Tuesday, December 13, 2005

A Tale of Two Williamses

The first, of course, is Stanley Tookie Williams, who was put to death early this morning by the State of California. It took them twelve minutes, I hear, to find the vein. I don't suppose you're shedding any tears, Bush. It's well known that you support the death penalty, and that you have refused to use your power to spare lives on many occasions in the past. For me, all the arugments about rehabilitation and remorse are eventually beside the point. It shouldn't be about who can persuade one man, a politician, the Governor of the state, that this man has proved he's worthy of continuing to live. No, it's really about who we are as a society: do we want the blood of revenge and retribution on our hands? Are we not, along with every one of our major allies on the world stage, civilized enough to be able to counter the inhumanity of some of our members with our own humanity? Must we be like the worst of us, and kill--simply to satisfy an ancient, barbaric need for vengeance?

The second Willaims is Brian, of NBC, whose self-congratulatory, soft-core, deferential interview of your good self has been released in teaser segments by the network over the past couple of days. I'm sure the White House PR team must be delighted with the images of the good-hearted, smiling, Christmas Bush, whose over-simplified messages of good cheer surely appealed to numerous consumers of the network product: not information, of course, but entertainment. What a platform for you, Bush! It's my own view that a national television news service should ask more of itself than to provide a convenient outlet for your propaganda, but maybe I'm just being naive as usual. There's corporate profits to be borne in mind.

Incidentally, Bush, have I mentioned that I've been working on a book version of "The Bush Diaries"? Provisional title is "Talking to Bush"--along the lines of "Conversations with God", but not aiming quite so high. Anyway, that's why I neglected you yesterday. All in a good cause. I've been working on the Foreword, which tries to say something useful about what we're doing here, and what makes this book different from all other Bush books. I'll plan to post that essay for you when it's ready.

Oh, and by the way, re: today's entry. In the interest of full disclosure I should reveal that I'm a Williams, too. Well, half a Williams. On my mother's side. Have a good day.

7 comments:

dennis said...

Peter: I check your diary each day, (that is not packed with 'busy'). And I just wanted to thank you for the small spot in my routine to think a minute about whatever is on your mind. DEnn

PK said...

Tookie's legacy lives on in the gang he created. If out, he would probably be the same, the rhetoric would go by the wayside. Even at that, we need to stop this barbaric practice for the whole US. I can't understand how a "Christian" could condone it. But, looking back over the history of the "Christians", it's their belief. An eye for an eye mentality. Same as the radical Islam preaches I might add. They have a whole lot in common and don't realize it. Bush's sugar cookie image is for those who believe he hears god talking to him. PBS has been inundated with religion as of late. I sure hope that this is just the holiday season reason. The right took it over not too long ago. It would be a shame to have the only station worth watching to turn into the Public Bible System. When that great book of yours comes out, make sure you post it. I, for one, would like to be at my independent book store to pick it up. Your thoughts and poems are an uplift for the day.

David said...

Peter, I like the title you're already using for this blog better than your provisional book title. Of course if you like the idea of Conversations With God, then "Burning Bush" might be a good choice as well (perhaps a bit too incendiary). :)

dennis said...

Pk: Did you read the article in Vanity Fair about the new head of PBS? Remember when commy subversion was the battle cry of the Birch Society. Now it's THEIR modis operandi.

PK said...

Dennis, haven't had a chance. Been into Mother Jones and The New Yorker. I'll peel off the plastic this evening. Thank you for the heads up. Yes...The Burning Bush, has a great ring to it :):), good choice David!

PeterAtLarge said...

Great to see good friends in coversation here! Thanks for the suggestion, Dennis. I had in fact thought about "Burning Bush", but--beyond the good joke--it did seem a little more aggressive than the tone of the whole thing. I'm planning soon to post my foreword to the book, which talks a bit about not being a simple Bush-basher. There's already plenty of those, and I've wanted to do something a bit different. Still, I will keep thinking. Nothing's set in stone. Cheers, PaL

David said...

I was joking, of course, about using Burning Bush for the title, but I do think The Bush Diaries is a great name for the book.