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Issue #67

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Features:

Devil in an Ice-Bllue Dress: Nation Delights in Worship of Unattainable Affluence- Matt Taibbi

Inaugural Balls: Increased Freedom Exports Lead to Domestic Shortage - Allan Uthman

Dr. Strangefeld - Alexander Zaitchik

Ripped from the Headlines: WMD Not Found, Media Coverage Likewise - Matt Taibbi


Faux-tures:

Inaugural Numbers

Scores Injured as Landon Clone Ramages - N. Sorrenti

Beast Reader Opinion: This Tiger is Still on the Prowl

Are You Dyslexic?

BEAST Art Director Accidentally Drinks Own Urine

Corrections



Departments:

Cross Examination: Bible Study with Itza Crock

Buffalo in Briefs

BEAST-O-Scopes

Page 3

Separated at Birth?

[sic] - Letters




Movie Reviews:

Kino Korner

Sports:

Wide Right: Wanna Bet? Pats are Sure Thing - Ronnie Roscoe



Comix:

I Witless News - I. Gonzalez

Deep Fried - Jason Yungbluth

Bob the Angry Flower - Stephen Notley

Perry Bible Fellowship - N!cholas Gurewitch



Issue #66

Download Entire issue (Right-click and "Save as")

 

Features:

The 50 Most Loathsome Americans of 2004

DLC Mooseshit: A Letter to Marshall Wittman - Matt Taibbi

2004: The Year in Regret Timeline

Time Lies: "Person of the Year" Issue Shits in Your Mouth & Calls it a Chocolate Sundae- Matt Taibbi


Faux-tures:

Tsunami Offers Heartfelt Apology

Life Value Calculator

Giambra's Pets raise Questions, Concerns



Departments:

Buffalo in Briefs: Looking Back

BEAST-O-Scopes

I HATE YOU: Channel 2 News "On Your Side"

Local Book Reviews

Page 3

Separated at Birth?

[sic] - Letters




Movie Reviews:

Kino Korner

Sports:

Wide Right: Bills, Bledsoe Just not Good Enough - Ronnie Roscoe



Comix:

I Witless News - I. Gonzalez

Deep Fried - Jason Yungbluth

Bob the Angry Flower - Stephen Notley

Perry Bible Fellowship - N!cholas Gurewitch



Issue #65

Download Entire issue (23mb PDF)

 

Features:

Christmas in Hell: No, Virginia, There is no Santa Claus- Matt Taibbi

Disinformation Age: America Loves a Good Liar- Allan Uthman

Power 1, Truth 0: RIP Gary Webb, Journalism - Michael Manville

Insane in the Ukraine - Matt Taibbi


Faux-tures:

Celebrity Holiday Greetings

Ridiculous Gift Guide

Tips on Buying Thoughtless Gifts

Giambra Admits Drinking Live Sea Monkeys

Area Child Expects Lame Christmas Gifts

Paris Hilton's What Hot & What's Not in 2005

Advice From John Ritter's Ghost



Departments:

Buffalo in Briefs

BEAST-O-Scopes

Page 3

Separated at Birth?

[sic] - Letters

I HATE YOU: The Senate, Slaves to the South

DJ's Notes from the Big House

The Straight Dope w/ Dr Rotten




Movie Reviews:

Kino Korner



Comix:

I Witless News - I. Gonzalez

Deep Fried - Jason Yungbluth

Bob the Angry Flower - Stephen Notley




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2004 The Beast

Inaugural Balls
Increased Freedom Exports Lead to Domestic Shortage

by Allan Uthman

It makes sense, really, that most of the media reaction surrounding George Bush's inaugural address doesn't involve debating Bush's points, but actually figuring out what the hell he really said. It should be strange, but after four years of this guy I'm getting used to it.

I'm not sure, but I think there was a time, not so long ago, when Presidents said stuff and people came away knowing what had just happened. You know, "reduce government waste" or "health care for the children" or "Saddam has massive stockpiles of sarin gas" or some other lie, but a lie you could hold onto. Now it's gaseous non-sequiturs like "exporting democracy." The Bush administration is so feverishly attuned to the business mindset that they describe abstract concepts as manufactured goods. "Spreading liberty." It's not cream cheese, you know.

The upshot is that now, after a speech prepared over three months, Bush's dad is out there doing damage control, assuaging foreign press fears that they'll be wearing hoods and getting peed on by Alberto Gonzalez in a few weeks. I'm still not convinced they're wrong.

The real problem isn't that Bush's vision is vague, or that it signals an imperialist agenda that has already been in place for years. It isn't even that he's completely revised his justification for war in Afghanistan and Iraq for a proudly amnesiac public, or that he's launching his trial run at Iran. The real problem about Bush's speech is that it simply isn't true, and doesn't make any sense. It's 100% manure from start to finish. Let's have a look:

Across the generations, we have proclaimed the imperative of self-government, because no one is fit to be a master, and no one deserves to be a slave. Advancing these ideals is the mission that created our nation.

Not true. Half the nation rode to prosperity on the backs of slaves. Our much-abused forefathers all owned them. Clearly they didn't have too much trouble with the concept. Neither does Bush, who is trying to bully his own party into granting illegals quasi-legal, second-class status in order to create a new underclass for cheap, cheap labor. They said the south would rise again, and they were right.

So it is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world.

Not true. Bush does not oppose tyranny. America does not oppose tyranny. Military dictatorships-those that are willing to play ball-have long been among America's favorite business partners. We regularly attempt to overthrow democratically elected leaders who are unwilling to sell off their assets and screw over their people.

If you don't already know this stuff, you're not alone. But your opinion still doesn't matter. That kind of information-that is, our actual national history and not the vague assemblage of images, sound bites and anecdotes that most have been led to believe represents who we are-is a prerequisite to even forming an opinion that merits consideration. In the real world, outside the CNN studio, this habit of displacing weak foreign leaders and imposing military dictatorships has gone unabated and has continued full force under Bush, in Haiti and Venezuela, for example.

Beyond that, he has been all too happy to tolerate tyranny in other countries-Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait come to mind, not to mention most of Africa and South America-especially when his corporate friends are doing business there. The only reason he went to war in Iraq was that Hussein refused to go along, and we just couldn't manage to assassinate the guy. Everything else is just presentation.

America will not impose our own style of government on the unwilling.

Oh, come on.

We felt the unity and fellowship of our nation when freedom came under attack, and our response came like a single hand over a single heart. And we can feel that same unity and pride whenever America acts for good, and the victims of disaster are given hope, and the unjust encounter justice, and the captives are set free.

The "victims of disaster" bit is somewhat galling after Bush's reluctance to cough up aid for the tsunami victims, but that "captives set free" line is just too much. In reality we're building permanent jails in other countries for the express purpose of keeping prisoners ("detainees" in terrorspeak) in them, without counsel or visitation rights, or even charges, for the very reason that there is no evidence to support charges against them. Again: We're throwing these people in jail forever, without charging them, without trying them, just because we can. And, truth be told, most of us don't really seem to give a damn. Discussions about the torture issue these days seem to hinge on the question of whether torture works or not, or how it hurts us in the public relations area, with hardly a stray thought as to whether it makes us a clearly evil entity on the world scene.

What kind of asshole can claim to be on a holy mission to eliminate tyranny while he's attaching electrodes to your balls? It has become painfully clear, despite executive protestations, that torture is a matter of policy in this administration. The denials only serve to placate those who are most determined not to know the truth. We have become a nation that will beat and rape you before we even know who the hell you are, and Allawi's government in Iraq has gladly followed suit, employing many of the same people to do the job that Saddam hired. That's Bush's legacy.

History has an ebb and flow of justice, but history also has a visible direction set by liberty and the author of liberty.

There's more meaningful lines than this in Jabberwocky. The speech was awash in grandiose, sermonic prose, not even tipping its hat to reality. It was the best indicator yet that we are all screwed, that we've been conned by a man who has no idea how the world works, or just doesn't give a damn.

My point is this: the speech was an embarrassment, a ridiculous fairytale version of the world, less nuanced than "Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers." Freedom's on the march, and tyranny better look out 'cause God's on our side and we're gonna rain some hot, flammable freedom on their tyrannical asses!

The Europeans are freaking out, probably because Bush's religiofascist rhetoric is really starting to remind them of someone they'd just as soon forget, as well as our slavishly fawning media and woefully misinformed, panicky public.

And many of the biggest names in that media, especially those on TV, saw an entirely different speech--or at least they got paid enough to fake it. Here's what some were saying while the rest of us were recovering from the ideological tea-bagging:

The hideous Dick Morris, on O'Reilly, said it was the best speech: "... Since John F. Kennedy's and one of the five or sixth greatest of all time. It was beautiful, it was poetic... and it articulated a bold new doctrine for American policy. It was a very substantive speech."

The Cleveland Plain Dealer called it "a thematic symphony keyed to the unalienable rights of people - the same truths this nation's founders held to be self-evident."

Howard Fineman, not one to be outdone in Presidential cock-chugging, called the address "the biggest statement of American purpose in the world of any President I can think of. It is Woodrow Wilson on steroids. It's big."

Wow. Wilson on steroids! Just what we need to straighten this country out.

It's hard not to be disgusted. We are an immensely ignorant people being robbed of our reputation--not to mention our money--by sociopath leaders with the aid of an obsequious, pandering press. The President announced a policy of preemptive war against, say, half the world, based on false premises and holy appointment, and our popular media acts like he dropped his pants and shat diamonds.

Ready for another four years?


More by Allan Uthman

 

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The 50 Most Loathsome People in America 2004

21. Alan Colmes
Crimes: An angry conservative’s wet dream: an effete liberal dive artist. As a professional doormat, Colmes’ only tasks are to serve as a comforting aggregate of Republican stereotypes about Democrats and a target for the seething derision of his psychotic guests. Stands idly by while voracious green-blooded co-host utilizes Gestapo tactics against centrist Democrats.


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Inaugural Balls

Allan Uthman

...The real problem isn't that Bush's vision is vague, or that it signals an imperialist agenda that has already been in place for years. It isn't even that he's completely revised his justification for war in Afghanistan and Iraq for a proudly amnesiac public, or that he's launching his trial run at Iran. The real problem about Bush's speech is that it simply isn't true, and doesn't make any sense. It's 100% manure from start to finish.


Devil in an Ice Blue Dress

Matt Taibbi

I’ve always thought that one of America’s best selling points was that it never had a king. If there is one thing that defines us as a people, as opposed to all other peoples, it is this fact. Every other nation in the world has a dozen or so of those embarrassing chapters from the past to live down. Not us.


2004 Timeline: The Year in Regret


[sic] - letters

CHEQUE YOURSELF
Mr. Uthman,

I found your magazine online through a link to your '50 Most Loathsome People' article. Great stuff. However, as a Canadian, I feel the need to point out a few factual errors in your otherwise insightful 'O Buffalo' article:


Time Lies

Matt Taibbi

...What was great about Sullivan's "Year of the Insurgents" column last week was how beautifully it threw the rest of the "Person of the Year" issue into contrast. Here's Sullivan bitching about bloggers needing to stay on the margins where they belong; meanwhile, his "respectable" media company is joyously prancing back and forth along 190 glossy pages with George Bush's cock wedged firmly in its mouth.


Disinformation Age

Allan Uthman

....The problem with the left is that our whole model of changing opinions—that contrary facts will alter people’s views—is inherently flawed. Mundane, oafish Americans, in a national competition to see how many $3.99 “support our troops” ribbon magnets they can fit onto the backs of their Suburbans, simply aren’t interested in reality...Let’s face it; there is a sizable chunk of the population who deny the validity of evolution—evolution. Who are we kidding, thinking we can make them see the errors in Social Security privatization?


Power 1, Truth 0

Michael Manville

On December 12th I opened my Sunday edition of the Los Angeles Times and saw in the obituaries that Gary Webb was dead. More specifically, I saw that Gary Webb had killed himself. He had, it seems, shot himself in the head. When movers arrived at his house on Saturday they found a note on the door that said "Please do not enter. Call 911 and ask for an ambulance."



 

Drowning the Scorpion

Stan Goff

When I was first invited by Dr. Stephen Smith to speak at Winthrop University in South Carolina, I was preparing a trip to Haiti and I didn't give much thought to how I would handle the engagement. I'd just finished being pole-axed by a bout of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and it was everything I could do to just pull the Haiti trip together. So I didn't pay much attention to the person who would appear with me - one Patrick Clawson - to represent "the other side" in a forum/debate billed as "What Next in Iraq? A Post-Election Perspective."


The Top 10 Hacks of the 2004 Election

Matt Taibbi

10 - GEORGE WILL, NEWSWEEK: Will uses big words and pompous literary references to dress up what are basically the brutish and vulgar thinking patterns of a non-union meat-packing plant owner. He is a pig in a lace hat.



Pick of the Litter

Pat Ragpicker

It's 4am on a winter night, and I'm parked on a dead end street near Kaisertown. It’s a secluded corner of the city I found by driving around aimlessly. I'm new to town, and penniless after buying my van with $700 I squirreled away the last time I got a paycheck. That was 7 months ago. Over those months, I managed to live off a few hundred bucks while sleeping in a warehouse closet and helping some friends make a TV show to try selling to a network.



Tortures-R-Us

Christopher Lord

Iraqis wondering what the next phase of the Republicans' invasion of their country will bring should consider El Aguacate airstrip in Honduras. In 2001, 185 bodies were dug up there: the victims were the 'terrorists' and 'enemies of democracy' of the day.




O Buffalo

Al Uthman

It's time to face some unpleasant facts, Buffalo. This country may not be the best place for us anymore. On November 2nd, we all bore witness to a terrible turning point in our history; a bad lifestyle choice, if you will. We had the chance to reject the increasing madness of our nation's leadership, their blind march to pointless war and craven desire to take advantage of us in every manner conceivable, and we blew it. America has spoken, and it said "duh."