When I was very young — 5 or 6 — my father drove me up from Champaign through 150 minutes of cornfields and rain all the way to downtown Chicago and into the biggest movie theater I’d ever seen. Must have been twice the size of the Virginia or the Orpheum or the Rialto, Champaign-Urbana‘s widest screens. Inside this grand cavern with few if any empty seats, we watched a brand-new release called 2001: A Space Odyssey. I remember being fascinated and confused by the first part (“The Dawn of Man,” when the monolith appears among the simians), more interested in sleeping through the middle and absolutely mesmerized beyond confusion by the visual effects and the eye of HAL in the final half-hour. (It probably helped that my name is Dave and my father’s name is Hal. And that HAL and I came from the same town.)
As I grew, I somehow convinced myself that Clarke and Kubrick were really on to something; that by the time the real world reached a year to call 2001, our lives would more closely resemble Kubrick‘s concluding two hours than the opening 15 or 18 minutes.
But instead, here we are again, since last Tuesday, each pore and neuron straining to absorb just a little more, to take in everything, any information with which to construct an explanation, to transport indecipherable impulses, to function, to forgive, to evolve. Whether or not ignorance and hatred will soon cure us of this glorious sexually transmitted disease called life, we can only gather and gawk at the monolithic Dreadful that has already happened, already happened again, and, again, we will carry it with us, all of us, everywhere, onward. Can’t stop now. Gotta keep throwing our bones to the sky until, eventually, The Blue Danube waltz rescues one of them and turns it into a spaceship.
I only mention it because, you see, a group of us Weeklyans returned from a well-earned lunch last Wednesday to a phone call advising us that someone‘s god had arranged for canisters of something naughty and powerful — anthrax or one of its peers — to enter us, to slaughter us, to sentence our bodies and our histories to death as punishment for our minds’ benignities. Our vile reign of cuddling with our kitties and playing softball on a Sunday afternoon would scorn this god no further.
* * *
The abortionists have got to bear some burden for this, because God will not be mocked. And when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad. I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way — all of them who have tried to secularize America — I point the finger in their face and say, “You helped this happen.”
–The Reverend Jerry Falwell,
on why terrorists attacked citizens of the world in the United States
Well, I totally concur.
–Pat Robertson, replying
It‘s amazing — isn’t it? — that Falwell figured us out? That only he and his fellow demons were able to decipher the evil and hatred lurking within our pagan love; that he and his Taliban American-style were able, with nothing but conjecture and God on their side, to figure out that we here at Jew-Run Media have been plotting for years to take over the world! That‘s right! We’ve created an elaborate underground network — of godless faggots and dykes! and niggers and kikes! and dagos and towel-heads and communist tykes! (Sing!) Micks and spicks and liberals and fliberals! Subverts and pre-verts and mathematicians! Those having orgasms while worshiping antifreezes! And the wannabe poets and hippie-guys-who-look-like-Jesus! Yes, and some guy who jerked off in a no-jerk-off zone and this girl who tried heroin once and someone who eats too much ice cream and won‘t do the dishes or drives too fast while talking on the phone and so on and, well, about 97 percent of the population of the country that Falwell and Robertson keep telling us they love. And, just as these lovers ascertained (by the way: Just how the hell did Falwell and Robertson find out it was us? Who leaked the information? Gandhi — was it you? Or Schweitzer — where were you last Tuesday? Mother Teresa?! How could you!!), we’ve been having double-secret take-over-the-world meetings every Thursday at 11 a.m. (coffee, pastries) down in the catacombs that we built for just this purpose beneath the commie liberal cities where we methodically spread lies and propaganda about how we‘ve evolved to the point where religion is no longer necessary to teach kindness and decency and morality so that some people hijack planes and murder our loved ones!
Damn! Foiled again! (When I find out which one of you told . . . someone’s going to bed without any dinner.)
Oh, wait. Falwell apologized. Never mind.
So at the red light, a criminally gaudy Hummer roared past, slowly. The vehicle had been converted into an advertisement for Godblessamerica™ — professionally painted in red ripple-stripes and blue stars over white. Occupants: five or six shouting, honking flag-wavers. Exactly what they were shouting was unclear. Waving their flags hard out the open windows, as if swinging bats; scrutinizing, angrily, the suspects — those of us who dared walk along the street without flags or arm bands, those who didn‘t return their war calls.
Or maybe I was just imagining. I must have been. But then the light turned green, and, just as the 1,492nd rewrite of the 4,077th translation of the popular sequel to the Bible had explicitly, incontrovertibly predicted, a woman materialized beside me in the crosswalk. “Don’t they understand,” she asked anyone listening, referring to the Hummer, the artificial tears welling in her Christ-hating she-devil humanist abortionist dyke whore slave-owning Jewnigger wetback towel-head fornicating masturbating faggot-cunt card-carrying ACLU pothead NOW feminist cocksucker antichrist for the American Way blue eyes, “that that‘s just the sort of thing that gets us into situations like this in the first place?”
Dear star-spangled butt-kickers: Please try to keep your bloodlust to yourselves. Some of us — those of us living not only in the United States but on Planet Earth — are trying to grieve.