Wednesday, February 01, 2006


Of all the tedious media coverage of reaction to the SOTU I saw, I most respected Renee Montagne's visit to three New Orleansians in a FEMA trailer in the darkened eastern sector of the city. These people watching the Bone tossed from the House, sailing through the deluxe mediascape, landing with an thud in that dark abandoned wreck of the town. Hearing the President ignore not just the city, but his federal administration's obscene failure to address the city, and now the failure to address that obscene failure, which is apparently the only way Mr. Bush knows how to implement anything at all in a realm in which accountability is not fudgeable by bogus fear and strategically invoked terror.

I have not heard anyone point out something that I'd have to see the tape in order to verify. (For most of the speech, Bush's mask was tight. Something shaped Bush's mouth to emit platitude after platiude: We won't surrender to Evil, no no no. B-b-b-. Some intricate lizardskin carapace kept sliding forward from Bush's ears to keep the structure above the neck from exploding. But that's not it.)

What it was -- if I didn't imagine it -- was, right after Bush emitted the last bit of texted vocable, the most lunatical laugh seemed to rip wide open the carapace. It was the one untexted, unmanipulated moment, as a fit of surprised relief overwhelmed him: the profound ecstasy of the child forced to say a whole bunch of things it has no idea of, but though rote doggedness and the right incentives and drugs, makes it through ok. ("'Nukulars' don't count, right mommy right?")

Only then did Mr. Bush "authentically" swim into view. In that sharklaugh he flitted off into whatever pretzel-strewn cubbyhole he inhabits. Safe and far from the madness only his sockpuppet larynx could visit upon all god's children.


Anonymous Tutor said...

Another odd moment, a telling one, was when Bush spoke of "not second guessing" the President. Having said, "second guessing," his eyes literally rolled upwards, showing only the whites, and vibrated there as his voice stuck and twitched like a gramaphone needle jumping tracks in a worn groove. I thought he might begin to shake and drool, but he recovered himself nicely and went on to the ensuing platitude. I wonder what the Forensic Pscyhiatrists at the CIA would say if shown these tapes and asked to objectively analyze the pyschology of the world leader.

2/01/2006 2:28 PM  
Blogger alan said...

who was he winking at and why was he signing autographs?

2/01/2006 6:11 PM  
Blogger Tom Matrullo said...

The day will come when forensics will be able, from videotaped voice and face and body language, to say with absolute certainty which species of psychoses were present during which parts of any political speech. Sort of like DNA is helping with evidence today. When that day comes, a good deal of what passes for history will undergo revision. Is there some reason The People can't demand that Bush undergo an independent psych exam, or be impeached for refusing? We pay his salary.

He was winking at his dog. Autographs are a plea for mercy.

2/01/2006 8:23 PM  
Blogger Chuck Pinatubo said...

If, as seems likely, the pursuit of power is a disqualifier for office, the examinations will be banned. I have no faith in rationality spreading to extent that there will be support for sufferers like Bush and his predecessors being taken into care and kept form doing harm to themselves or others.

2/02/2006 12:54 PM  
Blogger Ginny said...

Thanks for the tip about Renee Montaigne's interview, I'll dig around at and listen to it later.

2/03/2006 2:45 PM  
Blogger Tom Matrullo said...

ginny - the posted link to the story still works - tm

2/04/2006 10:33 AM  
Blogger Jon Husband said...

Is there some reason The People can't demand that Bush undergo an independent psych exam, or be impeached for refusing? We pay his salary.

Arguably, given the stated purpose of governments, governing and governance .. this should a fundamental part of the protocol for any elected public officials.

Hey .. employers give potential and existing employees drug tests, right ? That is not as exhaustive as a psychological / psychiatric evaluation, but it's on the same path.

2/12/2006 12:39 AM  

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