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ISSUE #107
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Features

ArrowGreat Gaffes Through the Ages
A comprehensive list

ArrowWhy ask Why?
Five years after 9/11, the question remains unanswered
Matt Taibbi

ArrowExtreme History Makeover
Lynne Cheney and the rules of history
Guest

ArrowYour Tax Dollars at Work
In Washington, another tale of waste and fraud unpunished
Matt Taibbi

ArrowBaby Suri Hates You, Wants You Dead
Scott Brochert and Josh Righter

Local BEAST
ArrowCON
Tom Reynolds, WNY’s human colostomy bag
Allan Uthman
Departments

ArrowThe Beast Page 3
Obscure Racial Epithet

ArrowKino Korner: Movies
Hollywoodland, The Black Dahlia, The Covenant, The Last Kiss, Gridiron Gang, The Protector

ArrowBEAST-O-Scopes
As divined by your ethereal guide

Arrow[sic] - Letters
Gentleman Be Trippin', Hot Girl on Girl Misogyny, Our Illiterate Correspondent and more

Extreme History Makeover
Lynne Cheney and the rules of history
Guest

Lynne Cheney’s fairly recent (June 28th) appearance with Greta Van Susteren on Fox News offered an intimate view into the vice-president’s home, Number One Observatory Circle, and the day to day details of Mrs. Cheney’s life. Van Susteren’s show “On the Record,” a bastion of neutral-right journalistic slop, delved deep into important work being done to repair the leaks at the Vice-Presidential residence (I found this article when searching the internet for “leak” and “Cheney”). In one of the segment’s highlights, Cheney remarks that “This is not the rug that's usually there. The rug that's usually there is soaking wet and being dried somewhere.”

I realized that reading a transcript of the segment might have been even more benumbingly boring than it might have been on television, but when I consulted the video on Foxnews.com, I wasn’t too shocked to find the visuals to be pretty lackluster. And honestly, the only times that I’ve tried to watch Van Susteren’s show I’ve been seized with anxiety at the prospect of watching an entire episode.

Van Susteren introduces the Cheney segment: “Lynne wants our school children to love history as much as she does.” Cheney, who has a PHD in 19th century British literature, suggests that history allows perspective. Sheheralds the importance of history by paraphrasing an important professor of humanities who once said that, “…knowing about history, knowing about the humanities is a little like knowing about baseball when you go to the baseball game. And, if you sit in the baseball game and you watch it and you don't know the rules and you don't know the history you simply won't enjoy it as much.”

I’m happy that Mrs. Cheney is clearing up matters of historical interpretation for me and I’d be happy to get my hand on the set of rules that accompany history so I too might try to revise it like Iraq war supporters and “enjoy” it a little more. Let’s get rid of those dark moments in human history, set a nice plot arc in there, and go to town “enjoying” the new life that we’ve created for ourselves composed of clouds wearing sunglasses and chimpanzee bartenders in Hawaiian shirts. And hopefully with No Child Left Behind rolling across the country, putting Soviet bureaucracy and mismanagement to shame, our children will soon be learning the rules by which history is played and writing it themselves.

Here are a few brief sketches I’ve worked out, simply to elucidate the potential we might have here as a country when anyone can take a crack at playing the game of history. I, who have long argued the pointlessness of history, am elated with the possibilities. I think I’ve just barely scratched the surface of what we can look forward to:

1) Lynne Cheney’s bridge-hand hijacked by Al Qaeda in scheme to accumulate enough tricks to fulfill the contract set at beginning of the hand, in meantime Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s, sitting opposite Cheney, turns into man-sized praying mantis and devours Gloria Steinem.

2) Saddam Hussein transmogrifies into the happiness that has long been lacking from your parents’ marriage and a cardboard box filled with apple jacks, cocaine and a bust of Bea Arthur composed from discarded toe nail clippings.

3) NASA visits Mars, builds two-dimensional house accompanied by stick figures representing Lynne Cheney, George Bush’s dog Buddy and a cooked turkey with the head of Buffalo Tom guitarist Bill Janovitz.

4) Rich Santorum cuts hole in American flag to have “most patriotic sex in history” with his wife while vacationing in an unknown continent resembling a profile of Spiro Agnew’s testicles.

5) Statue of Liberty comes to life to combat evil plot by Vigo the Carpathian, a despotic ruler from 16th century Moldavia, to bring himself back to life and rule over the world with unchecked power.

Now I could go on, and it could be claimed that I might be “exaggerating” or “stretching” Cheney’s words, and that this isn’t what she was suggesting at all (keep in mind she is paraphrasing the highly respected Charles Frankel). But I think she would agree that with the ability to revise and invent history, we might be looking at a goldmine of attack ads for the midterm 2006 elections. As the Bush administration is the first in American history to experiment so extensively with the technologies of historical invention to win a major election, I think we are looking at a much more “enjoyable” future since we can finally escape that crappy past which accounts for the guilt, paranoia and sleepless nights that have been plaguing our life as a nation these past few years.

 

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