I know George Bush.
I encountered him a couple of time when I was in high school, and repeatedly in my college days. Even in my adulthood, I have run into him at social events and in my business life, though lately we're not going to the same parties.
Well, maybe it wasn't actually George Bush, but it might as well have been. Rich. Confident. Lacking any fear of the future or the self-doubts that prompt introspection. In college, while I lived in a windowless basement room where, at night, viscous brown foam gurgled mysteriously from a drain in the floor, he inhabited a different plane. Sure, I'd see him at parties sometimes. He'd was usually the loudest, happiest drunkard in the room. But at best, he saw the rest of us as a supporting cast. More likely, we were his playground equipment. The only people in my crowd that he ever acknowledged as flesh and blood were the good looking girls, and for these he had less respect than prostitutes. A blowjob that costs money is accorded at least the significance due a business transaction.
But when the party waned, when the coke was gone and we couldn't scrape together the money for more, George would be gone, beamed back to a different world populated only by his own kind. A world with few limitations on luxury and excess, with few pressures or worries, where performance was inconsequential.
George did carry one insecurity though: life without adversity had made him weak in mind and spirit. This awareness, inchoate, drove him to acts of petty dominance and callousness. Dirty play in sports. Rudeness to commoners. He was a mean drunk.
As long as I have known him, I have hated George Bush.
I don't hate him out of jealousy of his material wealth. Nor am I burning with frustration over some crushing repartee he made to me when last our paths crossed. Rather I hate him because his entire life is an insult to plain, regular folks less privledged than himself. Frankly, I don't feel the insult personally. I'm blessed with a good job, a healthy family, and a safety net likely to keep me and mine from starving except in the event of the most extreme catastrophe. I may not be a true "elite," but on a global and historical scale, I'm blessed and rich beyond imagining. I hope I am always mindful of it.
But most Americans have bigger worries than I. Dead-end jobs. Schools that don't serve their children. Debt. Poor health care. Pressures to perform every day with consequences like failure, poverty, and the destruction of their family always hanging over their head
George Bush's life and being is a wad of phlegm hocked into the face of these Americans.
And yet, somehow, his handlers have manufactured an image based on anti-intellectualism and a weak Texas twang that has convinced most of blue collar America that George is one of them.
But think back to your high school days, America. Think back to that one party that summer, to that time when you went to the beach. You've met George Bush. You know George Bush.
You hate that guy.
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
I know George Bush.
Posted by Mark Lazen at 5:46 AM