Friday, August 19, 2005


Winston's a kind fellow, isn't he?

I've known Winston for about a year. If you've been reading him and his wife, you have, like me, come to appreciate their keen perceptions on politics and culture, and the strange progeny which springs from the union of the two (politics and culture, not Winston and Julia...get your minds out of the gutter for a minute, will ya?). I, for one, consider myself lucky to have ever found myself running in the same circles as he and his wife.

So, it's something of an honor for me to have Winston describing the instrument which I wield as being able to, "speak my mind." That's pretty much elevated from what I've always classified as, "having a half-baked opinion on just about everything, and being socially careless enough to speak about them in public fora." So, I'm printing out his brief but potent introduction for framing later before I write something here which makes him change his mind.

And, since I mentioned it, I'll start with a short comment on Cindy Sheehan.

I've never liked Demi Moore. Not even when she was the still-unaltered-by-plastic-surgeons Demi Moore, and before she became trying-to-relive-my-twenties-with-Astin-Kutcher Demi Moore. And, while I thought she was the wrong choice to play JoAnne Galloway in A Few Good Men, she was, nonetheless noteworthy for using the term "Persian bizarre". For years, I've tried to figure out a good way to work the expression Persian bizarre into conversation in reference to something that had really gone awry because, the way Demi delivered the line, Persian bizarre, you just know it had to be the be all, end all, of "out there," and much more polite than saying, "F***** up."

So, for lack of looking, or for being too wound up in my own personal dramas and/or pursuits, in the 13 years since Demi uttered those words, I've not found a situation worthy of earning the term, Persian bizzare.

At least, not until I started paying attention to Cindy Sheehan.

The fact is, inarguably, the event of her son's death is a tragedy, as are the deaths of any of the brave men and women who've been sent to Iraq to fight.

However, at the risk of sounding like an unsympathetic, heartless crumudgeon, Cindy's actions and the ensuing media tidal wave that's come crashing into the living rooms of American homes during news broadcasts has, without any equivocation, earned Cindy a trip to Perisan bizzare, as in, "In what Persian bizarre state of mind do you have to be trapped when you actually believe that it's reasonable to expect that your son, who's enlisted in the military, could never possibly be sent to fight at the behest, and on behalf, of his country?"

Perhaps that's the wrong question. The statements which Cindy's made in regard to her inability to wrap her brain around the idea that Casey got sidetracked on his way to GI Bill Scholarship money, and was killed in the process are really not as Persian bizarre as the hows and whys of her renewed and continued campaign against Bush. Now, if you're even thinking about mounting some damned-fool argument about deceptive recruitment practices, the hand is raised, and you need to talk to it. It's the military, not a scholarship organization or vocational training school with a great fitness program and free clothes. Fighting and dying is implicit, (despite reduced military mortality over the past 25 years), and that fact isn't buried in the fine print. Cindy's going through the motions, because I'm sure she knows these truths.

And from reports from most other sources that aren't generated by Cindy, Casey knew those truths too, and that suggests that the kid had some character.

Too bad it didn't rub off on mom.

"Syme, you miserable, cold hearted (fill in your favorite personal epithet here), you're coming down awfully hard on Cindy, and those comments are probably just the emotional outlet of a grieving mother," is something you might be saying right about now, "Cindy isn't Persian bizarre at all."

I'd almost be inclined to agree with you, and accept the title of cold-hearted (fill in your favorite personal epithet here) humbly and quietly, if Cindy hadn't started whistling a different tune than she was a year ago, when she and Bush first met. In June of 2004, she was nearly gushing about the effort GWB made in order to express his condolences, but now, she's on a tear to vilify Bush, joined by, and as many news cameras as Cindy can round up. To be honest, I don't know who's pulling her strings, although, it's known that she's in bed with MoveOn, and is associated with that fat guy from Detroit, the one who makes movies ala Photoshop, but that's not really the point. The point is that it's no longer a grieving mother looking for closure and expressing her grief about her dead son, it's about Cindy Sheehan, her newly discovered moral indignation, her ego, and how long she can stretch her fifteen minutes of fame while standing on the casket of her aforementioned dead son.

Hell, if you ask most people, they know Cindy Sheehan, but the lion's share have no idea that her son was named Casey. That mom's grabbing headlines and advancing the agenda of political opportunists based on this tragedy is a disservice to the life and sacrifice of the son. That it took her almost a year to figure out she could be media-flavor-of-the-month by serving up Casey's death and memory so it could be spun by shameless idealogues confirms, for me, that Cindy Sheehan has earned her status as Persian bizarre.

It was worth waiting 13 years to make such an association.

So, with that, I'm off to frame and hang my thumbs-up from Winston. Hopefully, after this, he won't retract it, or take back the keys to the place.

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