Thursday, October 28, 2004
Assassinating the President. posted by Richard SeymourThis isn't a compendium of helpful pointers. Let's face it, if you wanted to blow Bush's brains out, even from close range, you'd have to be a fucking good shot, and I don't know how to help you with that. I did train in the use of spud-guns for a few years, and my lasting regret when Diana kicked the bucket was that it wasn't as a result of one of my little nuggets of root vegetable. But I'm not here to mope.
No, I'm responding to the humourless, bizarre and utterly futile complaints about this humorous article for The Guardian's weekend Guide section. Dead Men Left has summed up more or less what I think about it, but I just have a few other comments to add.
Normblog doesn't attend the Tomb any more, for understandable reasons, but I still malinger round his place, stalking, sniffing the socks, slurping from milk bottles and so on. It feels homely, if slightly too staid for my liking. And I was dismayed to discover the following :
Except calling for a person's murder isn't OK: not in jest, not in general, and not - in particular - in the times we're living through.
For those not in the know, and too lazy to have pursued the link above, Brooker's article concluded with the words:
On November 2, the entire civilised world will be praying, praying Bush loses. And Sod's law dictates he'll probably win, thereby disproving the existence of God once and for all. The world will endure four more years of idiocy, arrogance and unwarranted bloodshed, with no benevolent deity to watch over and save us. John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, John Hinckley Jr - where are you now that we need you?
Okay, so what is the thought here? Norm and the commentators he associates himself with (Marcus from Harry's Place among others) think that a) this can't be funny, because it calls for someone to be killed and b) this is particularly so "in the times we're living through". This rather narrow and limited sense of humour isn't for me to waste my time on, but one thought that suggests itself presents itself as follows - get a grip! What? Is some young fundamentalist who happens to read The Guardian going to scan through this article, fail to spot the irony, and think - "hmmm, good idea!"
It's ridiculous, this spew of offense, and I expect it has more to do with the desire in some corners to impute something vile to the "moral universe" of the antiwar Left. Just a thought.
Meantime, why not have a listen to some old Bill Hicks CDs? This guy knew who ought to have been killed. "Isn't it interesting how we kill the good guys and let the demons run amok? Martin Luther King, murdered. John Lennon, murdered. Malcolm X, murdered. Ronald Reagan - wounded."
Update: John Kerry favours the odd assassination joke; so do certain Republican senators . But, it turns out jokes about assassinations just aren't funny . And the following, translated from ancient heiroglyphs on the walls of the Tomb, are just completely out of order and there really is no need for it:
"There should be more US Presidents like Kennedy: dead."
"Bono has urged Tony Blair and Gordon Brown to be the 'Lennon & McCartney' of world politics - which at least gives us a fifty-fifty chance of Blair being shot."
Tsk! I haven't felt such a stab in the heart since Fanny Kaplan stuck a bullet or two in my direction.