[sixties-l] An Election Carol by Paul Krassner

From: radman (resist@best.com)
Date: 12/02/00

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    LA Times
    An Election Carol
    by Paul Krassner
      Martin Scrooge, great-grandson of the legendary Ebenezer Scrooge,
    may be the CEO of a multinational corporation--Octopus & Illuminati, the
    ultimate merger--but like any ordinary American citizen, he had trouble
    sleeping the other night.  He was at the height of REM, in the middle of a 
    dream, romping in the woods with his dog, Snippy, when he was suddenly
    awakened by an ethereal figure standing at his bedside.
      "Who are you?," asked the startled Scrooge.  "And what do you want?"
      "I am the Ghost of Election Past.  And Im just doing my job.  Im
    supposed to remind you of the presidential election of 1968.  As you know,
    John F. Kennedy won by fraudulent methods.  Do you realize what that means?
    If Richard Nixon had won as he should have, then JFK would be alive
    today and there would have been no Watergate scandal."
    "Well, you cant change the past."
    "Tell me about it.  I live with a profound sense of futility every
      "What you need is a good antidepressant.  Ask your spin doctor
         *  *  *
      Scrooge had gone back to sleep when, once again, he was suddenly
    awakened by another ethereal figure standing at his bedside.
      "Dont tell me," said Scrooge.  "Let me guess.  You must be the
    Ghost of Election Present."
      "Oh, God, am I that obvious?"
      "Are you kidding?  Youre absolutely transparent."
      "Well, Im totally discombobulated.  Everything is in litigation.  In
    Florida, there are ballot counters who have filed lawsuits because
    they developed carpal tunnel syndrome.  In Washington, the Supreme Court
    is going to decide whether pregnant chads are entitled to partial-birth
      "Calm down now.  Youll be all right."
      "Thats easy for you to say, youre just hallucinating, but me, Im
    stuck on the cusp between real life and show biz.  This is all actually
    happening, yet at the same time its all one big sitcom.  George W. Bush is
    George Costanza in that episode of 'Seinfeld' where he acts as if he
    works at this company, only now the stress has resulted in boils all over 
    his face,
    and each one is covered with a Band-aid.  Whereas Al Gore is Bill Murray
    in that movie 'Bob' where he unremittingly stalks his psychiatrist, only
    now hes stalking an entire focus group."
      "Speaking of shrinks, I think you ought to get help from one
      "Listen, youd be going nuts if you couldnt tell the difference
    between reality and satire any more.  Satire has been nipping at the heels of
    reality for the past few decades, but I can tell you the precise
    moment that reality finally overtook satire.  It happened in Cuba, when Fidel
    Castro offered to come to the United States and oversee the election
    recounts.  And weve received similar offers: from Jerry Adams in Ireland 
    and Nelson
    Mandela in South Africa; from Jimmy Carter in Georgia and Larry Flynt
    in Los Angeles.  But one thing is certain.  Whoever becomes president will
    think that he deserves it."
      "Do me a favor, will you?  Let me go back to sleep.  I have to take a
    meeting with the Ghost of Election Future.  Its already on my to-do
          *  *  *
      Right on schedule, the Ghost of Election Future arrived at Scrooges
      "Greetings," said Scrooge.  "Strange, isnt it, how things evolve?
    Traditionally I would have been influenced by the visits of you
    Election Ghosts, and consequently I would abandon greed for compassion.  But
    its different now that trickle-down greed affects stockholders who
    welcome the downsizing of employees because it means more profits.  And 
    its also
    different now that government-by-bipartisan-bribery has become such
    an open secret.  There has been a severe case of role reversal, and now Im
    the one whos influencing you.  So tell me, because I find these charades,
    oh, so very entertaining, what do you foresee will occur in the 2004
      The Ghost of Election Future sighed deeply, as though participating
    in a debate, and then began:
      "Okay, Ill skip the part about who the candidates will be--you can
    decide that for yourself--and Ill cut right to the chase.  New York Senator
    Hillary Rodham Clinton will lead a crusade to eliminate the electoral
    college, but her proposed law will lose in the popular vote.  The
    drug war will become a huge campaign issue.  Medical-marijuana protesters will
    carry placards insisting, 'States' Rights--Not Just For Racists
    Anymore!'  Other demonstrators will have signs demanding, 'End Welfare For
    Pharmaceutical Companies Now!'  Police on horseback will be chanting, 'Whose
    streets?  Our streets!'  There will be several new third parties, from the
    Anarchist Party to the Lawyers Party, but the Greens will remain the most 
    And the slogan of Democrats and liberals will be 'A vote for Ralph
    Nader is a vote for John McCain....'
    Paul Krassner is the author of Sex, Drugs and the Twinkie Murders:
    40 Years of Countercultural Journalism (Loompanics Unlimited) and Pot
    Stories For the Soul (High Times Books).

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