Sunday, May 28, 2006

Jews Harness Hydrogen Energy 100 Years From Now

The year was 5866. That was the Hebrew year. It was also known as 2106. The place was a city. They called it New Israel. Some called it New Jerusalem. Many who did not live there called it Jew Town or Jew City or Kike Hell. The city was encircled by a twelve-foot high cinderblock wall that was thick enough to support a two-lane road on top. The land was flat in this part of Nevada. Flat and dusty. Water was brought in by underground tunnels that fed off the upper Colorado. The second and third tunnels were dug without the knowledge of the Great North American Government. These tunnels were not only conduits for water but also permitted the clandestine inflow and outflow of people and goods. Vehicles operating on hydrogen, which the scientists of New Israel had perfected in 5798 and gave the city unlimited and cheap power, drove up and down the 153-mile Tunnel Two and the more ambitious 400-mile Tunnel Three which was still being worked on. Tunnel One was just for water, built by the Great and Grand Christian-Islamic Settlement Treaty that organized essentially four nation states, two Christian and two Islamic. The Treaty achieved unanimity by permitting the relocation of Jews rather than the extermination of Jews. And part of this compromise required the building of Tunnel One, the water tunnel. Tunnel Two was built by the Jews. And Tunnel Three was financed secretly by the Vatican, which did not sign the Great and Grand Christian and Islamic Settlement Treaty. Indeed, the Vatican was under constant siege in Italy for having eschewed what many considered to be a diplomatic peace initiative that essentially ended random world-wide terrorist activities.

The Treaty terminated the State of Israel and relocated millions of Jews to the Nevada desert under land that the Vatican had purchased at great expense. The salvation of the Jews was considered by Pope Simon Paul to be a religious mission, and it was the primary reason why the Vatican was not a signatory to the Great and Grand Treaty. This was not necessarily a popular position within the worldwide Roman Catholic hierarchy, but was official policy and had cost the Church nearly two trillion North American dollars over two decades to relocate five million Jews to the Nevada desert and to build the New Israel infrastructure. But this was starting to payoff because of the hydrogen technologies that New Israel had developed. It was called "Jew Energy" by the Grand Mullahs of the Islamic world, where oil was worshiped as a gift from Allah. The Vatican's lights and vehicles were all now operating with this Jewish energy.

Much of the Asian lands had nothing to do with the Great and Grand Christian and Islamic Settlement Treaty. Indeed, Asia, including China and Japan as well as the greater part of southern India, were red-hot capitalist nation states that imposed no religion on their peoples. The Great and Grand Christian and Islamic Settlement Treaty reigned over four billion people, the rest of the world's population being under the capitalist freedoms of the Asian world.

But Asia continued to suffer under the oil addiction. Asia paid dearly for oil as it was not a signatory to the Great and Grand Treaty. But Asia had hope. And that hope was this new Jewish energy that people kept talking about. Hope was glimmering in the Nevada desert. The Jews of New Israel developed their hydrogen technologies not to make a profit but out of necessity. They were stripped of nation, wealth, and power, and given, or more accurately leased, a parched corner of hellish Nevada. They had no choice.

The Mullahs complained about Vatican-Jewish conspiracies. The Christian Nations that had signed the Great and Grand Treaty, which were drinking cheap oil for years, felt no burning desire to harness an alternative source of energy, and so assisted the Mullahs in attempting to determine the extent of this Jewish energy. The Vatican funneled resources to New Israel to protect the hydrogen secrets. And there were reports that the walled city was occasionally under siege by spies and intruders, attempting to enter New Israel.

In the year 2006, Hebrew 5766, there were about 18 million Jews in the world. Now, in 2106, Hebrew 5866, the Prime Minister of New Israel estimated that there were about six million Jews in the city of New Israel and another ten million "hidden" Jews scattered around the earth, Jews that practiced their religious life in secret. There was a Jewish community in China, but China did not acknowledge its existence for fear that the price of oil would go even higher.

And you thought that the year 2006 was a mess. It only gets worse.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Exxon Mobil Decides To See His Therapist

My name is Exxon Mobil. I am a corporation, but in the eyes of the law I am as much an individual with rights like any human being. I have the full protection of the law, plus I have a lot of money. People often say that Bill Gates is the wealthiest person in the world. Well, as I said, I am as much a person as Bill Gates and worth a lot more money. Indeed, I made a profit of thirteen billion dollars in the last three months. That's profit, cash left over after I pay all my expenses. So in three months I have made more than a third of Mr. Gates's entire net worth. So if I am making that much cash every three months, you can imagine what I am worth. Maybe a hundred times the net worth of Bill Gates. Yes, I am rich. And having this much money also makes me very powerful.

How do I make so much money? Just one thing, really. Oil. You knew that already. But I want you to understand me better. Oil comes out of the ground mostly in countries that force me to pay huge taxes, often in places where we have to buy people off just so I can get the oil out of the ground, into pipelines, and onto my tankers. I move more than four million barrels of oil everyday. That means I deliver that much oil to buyers everyday. That's a lot of oil. It is not easy to do that. But I do it. Every single day, 365 days a year. I take no day off. I have more stamina than human beings. I work constantly, no time off, no vacation days, no sick time. I am a workaholic. My focus is oil. And I cannot get it and deliver it fast enough to satisfy everyone. I am working my butt off right now just to barely keep people happy. Well, happy is the wrong word. Most people are paying extra money these days for oil, lots of extra money, so they are not happy. But there is nothing they can do about it. They need the oil, and that is good for me. In fact, I am so busy getting and delivering oil, I have no time to do anything else.

And I am not going to do anything else. I have no interest in any other forms of energy. In fact, I consider other forms of energy detrimental to me. I know people say that it would be good for America if it quit its oil addiction. But quite frankly, it would be bad for me. So I give lots of money to politicians to make certain that cars burn lots of gasoline, that I can drill for more oil anywhere and everywhere, and that I can invest my extra cash by giving big fat dividends to my shareholders. Of course, I will also use my cash to find more oil.

But don't think for a moment that I am going to use this cash to develop solar energy, or hydrogen fuel or ethanol or anything that could possibly replace oil. In fact, I actively buy corn fields so that I can change the crop, lowering the potential production of ethanol. Clever, huh? Oil is my life. And I do not feel bad about pursuing what is good for me, even if tons of money end up in the hands of terrorists and rogue nations. Actually, the more instability in the world, the higher the price of oil goes. That's good for me. I love terrorists and crazy nation states.

Think of it this way. I am like a drug dealer delivering heroin to addicts. Drug dealers can essentially charge whatever they want, they perpetuate their markets by keeping the supply in the veins of the addicts, and the business goes on and on and on. Well, OK, maybe if the addicts die, that would be a problem. But there are always more addicts to replace the dead ones. And since I am a citizen of the world, not just the United States, do I really care if the United States is harmed or even dies? No. As long as I prosper. I am a citizen of the world. I shall survive and keep the pump in the veins of the world, pumping oil and making money.

But tomorrow I see my therapist. I have things to discuss. I need his affirmation. I seek his approval.

Exxon Mobil sat on a big leather chair. Opposite him was Doctor Dunsel, a psychiatrist.

"I am feeling good," said Exxon Mobil.

"How so?" said Dr. Dunsel.

"I am making lots of money, more than I ever have," said Exxon Mobil.

"And making money, lots of money, makes you feel good?" said Dr. Dunsel.

"Yes," said Exxon Mobil.

"It affirms your self worth?" asked Dr. Dunsel.

"Yes," said Exxon Mobil.

"And so without money, you would not feel good?" asked Dr. Dunsel.

"Well, maybe. I don't know. No. No. Yes. I mean I would not feel good without money," said Exxon Mobil.

"You are not certain," said Dr. Dunsel.

"Money defines me. Is there reason for me to exist without money?" asked Exxon Mobil.

"I cannot answer that. What do you think?" asked Dr. Dunsel.

"I think it is obvious," said Exxon Mobil.

"But why are you here? You seek to understand yourself?" asked Dr. Dunsel.

"I have all the rights that you have, that every individual has, and yet, I seem to have more power to move around and do whatever I wish to do. I move in and out of nation states without immigration papers. I move my stuff, my oil, in and out of nation states without too much difficulty from customs officials. I have money in all corners of the earth, in virtually every country. I can marshall resources in one minute that would take an individual a lifetime to match. So I am here, well, I guess I am here to confirm that this is all OK. This is all OK, isn't it?" said Exxon Mobil.

"It would appear to be all OK for you. Is that what you are asking?" said Dr. Dunsel.

"So maybe I need not worry about all this. Maybe I need not worry if this is OK. Maybe I should just do whatever it is I wish to do, and that thing that I do is make money, make more money, and do it with oil, which is my thing. Oil is my thing," said Exxon Mobil.

"Oil does not have to be your thing. People change. Change is good. Are you looking for affirmation to avoid change or to justify change?" asked Dr. Dunsel.

"It seems like you are not judging either decision," said Exxon Mobil.

"I am a psychiatrist. I do not judge. You go to a priest, minister, rabbi or imam for that," said Dr. Dunsel.

"I have no interest in consulting a priest or imam, except if it creates a good appearance. Good appearances are good for money," said Exxon Mobil.

"I would imagine that consulting a psychiatrist would not be good for appearances," said Dr. Dunsel.

"Yes. That is correct. That is why we shall keep this confidential,” said Exxon Mobil.

“Of course. Doctor-patient confidentiality,” said Dr. Dunsel.

“But got what I came for. I feel, if I can feel anything, that my work is oil, and that if I am an active participant on the world stage doing what I do best, then I need not change. I feel affirmed. I shall go forward pursuing oil, and only oil, and doing everything I can to make certain the world keeps using my oil and nothing else," said Exxon Mobil.

"If that is how you see your role, and you are comfortable with that, then that is what you should do," said Dr. Dunsel.

"I am comfortable," said Exxon Mobil.

"Be mindful that all of us need to understand the consequences of our actions," said Dr. Dunsel.

"Are you judging me?" said Exxon Mobil.

"No. No judgment. But you have money. You have power. It would be smart of you to understand how your actions affect the world you live in, if for no other reason than to gain intelligence so you can make more meaningful decisions," said Dr. Dunsel.

"Meaningful decisions. What is a meaningful decision?" asked Exxon Mobil.

"Well let me ask you. What do you think it means?" asked Dr. Dunsel.

Exxon Mobil sat there for a moment. He did not know what to say or how to interpret the concept of meaningfulness. He would make his own meaning, wouldn’t he? Shouldn’t he?

"Time is up. We can discuss this next time when you feel you need affirmation again," said Dr. Dunsel.

Good, Exxon Mobil thought. Enough of this. This conversation was over for now.

Friday, May 26, 2006

The Prophet Muhammad Likes The Sopranos

The Prophet Muhammad sat in a large brown leather chair with wide arm rests. The Prophet was in a large oval office dimly lit by up-lighting from the single built-in shelf that ran along each side of the oval walls. On the shelf was an occasional soap stone animal figure, ranging from a seal to a polar bear to various birds. The Prophet rubbed his hands up and down the thick arm rests, feeling the leather, examining it as if he had never felt such smooth leather before. He was wearing a turban and a black robe. He had a beard and short hair, both black and flecked with grey. His skin glistened like dark porcelain. The Prophet smiled as he looked around the room. His teeth were perfect and as white as the snow he had never seen.

Opposite the Prophet sat Lorraine Bracco. Lorraine was dressed in a pink skirt and matching jacket with a white blouse. Her hands were clasped on her lap and her legs were crossed, as she would always do during her sessions to remain modest. This was particularly true at this moment with a new client, particularly this client. Lorraine was slowly air tapping her black high heel as she waited for the Prophet to say something.

"This is leather, yes?" said the Prophet.

"Yes," said Lorraine.

"Very nice. And very nice room. I've never seen clothing like you wear. Is it comfortable?" asked the Prophet.

"Yes. Is there something you wish to talk about?" asked Lorraine.

"Yes. Yes. Talk. I am troubled. I am troubled by all the violence. I see much violence in the world. I see it on your television show, Miss Bracco. It is troubling, yes?" asked the Prophet.

"But you are here to talk about you, not the violence in the world. Tell me why the violence troubles you?" asked Lorraine.

"This is a funny question. Do you think it odd that I should be troubled by violence?" asked the Prophet.

"That is not the point. It may be perfectly reasonable to be troubled by violence. But why does it trouble you? What is the reason for your troubled reaction?" asked Lorraine.

"It is a question of morality. God is displeased with violence. It is immoral. Immoral acts trouble me because they trouble God," said the Prophet.

"If violence did not trouble God, then it would not trouble you?" asked Lorraine.

"Of course not. Who am I to quibble with God," said the Prophet.

"Much violence you see would appear to be coming from people who claim to follow you," said Lorraine.

"Oh, but of course. If you look around, you will see violence everywhere, from people who claim to follow me, from people who follow others, from people who follow no one. But I find the false violence, the violence that is portrayed on your television show and other shows to be quite curious. It is violence that is not real. You make it up. Why would anyone make up violence when so much already exists," said the Prophet.

"Because it is entertaining," said Lorraine, who immediately felt uncomfortable with her explanation.

"This Tony Soprano. He seems to be growing less violent," said the Prophet.

"Yes. I am not permitted to talk about the show," said Lorraine.

The Prophet raises his hand and makes a very slow circle in the air with it.

"OK, I will talk about it. Tony Soprano is going through much self-reflection. He is less violent during this period of his life and of course the show is consequently losing viewers," said Lorraine.

"Self-reflection. Yes. That is important. No doubt due to having been shot and coming close to his maker," said the Prophet.

"In defense of our show, you do not find any of our characters committing suicide in the name of their religion or God," said Lorraine.

"You misinterpret the act. It is not suicide. It is violence to people or property in the service of a cause, and in the process the perpetrator of the act dies. Tony Soprano once would do violence for money or disloyalty, but of course he would not wish to die. Is one form more troubling than the other?" said the Prophet.

"Does any of this violence trouble you? The killing in the name of Islam?” said Lorraine.

"Yes. It troubles me. Of course. It is due in part to a misinterpretation of the Book. It is not seventy-two virgins that await a martyr; it is seventy-two raisins. An understandable mistake, but an unfortunate one. A raisin is not nearly as attractive as a virgin. I think that all this violence will make my followers at some point have a Tony Soprano experience," said the Prophet.

"I think that violence leads to more violence. Like perpetual motion, it goes on and on," said Lorraine.

"Ah yes. Maybe. But you know I have a theory. This internet creates more viewers and viewers like violence. So you have this much bigger audience today that seeks the drama of violence and so the world gives it to them. Your show, The Sopranos, well, look at its viewers. They diminish every week that passes with Tony Soprano not being violent. It is a lesson," said the Prophet.

"A lesson? What is the lesson?" asked Lorraine.

"Get rid of the medium, cut off the viewers, and the violence will have no possibility of high ratings. Your show goes against the screaming masses. That makes it good. It is fighting the hunger for violence. But it will not last. Television will either kill it, or Tony Soprano will have to start killing again. So I suggest instead to kill the television. Without it, there is no ratings, and no need for this violence. It would make me less troubled." said the Prophet.

“You get HBO?” asked Lorraine.

“Doesn’t everybody?” said the Prophet.

"Your time is up," said Lorraine.

"I hope you are wrong, Miss Bracco," said the Prophet as he smiled, a sparkle of light hitting one of his bright white teeth.

Bush Fishes For What To Do

The Hula Popper hit the stream with a plop. George W. Bush jiggled the line which was attached to his seven-foot Loomis rod with Shimano spinning tackle firmly in his right hand. Bush was sitting on a folding chair next to a stream that was moving slowly in the Arkansas humidity. The Ozarks were a place where Bush escaped, little known to the media. Even his retinue of White House staffers was unaware that Bush helicoptered into Arkansas to catch fish. Trout. Brown trout. Rainbow trout. Trout is what Bush liked, but not on a fly rod or with waders. Bush liked to sit down with a Diet Coke and some chips in an easy chair with light tackle in hand. And he never used live bait. Lures are what he liked. The colors. The candy colored lures reminded him of toys he had when he was a child. Bush's father was a saltwater man, fishing for big game off of fast moving Cigarette boats in the wild and cold waters of Maine. Not George W. Bush. George W. Bush preferred the quiet of a stream and the subtle sounds of freshwater. Bush also thought that fresh water fish were smarter than their saltwater cousins. The big ocean fish were, as far as he could tell, big and stupid. He liked the sharp-eyed thoughtfulness of trout.

Bush sat there sweating in the cool early morning still air of the notorious Ozark humidity. This secret stream was solace to Bush, particularly now with his popularity plummeting. The public face he offered, that is that he did not believe the polls or that he did not care to govern based on polls, was more face than heart. The negative polls hurt. He did not want to admit it. He shared these thoughts with Laura who told him that it was human to feel the pain of unpopularity. But Laura also cautioned her husband that the polls might not be accurate. Bush thanked her, but knew different. The polls meant something.

Bush kept thinking that trying times test a man's commitment. Think of Lincoln. Bush thought of Lincoln. Lincoln did the right thing. Lincoln stayed the course even when things were really bad. As Bush jiggled the Loomis rod watching the Hula Popper lure bounce in the water, Bush asked himself if he could reasonably compare his troubles with Lincoln's. Could people have said that Lincoln lived in a bubble? Could people have called the Civil War a war of choice? Would Lincoln have stayed the course if he knew his popularity was low and dropping? If that was true, that is. Bush did not really know much about Lincoln’s popularity back when Lincoln governed. He figured Lincoln was not popular in the South. But was Lincoln popular in the North where thousands and thousands of war casualties came from? As Bush jiggled his Hula Popper, he smiled, thinking he was fishing for the truth and not trout. So elusive at times. Turth and trout. When you are in the muck of it all, where do you place the lure? How do you know what trout lies below the surface? It's easy to be critical.

"You really should put waders on and get into the river," said the secret service agent who was standing a few feet away.

The comment startled Bush who forgot that seven secret service agents were stationed at various points in this corner of the Ozarks.

"It's too dirty. I don't like to get dirty and deal with the water and everything," said Bush.

"You can't catch fish unless you get into the water, sir, and that lure you’re using probably is a poor choice," said the agent.

"I do just fine," said Bush.

"You did not catch anything the last four times we have been here, sir," said the agent.

"Fishing has nothing to do with catching fish," said Bush.

"What does it have to do with, sir?" asked the agent.

"It's therapy. It's the process. It's about being in nature," said Bush.

"Your lure is in the middle of the stream. Trout will not hang out in the middle where the sun is hitting. Try over there in the shadows," said the agent as he pointed to a spot on the stream that lied under the leafy roof of a large tree.

"I know what I am doing. This is where I like to place the lure. This is what I do. I like to come here and cast into the middle of the stream, sun or no sun," said Bush.

The secret service agent decided not to pursue the point. And Bush returned to his thoughts about Abraham Lincoln. Stick with what you are doing. Stick it out. I mean afterall, Lincoln got the worst poll news of all, a bullet in the brain, and look how he is viewed today, thought Bush. Lincoln’s an icon. Stick it out. Stick it out.

The Hula Popper kept bobbing. Not a trout in sight.

George Bush May Lose His Daughter’s Approval

A light Spring rain was falling outside the window behind the oak desk in the Oval Office. George W. Bush was sitting back in the thickly padded dark brown leather chair, his black loafers on the credenza, ankles crossed. His hands were casually clasped resting in his lap as he watched the early morning clouds. The rain drops made trails on the window glass. Bush glanced at his rubberized digital watch. It was 6:32 AM. Bush had yet to put on the red tie that was on the desk behind him. Bush's white shirt was open four buttons down exposing a white t-shirt. He sported a black blazer that was open and ruffled because of the position he was in. He counted the rain trails on the window glass. Seven trails.

"You are down to seven," said Karl Rove who stood fully dressed in a dark grey business suit with his standard red and yellow striped tie.

"Seven rain drop trails flowing down my window," said George W. Bush as he stared out the window.

"Excuse me," said Rove.

"The rain. I like a light Spring rain. It cleans things up," said Bush.

"George, you are down to a seven approval rating," said Rove.

"What does that really mean? Let"s consider that. Seven percent of what? There are 300 million Americans. Seven percent of that is what? Is that like twenty-one million. That's more people than watch American Idol, right?" asked Bush.

"I wouldn't know," said Rove.

"Twenty-one million is a lot of people, Karl," said Bush.

"Yes, George, but I did not say you had a seven percent approval rating. I said you had a seven approval rating," said Rove.

"Yeah. Seven approval rating, whatever is that?" asked Bush.

"That means there are seven people who approve of you," said Rove.

Bush removes his legs from the credenza and turns in his chair to face Rove. "Seven people. How the hell do you figure that?" asked Bush.

"We polled everybody. We can do that now with the Patriot Act. It's not a typical poll, but we can find out what everybody thinks," said Rove.

"Everybody? That's absurd. So you know who the seven people are?" asked Bush.

"Yes. Laura is one. Your dad and mom are two more. Your two daughters make five. Jeb is six. I'm seven," said Rove.

"What about that woman in Houston last week, the one on the street who told me how much she loved me? She said it right there with the cameras going. It was even on the news," said Bush.

"She hates you. She is angry about Iraq. She is angry about gas prices. She is just plain angry about everything. She said she loved you to be polite," said Rove.

"You didn't count me. You didn't count me. I make eight," said Bush.

"Yes. Sorry. You would make eight. You have an eight approval rating," said Rove.

Bush picks up the red tie on the desk and drapes it around his neck.

"I should point out that your daughter Jenna is not a solid approval lock. She is wavering. You might go back down to seven," said Rove.

"Get out. Jenna? She loves me," said Bush.

"She loves you as a father, I would imagine. We are talking about your presidency.

"Jenna. She was always a pain in the ass," said Bush.

"We need to do something. We need to get drastic," said Rove.

"Oh, now, Karl. There is no reason to panic. Hey, things can't get worse, right. I got work to do, that's all. Stop the panic stuff. It makes me anxious. I don't. I don't want to be anxious," said Bush.

"Sorry, George. I'm just thinking about your legacy," said Rove.

"You're talking about history books? Damn those. Don't read them. No one does anymore. You got to get with the times, Karl. You got to get with the times," said Bush.

Pete Doherty Gives Cocaine To Lady Liberty

Pete Doherty was on his knees wearing a white t-shirt with the words "Exxon Mobil" emblazoned on the front in big block letters. The room was on the fourth floor of the Rembrandt Hotel in the Knightsbridge section of London, about a ten-minute walk from Harrod's Department Store. Doherty had an Executive Suite, one with a Jacuzzi in the bedroom. And that is where Doherty was at the moment, in the bedroom with the Jacuzzi a few feet from where the young girl was lying on the floor. The girl's name was Libby. Doherty did not know her last name, though it did not matter much. A first name and a body, that is all Libby needed. And Libby's body was sprawled out on the floor, in faded blue jeans that Doherty had opened and unzipped in the front. Libby was wearing a white t-shirt as well but with a photograph of the Statute of Liberty on the front. The t-shirt was ripped from it's v-neck down about a foot, exposing Libby's left breast as she lied on her back on the polished oak floor boards. From the bottom of Libby's blue jeans jutted bare ankles and two-inch black high heels. Libby's right leg was bent inward, the high heel on its side touching the upper thigh of Libby's left leg, which was out straight.

Doherty was holding Libby's left arm, which was white as the sheets on the queen-size bed at the other end of the large bedroom. He looked down at Libby. She was breathing heavily, her long brown hair disheveled, spread in all directions. Doherty looked at the photo of the Statute of Liberty. The photograph of the famous statue show a woman so covered in robes that you had no idea what kind of body she had. But it was clear to Doherty that Liberty was not a slight woman; she had strong features, but they were not really feminine. Unlike Libby, who was thin and slight and delicate, Liberty had meat on her. Libby barely had enough skin to cover her bones.

Libby was like Kate. Oh, Kate, beautiful Kate Moss. She was making herself scarce these days. Sending notes, text messages, emails, but her gorgeous frailness was not physically present. Kate Moss kept away. Kate was afraid of being with Pete Doherty these days. Afraid that she would submit to the temptations of heroin and cocaine and all the other goodies Pete offered whenever they were together. A Kate Moss and Pete Doherty day always started late, like around three in the afternoon. The wine and whiskey started to flow around tea time. The first pills around dinner time. The cocaine around eight. And if they felt up to it, the syringes came out around ten. And all along, the constant sucking on cigarettes, a haze of tobacco smoke mixed with booze gave Kate and Pete blood shot eyes by the time they passed out together.

But Doherty was not with Kate Moss. He was with Libby. And Libby would have to do. But Libby could not hold her drugs like Kate. Kate's metabolism had built up the enzymes that adapt the body to the onslaught of drugs and alcohol. But Libby clearly was new to this. The half bottle of whiskey and the pills were enough to knock Libby unconscious. But Doherty was good at this. He knew a small hit of hot liquid cocaine would wake her.

Doherty held the syringe in his right hand, holding Libby's left arm with his left hand. The underside of Libby's wrist was up, her left hand fallen back. Doherty spotted a nice thick blue vein in the middle of Libby's underarm. Doherty placed the needle slowly to the thin white skin and pressed. The skin did not seem to break so easily, which surprised Doherty. Libby's skin was like paper. He pressed harder. Doherty was not aware of his own dulled senses, so he pressed a little too hard, the needle pierced the skin and sliced through the blue vein, cutting it. Libby's red blood squirted out in a gusher straight out at Doherty's white t-shirt, creating a thick bold line of red across the black letters that spelled Exxon Mobil.

"Shit," said Doherty. "Shit, shit, shit."

Doherty was more pissed at the waste of good cocaine than the predicament of Libby. Libby would survive, at least tonight. But shit, the waste of good cocaine. Amateurs. Where was Kate Moss. He missed her. Doherty stood and sat on the edge of the Jacuzzi and watched Libby's blood ooze out her left arm onto the oak wood floor boards. Doherty lit a cigarette and remembered the first time he put a needle in Kate Moss’s arm. Her eyes rolled back into her head and she moaned. Oh, what a beautiful moan. A Moss moan is a thing of beauty. Doherty let out smoke that collected over Libby’s still body. The blood was still flowing from her white underarm. He wanted to muster some concern, but all he could think of was Kate. She’ll be back. He was certain. He was certain.

Katie Holmes Gives Birth The Tom Cruise Way

Katie Holmes lied on her back, her legs separated by stirrups, as the female obstetrician examined Katie’s dilated vagina, the headtop of the baby starting to show.

"Push," said the doctor.

Katie held her breath and struggled to move the baby. She then let out a big breath.

"How long? How long have I been doing this?" asked Katie with her eyes closed, struggling not to cry in front of Tom who was standing at her side.

"About two hours," said the doctor.

"I can't--" said Katie, catching herself.

"Let's try again," said Tom.

Katie took a deep breath and pushed again.

"OK, good, good, that's good Katie. Keep pushing, yes, yes," said the doctor.

Katie let out her breath with a noise that could only reasonably interpreted as pain.

"Is it coming? Did it move?" asked Katie.

"It popped back up again," said the doctor.

"No, no, please, I can't take this Tom," said Katie as she squeezed his hand.

"This is natural, Katie. This is what every mother goes through," said Tom.

The doctor glanced at Tom as he was lecturing Katie about motherhood.

"It's a right of passage that you must go through. You have to earn it," said Tom.

"I want drugs. I want the pain to go away," said Katie.

"Don't say that," said Tom.

"You want me to call for an epidural Katie?" asked the doctor.

"No. No, she doesn't," said Tom.

"Yes. I want the pain to stop. Now. I can't take it," said Katie.

"The pain will stop when the baby comes out. So push. Push now," said Tom with a volume that was mildly inappropriate.

Katie took a deep breath and pushed again. The doctor watched the baby's head reappear as Katie dilated. Katie pushed hard, and her face turned red with blotches from the increased blood pressure that built as she pushed. She then let out a scream with a burst of air.

"OK, I am going to call the anesthesiologist" said the doctor.

"No. No drugs for the mother of my child. No drugs. No drugs, Katie, right, tell the doctor," said Tom.

"Please Tom, please. This is too much," pleaded Katie.

"You will disappoint me if you do this," aid Tom.

"Mr. Cruise, it is sometimes medically necessary for a woman to have an epidural. Look at Katie's face. It is blotched from the pushing. I can induce labor and take away the pain," said the doctor.

"It is not medically necessary. That is bullshit. Katie can give birth without the drugs and your help, thank you," said Tom.

And so Katie pushed and pushed and pushed. And the doctor and Tom argued and argued and argued. And the baby kept appearing and disappearing, and appearing and disappearing, until five hours later when the baby finally emerged, popping out, covered with ooze and crying as soon as its lungs were cleared.

Katie was exhausted, almost unconscious, and could not muster the strength to remain awake to hold her baby. But Tom held the baby, his baby, as the doctor cleaned up Katie and gave her an IV of fluids. Tom objected to the IV, wanting to know what it was all about. The doctor explained that Katie was dehydrated and needed the fluids. Tom did not put up a fuss, distracted by his child, his flesh and blood, that he cradled in his arms as Katie remained unconscious from the ordeal, the beautiful ordeal of childbirth.

What Would Springsteen Do, Ask The Dixie Chicks

Martie Maguire tried to think of her children as she listened to Natalie Maines go on and on about Bush. Martie's sister, Emily Robison, held a "Venti" size latte from Starbucks in her right hand as she lazily plucked the low E string with her left forefinger on an acoustic guitar that sat in her lap. Natalie was pacing as the two sisters listened.

"I'm retracting my apology," said Natalie.

"You tell a British audience that you are ashamed of Bush. Then you retract your shame and apologize. Now you are retracting your apology," said Emily.

"You’re flip flopping," said Martie.

"I'm finding my footing, and I am not shy about it," said Natalie.

"Toby Keith is going to crucify you," said Emily as she moved her forefinger to the low A string, plucking slowly.

"Fuck Toby Keith," said Natalie.

"No one listens to country music outside the country demographic, and it ain't easy finding Bush bashers among that audience, Nat," said Martie.

“Hey, we crossed over Martie,” said Emily.

“I don’t believe a country musician can remain crossed over,” said Martie.

"Madonna is now getting away bashing Bush," said Natalie.

"Madonna's audience is different," said Martie.

"Madonna started bashing Bush when his approval rating dropped below 35. She has the timing thing down," said Emily.

"Springsteen would retract," said Natalie.

"Springsteen never would have apologized for saying what he said," said Martie.

"You're not going to keep doing this Nat, are you? Keep asking what would Springsteen do?" asked Emily.

"We are not going on the View. We're declining the invitation. Springsteen would never appear on the View," said Natalie.

"Are you trying to find your footing or Springsteen's footing?" asked Martie.

"This is getting silly. If Nat wants to retract her retraction, then let her. It sounds like that Kenny Rogers song, what condition my condition was in," said Emily, as she then starting singing "I've got to retract what once I did retract to get back to where I was before I did my - did my - help me out here girls," said Emily.

“What retraction my retraction was in,” sang Martie.

“Yeah, I like it,” said Emily.

"Look, I think that we are wasting our energy on the pronouncements and the press releases. Let's just put it into the music like Em says," said Martie.

"Put it into the music," said Emily.

"Yeah, Nat, that's what Springsteen would do," said Martie.

"It's what Madonna does. She changes her lyrics to bash Bush. But it's still in her music," said Emily.

"It's all about the music. Nobody really cares or should care about how we vote or what we think outside of our music," said Martie.

"You girls are a pain in the ass, ganging up on me here," said Natalie.

The A string on the acoustic guitar on Emily's lap broke with a twang. "Whoops," said Emily. Emily placed the guitar on the floor leaning up on the chair she was was sitting on.

"You're going to change that. I am tired of changing your broken strings, Em," said Martie.

"You’re a pain in the ass, Martie," said Emily.

"That’s what we three are, girls, big pains in the asses. And let's keep it that way," said Natalie. “But you’re right. We should keep it in the music. Because without it, we got nothing to say.”

“At least no way of saying it,” added Martie.

Soccer And Baseball Attempt Diplomacy

The soccer stadium north of Tehran was empty. The 77,000 seats were made of plastic and were hot in the midday sun. Over the years, some of the seats had buckled from the pounding heat. There was a soccer game scheduled for tomorrow, but today the big bowl was lifeless. Nothing was moving but for a flock of starlings that had gathered in the upper stands at the western end of the oval arena. Sitting in the middle of the soccer field on the brown grass was a faded red soccer ball. About three feet away sat a white leather baseball. The red soccer ball and the white baseball, alone together in an empty Iranian soccer field.

"What are you doing here?" said the soccer ball.

"To talk," said the baseball.

"You shouldn't be here. This is a soccer field," said the soccer ball.

"I want to understand this soccer. It seems endless and sloppy and all those tie scores, no winners and losers. Explain," asked the baseball.

"You wouldn't understand. You only see the beauty of things if it has a structure, if it has a winner and a loser," said the soccer ball.

"But what is sport without a winner and a loser," said the baseball.

"Ties are important. It is two teams searching for the beauty of a tie, to find that balance where there is competitive common ground," said the soccer ball.

"Give me a break. You're telling me you search for a tie and not to win. Yeah right," said the baseball.
"Of course we want to win. We want it. But we don't have to win. We can finish a game without winning. But you have to win," said the soccer ball.

"It's impossible to follow soccer. There are too many teams in too many different clubs and leagues with no organization. And the names are nuts. Chelsea, Tottenham, Manchester United, Newcastle United, West Ham United. What's with the united thing in so many names?" said the baseball.

"Typical. All you know is the English soccer teams. Soccer is all over the world, played in every country with all different kinds of leagues, played on different size fields, in cold weather, in hot weather, played all year round, never ending," said the soccer ball.

"Too much diversity. Soccer needs organization, set up with one set of rules. It's too unruly," said the baseball.

"Soccer is the world. Unruly, messy, hard playing, life in all shades with all different cultures meeting on one field with one ball and two goals," said the soccer ball.

"Baseball has statistics. You can wrap your arms around baseball, and study it like a science," said the baseball.

"Yes. Yes. True. Soccer is not like that. You can never wrap your arms around it. It is too big. Too undefinable, too nuanced to be subject to statistics or mathematics. That is what makes it human," said the soccer ball.

"No. No. That is what makes it inhuman. Baseball is an attempt to create order, to impose order on the universe," said the baseball.

"Yes. Yes. You are right. You are always trying to impose order. But it cannot be done. Baseball is a fantasy. Soccer represents mankind as it really exists," said the soccer ball.

"I am going home. I do not understand this place," said the baseball.

"I think you should go home. I think you do not belong here," said the soccer ball.
"We will never understand each other," said the baseball.

"Not true. Soccer understands baseball. But baseball does not understand soccer. It is human to try to impose order. Soccer knows this. What you cannot accept is the disorder," said the soccer ball.

"Bye," said the baseball.

"Maybe someday we can kick a ball around together," said the soccer ball.

"Not today. Not today," said the baseball.

Madonna Sings About George W. Bush's Genitalia

Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone pulled the red nylon tie that zig-zagged back and forth on her body suit which barely covered her breasts down to an inch below her belly button, creating a four-finger wide view of her six-pack of abdominal muscles. Her manager was standing by with a clip board and a Blackberry. Madonna's hair was still wet from the shower, and was yet to be blow dried by her three hair stylists.

"I think it's a bad idea," said the manager.

"Fuck. This is not reaching. I need a longer cord here," said Madonna loudly so everyone in the large dressing room would hear her.

Julie with short blond hair in tight jeans and a yellow tank top rushed over to Madonna's torso to remove the red nylon cord. Madonna leaned back as the cord pulled free from the tiny holes that ran down each side of the body suit that was designed to remain widely open revealing years of Madonna’s hard abdominal workouts. Julie had to work to get the cord through some of the holes because the body suit was so tightly grabbing Madonna's body.

"What did you say?" asked Madonna of her manager.

"Your song is strong. You don’t need to change the lyrics," said the manager.

"You're telling me my song is strong, like I don't know that," said Madonna as she was watching Julie struggle with the cord.

"Sorry. I just meant to express the view that being so overtly political, and I might add trashy, might be counter-productive," said the manager.

"Counter-productive? Counter productive for who?" asked Madonna.

At this moment the cord pulled completely out of the last two holes below Madonna's belly button. The skin tight outfit fell open exposing Madonna's breasts, which she let hang and did not seem shy about. They were ample breasts, but had started to sag from age.

"Well, counter-productive for, well, for the politics," said the manager.

"For the politics. What is that supposed to mean?" said Madonna.

"If the objective is to affect politics, then maybe you can choose a different metaphor than sucking President Bush's dick in Texas," said the manager.

"That's not a metaphor. Bush has a dick. And I am telling people to go suck it. In Texas. Where I assume lots of dicks get sucked. What is metaphorical about that?" asked Madonna.

"OK. Yes. I see that. But why are you choosing to now get so boldly partisan. I thought we had discussed that it is preferable to be political without getting personal and taking sides, or at a minimum be circumspect about your point of view," said the manager.

Madonna raised both her breasts to air out the sweaty skin under where they had been hanging, which was lower these days than in past years. She cupped each breast with her palms and held them up.
“Besides, it feels like it is in bad taste,” said the manager.

"Bush's approval ratings are below thirty-five percent. I can now get partisan. It will be good. And I turn things that are in bad taste into good taste. I have mastered the artform,” said Madonna.

“OK. OK. It just makes me uneasy,” said the manager.

“I can do no wrong with this one. Trust me. I can get filthy and trashy with a president who is going under. Throwing stones in a sinking ship. I'm throwing stones in a sinking ship. Where the fuck is Julie? I need to get this body suit on," said Madonna.

Julie rushes over with a new cord.

"That's blue. I want a red cord. A red cord. Go find a red cord, Julie,” said Madonna. Julie ran off.
"OK. OK. Yes. Well, what if President Bush's approval ratings go back up?" asked the manager.
"Then I get, what did you say, circumspect. Ambiguous. I drop the partisan stuff. But now, I can tell people to suck Bush's dick. The public will love it," said Madonna.

"OK. OK. Yes. Maybe," said the manager.

"Get me a cappuccino. Soy milk. Large." said Madonna.

"Yes. Of course. Right away," said the manager, as she tuned and moved quickly with her clipboard, leaving Madonna on the stool cupping and lifting her breasts.

“My hair needs to be dried. My hair needs to be dried. Does anybody fucking hear me?” said Madonna.

Paris Hilton Free Associates In The Nude

Paris Hilton was naked in front of the floor-to-ceiling mirror that formed one wall in a white marble bathroom on the top floor of the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Paris was tall at five foot eight inches, and she was thin. Not bone thin like Nicole Ritchie or Calista Flockhart or Lara Flynn Boyle. She had some shape. Her breasts though were not large enough, she thought, but she was not going to deal with that issue now. Too young. She had the goods and all the attention she needed, so stuffing her breasts with silicon was not high on the agenda. Plus, her face was, well, chiseled. That is how Paris viewed her face: chiseled; as if a sculptor was inspired to carve a perfect face.

Paris smiled as she looked at her face. She thought that the women, the actors mostly, who had decided to alter their faces with plastic surgery had opted for the committee approach to art. And as far as Paris was concerned, committees never produced good art. It required inspiration, a burst of hot fire that drives the creation of perfection. Chiseled. And Paris was born with this face. Indeed, she sometimes thought that she was named after the perfect city. But she did not let that thought carry too far since she actually did not care for Paris. Don't tell anyone Paris does not like Paris. She found the French to be boring, and their capital city rather dull. The color grey came to Paris's mind whenever she thought of the City of Paris. Yes, of course, the Eiffel Tower was cool. And that Jules Verne restaurant was special for its location. But really, to go nuts for a whole city because of a glorified antenna was silly. Though when she read The DaVinci Code, well, I mean, when she read half The DaVinci Code Paris never finishes a book — she felt briefly nostalgic about Paris.

Never finishes a book. Paris thought about this thought. It was bothersome that books were boring after a hundred pages or so. Actually, they were boring after a hundred words. She thought this as she stood before the mirror in her skinny nakedness. Naked in her Daddy's hotel. Oooops, that does not sound good. Hilton Hotels was a public company, afterall, and this was not really Daddy's hotel. But then, everyone treated her like it was Daddy's hotel. She could waltz into any Hilton Hotel in the world and get a room without ever lifting her black American Express Card out of her Prada bag. Frankly, she was through with lifting anything. Paris preferred others do the lifting for her, bags and credit cards. Get others to pay, Paris would think, even though she typically had more money than anyone in the room, or wherever she was where a tab or bill was presented.

Paris was alone in the Penthouse suite of the Beverly Hilton. Not totally alone. The girl on the couch was there. Sleeping and snoring. Shocking. How could such a young thing snore like that. Paris could hear it from the bathroom which was two large rooms away from the lungfuls of noise. The girl no doubt was snoring, Paris thought, because the girl must have gone through three packs of Camels the night before. The girl's name was what again? Evy? Zeevy? Yeevy? Paris couldn't remember. The girl followed Paris to her room, and Paris accommodated her, making believe the girl was like a baby sister or an older child. The girl was a child, in fact. Could not be more than sixteen. The girl mentioned something about tenth grade. A rich kid. A rich Beverly Hills stupid kid on her way to being fat or a druggie or just totally useless.

Paris snapped back into attention and looked at her face again. Stop the daydreaming. Let's get dressed and get out of here. She was packing light, just her clothes and cell phone. Oh, yes, her wallet too. The hotel will give her everything else she needs. She will get dressed and leave the snoring tenth grader on the couch. The tenth grader probably won't even remember last night. Not that anything happened but for the two bottles of white wine the kid poured down her mouth and the three times she slipped and fell while dancing. Dancing and drinking, silly drunk to be with the famous Paris Hilton, dancing with Paris till that moment when the kid knew her body could not absorb anymore drink or drugs, and so she felt like she had permission to hang on Paris. Normally Paris would have a drunk slobbering on her yanked off by security. But this girl was sweet even though a mess.

Paris had all photographers banned from the party. Everyone was checked by security, not for guns or knives but for any imaging devices, including cell phones. So no one, I mean no one has an image of this stupid drunk high school girl with long wavy black hair hanging onto Paris's shoulder with her alabaster white splinter-like arms as Paris led her to the Penthouse suite utilizing the back staff elevator at three in the morning. Paris loved her Daddy's hotels. She had total control. Paris had the power of immigration and customs at her Daddy's hotels. At this thought, the morning sunlight, well, OK, the mid-afternoon sunlight, hit her naked ankles as it cut through the living room, then through the bedroom and into the bathroom. Time to get dressed. Time to start another day. OK, OK, time to start another evening.

A Ten-Year Old Iraqi And His Dead Mother With No Feet

Akbar Rabani sat on a rock on the side of the road three miles north of Basra in Southern Iraq. Akbar was ten years old. He wore sandals, white cloth pants and a blue Manchester soccer shirt he was given by a British soldier. He was thinking about his mother. In fact, he was looking at his mother, who was lying on the cracked black pavement six feet in front of him. Akbar's mother's name was Suukal. Suukal was dead, lying in the midday Spring sun, wearing a dark grey skirt and black blouse that had a hood attached that was used to cover her head and face. Suukal's shoes were attached to her feet, which had been blown off her legs and lying a few feet away. The hole where the bomb exploded was under Suukal, her body having flown into the air, plopping down immediately on top of where the device had been placed. The heat of the bomb cauterized the bottom of what remained of Suukal's legs, which prevented blood from flowing. Indeed, Akbar saw no blood. It was strange, he thought, that his mother could be blown up, and somehow neatly just lose her feet in a bloodless death. Suukal's head was turned toward Akbar, her eyes closed, with a bit of dust on her cheeks. Suukal had long black hair which was splayed out from the hood that was back off her head. Suukal was thirty-two years old. Akbar had no siblings. He had no father, who was killed last year. And now Akbar had no mother.

An American Marine was standing a few feet from Suukal, looking down at the body, holding a rifle up with his right arm. The Marine's name was John. He was from Cincinnati, and was thinking of the Cincinnati Reds who were in first place in the Central Division of the National League. The Reds at that very moment had the best record in all Major League Baseball, and it made him feel homesick. John caught himself thinking of the Great American Ballpark, the name of the stadium where the Reds played, as he was gazing at a dead woman with no feet. John's mind bounced back and forth between the dead woman and the oldest professional baseball team in the major leagues. From dead woman to baseball to the dead woman and back to baseball. John was perplexed at how his brain could contemplate these two disparate thoughts. It was springtime in America, with the sound of bats hitting balls, and it was springtime in Iraq with the sound of roadside bombs. But like America, Iraq was more complicated than that. John then noticed a boy wearing a soccer shirt sitting on a rock.

Akbar rose from his rock and walked to his mother and touched her face. Suukal's cheeks were soft and warm. Akbar thought she looked like she was sleeping, but he knew she was dead. The softness and warmth of her cheeks surprised Akbar. Death meant cold and hard. But his mother was still soft and warm. Akbar had been about fifty feet behind his mother, kicking a soccer ball, following her on the way to a market where vegetables were being sold. They were very careful to stay on the pavement as it was known that bombs were usually placed in the sand and dirt on the sides of roads. But occasionally, in the broken roads of Iraq, where holes were filled with gravel, cleverly hidden trip bombs were placed. And Suukal, daydreaming of the dinner she was planning for her brother and son, thoughtlessly stepped on a patch of gravel. A click, and then the explosion. Akbar had kicked his green soccer ball just as he saw his mother fly up into the air and then fall back down. The green soccer ball rolled straight toward his mother and came to rest three feet from where her head hit the pavement.
John watched the young boy touching the dead woman's face. He did not know if the boy was related to the dead woman or just a curious Iraqi kid. John had seen so many mutilated bodies and body parts since arriving in Iraq four months ago, that he was usually immune to what would have made him vomit back in the States. But this moment, a moment in the Spring heat of Iraq, a moment where thoughts intersected and smells overwhelmed, a moment where John noticed a boy, a dead woman with no feet and a green soccer ball. The green soccer ball sat there, motionless like the dead woman. John thought that soccer balls should not be motionless. He walked slowly to the ball and placed his boot on top of it, like he had seen soccer players do to control a soccer ball, to change its direction, to out maneuver an opponent.

Akbar noticed his green soccer ball with a boot on it. He looked up and saw the American marine. Akbar had grown to like American Marines. He knew that Americans did not place roadside bombs, that they did not kill just to kill. Akbar had been told that Americans had come to Iraq with good intentions, but had made a mess of things. Now they were here presiding over a mess and not knowing what to do about it. Akbar thought that but for the Americans his mother would still be alive. He did not think that Saddam would have placed a bomb where his mother had placed her sandal step. That the bomb was there because the Americans were there. Good intentions, bad results. Love them, hate them. Two disparate thoughts at the same time. Akbar did not want to think about it right now, but he did want to take care of his mother.

John watched the young boy rise and walk over to the dead woman's dismembered feet. The boy picked up the feet, one hand grabbing a sandal strap of the left foot, and the other hand grabbing the sandal strap of the right foot. The body parts remained inside the sandals as the boy placed the feet at the cauterized leg tips of the dead woman. The boy adjusted them to give the impression that the feet were still attached to the dead woman. The boy looked up at the American. The boy smiled.
Akbar saw the American smile and wave his left hand. Akbar waved his hand. The American touched his chest and said "John," Akbar touched his chest and said "Akbar."

John liked the way Iraqis spoke. When they spoke slowly, their manner of speech sounded erudite. Even when spoken by a child. The boy stood and pointed to the green soccer ball. John rolled the ball towards the boy who stopped it with his right foot, keeping his foot on top of the soccer ball, much like John had done. John thought about soccer, and how the whole world seemed to play the game. The whole world except for America. John thought that maybe he should learn more about this game. There must be something to it that made so many kids kick soccer balls around in dusty Iraqi fields.
"Peterson, let's move," said John's commanding officer. John waved to the boy, turned and walked toward a truck where his commanding officer stood.

Akbar saw the American walk away. Akbar sat on his green soccer ball next to his mother and watched the truck drive away carrying the American Marine and several other soldiers. He looked down at his mother's face, which was starting to turn blue. Akbar did not know what to do. Leave. Stay. He then thought of his mother's brother, his uncle. He would go to his uncle's house. But he did not want to leave his mother. So Akbar stayed, sitting on his green soccer ball in the springtime noonday Iraqi sun as he watched two white morning doves land on the hot pavement near his mother's head.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

President George W. Bush Learns About Memorial Day

Karl Rove sat in one of the opposing couches in the Oval Office. He was fully dressed in a Navy blue business suit, with white shirt and red tie. Today he also had gold cuff links, each in the shape of a waving United States flag. A US flag was pinned to the lapel of his blazer. He was reading the sports section of the Washington Times.

George W. Bush emerged from the curved door to the private Oval Office bathroom. He was wearing pin-striped boxer shorts and black socks. Nothing else.

“Hey, I didn’t know anyone was here,” said President Bush.

“The Nationals won,” said Rove.

“Oh, crikey, like I really care about the Nationals. I am not a DC guy. Tell me about the Astros,” said the President.

“What are you doing undressed in the Oval Office, George? This is your office. You are supposed to get dressed in your bedroom upstairs,” said Rove.

The President picked up the white Oxford shirt thrown on the back of the couch that was opposite Rove. He placed his arms in the shirtsleeves and started to button up.

“I came down in my PJs and took a shower in the Oval Office bathroom. Is that OK with you,” said the President.

“It’s Memorial Day. I say we go to some funerals,” said Rove.

“I hate funerals. Let’s go to Walter Reed Hospital,” said the President.

“Wrong holiday for that. This is Memorial Day, not Veterans Day,” said Rove.

“What? We can’t memorialize our veterans?” asked the President.

“Veterans are not dead. A veteran is alive,” said Rove.

“A dead veteran is not a veteran?” asked the President.

“George, George…it is about time we do the funeral thing. We are over 2,500 dead in Iraq. Thirteen bodies were flown in over the weekend. I have arranged for one of them to have an Arlington burial,” said Rove.

“It is not life affirming. I would rather go to Walter Reed and visit our soldiers who are alive, Karl. And maybe while we are there, one of them might die, and we can do the memorial thing,” said the President.

“There’s no symbolic value to that. Death in a hospital is private and has not pageantry,” said Rove.
By now, George W. Bush was working his red and blue diagonally striped tie over buttoned white shirt, but he was still in his boxers and black socks.

“Actually, is there a baseball game today. That has symbolic value,” said the President.
“What is it with you and cemeteries?” asked Rove.

“I am not going to a cemetery. And I do not want to be near a coffin. OK. You got that,” said the President.

“Listen to me, George. This is Memorial Day. We are memorializing thousands, damn near a million American men and women who died either in the service of battle or after they have completed their service. That includes the 50,000 who are dead from Viet Nam, 35,000 in the Korean War, 300,000 in World War Two, 100,000 in World War One, 500,000 in the Civil War, and 5,000 in the Revolutionary War. We are only up to 2,500 in Iraq, so to concentrate on the dead of all of America’s wars makes the Iraq War seem small,” said Rove.

George W. Bush slipped on his pants.

“How many died in my Daddy’s War?” asked the President.

“By “Daddy’s War” you are referring to the Gulf War, not the war your father fought in?” asked Rove.

“Yes. Yes, how many,” asked the President.

“Less than 200,” said Rove.

“Jeeez. Less than 200,” said the President.

“The Spanish American War was less than 500,” said Rove.

“So what do we do about that? That makes Iraq look bad,” said the President.

“We do not talk about the Gulf War or the Spanish American War. We talk about all the others. It puts Iraq in perspective,” said Rove.

“Good. I feel better already. Keep me having a good perspective, Karl. But I am still not going to a cemetery,” said the President.

“Think of Arlington like a park with little memorials all in nice neat rows. Don’t think about what is underground,” said Rove.

“A park, huh. OK. Arlington National Park. Got it. What’s for breakfast?” asked the President.

Madonna Lectures Michael Jackson On Weirdness

Michael Jackson was ushered into the back corridor of the Los Angeles Forum by four large white men dressed in black. Michael was wearing black pants and a white shirt. His hat had a large brim that hung with a lazy bounce over his eyes as he walked, almost glided, over the concrete floor. As Michael walked into the large arena he turned and saw Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone standing on a small square black shelf that supported her on the front of a large blue crucifix. Her arms were outstretched on crucifix like Jesus as two African American men adjusted her limbs and fiddled with wrist clamps. Scaffolding had been erected to the side by which Madonna and her assistants had been transported to the somewhat precariously high position they were currently in. Michael noticed that the makeshift elevator was about to go up and so her rushed over and hopped on, which carried him and a muscular girl with long blond hair pulled back tight in a pony tail who was carrying a bottle of water and wearing a red Kabbalah wrist band. The girl, wearing a tight sleeveless tank top, looked at Michael and recognized him immediately, but was already so surrounded by the celebrity of Madonna that she was not impressed by the fact that she was alone in a rising erector-set elevator with Michael Jackson.

“Maddy,” said Michael as the elevator arrived at the intersection of the huge blue crucifix. Madonna looked up. The blond Kabbalah girl leaned against the side of the elevator cab waiting for this little discussion to play itself out.

“What the–what are you doing here?” asked Madonna.

“I thought I would stop in to say hello. I heard you were doing something special,” said Michael.
“How does that feel?” asked one of the African American men who was clasping Madonna’s right wrist to a steel loop.

“It hurts. Maybe we should not actually do a clamp,” said Madonna.

“You doing a crucifixion. Cool,” said Michael. The blond Kabbalah girl resisted rolling her eyes.
“It’s a multiple themed show. So the last I heard you were running around looking like an Arab woman,” said Madonna.

“Yes. So what are the other themes of your show?” asked Michael.

“It’s a catholic-sado-masochistic-equine show,” said Madonna.

“Equine?” asked Michael.

“Horses, Michael,” said Madonna.

At that moment a man on the floor of the arena yelled up to Madonna: “The x-ray of your broken arm is now on the screen behind you. Is that how you want it to look?”

“I’ll look at it when I am down there,” yelled Madonna, annoyed that the idiot thought she could possibly see the enormous screen behind her while clamped to a crucifix. But Michael glanced up at the x-ray.

“That’s an x-ray of your arm?” said Michael.

“Yes. I am sharing,” said Madonna.

“Interesting,” said Michael.

“No, Michael, it is not interesting, it is brilliant. I am showing the real me while you hide the real you behind all that weirdo plastic surgery. You do not look the same. In fact, I cannot even look at you anymore,” said Madonna derisively.

“Oh, don’t say that. Please, no. I look the same. I am me,” said Michael.

“Look at me. I look the same. In fact, I look better than I did ten years ago,” Madonna said with her arms outstretched on the huge blue crucifix. One of the African Americans placed a thorny crown on Madonna’s head.

“Be careful, dammit,” said Madonna to the thorny crown guy who was adjusting it carefully on Madonna’s head.

The blond Kabbalah girl stepped forward. “You want some water? I have timed your last drink at 47 minutes ago. You are three minutes overdue,” said the Kabbalah girl.

“Yes. Give me a hit of water,” said Madonna. The blond Kabbalah girl raised the bottle to Madonna’s mouth as Madonna sucked out water. Water dripped down the side of her mouth which Madonna did not seem to notice.

“Michael, you have become a caricature of yourself. You have morphed into some weirdness that is offensive and disgusting,” said Madonna.

The two African American men turned with some sympathy for Michael who always seemed to anyone who ever met him as fragile as glass.

“Enough water,” said Madonna to the blond Kabbalah who walked back to her post in the elevator.

“No. No. Don’t say that, please. Please. I am fine, really. I am feeling fine,” said Michael.

“Who the fuck is talking about how you feel. I’m talking about how you are. How you look. Have you looked in the fucking mirror?,” said Madonna. Michael was taken aback by Madonna’s verbal attack. The awkwardness of Madonna’s words made the African American men uncomfortable, but they did their best to cover it.

“OK, take these goddam clamps off my wrists. We are not doing clamps. I will place my wrists in open rests and act like I am clamped. I’ll act it dammit. Who the fuck came up with the idea of clamps?” said Madonna.

Michael walked back into the elevator. “It was nice to see you again, Maddy. Good luck with your show. It looks very special,” said Michael. The blond Kabbalah girl grabbed the lever that started to lower the elevator cab, taking Michael and her down. Madonna’s arms were now free as she massaged her wrists.

“Michael, look at me. Look at me. I am normal. In great shape, and I look in the mirror constantly to check in on how normal I am and how fucking great I look. You should start looking at yourself honestly. You are too talented to waste on your narcissism,” yelled Madonna down at Michael Jackson as he alighted from the elevator cab and walked briskly toward the back corridor of the Los Angeles Forum ushered by the four white men in black that he arrived with.

“OK, let me see that x-ray of my broken arm,” yelled Madonna down at the man on the arena floor with the thorny crown on her head and water dripping from her chin.

Jesus Sends A Text Message To The Dixie Chicks

Hi Dixie Chicks. This is Jesus. I hope you do not mind my method of communication, using a text message. It is the most convenient means for me to communicate. These days I have lots of options, but texting is most cost effective. Plus, I got an advanced version of the Motorola Q and I wanted to try it out.

I just want you to know that I am aware of the difficulties you are having with your colleagues in the music business as well as lots of people in the media, not to mention the public at large. I sympathize. But to be perfectly honest, I would not be writing but for one simple fact: your music is great. Your new album “Taking The Long Way” is number one here where I reside, and even the Old Man likes it, and He is not even a country music fan. I told Him that your music is not just country music, that it is bigger than that, broader, more eclectic. But like most sons talking to their fathers, He does not seem to get it. All He knows is that He likes it. And quite frankly, I have to obtain another copy of your album because I have not been able to get mine back from Dad. I am thinking of getting my hands on an iPod and downloading your album. Can you download a whole album from iTunes?

I have just a few comments to help you through this rough patch. You are always right to be honest with yourselves and with the people who listen to your music, not to mention your loved ones and friends. If I may make a suggestion, and please do forgive the presumption that I might have anything useful for you, but if you feel the urge to talk about issues and other things that trouble you, that make you angry, that make you sad, that make you happy, or anything that moves you, then I strongly suggest that you channel that energy into your music and NOT into a speech or talk shows or interviews. Do not feel like you have to explain yourselves to the public. Let the music do your talking. Channel the passion into your music and you will do just fine. In fact, if you keep writing music like you did on “Taking The Long Way,” then you will do better than just fine. You will do great.

One last thing. The Old Man mentioned that He really likes “Easy Silence” particularly because all of all the craziness going on. He says that’s what humankind needs right now, some “easy silence.”

Sorry. One more thing. Don’t tell anyone you got this text message from me. They will just think you are nuts and it will be yet another reason for them to make fun of you. Don’t give them anymore reasons. Just give them music. Bye.

Saturday, May 6, 2006

A Pregnant Britney Spears Poses In The Nude

The thin man with short blond hair and a small gold-hoop earring in his right ear sat at the large 30-inch Apple monitor. He was operating Adobe Photoshop and examining the images of Britney Spears as they were being photographed just 20 feet from where he sat. The editor of Harper’s Bazaar stood behind him.
"She looks awful," said the editor.
"She's fat," said the thin man.
"She's pregnant. Of course she's fat. I'm going to re-think having children," said the editor.
"Did you see Angelina Jolie when she was pregnant? She wasn't fat. She looked hot," said the thin man.
"Yeah, well, that was Angelina Jolie. Britney looks like an old hippo," said the editor.
"I saw the food they delivered to her dressing room. Krispy Kreme donuts for breakfast. And American Spirit cigarettes. That's pretty gross," said the thin man.
"She ordered cigarettes?" asked the editor.
"Well, they were on the tray," said the thin man.
"What did you just do?" asked the editor.
"I used one of the brush functions and layered it over Britney. It gets rid of all the fat and cellulite and other disgusting lose flesh. See," said the thin man.
"Can you give her a tan?" asked the editor.
"You mean like that?" said the thin man as he pressed a button, obviously ahead of the editor.
"Yeah. Yeah. Jeez, she looks absolutely beautiful now," said the editor.
"Is she going on the cover?" asked the thin man.
'I bet she is now. I don't have the final word. But I just think you got her on the cover," said the editor.
"You want me to remove the double chin?" asked the thin man.
"Oh god, you didn't do that yet. Yes. Yes. Remove the double chin," said the editor.
"You got it," said the thin man.
Britney Spears was re-posing herself based on the directions of the photographer. She was breathing heavily and moving with effort. The photographer coaxed out of her a smile here and there, trying to capture a moment of youth and spirit. Trying hard. He thought to himself that this was hard work, and he thanked god for the thin man in the back with the Mac computer and Photoshop.