Wednesday, September 14, 2005

A Portrait... and More Fine Words

Just to get us started... Here's an "official portrait" of your good self by a frequent Bush Diaries correspondent. Thanks to him for forwarding his work, and for his permission to send it on to you. We hope you appreciate its finer qualities. Personally I like the way it captures that paradoxical spirit of benign malignancy.

More fine words this morning, Bush, at the United Nations. I watched the whole speech--interrupted only briefly when NBC thought fit to preempt your speech with Katie Couric, and I had to change channels to find you somewhere else. A bit of a nerve, huh? On the part of NBC? To prefer our Katie over the leader of the free world? Ah, well.

Fine words, anyway, as I say. But--forgive my growing cynicism: I hate to keep carping on at you like this--I have to confess they ring hollow to me. They ring hollow when you pontificate about poverty in the rest of the world so soon after the poverty we tolerate in our own country has been revealed for all to see. They ring hollow when you trumpet America's role in fighting AIDS in African countries and elsewhere, and at the same time cut vital funds to programs of proven success just because they promote the use of condoms. They ring hollow when you hector other countries about subsidies and trade barriers while your Congress squanders billions annually bailing out American farmers at the expense of third world countries--although I did hear you offer, Bush, to end our subsidies when other countries do the same. The words ring hollow when you tout the wonderful results of your Iraq adventure--as yet only anticpated, of course--when at least 150 more people die on the streets of Baghdad even as you speak, and 500 more are injured.

And the words ring especially hollow, Bush, when you lecture the world about freedom and democracy and ignore the subversion of freedom and democarcy here at home--from rigged elections to legislation that is bought and paid for by corporate interests; from media controlled not by government, perhaps, but by those whose money buys the government, to the disenfranchisement of large sections of the populace through undereducation, deception, and often outright lies. And what kind of freedom is it we enjoy when our minds are subjected daily, hourly, to so much rant and spin, so much hucksterism, so much political and religious cant that most of us can't think straight any more?

On a more pleasant note, Bush, one of our artists' groups reassembled last night for the first time in nearly three months, after a long summer hiatus. We usually try to avoid politics and talk mostly about art--along with the challenges we all face in a bottom-line art world that ignores too much of its talent in favor of commercial interests. I have to tell you, though, that your name came up. Out of ten of us, all ten were outraged by your policies and appointments, and by the sheer, extravagant incompetence of your administration. Not one, I regret to tell you, had a single good word to say for you. We are, of course, all far-out, left-wing, wide-eyed, stoned-out California freaks, so I'm sure you have little time for our opinions. But I thought I should tell you anyway.


David said...

Dennis, I think traditionally a portrait like that is kept in the subject's closet. Would kind of explain why W hasn't aged as much as one might expect...

PeterAtLarge said...

Dennis, have you heard about the Orange County Center for Cont. Art in Santa Ana's current competition for political art? It might be of interest. By the way, please let me have an email address so that I can respond directly. Otherwise, it just gets bounced back. Cheers, PaL