20 August 2001

Onion Article Not Funny

In sort of an odd way,
this story in the Onion
isn't funny.

Because I wish it were true.

This gag takes as its premise
(already firmly established)
that our president is all
but functionally illiterate.

We've moved beyond jokes about
the president misusing words
to the point where the idea
that the president is
sophisticated, talented, punctilious, and gracious
(in every respect a wonderful man)
is subversively side-splitting.

But what if it were true?

It could denote utopia
if the president were,
simply, the best of men:
a self-proclaimed "dilettante"
whose rigorous excellence
in all pursuits was tempered
only by his gentle humility.

On the other hand, if Bush
were that smart, we'd all be in
serious trouble, since intelligence
does not entail kindness,
sympathy, or humility.

Chomsky is in favor of corruption:
As long as the ruling elite
is interested more interested
in money than in power,
the damage they do is limited.

But if America ever had
a truly charismatic president,
a leader, an impressive person,
capable of inspiring loyalty,
conditions would be right for

Write a funny poem about the human race hitting bottom.

Who is this Bush?
What is his name?
What does he mean?

Nothing. He does not exist.
He'd rather be drunk on a boat
somewhere, losing at checkers.

He is only the president.
A blank, an empty signifier,
a face on a dollar bill.


Newspoetry at Spineless Books