by susan lenfestey
Like most of us, I get my news in bits and drabs. Unlike Lynnell, I'm still slavishly devoted to the morning papers -- the New York Times and even the Strib. I like to catch an occasional Jim Lehrer news hour, and I also skip around the blogosphere for updates and cheeky opinions. It's like eating a baguette and then picking up the crumbs with a sticky finger. To go to the web I sometimes use a different server where the home page is set to CNN. I don't know why it is. I don't think I made this choice, so probably god wanted it that way.
Today I am picking up lots of crumbs with the sticky finger. I'm torturing myself by reading every article and poll I can find about close senate and house races across the country. It's a beautiful blue-sky day here in Minnesota, so god must have wanted me to do this too. Will the New Jersey court decision on gay marriage help the Republicans? With Dubya clutching it like a drowning man on flotsam, what do you think? Will the latest slime ads out of the Republican National Committe and ad man Scott Howell's shop of horrors Harold, call me! hurt Harold Ford Jr. or backfire? Howell's earlier pairing of Max Cleland with Osama binLaden effectively tarred a triple amputee vet as siding with terrorists, so my magic 8-ball says, "You betcha". When historians review the RNC and Scott Howell's contribution to contemporary political debate they're going to think they're riding through the sewer in a glass bottom boat.
All this pre-election angst has literally made me ill. Hobbled me with a relentless pain in the gut, as if someone slung an anchor into my side and moored their ship on the choppy waters above.
So yesterday morning found me in a whirling CTscan machine, where the tape-recorded voice of god repeatedly told me to "breathe . . . breathe . . . prepare not to breathe," and finally, "don't breathe," as the magical floating gurney slid me back and forth through its magnetic field. Prepare not to breathe is a good message for a 60-year-old who hasn't been listening to her body, as we say.
The resulting scan showed, if you're interested, (and you are, right?) an inflamed area "the size of a baby's fist" as my doctor put it. A little clenched fist in my gut is perfect. It's either the anger of generations to come, or the searing Bush-wound we all carry, like a pockmark on soft flesh.
It's not of much consequence as long as I take my prescribed medicine-- nasty stuff that tastes of metal and makes my joints ache and my head swim. (I would not let me operate heavy equipment right now.) God's in on this one too, because I'm on this Kool Aid right up until Election Day. I suppose we don't want the baby to open her tiny fist. Or grow. Or start to punch me, which she'll probably do on November 8 if things -- oh, you know.
So I need to make a few lifestyle changes, lighten up, laugh. Camille not withstanding, there is nothing attractive about diseased guts. Which somehow brings me back to the CNN homepage. Ah yes, healing laughter.
Today when I opened CNN I got a twofer. There was a photo of Cheney, the Vice-Carbuncle, flanked by the usual carbuncle cousins Alberto Gonzales and Don Rumsfeld. The White House is denying that Cheney ever said water boarding was a no-brainer. What he said is, dunking terrorist suspects in water is a no-brainer. Tomorrow we'll get an apology from the water-boardee.
Part two is the thigh-slapper of the week: Bush being interviewed by some doe-eyed dolly who uses her hard-won moment with the Carbuncle-in- Chief to lob him this stinging pitch. "Have you ever Googled anyone? Do you use Google?" As you've all seen or heard by now, he says yeah, he's uses "the Google" to go to a place where you can get maps, can't remember the name of the program, satellite maps, and he likes to, heh heh . . . look at the ranch, reminds him of where he wants to be. Doe-eyes nods and laughs agreeably.
Oh man of little vision. If god's been putting messages in front of me all week, and I don't even believe in him, why isn't he telling you to use the Google to look beyond your own self-satisfied -- ranch? Why is he sending you reporters who look like they're auditioning for the class play and asking you questions as if you're running for homecoming king?
Oh, never mind. I know. It's all about me. It's to make me laugh so that I don't feel that baby fist starting to open into a claw. It's the way god wants it.