i have chosen to stay and fight

I Have Chosen to
Stay and Fight

© Margaret Cho, 2005
Published by Vigliano Books
150 E. 58
th
Street
20
th
Floor
New York, NY 10155

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the copyright owners. Any person who does any unauthorized act in relation to this publication may be liable to criminal prosecution and civil claims for damages.

T
his book is dedicated to Karen Taussig for supplying the vision and the encouragement when I could not, with not just the book but a million things every day that I must thank her for, like saving my life and making all my dreams come true, but get caught up in what I am doing and forget. Thank you, Karen! This one is for you.

CONTENTS

who do you think you are?

give peace a chance

race in america

feminism is a feminist issue

family values

what would bowie do?

the right to life

why i have chosen to stay and fight

acknowledgments

WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?

"haven't we heard enough from these ancient white guys?"

W
ho do you think you are?

I am often asked this question.

I ask myself this question whenever I sit down to try to create something out of nothing.

What emboldens me to give my opinion of what is going on? I certainly don't fit in with any of the great political thinkers of the day. My profile doesn't match up. I am not a man, nor am I white. I am not really old enough or educated enough.

What could I possibly have to say that would be of any use to anyone?

Perhaps the things that set me apart from the commentators we are used to hearing from are the things that make my opinion worthwhile.

Haven't we heard enough from those ancient white guys? There is this silent agreement that everyone everywhere has made regarding old white men. They are the bottom line, the last word, no matter what. The saying "It's not over 'til the fat lady sings" is erroneous,
because women who are fat are never listened to. It's not over until the old white guy says it's over, which sounds simple—and maybe a little angry, coming from me.

I'm not so much angry as I'm trying to find my own voice in the world, to find the courage to have a voice in the first place, then to go forth and use it, which both are monumental tasks that require a lot more confidence than you'd think. Sure, we love the underdog in movies, the funny, awkward guy beaming with the right stuff if only he could get other people to listen to him. The black sheep always seems to triumph in the end. But I'm no black sheep. I'm no dark horse. I'm something never seen before, not yet happened, untested and unsure.

How will I be received?

The only way to push forward instead of wasting away in the purgatorial procrastination of worry is to just not care what the outcome is. I need to just start running downhill with my eyes shut.

There are no guarantees that I will be able to survive in this world, where the air is rare for minorities like myself. But that suits me just fine. I'm a risk taker that way. When I buy electronic equipment, I tell them to toss the receipt. I don't need it. I gamble that it won't be faulty, that I won't have to return it, just for the measly pleasure of being able to walk away from the counter without that small slip of paper. I'm such a buccaneer. I want to swing on a rope when I leave Fry's. What a high roller I am! Throwing caution to the wind has become second nature to me, and it's a good thing, because I need courage now more than ever before.

It sounds odd to talk about the incredibly high stakes of entitling yourself to a voice and an opinion, and to allow yourself to voice that opinion, but there are a lot of people who understand so deeply what I mean that we could all break down crying in a heartbeat. When you never see anyone like yourself expressing him- or herself, then it makes you think that you just aren't supposed to do that, that you have no self to express.

My parents have lived in the United States since 1964 and they have never voted. They don't feel they have a right to. They don't feel that this is their country. Even though they are citizens, they pay taxes, they watch the news and keep up with current events, they still don't feel comfortable enough with their American life to fully participate in it. When I ask them why, they simply say, "We aren't supposed to." Any attempt to argue is thwarted by a wave of dismissal, my father distractedly moving his hand across the air, as if he could brush the subject away—and so he does. I guess he doesn't want to explain, because how can you explain something as intangible as invisibility?

move on

I
was hit by quite a wave of controversy when I performed at the gala event to name the winners in the "Bush in 30 Seconds" campaign. That week was fairly tumultuous for Move On, as there were
two ads out of hundreds that were submitted to their contest that equated Bush with Hitler. At the event, I said, "Bush is not Hitler. He would be if he applied himself."

It sent a shock of laughter throughout the Hammerstein Ballroom, and a shock of, well, shock through the conservative media. I was deluged with hate mail from sites like Drudge Report and
freerepublic.com
, telling me to shut up and take my fat chink ass back to my country. That was one of the nice ones.

The amount of racism, sexism, homophobia and hatred in general that lies just beneath the surface of the American dream is astounding and serious. The names don't hurt me; I have a built up a tolerance to that. People talk about racism in terms of tolerance, like the ability to tolerate diversity, but I approach it more like drugs. I've had so much of it, it takes a lot to get me to even notice. I actually adore that kind of hate mail, because if all you have to fight me with is prejudice then I've already won the battle, and I'm eventually going to win this war. I wrote about hate mail on my Web site, and posted all that I had received, along with the names and e-mail addresses of the guilty. This sparked many of the people reading my site to lash out in my defense, and actually prompted an incredible number of the haters to recant and apologize. I even got a letter from a minister in West Virginia who'd devoted that week's sermon to the whole issue, and he apologized on behalf of his entire congregation.

they turned off the mic

I
did a gig that was not my typical show. It was a corporate convention in San Diego, the kind I normally avoid, held at a major hotel. Even though there are extravagant sums of money to be made, I hate the atmosphere. However, this event was booked by a friend; it was within a reasonable distance of my home; and I was told the employees specifically requested me.

We—my sidekick, Bruce, and my husband, Al—drove in a stretch limousine to the show in San Diego. We watched
Dogville
on our way there. I love Lars Von Trier.
Dogville
is about the exploitation and persecution of women who search only for virtue and the opportunity to do good deeds (although to describe the film in terms of only one theme is to diminish the scope and power of this extremely compelling and complex story). The film strangely fit the scene we were presented with when we arrived at our destination.

We got there early, and ran around in the suite provided for us at the hotel, eating cold pizza and chocolate cake, waiting for the time we were to perform. Finally, they fetched us and brought us down through the kitchen to the banquet hall.

There were two large screens between the stage and the doors to the room, so the audience could see what was happening up close. This didn't make sense, since the room was rather small, hardly a ballroom. It had been occupied earlier by manic teenagers trying to have a prom.

It looked bad. It felt wrong. A man gave a speech that was much applauded for seemingly no reason, after which he swept past me without acknowledging my presence. Then a woman wearing a NuBra, allowing her and us to enjoy the backless fashions of the moment, underneath her black rayon sheath with rhinestone spaghetti straps and a butterfly back—you know, your "night on the town" dress—started to cry onstage about her sales staff. She was overwhelmed with emotion, and had her hand on her chest, as if her heart were about to burst with affection for her employees and she was trying to push it back in, like the monster from
Alien
. We all had to cope with the lump in her throat for several minutes, especially when she had to return to the stage after leaving because she had forgotten to name names she would never forgive herself for not naming.

This rhinestone butterfly lady finally finished; then there was a parade of the staff, mostly young people of color, that work behind the scenes at hotels, parking cars, delivering room service, turning down the beds—you know, who, like, do everything. It seemed oddly demeaning to me, as a person of color myself, that the maids and busboys had to undergo this kind of odd celebratory lineup, but it also seemed they were very appreciated by the audience. I was glad. Everyone deserves applause.

Bruce took the stage, and I thought he did well. He was funny and got laughs, which is what he always does. Then I took the stage, after a brief, panicked attack by a nervous woman in another black rhine
stone confection, likely needing a NuBra but I wasn't sure, saying something about "language." I assumed she meant for me to go ahead and speak English.

After about ten minutes, my mic was turned off, and the band, composed of Asian, African American and Latino musicians, was hurried on stage. They looked apologetic. We wish we didn't have to do this, they all said with their eyes as they launched into a rousing rendition of "Sweet Home Alabama."

Using Lynyrd Skynyrd as a way to ethnically cleanse the stage after I was unconstitutionally censored was the most offensive thing of all. I'm a huge Skynyrd fan, and I consider it unconscionable that they played me off with "Sweet Home Alabama" to excise the "anti-American" element from the stage. Skynyrd and I are on the same side. I'm proud of the South. I wish I was from the South. I have spent enough time there to know and love it well. "Sweet Home Alabama" is one of my favorite songs, and it was appalling that they offended me with the greatest American band.

I also was offended by the five identical blond women ready to leap onto the stage after I was turned off. What were they there for? It just proves once again that pussy is not supposed to speak.

It's ironic that Skynyrd was chosen to chase me out of town like a witch when I am the true American. I feel bad because the audience, although chilly, would have eventually enjoyed and loved what I had to say. I'm sad that they were not allowed the great honor to see me perform in person.

protest this

W
e were getting ready to play the Houston Improv, which used to be a club called Spellbinders, where I did one of my first road gigs, where I met the brother of a man who would be introduced to me two weeks later and become my first love.

We were threatened by a local conservative group that said it would picket the show unless I was taken off the bill and fired and replaced by someone else. Sorry. Now I'm more excited than ever to meet y'all. Personally, if you are going to picket a show, fine, but the fact that you are picketing my show means you are stepping up to me, which means some very bad things could possibly happen to you. Which is why we decided to show up early, to make a human barricade between the protesters and the audience coming to the show, people who had purchased the tickets months in advance, who were closing up their shops early to have time to get ready, who had hired babysitters, who had their nails done, who got highlights in their bangs, who the night before planned out a whole outfit to wear, then totally ended up changing their mind and wearing something completely different.

Protesters, please be warned. Fans of my work are not the nicest people in the world. If you're into me, you've been through it. And if you don't know what being through it means, then you just don't know me yet. The great fan base I have built up over many years in the
business comes to see me with a lot of anticipation, and they have a lot invested in what I might have to say. And they can fucking fight. They will throw down in a fucking split second, and I really don't want to see any of you protesters get hurt. Queens do not play. They will fucking kill you. Lesbians know how to throw a punch that will leave a very large bruise, and they aren't opposed to kicking men right in the balls. The underrepresented, unvoiced, ignored part of our population, the great many people who make up the Cho Army, are something you are unaware of, and they're pretty much the gang not to fuck with. We are the baddest motherfuckers on the block. I don't want to see anyone get injured, emotionally or physically. I don't want to see a drag queen make you cry. Which will happen if you show up with all your picket signs and pamphlets.

Personally, I don't think you will. If you do, I want to hear what you have to say, but before you have your say, look me in the eye and tell me your name, what your mother called you when you were little, what you do for a living, if you are married, who your children are, if you are truly happy in this life and what your family is like, then, word for word, repeat the e-mails that you have written to this figurehead in cyberspace that you don't consider a human being. I also want you to hold my hands when you do it. You can say all the things that you have already told me I am—shall I remind you? Chink, dyke, hole, whore, pig fucker; telling me to go back to where I came from, even though I am an American and was born here; fat, ugly, et al.

Bruce is also available. You can call him a nigger and a faggot! Our only wish is that you do it on camera, looking deeply into our eyes,
holding our hands, never losing contact with our hearts. In return, we will love you for your courage in standing up for free speech.

We come in love. We come to love. We do love you.

flags

I
must eat Lebanese food several times a week, preferably at dinnertime, if I can persuade my eating companions. I adore a coarsely chopped fattoush, with crisply toasted wedges of pita tossed with the lemony radish and parsley, alongside a creamy mouhamara, walnut paste infused with pomegranate and red peppers, and an earthy shanklish to round out the lavish but healthy repast. I love the flavors and the textures, the bite and the crunch, the sweetness of the olive, the rich depth of goat's cheese. Then the inevitable and auspicious slice of baklava, flaky and honeyed, which brings to mind ancient pleasures, biblical decadence. Everything is luscious and fresh, what food should be always.

There is a place we go on occasion, a bit far from home, but all the more worth it for the distance and the increase of longing that accompanies the lengthy drive to the suburbs. The dishes there are excellent, absolutely authentic, with an on-site bakery for toothsome sweets, and big belly dance extravaganzas on the weekend. They have an extensive catering service, where you can order an entire roast lamb for any event with just twenty-four hours' notice. I love the
patio, where you can sit with Middle Eastern families, women in hijabs smoking shishas, the big hookahs that the waiters fill up with water, burning charcoal and fruit-scented tobacco. The music is Egyptian pop, and you can't help but bounce your shoulders and sing along, even though the meaning of the words remains a mystery.

Just as we pull up to this place I get to go to when I beg enough, for the first time I notice two very large American flags draped across the entrance. It's a strange sight, incongruous with the modest and humble decor. The flags nearly block out the windows, they are so big. Not just one but two flags. It's as if there was a need to emphasize the Americanness of the place. "We are American," says the first flag. "No, we
really
are!" says the second. It struck me as enormously sad, somehow awkward and tragic. Had something happened that would make the flags, the statement, necessary? Had this Middle Eastern eatery become the target of misplaced anger because of the situation in the Middle East? Or were the flags put up in order to deflect racial tension, as if to brace for the worst, akin to Floridians nailing boards over their windows before the hurricane hits. Were people dumb enough to actually vent their frustration over Iraq on a restaurant in the San Gabriel Valley? I'm sure that they are, and that makes me cynical and sick. What do they think that American is, anyway? If America is for Americans, then we must remember America as being everything that lies between its borders. Nothing can be thrown out because, according to our philosophical underpinnings, nothing is exempt. America is free; America is brave. But having to remind others of your American status, fear of being connected to the enemy
because of ancestral ties, the threat so prevalent that it makes you put not one but two giant flags outside is not right. It shows how deeply un-American America has become. We have allowed alarmist and racist attitudes to take us hostage, and if these impulses are not kept in check they will behead us all.

andy rooney's got to go!

A
ndy Rooney's got to go! Who cares about what he thinks? I have been listening to his boring-ass opinions on the stupid things that rich white folks think about because they have the luxury of basking in the glory of his whiny, creaky "Did you ever notice?" Because they are not worried about being called "fag" at school, or having the courage and strength to press charges against a rapist, or whether the rent check is going to bounce, or the INS is going to come knocking at the door, or whether you are subtly discouraged from growing up to be what you want to be, because you never saw people that look like you doing what you want to do and you don't know if you are going to be able to be the "first," or whether your lover just died of AIDS and you're not eligible to be the beneficiary on his pension plan because you were not his "spouse," even though you had been together for twenty years, and it is likely that without his support, financially and emotionally—damn, just without his love surrounding you, enveloping you every day—you will lose your home and possibly the custody of
his daughter, or whether your stepdad is molesting you but you can't really say anything to your mom because he is supporting you and your brother and your mom and you are scared she will have to work even harder than she already does, or whether whenever you hear the words
chink, nigger, beaner, paki, sissy, bull dyke, faggot, cunt, bitch, ho, jap
—unless that word is a term of endearment for you and is called out by someone who happens to be one of you—your face burns hot with embarrassment and shame because, through no fault of your own, you happen to be you, and apparently to the person saying it something is wrong with that.

No, I never "notice," motherfucker, because I don't have time to notice. Because there is a war that is going to happen whether the people of this country want it to or not. Because I have this concern that I may somehow lose the right to choose what I can and cannot do with my body. Because even though there is all this talk about multiculturalism in the television and movie industries, I have yet to see any evidence of it. Because the young girls try to emulate the stars they see on TV, with their big ignant heads and too small, too skinny-looking bicycle body, and die in the process.

The quiet messages that affect and alter the way we view ourselves are controlled by an elite group of ignant men just like Andy Rooney, and Jerry Lewis, and all of them who need to tell the ladies to stop talking about sports and stay on the sidelines, because we are just baby-making machines trying to be sports commentators, trying to do comedy. For that, I would like to knock their heads together like coconuts.

These are the extreme examples, the obvious ones that people can get mad about—like when Jay Leno made jokes about Koreans eating dog—but the hidden messages, our invisibility, is more harmful to us than any of those fools on the "board." I loved the slogan "Silence = Death" that Act Up used for the fight against AIDS in the '80s. If we don't talk about this epidemic, we are going to die. I want to take it further. For all those aforementioned people who might not understand what I'm talking about, silence is worse than death. When we never see who we are, never hear what we think about things, what we are doing as a group or what we are doing individually, then it is as if we were never there in the first place. Silence = Nonexistence.

"Blue-collar" pundit, assaholic blowhard Bill O'Reilly = another old white man I wish I could pop the head of.

"Done went on the Atkins Diet" Rush Limbaugh = I'm glad he is deaf, because finally maybe he'll shut up and hopefully = silence.

That Motherfucker Tucker on CNN's
Crossfire
, always with his bow tie and running his mouth like he's a mug of smug root beer = my foot in his ass when I go on that show.

That is,
if
I ever get to go on that show, because whenever they ask me to be on any kind of news program to comment on something, it is always about something Asian. I know some other shit too. I have a lot of opinions about things. But that's not important to segment producers. They need me to validate them by being some sort of authority on whatever Asian thing they need help with. That justifies my reason for being there, and being allowed to have an opinion, because
somehow there is this notion that since I share the same skin color as a quarter of the earth's population I've got to know everything about it. This attitude
=
ignant.

All I ask for is a chance to have the same kind of forum, the same right to speak, the same credibility as these (in my opinion) wrong-ass, ignant fools. But the producers of these types of shows think that I will talk only about tai chi, where to get the best sushi on the West Side, how to feng-shui your office—and then, coming up after the break, our special guest, Martin Yan! And I think he brought his cleaver. Stay tuned!
Gong!
The fact that the media at large, both liberal and conservative, look at my race before they hear my voice = fucked-up shit, I've had all that I can take, things are going to change because they just have to. Because I said so. Because we exist. Because all of us together = Power.

All I ever saw after September 11 was old white man after old white man on CNN talking about what happened. Theirs were the only opinions that seemed to count, because, when the shit hits the fan, the old white men are the only ones who can deal with it. They are the only ones who get to speak during a crisis. Like these guys are saying, "Okay, let's get serious here. We gotta take care of business." No women, no people of color, except for a precious few Muslim and Arab Americans talking about how this event has fucked them up because everybody is blaming them just because they have a similar skin color as the perpetrators of this terrible crime. All the stupid violence that was aimed at their community would be like arresting
Emmanuel Lewis when it was Gary Coleman who punched that lady, which equals blindness, fear of other cultures, misplaced rage, racism, making up our own definition of who is really "American." And, of course, do I even have to say this one more time? Ignant.

We need to wake up. It's time to start some shit. Alarm clock = Revolution.

let's roll

W
e are a nation divided, which is obvious. The problem is, the division is keeping a monarchy in place. We are supposed to be ruled by ourselves, but I have yet to see evidence of it in my lifetime, the turbulent teenage years of this still very adolescent country.

I can't believe Bush won, either, but there's no time to despair.

What is needed now is action, not hopelessness. What is important is the tremendous progress that has been made in mobilizing people to bring about change. Remember, more voters turned out in 2004 than at any time in the last three decades. Although it might be said that we can't expect change overnight, there really was a very rapid shift in the way we view politics. We are no longer afraid to voice our opinions, to use our power, to pool our resources, to allow our differences to unite us instead of keeping us apart.

These new ways of looking at ourselves politically redefine what it
means to be an American. It took our, until now, very passive identity and turned us all into revolutionaries. In a short time, we became activists, something that lay dormant in many of us and had not been awakened until now.

The polarizing of the population has produced the wondrous gift of debate, and we are more aware and politicized than ever before. There is very little ambiguity as to which side you are on. And while conservative views may be the order of the day, that could change at any moment.

Politics used to be shrouded in mystery, and was considered the elusive territory of the elite, but this, too, is changing rapidly. Americans nowadays live with the immediacy of politics, politics directly affecting the way we live more drastically than ever. Yet the powers that be haven't quite considered the strength of our sheer numbers. We are watching politics with an educated and cynical eye, which as a generation we haven't done at all until now. With all this caution and attention focused on our "elected" officials, we have a moment where we can grasp the brass ring of self-government. In the immortal words of DMX, "They don't know, who we be." But they will, and they will be sorry.

The Bush administration will be sorry they won this battle, for they now look forward to losing the war. Ultimately, a government cannot defeat its people, no matter how much power they assume or how corrupt they are. For us, there is only opportunity. Now we have the chance to challenge everything, fight everything. The possibilities
are endless. All the polls, all the posturing, all the opinions that we endured during the election provide us with a valuable education on how we think and act as a country.

There are a huge number of us on the same side. We had no idea how many of us there were before. We constitute roughly half of the nation, probably more. If we refuse to concede to apathy, then we can roll up our sleeves and get dirty.

And the Republicans don't know how much fun we can have being nasty.

Life is a tragedy for those who feel and a comedy for those who think. It is vital to mourn for the victims of this government, but not at the expense of losing our sense of humor. Our ability to laugh coincides directly with our ability to fight. If we can make fun of it, we can transcend it.

With many lives at stake in a full-blown war being fought by our kids in Iraq; with cataclysmic errors in national security causing our civil liberties to be severely crippled; with too great a divide between the haves and the have-nots, culminating in the worst economic situation in nearly eight decades; with the threat to women's rights by insane religious fanatics who seek to ban abortion and therefore do away with equality; with the aberration of freedom that is the Federal Marriage Amendment and the dehumanization of gay and lesbian Americans; attacks on Social Security . . . If we can make fun of it, we can transcend it.

Unfortunately for the Republicans, this is not an action film, and therefore having the Terminator on your side is no advantage. Might
does not equal right, just as we must wake up to the hard, cold realization that the majority should not be allowed to rule simply because it is the majority. The majority is responsible for slavery, segregation, lynching, denying women and minorities the vote, Japanese internment and a million other injustices and inhumanities. Fortunately, this majority holds power by a very small margin. There are certain things the majority has no right to mess with, certain things that are definitely worth fighting for—worth defending, and worth offending.

If we just don't allow ourselves to sit back and let the only-just-barely majority rule, then we have the advantage. Everything they try to do can be shot down, because we are watching. We are everywhere, and we know that now. It's an exciting time, and I have to say I'm thrilled at the possibilities, because now what is in front of us is the big show where the Bush administration goes down, Bangkok style, on their constituency and on themselves.

So whatever warrior rituals you might have, I suggest that you do them. Whether it is carbo loading or drinking down a dozen raw eggs, putting on war paint or applying your reddest lipstick, drawing pictures of Republicans on the walls of your cave and stabbing them with your spear, dressing yourself up in animal skins and taking lots of hallucinogens, listening to AC/DC or Public Enemy or Heart cranked up so loud it distorts, come on! "BARRACUDA!!!!!"

Do whatever it takes to get your war on. We need soldiers to fight the war at home. We gotta represent our 'hood, where justice, peace, equality and freedom live.

We have a date to rumble with stupidity, ignorance, prejudice,
laziness, hatred and greed. Victory is sweet, but revenge is sweeter, and we will know both sooner than we think.

I am tired of holding out for a hero. I believe that as a generation that has yet to claim this as our nation, just by being ourselves and demanding what we want we can be profoundly heroic. In those fateful words that fake American hero George W. Bush stole from real American hero Todd Beamer to justify the abominable Iraq war, "Let's roll!"

GIVE PEACE A CHANCE

"my attitude toward peace does
not depend on which war we are
discussing. i think that words
should do the work of bombs."

M
y attitude toward peace
does not depend on which war we are discussing. I think that words should do the work of bombs. Killing only begets more killing. At some point, one side has to be the bigger one, and just turn around and go home. It's surrender, but it isn't the coward's way out. And if it is, who gives a shit? I'm a coward, then. But, fuck, I'm still alive. I can still use my legs, and get the fuck out of here.

My Korean heritage doesn't sway me one bit. I'm not even sure where the Korean Peninsula is, or why there was a war there, or what side we were on or why my ancestry should have anything to do with my belief system today. I am
super
American. I've even got a flag. I sleep wrapped up in it,
The Who

The Kids Are Alright
style. I love America. I'm not moving. It's cool. I just don't like seeing dead people. I'm just like that kid in
The Sixth Sense
. I see dead people, and I don't like it.

Get this crazy shit over with. Stop the fantasy that we need to be defending freedom, because we don't even have freedom in our own country yet.

What right do we have to appoint ourselves the freedom fighters of the world? If we are so good at it, where's it at? I don't see no gay people getting married. I don't see no innocent people in jail getting released. I don't see no freedom of speech, nor do I see health care reform, let alone equal rights for anyone. All I see—that's right—is dead people, and ads for Viagra, Cialis, Levitra and Enzyte.

So many drugs for those unable to get it up, and keep it up. I am superglad about your four-hour erection, but I was wondering, where is that cure for AIDS? Yeah, AIDS. Remember that? We were kind of needing a cure, like, really, about more than twenty years ago. All this research money has been spent on keeping Bob Dole going like the Energizer Bunny. How's this helping us with the problem of entirely too many dead people, and that we are making more of them every day?

And our government, who we are bound to by the fact that we elected them, does not seem to care one bit. They are unfazed by any amount of travesty, loss, tragedy, death, destruction. They call these acts "abhorrent," but have yet to find the words to apologize. I know that Cheney is at the White House with his thesaurus, so that George W. Bush will be able to learn himself one new word a day, to describe how bad shit is, but, really, all he needs is "sorry." Why is that so hard?

Why is all this so hard? Why do these old men need it so hard?

public enemy #1

O
kay, we got Saddam Hussein. Under the Styrofoam, beneath the rug, in a spider hole, and he came out looking like a crazy homeless man, or former president James Garfield, however you choose to see it. He was caught in what might well have been his grave, because he was really lying under ground, breathing through a tube, without high-speed Internet access or ranch dressing, knowing he's missing all those great holiday parties, knowing what hell must be like. I was watching the footage on the news channels over and over, and on and on, 'til the break of dawn, and they keep looking in his mouth, picking through his hair. He just looks like one of the patients in
Awakenings
who wouldn't wake up no matter what Robin Williams would do. Then there are the makeover pictures, before spider hole, after spider hole.

I'm fully aware of Saddam Hussein's evil reign, and I believe that his capture is righteous, in that there is a need for humanity to bring an enemy to justice and avenge a wrong, but where will this justice land us? What justice will serve us as Americans? Please know that the capture of this heinous murderer is something that I do agree was a long time coming, but the media fucking makes it look like President George "Dumb and Dubya" Bush went down into that dirty grave himself and dragged him out by that long, white, Rip van Winkle beard. It builds up Bush like Indiana DUMBFUCK Jones, and he's
not. He didn't go out there with a bullwhip and wearing a leather bomber jacket and kick anybody's ass. Bush is no hero. He didn't do shit. Shit: he didn't do it.

It was not our right to have become the world's bully and start this war in the first place. If this war truly was intended to free the people of Iraq, then it should have been started over a quarter of a century ago. If this was about saving Iraq for the emancipation of the Iraqi people, not oil, then Saddam Hussein would be a long-forgotten name. Remember the shah, anyone?

What it boils down to is this: the conservatives removed the feather from Saddam's ass and stuck it in their own dunce cap, and where does that leave us? Capture or no capture, Bush still thinks that same-sex marriage should be illegal. Bush still thinks that we need to preach abstinence to high school students instead of telling them what to do realistically about sex. Bush still thinks that the Spanish language is called "talkin' Mexican." Bush still believes that abortion is wrong, and therefore it's not the choice of the individual woman involved. His jurisdiction includes everybody and your mama's uterus. Bush still stands by the edict that even if about ten percent of the soldiers responsible for the capture of Saddam—the real heroes, the men and women at the heart of the operation—are homosexuals (more like ninety percent if lesbians were involved), he has the nerve to uphold "Don't ask, don't tell." And you
know
there were lesbians involved. The dykes do you a mean hide-and-seek, and they don't Play.

Abomination, that Bush would do this and still call himself a hero.

Bush is a liar and a thief, and uses God's name like they grew up together in the 'hood, like they got thug love. Bush still believes in the joining of church and state, which is antithetical to why this nation was born in the first place. Bush still is our own worst enemy, and now that Saddam Hussein has been captured and photographed in his big baggy underwear, that shoots Bush up the charts to Public Enemy #1.

the war on errorism

G
eorge W. Bush was once again talking about how the war in Iraqis worthwhile because, basically, we're there. Of course, we're there because of weapons of mass destruction that do not exist. And Bush is still using billions of taxpayer dollars to build himself a platform from which to say, "You know I'm right. I'm right. I'm so right. I am! I am!!!!!"

This is just another stoopid bid for attention that is digging Bush into an even bigger hole, and proving once again that he is innately, genetically incapable of admitting that he's the idiot that he is. Of course, there's the possibility that he has no idea how dumb he is, in which case we're fucked.

Unbeknownst to us, we've been sent on a suicide mission, like landing a manned rocket on the surface of the sun. He's leading a fight against terrorism, when, really, we're fighting errorism. This fool has fingered the wrong countries, the wrong people, the wrong everyone
and everything, and in so doing has risked the lives of thousands of American children. Don't you think the soldiers look like they came straight from their high school yearbooks, too young to be over in Iraq, fighting for no reason?

Bush has been so wrong-headed in every decision he has made in the Oval Office that it should be called the "Obtuse Office" because he be so dumb the room changed shape. The walls buckle further with each statement he makes, as if to try to squeeze him out of the seat of commander in chief.

The famous ghosts who haunt the White House gather in the Red Room to gossip about him night after night. Mary Todd Lincoln keeps opening up the windows, hoping that Dubya will just fall out one of them, which scares me, actually, because then Dick Cheney would be in charge, and which would you rather have, Dumb or Evil? I guess I would go with Dumb, but, you know, it's just revisiting that same old question, "Is the presidential office half full or half empty?" Dolley Madison's high-pitched wails in the White House's dark corridors are intended to upset his slumber, but, of course Dubya doesn't notice. He just snores, sawing logs all night long, because, you know, he's so stupid he probably suffers from sleep apnea and breathes with his mouth open. And JFK walks the ceilings, pacing back and forth, wondering whether the nation will ever be returned to itself.