August 16, 2007

Johnny and the Dead

Open Letter to John Gibson:

In you summary dismissal of Jon Stewart’s speech opening his first show back after the Twin Tower attacks, you and your producer accused him of “faking it”, and of not being interested in preventing such attacks from happening again.

This, during the same show where you propose that the United States “needs another 9/11.” Apparently, irony has no place in your world.

Your “proof” that Stewart was “faking it” is… that he criticizes President Bush. Is there any possible way that one of these is even connected to the other?

Let’s try an imagination game, just to see:

Supposing your family has been brutally axe murdered in their home. Spouse, kids, parents, pets – all gone. The killer walked in through the front door, using a key, and set upon them while they slept.

A horrible event, I think we’ll all agree, and you weep at the funeral. Because you’re on television, someone records it.

The Chief of Police tells you that he will not rest until the perpetrators of this evil crime are incarcerated. He puts rewards out for information; he puts together a special investigative team; he uses a huge portion of the precinct budget for the sole purpose of finding and bringing to justice the brutes that devastated your family. In a matter of weeks, an arrest is made.

Of a goat.

When you mention that you don’t think a goat could have done that, he immediately accuses you of not loving your family. And besides, what would you know about it? You don’t have a team of experts and a squadron of investigators working on the case! Goats are dirty, smelly things and deserve to be arrested anyways.

Soon after, goat farms are raided across the entire state: owning goats is made illegal, and anything that contains or may have contained any part of a goat becomes contraband. Millions of dollars are spent from the city and state budget for the Capra aegagrus hircus crackdown.

When you point out that goats don’t use keys, and maybe the curtailing of rights is a bad idea, you are publicly rebuked, declared a “lover of goats”, and considered possibly treasonous.

The phones in your house, your work, and everywhere you have been in the past 25 years are tapped, because “you never know.” More goats are arrested on suspicion of being axe-wielding, key-using, phone-calling murderers. Everyone connected to people who may have used goat or “goatish” (sheep, llamas, and, what the hell, chickens) products is kept under constant surveillance. Further arrests are made, and Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken franchises start opening in Syria.

For seven years, this goes on. The policing budget has been almost entirely devoted to the arrest and detainment of ungulates (and chickens). Money is pulled from infrastructure, education, medical facilities. The crime rate increases, exhausted members of the police force are legislated on duty without leave, causing problems among them and their homes.

Again, you try pointing out that none of the animals listed could wield an axe, open a door or have a phone conversation; suddenly the tape that was made of you crying at the funeral of your family is played on national television. A new sound track is dubbed over that, so it sounds like you’re laughing about their deaths, and chortling about how rich you’re going to get off their life insurance.

Sound like a good idea?

*** *** ***

For the folks who missed it, here’s Jon Stewart’s monologue, and here’s Gibson’s mocking of it.

As an added bonus, how about Gibson encouraging other people to get their families murdered!


posted by Thursday at 12:12 am


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