a Skiing Uphill virtual reprint
Wednesday, March 23, 2005

part I

With the ascendance of Teddy Roosevelt after the assassination of William McKinley, TR established the United States as an incipient world power, and used the megaphone of the presidency as -- in his words -- the "bully pulpit." "Bully" was a favorite word of TR's. In his lexicon, it meant, "groovy," or "far out." It was an exclamation indicating the superlative.

Fast forward to 2000, as George W. Bush. "King George" ascended, following the character and legal assassination of President-Elect Gore. King George never used the term, but his use of the "Bully Pulpit" took on an entirely different -- and increasingly ominous -- cast, based on the quite different, and more conventional interpretation of the term "bully."

What had happened in between?

Well, we do know that the aliens began the heavy bombardment of the United States sometime in the early 1990s, using their newly developed "P'kelamithug" ray. Cryptological analysis of the alien tongue has been able to decipher this term as meaning, roughly, the "Stupid Ray."

Bad aliens.

Its effects on the American populace were subtle and yet devastating. An entire generation ceased to learn anything about civics, government, or the "rule of law" basis of our system.

Too many stupid books were bad anyway. Maybe it was good thing.

Fed on a steady diet of ever-stupider films (that, ironically, ennobled and enshrined the lone vigilante approach to problem-solving even as the various individual rights and abilities of citizens to act of their own volition was increasingly curtailed) Americans began to swagger more and empathize less. This was the result of a creeping anti-Enlightenment, as even science began to retreat, with Evolution suddenly under attack from pro-campfire-stories-of-creation flatheads. Unfortunately, in a Democracy, a majority of flatheads sets the agenda, and in places as lacking in diversity as Kansas, science was rolled back to a pre-Gutenberg level.

(Not Project Gutenberg -- the collective effort to put the classic books of human history on the internet in a text form; no, I mean Gutenberg the guy what made the moving type pressing ink down thing.)

The stupid ray was, we now know, being slowly ratcheted up. By 2000, a profoundly dyslexic anti-intellectual was installed in the White House, and a series of TV pageants was staged, increasingly insisting that the White House performer be kept away from reporters and non-hand-picked citizens.

Again, the stupid ray was toggled up, and so no one bothered questioning WHY, for the first time in the history of the country, the president was utterly inaccessible to any and all citizens. During the campaign of 2004, political loyalty oaths and background checks (in the form of "do not allow to enter" lists) were used to increasingly insulate the president from carefully selected crowds and TV cameras.

Stupid protesters. Protesters just making trouble.

As the collective cerebral cortex, (or the aggregate of cerebral cortices, take your pick) was affected by the stupefying effects of the alien ray, the reptile brain returned, increasingly, to ascendancy over the weak-minded mammal brain.

And the bullies began to run things, as they had throughout the Ice Ages and through most of human history. Was this a bad thing?

Bullies got us where we are. Where we are is good. We have TV. TV is good.

WHY the aliens are bombarding us with this deadly ray was nearly unraveled, but, alas, the research team at Sandia Laboratories were insidiously affected, and slaughtered each other in a tragic argument over the last jelly donut in the breakfast bin. Now, no one remains who can decipher their notes, and it looks like we're in for a massive redux of the movie "Charly," for which Cliff Robertson won a best actor Oscar many years ago.

But bullies is good. Weak humans must die. Them what attacked us is bad, and we bigger dominant apes than they.

Kill them. Kill them all.

God put president in office. He boss by divine right. Right make might and we kill them Al Qaedas. Kill them good.

What I talking about? Oh yas. Talking about aliens. We kill aliens when they come down. First we kill Al Qaedas, though. Kill them all. Kill them good.

Kill weak humans, like liberals. Liberals bad. Bad like Al Qaedas.

As the cerebral cortex was taken over, atavistic urges began to rule all aspects of American life. News and analysis fell to abysmally stupid and compliant levels, and logic and reason were replaced, more and more, by emotional arguments and celebrity trials. American discourse fell from a "National Geographic" mentality to a more "People Magazine" sort of literacy.

Food good. Food make brave warrior strong. Brave warrior kill many enemy Al Qaedas.


Have to eat now.

Me go.


 -- Hart Williams (c) 2005