Issue October 28, 2008

America: New and Improved

Oboy oboy oboy! Can you believe it? It’s almost here! The end of Bush. The end of Cheney. The end of our neocon nightmares. The end of trying to shop our way out of recession, murder our way out of fear and tax-cut our way out of inequality.

Can you believe it? No more borrow-and-spend, no more Christian crusades, no more torture. No more dumb-is-cool redneckery, attacking the wrong country and spying on our citizens. No more “nucyular,” no more tax cuts for the wealthy, no more war for ExxonMobil.

Oboy! It’s almost time to dance and sing and gay-marry and pray to some god besides that crabby white-bearded cartoon character who hates sex and science and loves capital punishment and war and who demands our lite-rock cult-worship for 45 minutes on Sunday but looks the other way the rest of the week while we refuse poor people access to healthcare and rain mercury down on our cities and sub-prime the depression pump while surfing porno in our cube farms.

Oboy! Cue the Dixie Chicks and Jackson Browne and Flaming Lips and Spearhead! It’s almost time to reclaim verboten words like “liberal” and “union” and “rational” and “biology” and “diplomacy” and “strategy” and “fairness” and “peace.”

It’s almost time to eighty-six “WMD” and “surge” and “freedom lovers” and “intelligent design” and “is our children learning” and “they misunderestimated me” and “mission accomplished” and “fool me once … can’t get fooled again.”

Oboy! It’s almost time to use our stem cells to heal diseases and use our muscle to build roads and bridges and hospitals and schools and to harness our sun, wind and waves to power our grid and it’s almost time to, I don’t know, clone something, perhaps Queen Latifah or Jon Stewart or Wendell Berry or my dog Sugar, who never starts illegal wars, destroys the global economy or dukes on the rug.

It’s almost time to not attack Iran. It’s almost time to feed our hungry kids and stop force-feeding corn syrup to our fat ones. It’s almost time to actually respond when natural disasters hit and be free to travel to other countries without feeling like we should go up to everyone we see and say, “Um, we’re really sorry our president’s such a dink. We’re not all that way, honest!”

Oboy! It’s almost time to bring back the First Amendment and bring some sanity to the Second and, what the hell, maybe think up some new ones, like the right to healthcare and pesticide-free food and mountains with tops and, I dunno, Big Olive-subsidized free martini happy hours or half-day Mondays or Texas titty twisters in the public square for anybody who buys a political ad during prime time.

Oboy! It’s almost time to think again! Not just think but go on a thought-bender, start mopping up the puddles of pain left behind by the superstitious and greedy. Actually start using our brains and our political acumen and our American fortitude and stop following the dictates of a 2,000-year-old bedtime story as interpreted by cufflinked plutocrats and, oboy, the infrastructure and economy and jobs and education and energy solutions and next-gen transportation and affordable housing will slowly, deliciously come into view like a Tina Fey YouTube clip on a wonky Internet connection.

So thump your crown chakra, pluck some organic arugula from your victory garden and spitshine your vegan, hemp unisex clogs because it’s almost time to boot the president back to Crawford for a permanent vacation of four-wheelin’ and bush-hoggin’ and chigger-scratchin’ and fly-fishin’ and booger-pickin’ and generally being gobsmacked by anything more complicated than the Thanksgiving episode of “My Name Is Earl.” Because even if the unthinkable happens and the Republicans somehow manage to steal their third presidential election in a row, the George W. Bush reign of ruin is actually going to end. Never have term limits tasted this delicious. Never has a duck been so lame. Never has it felt so good to stop banging our collective American noggin against a brick wall.

Oboy! The long-promised “1-20-09 End of an Error” glory day foretold by millions of bumper stickers is on its way to obsolescence. It’s time to put our best and brightest graphic designers to work on a new message for bumpers across the land:

America: New and Improved.