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“I Was Baking Honey Buns When Your Letter Came”

Dear Executor of Rhetorical Strategies Designed to Exploit Feelings of Self-Hatred Native to a Whole Bunch of Lefty Jew Americans:

Hi. I was reading The Rings of Saturn when your letter came in. Baking honey buns, too. So there was this cloying smell borne aloft on the draft that tours my apartment, and a section in The Rings of Saturn about the miserable fate of the herring fish.

And then I read your letter, which had the effect of rousing in me negative feelings about my country and president, and then—because negativity inhabits the heart alongside other feelings equally powerful—I began hating, in the main, any dogma whose prosecution ends in death, and, by the same token, any conduct whose motive is the pursuit of fat. I’m certain you agree. (Indeed, the homeless guy who got my honey buns thanks you for intervening when you did.)

One must always think of others, you see. One must act as if your every breath can militate against you come judgment day. I expect you know what I mean; when the Mahdi arrives, the world had best be prepared.

Since I am a self-centered creature, I derive my ideas about how other people should act from my personal experience. But no matter. What’s good for the goose, and all that. So, for the sake of getting a handle on just what sort of virtues we three—you, me, the president—have wrought for the propitiation of God, and with a mind to learning from our travails, herewith a table. I hate to impose a Western conceit on your processing of the material, but I still suggest you read from left to right.

Fig. 1. Conduct and/or Ideas Wrought for the Propitiation of God

George W. Bush

Dr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad


Purloined national election from sissy opponent, whose sissiness had the upshot of plunging the United States into one of the worst presidential tenures in history. Won national election fair and square, predicting a landslide months ahead of time, owing to privileged rapport with God. Cheated on a copyediting test to gain employment at
Invaded a country under false pretenses; bolstered perception that United States is imperialist and barbaric; has execrable fashion sense. Participated in covert assaults against same country during pointless civil war; bolstered perception that Iran is forbidding and primitive by suspending reform; has no fashion sense at all since Iranian women—often a boilerplate for what’s hot—must keep to the livid drapery of tradition. Tossed my feline across the room in a rage devolved from hurt aroused by unfortunate exchange with a loved one; bolstered perception that I am irremediably sad by refusing food for two days; likes boy underwear.
Approves Israel’s right to exist under pretense of freedom and sovereignty for all, but really because the Jewish lobby owns him and every president before him. Wants to relocate Israel to Alaska. Thinks freedom and sovereignty for all are nice so long as all does not include Israel. Applauds Jewish Cabal that got Judith Regan fired.
Likes to ignore genocide so long as it doesn’t imperil access to oil reserve. Likes to deny genocide so long as victims are Jewish. Once fumigated an apartment infested with crickets, which felt like a genocide forged in caprice.
The foregoing is hardly complete, I know. There is Guantánamo and Valerie Plame. There is talk of sowing a nuclear arsenal to hasten or “prep” for the Final Days before the Twelfth Imam inaugurates an era of Islamic justice. There is the time I spiked Vanessa Shin’s eyeball with an umbrella. It was an accident but then so was Chernobyl.

I do not much like statistics or reduction, except that sometimes when you gather evidence of your moral stature, and you get a shitty table (see fig.1) instead of a memoir, well, it’s a growing pain. Because even if our lives are consecrate—and whose isn’t, really—it is just possible we’re going about them poorly. That is what I will take away from our correspondence. That and the idea that tomorrow I will do better. Ambition is more intractable than disgust, which is why it is so hard to give up hope.



Next: Paleoconservative political scientist Paul Gottfried rolls eyes at loony foreign dignitaries

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