And finally, New Rule: For Christ's sake, no more devil movies. "The Exorcism of Emily Rose" opened huge last week, and it surprised a lot of people, mostly because Owen Wilson wasn't in it. But exorcism, or as the Catholics call it, "elective surgery," is a popular theme nowadays because it reinforces the comforting notion that evil resides outside of us.
Well, I'm sorry, but it doesn't.
And whenever I hear someone blame a bombing in Baghdad or a levee breaking in New Orleans on the forces of evil, it makes me so mad I just want to grab my pitchfork and stick it right through my cloven hoof!
Now, Americans have always loved devil movies: "The Exorcist," "The Omen," "Rosemary's Baby," "The Devil's Advocate." The list goes on forever because Americans love the devil. Why? Because he's simple and he provides a simple answer. He did it.
But evil is not a demon with a tail and horns. That's a Jew. And evil - evil isn't some spectral goblin with red eyes and the voice of Anthony Hopkins. That's Anthony Hopkins.
Is George Bush purely evil? Of course not. And that's what's so evil about him. He doesn't twirl a mustache and smirk and cackle. Well, he doesn't twirl a mustache. He's like the Peanuts character Pigpen. Wherever he goes, he stirs up such a humongous mess it can only be cleaned up by Halliburton.
But he is not pure evil. Because evil is a chain. Did any one person doom New Orleans? No, it's a chain. People vote for a corrupt leader; a corrupt leader puts unqualified cronies in high places, and when those cronies fuck up, evil gets done. The devil didn't fly up from hell and knock a hole in that levee. The levee just didn't get built because the money for it went to rich people's tax cuts and pork projects and corporate welfare.
Evil isn't "Salem's Lot." It's Trent Lott.
This week, an ailing American bald eagle was found to be dying from mercury poisoning. Republicans immediately tried to blame it on the eagle's lifestyle choices. But it's worth noting that also this week, the White House threatened to veto limits on mercury pollution. Now, pure evil would be if George Bush sat around the White House saying, "Let's poison eagles!" And even I don't believe George Bush would do that.
Cheney would do that.
And even he is not pure evil. Dick Cheney doesn't hate poor children and caribou. They're just in the way.
Bottom line: some people think Satan is real and some people think global warming is real.
If you think stopping gays from doing it is more important than the ice caps melting, the boogeyman is YOU."