Flash? For the record it involved a “V for Victory” sign, not anything requiring a zipper.
Regarding Michael Moore, who, as Steve Martin noted, was hauled away from the Awards show by Teamsters who threw him in the trunk of his limo, two things: First, we look forward to his underground theater debut at one of the Meadowlands’ two end zones. Second, though we heard the booing during Moore’s remarks at the Awards, we couldn’t detect a single booer on the screen. Nor could anyone else we interrogated. Was it canned booing?
War has its downside involving a loss of personal freedoms and institutional autonomy. Our winner this week is a beneficiary of martial law. Could be we’re playing right into his hands, since before today no one had ever heard of him. He might as well have been the above-mentioned Ms. Ann Armstrong, a N.Y. Times letter to the editor writer from Oak Park, Illinois.
Regardless, by order from on high, we are compelled to crack down on Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-Upstate N.Y.) for his pathetic publicity stunt in sending out a letter calling war in Iraq a U.S.-perpetrated “massacre in Iraq.” Even Hinchey’s county party chairman was taken aback, somewhat (he’s also a Democrat, after all). “When you have troops oversees, the rhetoric needs to be quieted somewhat,” Joseph Ruggiero said. Rep. Hinchey has refused to comment. Cat get his tongue? An EOW prize should loosen it. “This guy retires the trophy,” says our man on high.
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