I use hands to help my fellow man / I use hands to help with what I can / But when I face an unjust injury / Then I change my hand into FIST OF FURY

ANGRY DISPATCH FROM THE UPPER LEFT CORNER

Somewhere in the blue-colored upper left corner of the map, under a horrible black cloud, we find Vern, chewing on his fist.

Well, shit.

Let me start by saying to the rest of the world, IT WASN’T ME, MAN. I had nothing to do with this. I can’t justify this but please don’t think this is all of us. It’s nobody I know, none of my friends, none of my family. It’s nobody that writes to me. Whoever these people are who are rewarding that type of behavior, who saw 4 years of horror and corruption and said, yeah, give me more of that… I seen some of them on TV but that’s it.

You know, I was really hoping to travel to other countries some day in my lifetime without having to look over my shoulder thinking, is that guy looking at my head? Does that guy want to cut off my head? And now these people go and make it look like America approves of Bush. It’s like when you’re sitting at a bar (not me, I don’t drink anymore) and you’re making small talk with the guy next to you, somebody you never met before. And you’re having a good conversation, then all the sudden the guy throws in some joke about jews or koreans or something, maybe uses the N word, talking real loud. And everybody thinks this guy’s your buddy, so you get real uncomfortable and try to either end the conversation or talk loudly about how great it is to meet the guy for the very first time ever. That’s what these Americans are doing. Guilting us by association. Thanks alot, assholes.

I’m sorry, other countries. I know you don’t like living under the all seeing eye of the naked butt pyramid. And neither do I. This is a dark fucking week. My first instinct was to pick up and move to New Zealand. Maybe there is a hobbit hole available on that property Peter Jackson owns. But then I cooled down I realized no, I’m staying. They’re the ones who should move. They’re the ones who don’t believe in the Constitution. They’re the ones with the offshore tax shelters too. Wait for them to move to some island resort somewhere. This is my land.

I’m sorry about all the optimistic predictions in the last column. Getting everybody’s hopes up. At least the one about BLADE 3 being awesome could conceivably come true. If I didn’t jinx it.

You know what it feels like? It feels like they came up with some new science to miraculously revive JFK. But then they just shot him in the head again. They tossed him in a shallow grave somewhere along highway 99, took a piss on it, maybe marked it with a crushed Taco Bell cup. Then they laughed at us and snorted, “God bless America” with that shiteating ratfucker grin that Bush has been known and despised for since he was in college.

On Wednesday, America tore out my heart and stuck a plunger up its ass. It stuck me with a catheter, sucked out my soul in painful slo-motion, then sexually humiliated it and posed for novelty photos with it. Locked it up for 4 years without charges or access to hope.

I wasn’t faking it. I really believed it. I thought we were gonna be able to have the Ewok celebration, with the dancing and drumming on helmets and shooting off fireworks. Ding dong, the witch is dead, etc. But they special edded this one up. Now the Ewoks mount their log and rock offensive, but they are no match for the machines. The stormtroopers just crush them, massacre them, burn their villages and sell their babies into slavery. Luke is paid off, moves in with Darth Vader and the rebels are all executed. The end.

Right now I have about as much faith in the system as those 14 year olds with the giant pants and the evil clown makeup. I never been so disillusioned in my life. I think of all those people we begged to come out and vote for the first time. We said their vote would count, that they would make a difference. We all got together and still they crushed us and spit on our graves.

Now that I’ve had a couple days to mourn and punch things, I’m still asking myself the big question: WHAT THE FUCK HAPPENED? The consensus, especially with those heads I see talking on the TV, seems to be that the republicans secretly signed up about ten billion religious fundamentalists who had never voted before. They Rocked the Church Vote. We Liberal Elite over here in the parts of the country where there is water, we just lost touch and didn’t realize that the Real Americans cared about these Moral Values we’re hearing about. Everybody’s feeling like, “Wow, I had no idea this was so popular” the same way I did when they came out with a sequel to BAD BOYS. I forgot they even had a part 1, suddenly part 2 is a big deal.

I don’t know man, this whole thing smells like a dead fish to me. I mean that story is kind of believable. It was a classic Karl Rove sinister masterstroke to get I Hate Fags initiatives on the ballot in 11 states. A little of that good ol’ KKK spirit to get the base excited. (Okay, so not all of these people are bigots. They don’t hate fags. They don’t mind what adults do in the privacy of their own homes, as long as they don’t do it in loving, monogamous relationships.)

But really, are there really that many more gay hating wackos out there that didn’t vote last time? We’re talking about a president who has had below 50% approval ratings for months. Polls show that the majority of Americans now think the Iraq invasion was a mistake and that we are losing the war. 55% think our country is going in “the wrong direction.” Bush clearly lost all 3 debates and seemed to get increasingly confused and irritable as the campaign went on. He even yelled at the moderator in debate #2 and had goo on one side of his mouth for #3. Nothing has been going well at all. Iraq has been getting worse and worse (there will be a major bloodbath in Fallujah any day now, now that everybody’s voted), the economy and job levels are terrible, Cheney’s company is under investigation by the FBI, Osama bin Laden just showed up on TV to remind us that Bush let him go. (No comment from the forgotten anthrax terrorist.) Kerry was pulling ahead in pretty much all of the polls for the week before the election. And even on election day he was winning all of the swing states in the exit polls.

But then suddenly, WHAM, nope, they tell us actually Bush won.

Next thing you know, Tucker Carlson is complaining about these exit polls, why do we believe these exit polls, clearly they are wrong.

And then Robert “I betrayed my country and I’m still on CNN” Novak starts saying how everybody has been saying Bush is so unpopular, but this isn’t true, because the computer says Bush won. So actually he is popular. Actually, we do approve of him, we are going in the right direction, Iraq is not a holy fucked up hellhole, Osama bin Laden did not get away, the economy is not in the shitter, the whole world does not despise our fucking guts because our leaders are assholes.

Jeff Greenfield, the senior political adviser or something for CNN, was amazed because he had always been taught that if there was more than a 1% margin in the popular vote, then the electoral vote could not be close. But he was gonna throw that one out because here on the magic computer map he could see that it was wrong for the first time ever. It turns out that mathematic impossibilities are possible in Bush’s America.

What they’re telling us is, the Great Unverifiable Computer never lies, so reality must be lying. Everything we thought was true is not true, because the screen has been touched.

I don’t know man. It’s hard to be trusting after these last 4 years. It’s hard to just take it on faith that the most corrupt president of all time’s corrupt brother who helped rig the last election just decided to sit it out this time. It’s hard to trust that when the guy from Diebold promised to “deliver” Ohio’s electoral votes to Bush, he didn’t mean it that way. I mean maybe we could feel halfway confident about it if they weren’t continuing to install these touchscreen voting machines without receipts. Elections are pretty important and you can’t really run them on the honor system. And you kinda gotta figure that anybody trying to STOP the addition of a paper trail (Jeb Bush, etc.) is up to something, don’t you? Nah, he’s probaly on the level – despite all appearances, recent history, common sense, etc.

Yes, what I’m saying is, I don’t believe the election was legit. I got no information on this, I just got my gut. And my gut tells me this wasn’t a “re”-election, it was a re-“election”. I’m saying that alot of those unexpected votes that magically appeared from the sky were actually Kerry votes when they went into the computer and Bush votes when they came out. I think this probaly happened with the scanning software in Ohio and I’m fucking positive it happened with the touchscreens in Florida. (Pure speculation, but try to convince me otherwise. You can’t.)

Maybe I’m just in denial. It wouldn’t be the first time that all the experts were wrong about everything. (Isn’t that what I always tell you to expect?) But I just have a hard time believing the guy could lose the popular vote in 2000, get installed by the Supreme Court, then fuck up, damage and divide the country as bad as he did, and the next time actually WIN the popular and electoral votes. The worst president of all time, and that gets him MORE votes. As if everybody was voting ironically.

To be honest, I just don’t want to believe that my country is THAT FUCKING STUPID. It’s either “our democracy is lost” or “51% of us are fucking morons.” As a proud American I’m going with option number 1.

It doesn’t even matter if I’m right or if I’m just being paranoid. Either way, we know for sure that we cannot TRUST in our democracy. Not with this current system. And that’s not acceptable. So what we MUST do, and I think this should be the very first goal of liberals in this new era of darkness, is get rid of these fucking machines. I don’t know how we’re gonna extricate the cancer of voting machines made by corporations connected to the leadership. But at the very least we gotta make it harder for them to cheat. They MUST be machines that print a paper ballot that you can look at to verify and then turn in. And that is your ballot, not an invisible series of 1s and 0s. And we gotta do manual recounts of Ohio to prove if the machines are right or not. So we know what to fix in the next election or so people like me can accept the results as trustworthy.

I don’t think I got any Bush lovers reading this, but they oughta agree with me. If I’m right, then republicans will rule the country until they kill us all, so you might not ever have to worry about it. But if it happens that somebody you don’t like wins you will have it in the back of your mind. “Did I vote for who the screen told me I voted for?” And nobody should have to deal with that bullshit. Your vote is not like Jesus, where you know it’s there because you have faith. Your vote is just a vote. So it should be written down on paper. You don’t want to lose it.

Let’s fix this. Let’s make it verifiable. If we don’t, we don’t have democracy.

(Somebody sent me this link, a much more educated and cool-headed look at the issue than mine. And blackbox voting is starting an investigation – hopefully they’ll get to the bottom of this.)

But let’s move on for now, and let’s assume I’m just being paranoid. That the guy really won. That brings up the question again: what in shit’s name would this fucker have to do to lose these people’s support? I think I said before that he could go on TV and murder your grandmother and if you were a republican you’d be able to explain it away as “steady leadership.” The comedian David Cross said Bush could go on TV and “eat a jewish baby.” A friend of mine said to turn them against him, Bush would have to actually go on TV and personally perform an abortion. But even that I think they could get past. “Well, I disagree with his stance on personally performing abortions live on TV, but he seems like such a straight shooter. I want to have a beer with him*. I just don’t trust Kerry, he’s a flip flopper.”

[*Why do these people always say they’d want to have a beer with Bush? You don’t give beer to an ex-alcoholic. That’s not cool, man. Plus, imagine how crazy he’d be if he started drinking again! I don’t want to see that shit.]

They say these people are concerned about “Moral Values” because they want to put an asterisk on the Constitution to stop gay people from having equal marriage rights. Isn’t it ironic that while we are supposedly bringing freedom to people oppressed by Islamic fundamentalists, we are pushing our own retarded caveman religious oppression on our own people. Don’t you think the Taliban would agree with those gay marriage bans? I’m proud of some of the things we’re doing up here in indigo blue Washington State. Our two top senators are still women and it’s not for sure yet but it looks like we might end up having a woman governor too. See that, Midwest? That’s how you piss off terrorists. They don’t want to see that. I wonder, if Hillary Clinton really did become president, who would be more offended? Republicans, or Islamic fundamentalists? It’s hard to say. Doesn’t that bother you? Stop trying to be Taliban lite.

But the thing is, these people don’t really care about Moral Values, no matter what they said on the exit polls. [And by the way, if the exit polls were wrong about John Kerry winning, then why are they right about everybody loves Moral Values? Ha! I caught you in a contradiction, media! I gotchya!] They’re so against gays and abortion because of Jesus, but they don’t mind massacring people in Iraq, or sexually torturing them. I think they are thinking of a different Jesus because the dude from the Bible was into turning the other cheek. In fact he was into helping the poor and the sick, that was his whole thing. I don’t remember any verse where he told poor people to stop whining because they could get a job if they were just willing to work harder. The dude was NOT a republican.

Forget Jesus’s values, these people don’t even care about their own values. They say they are for small government and fiscal responsibility, but they vote for Bush! They say they are worried about their security, but they vote for the guy who let planes hit the Pentagon and started a war on unrelated Muslims to inflame the entire world against us. It doesn’t matter what he says or does. It is completely irrelevant. They’re just voting for him because they’re voting for him. It has nothing to do with having reasons or existing in the world of reality. They’re just doing it. They’re for Bush. Why? There is no why. There is only Bush.

So we could sit here all night and bet on what the guy could get away with. I bet he could go on TV and brag that he enjoys lying and exploiting all Americans. He could say that he didn’t do anything to stop September 11th but enjoyed taking advantage of it, that the Iraq war was all a lie and poorly planned and that he doesn’t really feel like doing anything to change the situation. Then he could scroll a list of all undercover CIA agents on the screen, call everyone who voted for him a gullible white trash dipshit, pull down his pants and start masturbating, then actually nail the resurrected Jesus to a cross while laughing and performing a mass gay marriage of everyone watching.

Sure, some republicans might be upset and disillusioned that evening, but the next morning once they’d heard the GOP spin on it they would fall right back into line. They’d start calling in to talk shows to condemn all these partisan democrats and extremist liberals who are desperate enough to criticize the president’s brave and patriotic display of honesty, sexuality and religious capital punishment.

I don’t get it. I don’t understand these people. And I’m not the only one. Everybody I know is looking at that map thinking, shit, we’re only on the coasts and the lakes? What is it about water, it keeps people sane? If we build some canals through the middle would people start wising up? Or maybe it’s not just water, maybe you have to be hit by a plane on 9-11. New York, Washington DC, even Pennsylvania went to Kerry by pretty big margins. Hmmm.

But I mean, that map looks real lonely, us blue states over on the sides. You’ve probaly seen that map that shows the blue states connected with Canada as “The United States of Canada,” and the red states are “Jesusland.”

But remember, it’s not that simple. Most of the red states were very close. If Ohio and New Mexico and Iowa were so close, for example, we can’t just look at the color coded map and think “oh shit, those are all Bushies there.” In those red states there are large numbers of people who are more scared to look at that map than we are. If Bush supporters really are the majority, it’s only by a couple percent. It is NOT a “mandate” as Bush is already pretending, with the help of shills on the TV and USA Today. It’s barely fucking getting by. A guy who once had an 80% approval rating wins with 1% over half. Not including the undervotes. We might be outnumbered, but we’re not outgunned.

(well, literally we are. Not figuratively.)

On the second I woke up feeling real nervous, kind of nauseous, like when I was a kid and I had to make a speech in class. But I loosened up and started to feel optimistic like you saw in my last column. I went to bed knowing it was grim but thinking we wouldn’t know until 11 days when they counted the Ohio votes.

On the third I woke up and it was sunny and beautiful, like it was on the 11th of September in 2001. And I’m afraid the day’s events will have a similar catastrophic affect on this country.

So here we are trying to accept it. It’s official. He’s staying in the White House, at least for a while. Nixon got re-elected too, and Bush will definitely have to live down a minimum of 12 major scandals way worse and more blatant than Watergate. But he’s good at this shit. So it looks like we have that thing we’ve been fearing for so long: a George W. Bush who doesn’t have to worry about re-election. Gulp.

So now Bush says he wants to heal America’s wounds. By rubbing salt into them. Here we are still dazed and confused, and he comes out with that smirk on his face, says he wants to reach out and unite the country – no seriously guys – quit laughing – no, come on though, no I’m serious though guys, for real this time though. We just gotta all come together and have unity and what not.

Well, this isn’t gonna sound real nice, but all I can say to that is FUCK YOU. No. I don’t think so. You had four years to bring us together, you spent it lying to us and calling us traitors and trashing our economy, world standing, culture, ideals and values. When we came together to tell you what we wanted from you, you said you couldn’t listen because we were just a “focus group.” When we tried to protest your speeches, you locked us behind a barrier where we couldn’t be seen or heard. When we tried to just watch your speeches, you had us thrown out or arrested, or forced us to sign loyalty oaths.

You don’t “bring people together” by telling them “sign this or you’re a traitor” or “vote for this or you’re ruined” or “pass this or blood will be on your hands.” I mean maybe you didn’t know that. But you that’s not how you do it.

Now Bush is looking comfortable again, like when he started the Iraq war (when he told Pat Robertson there would be no casualties!). He’s so comfortable he actually did a press conference yesterday. When one reporter asked if reaching out for unity meant finding consensus candidates for judges and putting democrats in his cabinet, his answer was basically no. He will work with “people who share my goals,” i.e. his cabinet and Osama bin Laden. Another reporter asks if he thinks world opinion of us is negative because of the Iraq war and if so what he plans to do to fix that. And his answer was basically, fuck them, they hate freedom. So I’m thinking, you know, maybe this guy actually isn’t serious about reaching out, healing, etc.? It would be weird but maybe he was feeding us a line of bullshit? Hard to imagine.

If you’re serious about this Bush, you really want to bring us together – fine. Then we got a few demands:

  1. You’re gonna have to dump the Patriot Act, bud. This is not negotiable. Remember that oath you made to uphold the constitution? You blew it, bud. We’ll let it go this one time if you dump that shit.
  2. You got one week to charge all of the prisoners at all of your offshore prisons. If you don’t charge them you have to let them go. So if there are any of them who are actually dangerous, you better get to fucking work.
  3. Just tell us who outed Valerie Plame. We’re not stupid. We know you know. Just tell us.
  4. Please transfer John Ashcroft to an Arby’s or Footlocker somewhere. He can be assistant manager or something but under probation. If he says some weird racist or sexist shit to anybody he’s gone.
  5. This one you gotta save for last. I want you to get Dick, Rummy, Condaleeza, Colin and Wolfie, and go turn yourselves in at the International Criminal Court. You can bring Henry Kissinger too if you want. It’ll be cool, like a field trip. It’ll be fine. If you’re innocent you got nothing to hide, right? We have to give up a little bit of liberty to be safe in this post 9-11 world of freedom and democracy. So wear comfortable shoes.

There’s a whole lot of other crap but in the spirit of consensus and compromise I’m just gonna give you those 5. Thanks Bush.

So we jumped off the cliff and we didn’t make it to the other side. And it’s gonna be a hard fucking climb back up to the top. So, no time for fucking around. Let’s start climbin.

thanks everybody,

oh god oh god why,

but let’s do this though,

VERN

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

This entry was posted on Friday, November 5th, 2004 at 8:11 am and is filed under Vern Tells It Like It Is. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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