“No God and no religion can survive ridicule. No political church, no nobility, no royalty or other fraud, can face ridicule in a fair field, and live.”
-- Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain)
“Mockery is a rust that corrodes all it touches.”
-- Milan Kundera
Now that I’ve finally killed my TV, I’ve got more time for serious endeavors.
Anagrams, for example.
“What’s in a name?” Juliet asked the stars, and, as it turns out, the answer is much (chum).
Some mystics claim that every number and letter has its own vibration. The latest thinking of cosmologists is that we’re all a bunch of vibrating strings.
And in the dark, impenetrable, steely hearts of those who run this sad world now, who make the wars, trash the First Amendment, stand in high places and piss on the good and beautiful -- what secrets? What vibrations? My little ditty to maintain balance:
To cut the bastards down
Starting at the purported top, then, George W. Bush, scarily, has Armageddon in his name. Or at least Gog, as in Gog and Magog, the brute contenders of The Final Apocalypse. In fact, his name is a perfect anagram for U.S. Hebrew Gog!
That vibe no doubt adds the strut to his cock-walk, as a second anagram implies: Brews Ego … Ugh!
What else lurks in W’s dark soul? Considering our torture-policies at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo, the rest of us had better watch our backs. In the sunken chambers of the Chief Exec’s name we find: Oh Buggers We!
But the oracles give some hope to those who fear that this holier-than-thou Hypocrite-in-Chief is unassailable. Another anagram says it all: God hews Rube.
The laconic Dick Cheney, fittingly enough, yields little to the anagramatic imagination, but his role as chief string-puller is summed up nicely in: I check … deny!
Also to the point, at least publicly, is the President’s “brain,” Karl Rove. Few progressives will be surprised to find him an Ark-lover.
On the other hand, former DoD matinee idol, the blustery, henny-penny-oh-my-goodness-gracious Donald Rumsfeld is a veritable treasure trove of malice: Start with: A Fun DoD Dr. Smell. Those who believe he is long past his usefulness will take some comfort in these internal memos in his name: Self-urn. Add mold and Old Landed Smurf. Remember when that brazen soldier confronted Rummy in Iraq? That troublesome question about “up-armoring” the troops? Perhaps the soldier would have better understood Rumsfeld’s funding priorities if he’d anagramized his name: Fund Armed Dolls! At any rate, we can be sure Rummy will continue to bore us at his press conferences. He is, after all, Donald Drum-Self!
A less stylish, but equally verbose bore, Rush Limbaugh can’t help it either: I gab … Hurl mush. Or, more in his vernacular, perhaps: A Big Mush-Hurl! And Mulish Grub! Ha!
Rush’s competitor in nastiness, Bill O’Reilly -- Boiler Lilly, if one must wash oneself in his muck -- reveals layers of bile within bile, especially when using the more genteel “William” as his first name; we find, then: I’m all ill ire. Yow! For potential guests at his auto da fe, there’s even a hidden warning: Wail my ill lie or -- . Oddly, avuncular Bill seems hung up on the Chinese: Re Mao, I, Willy, ill! At least he’s fair and balanced in his prejudices. Concerning the ancient Taoist philosopher: Re wily Lao -- I’m ill! As for potential conflicts in the Middle East, it’s easy to infer where William stands: War’em ill oilily!
Speaking of oily, we may recall our present Sec of State’s oleaginous honor in having an oil tanker named after her. Condoleezza has as much gall -- though less justified -- as George Galloway when it comes to facing hostile senators. And why not? Doc Zeal -- one Rice is one anagram; Zeal-dicer, Neo Co. is another. Those who believe her policies are more suited to pre-industrial times, will not be surprised to find her a Cenozoic Leader. And, less kind amigos may think of her as A Circe del Ozone.
Ur-Neocon Richard Perle, a Ph.D. err-relic, ought not flinch if sensible folks are put off by him. Richard Repel is in his name. So is Rad Crier! Help! and Red Perch Liar. Should we expect a McNamara-type belated apology for his misprision; in his case, his obfuscations about Iraq -- the links to 9/11 and WMD’s? It’s in his name that he’ll fess up sometime: I err. Held crap. But I, for one, will hold my nose, but not my breath.
At least his buddy, William Kristol, will accompany him on his downward spiral: I’ll smirk till lo. If O’Reilly is hung up on the Chinese, Kristol is fated to rail against another Asian obsession. Ever wonder why neocons anathematize North Korean “Dear Leader” Kim Jong Il (with, perhaps seven nuclear weapons) while giving Ariel Sharon (with perhaps 200) a pass? It’s all in Kristol’s name: Wail: Kim is Troll!
Leggy Ann Coulter has developed her own cult following, but it’s surely a Non-ERA Cult. Caution here! While admiring her long, tan gams, her unclean rot is likely to fall like a nuclear ton.
How did we get into this mess? We might have recalled that a Republican is very often a lupine crab. Crafty, and side-stepping.
We might have been a little more wary of a star-born poet like Pat Robertson, so voluble, so earnest -- an apt, e’rn’st boor, in fact -- a man so much of the Lord, he appears to have been born prostrate. Rot! A born pest, we should have cried if we’d had our wits about us.
Finally, there’s this thing they call the War on Terror. We might have figured out where this was going long ago: Rant! Error! Ow!
Gary Steven Corseri’s dramas have been published, and broadcast over PBS-Atlanta; his prose and poems have appeared at Dissident Voice, Common Dreams, CounterPunch, AxisOfLogic, The New York Times, Village Voice, Redbook, Sky, Georgia Review, and elsewhere. He has published two poetry collections and two novels, edited the Manifestations anthology, taught in public schools and prisons in the U.S., and at universities in the U.S. and Japan. He swears that his name is anagramized as, A Rectory Ever Sings! He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other articles by Gary
Harry and the Clash of Civilizations
Other articles by Gary Corseri
Harry and the Clash of Civilizations