What do Salem, the Rosenbergs, and Ebola Have in Common?

To say that Americans tend to overreact in times of stress is like saying Spaniards roll their Rs, New Yorkers honk their horns, and drivers with Confederate flags decals on their pick-ups support the 2nd Amendment.

article-2451403-18A3707800000578-728_638x546Overreaction Exhibit A: The Salem Witch Trials

Okay, a couple of tweens, Elizabeth Parris and Ann Putnum, throw conniption fits.

Next thing you know, 200 hundred people have been accused of witchcraft and 20 executed — hanged by descendents of freedom lovers who fled England and the horrors of the “Anglican Inquisition” so they could practice religion in “their own way.”

Overreaction Exhibit B: McCarthyism, aka The Red Scare:

Okay, a couple of Jews leak atomic secrets to the USSR; therefore, artists/Jews = witches, and the color red becomes anathema.

1863232_origThank God Jesus wasn’t working in Hollywood. They would have crucified black-listed his commie Jewish robe-wearing ass for sure.

Overreaction Exhibit C: The 2003 Iraqi War

Thanks to the brilliant choreography of the attacks themselves, images from Ground Zero bewitched us (in a way the collapse of the Murrah Building in Kansas City didn’t)[1], but scapegoating Saddam because he happened to be Muslim and prone to gassing Kurds hasn’t worked all that great. Just ask the Iraqis, the Syrians, the Turks, and ironically, the Kurds.

Overreaction Exhibit D: ISIS or ISIL (or whatever you wanna call those benighted medieval mother-daughter-and cousin fuckers).

Once again, theatrics. Beheadings appall civilized people, the way that Texas blithely executes minorities appalls Scandinavians. Executions are barbaric. On the other hand, you reap what you sow (see above). But let’s look beyond theatrics and do some serious assessments before we blunder into yet another[whatever the desert equivalent of a quagmire is].

7-ebola-apv2Overreaction Exhibit E: Ebola

By my anecdotal reckoning, Ebola has led every single newscast I’ve encountered in the last 3 weeks – NPR, the CBS news, MSNBC, etc. I don’t know if this over attention is mere fear-mongering for ratings or yet another instance of American overreaction. I suspect that the odds of my dying from stray pellets from a shotgun while I paddle my kayak in the Folly River are much greater than my contracting and dying from Ebola. I read recently that it’s not even all that contagious, that measles, for example, is 9 times as contagious.

C’mon, America, get a grip. Let’s go apeshit about something real, like the disappearance of bees, the drying up of our aquifers, the return of the Chicken Curse.

[1] No rounding up of survivalists for internment in Japanese-like WW2 camps.

Vulgarity as Poetry


Let’s say you’re browsing Twitter and run across a sponsored post by John Bolton, the former UN Ambassador, one of the architects of the second Iraq war, that invasion launched by Bush and Company to purge non-existent weapons of mass destruction from Saddam’s non-existent stockpiles because, despite Iraq’s not having an air force or a navy that could deploy those non-existent weapons of mass destruction, Saddam posed a “present and growing danger.”

And let’s say that rather than financing this ruinously expensive, absolutely unnecessary war through raising taxes, the Bush Administration introduced legislation that slashed taxes, which depleted Clinton’s 280 billion surplus that cratered into a 1.2 trillion deficit under Bush.

And, finally, let’s say that besides virtually bankrupting our nation, this absolutely unnecessary war resulted in 4.488 American deaths, 500,000 Iraqi deaths.

Oh, yeah, the John-Bolton-sponsored post on Twitter that triggered the above screed:

“Barack Obama. Worst president ever? Vote here.”

Obviously, my first three paragraphs exceed Twitter’s 140-character limit; plus, let’s face it, the explanation is tediously verbose and doesn’t even address the outrageous hubris that Bolton exhibits, this man who has made a mistake so grievous that he ought to have blinded himself Oedipus-like and be tapping his staff across the Arabian Desert in an attempt at expiation.

How, you ask, can anyone successfully address the outrageousness of Bolton’s question in the constricted medium of Twitter?

Here’s how:

Andrew Otis Weiss ‏‪@ThatWeissGuy‬ Mar 21
.‪@AmbJohnBolton Go back to selling oatmeal and diabetes meds, you blood splattered fuck (emphasis mine).

Colonel Kurtz, what do you have to say about Andrew Otis Weiss’s response to Bolton’s tweet?

Yes, it is genius, a perfect putdown, more graphic than even a photoshopped picture. Weiss has melded sound, sense, and image into a barbarous haiku: you blood-splattered fuck.

The introductory “you,”  accusatory, echoing that expletive for disgust we emit when coming upon fresh roadkill -eww – the adjective “blood-splattered” with its connotations of careless butchery, the onomatopoetic splat, the thudding consonance of the terminal D-sounds  (plus the word turd imbedded in splattered subliminally adding shit into the  mix).

But then the clincher, the noun fuck.  No, not dickdick won’t do – no, not prickprick won’t do – the vowels too short, too effete – but fuck – the abyss.  You blood-splattered fuck, you casual slaughterer of half a million human beings.

Bravo, Andrew Otis Weiss, def poet of the absolutely perfect insult!