The Tell-Tale Voice

True! nervous, very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why WILL you say that I am mad? I am a political junkie after all. This election season has been like no other; can’t you see that? The feverish election had sharpened my senses, not destroyed, not dulled them. Above all was the sense of hearing acute. I heard all things in the blue states and in the red. I heard many things in the battlegrounds. How then am I mad? Hearken! and observe how healthily, how calmly, I can tell you the whole story.

It is impossible to say how first the idea entered my brain, but, once conceived, it haunted me day and night. Object there was none. Passion there was none. I tolerated the woman. She had never, as a white male Christian, wronged me. She had never given me the insult she lavished upon my neighbors. You know, those people? For her oil rebates I had no desire. I think it was her voice! Yes, it was this! Her voice resembled that of a vulture — a thin-pitched shrill, hovering high and sticky with a toxic sugar. Whenever it crawled in my ear, my blood ran cold, and so by degrees, very gradually, I made up my mind to rip the speakers from my television, and thus rid myself of that voice for ever. But… for a time, I could not bring myself to do it. I was a nighthawk of political televised commentary. It drove my wife bonkers. But not as bonkers as you might say it drove me. Yet you would be wrong. As I have told you, it was my super-sensitivity rather than any deviant lunacy!

Now this is the point. You fancy me mad. Madmen know nothing. But you should have seen me. You should have seen how wisely I proceeded — with what caution — with what foresight, with what dissimulation, I went to work! I was never kinder to her ideas or her supporters than during the whole week before I silenced her. Around the office water cooler, I coolly praised her and her feisty running mate. And every night about midnight I turned the television on ever so softly! And then, when I had made an adjustment of volume just sufficient for my ear, I closed my eyes so that no sound could be heard in the silence but her words in a tiny piercing voice like that of a droning mosquito. Yooou Betcha! The voice would buzz in my ear alone, in the silence, in the darkness. Oh, you would have laughed to see how cunningly I listened in! I tuned it slowly, very, very slowly, so that I might not disturb my wife’s sleep. It took me an hour to hear an entire ranting rally. Ha! would a madman have been so wise as this? And then, when her strange messages were ringing in my ears, I tweaked the treble ever so cautiously — oh, so cautiously — cautiously (for now her voice sounded like a jigsaw through a pie tin), I tweaked the sound just so much that a single thin whine sliced through my brain, frying several synapses. And this I did for seven long nights, every night just at midnight. But, when I tried to dismantle the box, I found it was quite complex and the speakers difficult to separate, and so it was impossible to do the work, for it was not the woman who vexed me but her evil message and that piercing piercing voice. Her r’s could make a pirate cringe and give up the sea. Yet every morning, when the day broke, I went boldly into the office and spoke courageously to her followers, calling her by name in a hearty tone, and praising how marvelously she’s riled her latest crowd. So you see they would have been a very surprised gaggle of loons, indeed , to suspect that every night, just at twelve, I fried my brain with her cackling accents, as I contemplated disemboweling my televisions sound system.

Upon the eighth night I was more than usually cautious in tuning the sound. A watch’s minute hand moves more quickly than that knob did. Never before that night had I felt the extent of my own powers, of my sagacity. I could scarcely contain my feelings of triumph. To think that there I sat, focusing her voice little by little, and she not even to dream of my secret deeds or thoughts. I fairly chuckled at the idea, and perhaps she heard me, for if she could see Russia from Wasila, perhaps she could hear my thoughts from Virginia, or even Ohio. Now you may think that I drew back — but no. The room was as black as pitch but for the blue glare from the screen (for the shutters were close fastened through fear of terrorists), and the slicing whine of her voice that sautéed my ossicles and pounded my eardrum like Tito Fuentes gone bongo-berserker! And yet I kept fine tuning it on steadily, steadily.

I had her voice reeling, and was about to completely melt my brain, when my thumb slipped upon volume knob, and my wife sprang up in the bed, crying out from the bedroom, “Who’s there?”

I kept quite still and said nothing. For a whole hour I did not move a muscle, and in the meantime I did not hear her lie down. She was still sitting up in the bed, listening; just as riled perhaps hearing the whirring of a horde of flies buzzing in a distant field in another state.

Presently, I heard from my darling wife a slight groan, and I knew it was the groan of mortal terror. It was not a groan of pain or of grief — oh, no! It was the low stifled sound that arises from the bottom of the soul when overcharged with awe. I knew the sound well. Many a night, just at midnight, when all the world slept, it has welled up from my own bosom, deepening, with its dreadful echo, the terrors that distracted me. The thought of her in the White House. I say I knew it well. I knew what the woman from Wasila felt, and pitied her although I chuckled at heart. I knew that she too had been lying awake ever since the first inception on the national stage, when she had accepted a duty she had no claim to. Her fears had been ever since growing upon her and that of her maniacal base. She had been trying to fancy them causeless, but could not. She had been saying to herself, and frothing fans, “It is nothing but the darrrrned Liberrrals in the chimney, it is only a pesky terrrr’rrrist creeping around,” or, “It is merely a Gotcha Jourrrnalist with her probing microphone.” Yes she has been trying to comfort herself with these sustaining fears; but she had found all in vain. all in vain, because Truth, in approaching her, had stalked with its glowing light that enveloped the victim. And it was the hopeful influence of the unperceived light of Truth that caused her to feel, although she neither saw nor heard, to feel the presence of the real “real America”, that could stomach neither her spiteful words nor that piercing, piercing voice.

When I had waited a long time very patiently, finally my wife had gone back to sleep. I resolved to turn up the volume a little — a very, very little tweak of the knob. One half-tick higher on the dial – this one goes up to eleven. So I turned it — you cannot imagine how stealthily, stealthily — until at length a single dim wavelength like the thread of the spider shot out from the speakers and shot straight into my brain.

It was a spoken shriek, cackling, whirring open like speedboat on blocks, and I grew furious as I listened upon it. I actually saw the tone with perfect distinctness — all a dull blue with a hideous veil over it that chilled the very marrow in my bones, but I could see nothing else of the woman’s face or person, save that lipsticked mouth that spewed forth such sibilant sound!

And now have I not told you that what you mistake for madness is but over-acuteness of the senses? Now, I say, there came to my ears a low, dull, slow sound, such as a mad dog makes when cornered. I knew that sound well too. It was the humming of the old television’s speakers. It increased my fury as the buzzing of fluorescent tubes incite the clerk into insomnia.

But even yet I refrained and kept still. I scarcely breathed. I held the volume knob motionless. I tried how steadily I could to maintain her tone upon my ear. Meantime the hellish hum of the speaker increased. It grew longer and thicker, and louder and louder, every instant. It grew louder, I say, louder every moment! — do you mark me well? I have told you that I am nervous: so I am. And now at the dead hour of the night, amid the dreadful silence of that old house, so strange a noise as this from a near-silent darkness sent me to uncontrollable terror. Yet, for some minutes longer I refrained and stood still. But the humming grew louder, louder! I thought my heart must burst. And now a new anxiety seized me — the sound would be heard by a neighbour! Or worse yet, perhaps a supporter of the shrill woman! The time had come! With a loud yell, I threw open back panel of the TV and lunged at its innards. It shrieked once — once only. In an instant I dragged it to the floor, and pulled the heavy speakers from the trunk. I then smiled gaily, to find the deed so far done. But for many minutes the sound wailed on with a muffled reverberation. A remnant of her voice entwined with the electric hum of the speaker. This, however, did not vex me; it would not be heard through the wall. At length it ceased. The television was dead… and with it, the voice. No pulsation. Tone dead. This sound would trouble me no more.

If still you think me mad, you will think so no longer when I describe the wise precautions I took for the concealment of the appliance. The night waned, and I worked hastily, but in silence. And my wife never stirred.

I took up three planks from the flooring of the chamber, and deposited all between the scantlings. I then replaced the boards so cleverly so cunningly, that no human eye — not even my perceptive wife’– could have detected anything wrong. There was nothing to wash out — no stain of any kind — no blood-spot whatever. I had been too wary for that.

When I had made an end of these labours, it was four o’clock — still dark as midnight. As the bell sounded the hour, there came a knocking at the street door. I went down to open it with a light heart, — for what had I now to fear? There entered three men, who introduced themselves, with perfect suavity, as officers of Republican headquarters. A shriek had been heard by a neighbour during the night, and he’d woke to discover a yardsign vandalized; suspicion of terrorists had been aroused; information had been lodged at the office, and they (the officers) had been deputed to search the premises.

I smiled, — for what had I to fear? I bade the gentlemen welcome. The shriek, I said, was my own in a dream and my wife had slept soundly though. I took my visitors all over the house, even showed them my Country First campaign posters. I bade them search — search well. I led them, at length, to a chamber, where I showed them more campaign treasures, secure, undisturbed, and virulent. They seemed particularly pleased with my postered socialist puns! In the enthusiasm of my confidence, I brought chairs into the room, and desired them here to rest from their fatigues, while I myself, in the wild audacity of my perfect triumph, placed my own seat upon the very spot beneath which reposed the corpse of the victim.

The officers were satisfied. My manner had convinced them, I was a supporter and not in fact a communist nor a terrorist, but a God-fearing capitalist of blind allegiance to the morals and values of the Party. I was singularly at ease. They sat and while I answered cheerily, they chatted of familiar things. But, ere long, I felt myself getting pale and wished them gone. My head ached, and I fancied a ringing in my ears; but still they sat, and still chatted. The ringing became more distinct : I talked more freely to get rid of the feeling: but it continued and gained definitiveness — until, at length, I found that the noise was not within my ears.

No doubt I now grew very pale; but I talked more fluently, and with a heightened voice. I supposed that I was likely sounding much like her. Yet the sound increased — and what could I do? It was A LOW, DULL, SLOW SOUND — MUCH SUCH A SOUND AS A MAD DOG MAKES WHEN CORNERED. I gasped for breath, and yet the officers heard it not. I talked more quickly, more vehemently but the noise steadily increased. I arose and argued about trifles, in a high key and with violent gesticulations, as if I were in attendance of one of the rallies; but the noise steadily increased. Why would they not be gone? I paced the floor to and fro with heavy strides, as if excited to fury by the observations of the men, but the noise steadily increased. O God! what could I do? I foamed — I raved — I swore! I swung the chair upon which I had been sitting, and grated it upon the boards, but the noise arose over all and continually increased. It grew louder — louder — louder! And still the men chatted pleasantly , and smiled. Was it possible they heard not? Almighty God! — no, no. They heard! — they suspected! — they KNEW! — they were making a mockery of my horror! — this I thought, and this I think. But anything was better than this agony! Anything was more tolerable than this derision! I could bear those hypocritical smiles no longer! For those too reminded me of her! I felt that I must scream or die! — and now — again — hark! louder! louder! louder! LOUDER! —

“Villains!” I shrieked, “dissemble no more! I admit the deed! — tear up the planks! — here, here! From my television, from these speakers! — it is the incessant shrillness of her hideous voice!”

Needless to say the Republicans left my house quickly. They’ve not returned or bothered to call anymore. Not even robocalls. My wife was peeved about the television, and the floor boards. But we got new carpet out of it. Also, we decided not to replace the television. That was a great decision. It has been exceedingly good for our relationship. I sleep so much better. I’m not up late every night “taking in the news”. Best of all, I don’t hear that voice all the time. That voice. That piercing, shrieking voice! That insidious sound…

At least I don’t hear it as often.

Behold! A great animated version of Poe’s original Tell-Tale Heart:

We’ve gone from Silly Season to Hate Week. What’s next, Kristallnacht?

It seems like only yesterday we were talking about candidate’s third grade essays and their political implications. Ah, gone forever are those halcyon days of silly season – only a few months, but so so long ago. This week there has certainly been a change in the seasonal winds. Temperatures on the campaign trail have plummeted as the tone has turned bitterly cold. This week has been reminiscent of Orwell’s Hate Week, a systematic campaign designed to solidify rage and abhorrence against “enemies of the Party”. It is a short and slippery slope from hate rallies to Krystallnacht – out and out violence and destruction in the streets

John McCain is old enough to understand from history what can happen when rage seethes unchecked. He remembers the lunatic-days of Fascist Europe and Red China. He remembers the blind fervor of America’s own Red Scare that ruined the lives of so many. He knows the damaging power of frenzy. However, the cat is out of the bag and he seems powerless to contain the ire of his supporters. To his defense, he has tried to rein in the ignorance and acidity of his crowds. Yet, they boo him, ignore him. They want to hate no matter what their candidate may say. Sarah Palin on the other hand seems eager to nourish their rage. A day after McCain tried to regain his crowd back under his control, Palin further riled hers with cruel suggestions that Obama is a baby-killer. The crowed bayed their utter contempt.

History can teach us that these hate-mongers are in fact a minority of the larger community, yet their opinions win the day. They are loud, aggressive and tend toward violence. They intimidate the majority into keeping silent or even following along. Present day Germans still carry the shame of the silent masses of their grandparents’ generation. Literature demonstrates that dissent may exist in individual hearts within a state-controlled mob; yet social pressures overpower personal disquiet. Winston and Julia, in Orwell’s 1984, both secretly revile the socially imposed “Two-Minute Hate” sessions. Yet, they participate and even quietly critique each other’s degree of demonstrable vehemence. Our society is becoming reflective of these examples. For the past decade, we have gravitated to radio and television programs where hosts and audience members scream over each other, fed by a common hate for a common enemy. To publicly shout out your rage somehow makes you more loyal, or more honorable, or more knowledgeable than your neighbor. It continuously ratchets up the impassioned disdain for the other side, until any common ground is completely eradicated from the equation. These periods creep up throughout history – moments when public furor is stoked by rage for a common political goal. The French and American wars of revolution. The Bolshevik Revolution. Hitler’s holocaust. Stalin’s purges. Pol Pot’s genocide in Cambodia. The Balkans. Rawanda. Darfur. It continues, regardless of ethnicity, geography or culture. For all of our beauty and brilliance, this is one of our more sordid human characteristics. An angry man can be rational. An angry crowd? Don’t hesitate. Turn and run.

History and Literature offer glimpses into our future. So does mythology. During this dizzying descent into chaos and ire demonstrated at McCain/Palin rallies, we are reminded of Greek Mythology. Sarah Palin resembles a young Pandora. The powerful gods sought to punish humans for Prometheus’ crime of stealing fire. So, they decided to create a woman from the Earth. Unquestionably, the ancients had misogyny issues. The referred to her as a “beautiful evil” but they named her Pandora. Each god bestowed upon her a unique“gift” and placed it in a gilded box. Of course we all know what happened then. Driven by curiosity, Pandora peeked inside the box and let loose all the evils of the world. Greed, vanity, slander, envy and pining spread throughout the world and changed our lives utterly and eternally. Talk about a bad first impression.

As soon as she took the national stage at the Republican National Convention, Palin cranked up the ire. Her introductory speech went beyond the cynical sarcasm typical of any political forum. Her words were rude, belittling, cruel and bitter. And her audience lapped them up like mad dogs. Moreover, Palin clearly set the tone that night for their campaign, culminating with the rallies we see now in the closing weeks of this race. Our new politician on the scene has let loose all this ugliness and now its fire spreads. At these events people arrive armed with ignorance and vile. They call Obama a terrorist, yet can’t explain why they think that. They inaccurately call him an Arab thinking this is synonymous with evil. They have let their minds and their fears run amok. Like all fires, they feed off one another until nothing remains but destructive heat and smoldering ash. McCain cannot control them. He cannot apparently control Palin either. His base has overwhelmed him and he must feel the shame of allowing the creation of this Hydra. Palin controls the crowds now. She stokes the flames of hate and seems hell-bent on burning down the house with everyone in it.

But, remember the mythology. All was not lost when Pandora’s box was opened. Elpis remained to comfort and illuminate mankind in this sinister, dark new world. Elpis was the spirit of Hope. And for all this spreading ugliness, slander, envy, greed and all, we have a clear source of hope in this election. Will we make the right choice?

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McCain Already Scheming To Play Bush-Style Politics

In a recent off-the-cuff remark made in Wisconsin, McCain promised to go after the politicians who allowed the current financial disaster to occur.  He went further stating Democrats are to blame for this situation, namely Barack Obama, Barney Frank and Chris Dodd.  He vowed to go after these guys when he is president.

He supports unregulated markets from one side of his mouth.  The other side criticizes the government for not regulating financial institutions.  But that criticism is limited to one party.  It is interesting how “The Maverick” is so eager to go reach across the aisle to point the finger at the Democrats.  Why isn’t he “ruffling the feathers of his own party” this time?  He can’t be bipartisan enough now to lay blame at the feet of at any of the 40 or so Republican members of financial oversight committees? Why can’t he admit to the culpability of his own party, his own president?  The past eight years of this corporate financial free-for-all has left the richest even richer and left the rest of us holding the bill.

Now we see a glimpse into a McCain administration.  We can see that, like Bush, McCain is a self-serving manipulator of any situation.  He instinctively vows to attack the other party – simultaneously eliminating dissent and opposition, while shielding his allies from blame.  We’ve seen these Bush-style tactics for 8 years and we have collectively suffered from them.  McCain only offers more of the same and we can’t afford it anymore.

The Tragedy of MacCain

Long ago, on a bluff overlooking the Potomac. John MacCain returned home from battle. On his way, he came across three strange witches. Before his arrival, they plotted and planned a most dismal fate for MacCain.

Thunder and lightning. Enter three Witches

First Witch

When shall we three meet again
In thunder, lightning, or in rain?

Second Witch

When the hurlyburly’s done,
When the ballot’s lost and won.

Third Witch

That will be ere the set of sun.

First Witch

Where the place?

Second Witch

Upon the plain.

Third Witch

There to meet with MacCain


Fair is balanced, and balanced is fair:
Spin and spin through filthy air.

First Witch

A sailor’s wife had patience long,
And waited, and waited, and waited:–
Her husband’s to Tonkin gone, master o’ the Flying Tiger:
But in a cage he thither wail,
Just like a rat without a tail,
He’ll do, He’ll do, and He’ll do.

Second Witch

I’ll give thee a wind.

First Witch

With which to spin and spin.

Third Witch

And I another.

First Witch

We will drain him dry as hay:
Sleep shall neither night nor day
Hang upon his ten-house lid;
He shall live a man forbid:
Weary countless years
Shall he dwindle, peak and pine:
Though his bark cannot be lost,
Yet it shall be tempest-tossed.
Look what I have.

Second Witch

Show me, show me.

First Witch

Here I have a pilot’s thumb,
Wreck’d as homeward he did come.

Airplane overhead

Third Witch

A plane, a plane!
Come, here, limpeth John MacCain.


The weird sisters, hand in hand,
Pollsters of the sea and land,
Thus do go about, about:
Thrice to thine and thrice to mine
And thrice again, for 2009.
Peace! the charm’s wound up.



So foul and fair a day I have not seen.

Speak, if you can: what are you?

First Witch

All hail, MacCain! hail to thee, thane of Hanoi!

Second Witch

All hail, MacCain, hail to thee, thane of Arizona!

Third Witch

All hail, MacCain, thou shalt be king hereafter!


Stay, you imperfect speakers, tell me more:
By Uncle Ho’s death I know I am thane of Hanoi;
But how of Arizona? Goldwater of Arizona lives,
A prosperous gentleman; and to be king
Stands not within the prospect of belief,
No more than to be Arizona. Say from whence
You owe this strange intelligence? or why
Upon this blasted heath you stop my way
With such prophetic greeting? Speak, I charge you.

First Witch

Lesser than your fathers, and greater.

Second Witch

Not so happy, yet much happier.


Greater than my father? And Grandpa too?

Tell me more! What say you?

Witches vanish


Into thin air; they couldn’t stay?
I sure like what they had to say!

And so, MacCain left that day with this new idea in his mind. He plotted and planned. He connived and contrived. With his wife, the ever-shrewd Lady MacCain they climbed and climbed the ivory tower, building alliances and allegiances that would bring MacCain to his destined place.

Years later, MacCain, indeed the thane of Arizona, desperately sought the throne also promised him. He sought the strange witches for a special spell, a binding pact that would assure him his prize. The strange sisters knew his intentions and were already mixing the special potion.

A cavern. In the middle, a boiling cauldron.


First Witch

Twice the Maverick hath been denied.

Second Witch

Twice the hedge-pig tried and tried.

Third Witch

The elephant cries ‘Tis time, ’tis time.

First Witch

Round about the cauldron go;
In the poisoned entrails throw.
Rove, that under cold stone sat,
Seeks the head to hold the hat.
Boil him first in the charmed pot.

Add a drop of Nazi snot.


Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.

Second Witch

Tax returns of gambling stake,
In the cauldron boil and bake;
Eye of Christian and toe of Jew,
Drums of war – throw in a slew,
Soldier’s tongue and Hannity’s sting,
Keating’s leg and Palin’s wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.


Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

Third Witch

Scale of dragon, tooth of wolf,

Chained to war in the gulf.
Make five friends of friends of Bush

They shall give the needed push.
Throw in lies and promises all,
Climb MacCain, but do not fall,
Rant and rave and call and bay,

Down upon your knees and pray.

Virginian coal and Ohio church,
Lest you leave them in the lurch.

Time to unleash your Alaskan babe
She makes the masses rant and rave.
Make the gruel thick and fat

For the ingredients of our vat.


Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

Second Witch

Cool it with Chicago blood,
Then the spell is firm and good.

Second Witch

By the picking of his chums,
Something wicked this way comes.



How now, you secret, black, and midnight hags!

Standing there in filthy rags!

I may be thin on top and you call me runt,

But I don’t paint on makeup like a trollop, you cu…

Behold! A deed without a name.


You promised me better than that of my fathers,
Yet here I stand, no higher than Goldwater.
I’ve been through the desert on a horse with no name,

It felt good to get out of the rain.

I’ve snuggled with Keating off in the Bahamas.

His money can’t help me gut punch Obama.
The White Castle is in sight, I see.
Help deliver it unto me.

I’ve embraced everything I once despised.

I’ve sold my soul, I’ve compromised.

Even till destruction sicken; answer me
To what I ask you.

First Witch


Second Witch


Third Witch

We’ll answer.

First Witch

Say, if thou’dst rather hear it from our mouths,
Or from our masters?


Call ’em; let me see ’em. Grrrrrrr!


Come, high or low;
Thyself and office deftly show!

Thunder. First Apparition: a bald Head


Tell me, thou unknown power,–

Oh, ‘tis you, Karl!

First Witch

He knows your thoughts:
Hear his words, but say thou nought.

First Apparition

MacCain! MacCain! MacCain! beware Obama;
Beware the thane of Illinois. Dismiss me. Go to Omaha!



Heh! Heh! That’s super! I’ll get you, Barack!

I’ll get you for showing me up on Iraq.

First Witch

He will not be commanded: here’s another,
More potent than the first.

Second Witch

Funny you should mention that long bloody war,

Here’s a ghost of a child, one of so many more.

Thunder. Second Apparition: A bloody Child

Second Apparition

MacCain! MacCain! MacCain!


Had I three rum sours, I’d hear thee.

Second Apparition

Be bloody, bold, and resolute; laugh to scorn.

That’s it.

Just be violent and malicious and vindictive.

Good luck!



Whew! That’s easy. This could be fun.

Unleash my rage and this race is all done.

I’ll take off the gloves, and sling some mud,

I’ll rile my base, I’ll call for his blood.

I will hurl at my foe the very skeletons I hide

Accuse him of my sins, and let the people decide.

And if that doesn’t bring the sheep to my call,

My pitbull Palin will persuade them all.

Obama’s too kind and trusting and fair.

We have vitriol and toxic hot air.

Thunder. Third Apparition: a Child crowned, with a tree in his hand. He is surrounded by merry crowds dancing, singing and laughing all around.

What is this
Some infant hippie like the issue of a king?
Who are all those people with flutes

And what do they sing?


Listen MacCain, but speak not to it.

‘Tis hard for you, but you can do it

Third Apparition

Be lion-mettled, proud; but take no care
No need to worry with war in the air.

MacCain will not be vanquished until

Peace has come to the City on the Hill.



That will never be
Who can ever be so stupid as to hope for


Oh Boy! Oh Goody! I have nothing to fret,

Haven’t felt this good since my last Vegas bet!

War firm in hand and spreading my rage,

Peace will never come to us in this age.

Soon I’ll be crowned, soon I’ll have won.

Then maybe my father will be proud of his son.

But I must have two terms, to vanquish my past.

Tell me, how long can my kingly reign last?


Seek to know no more.


I will be satisfied: deny me this,
And an eternal curse fall on you!

Tell me!

First Witch


Second Witch


Third Witch



Show his eyes, and grieve his heart;
Come like shadows, so depart!

A show of Eight Kings, the last with a mirror in his hand; Obama following.


Thou art too like the spirit of Obama: down!
There I see a long line of kings

And yet I can not believe these things!

They do not look like kings of the past.

They look so common, from every caste!

I see a poor farm boy holding his girl.

For these does the true flag unfurl?

These can’t be kings, they do not fit

There is no throne for those people to sit.

What happened to white? What happened to rich?

What happened to my reign? Tell me, you witch!

There I see a skinny young man, and

A tall and strong woman holding his hand.

How can this happen? How can this be?
Why oh why do you show this to me?

I felt so high, now I feel so low.

Apparitions vanish

What, is this so?

First Witch

Ay, sir, all this is so: but why
Stands MacCain thus amazedly?
Come, sisters, cheer we up his sprites,
And show the best of our delights:
I’ll charm the air to give a sound,
While you perform your antic round:
That this great king may kindly say,
Our duties did his welcome pay.

Music. The witches dance.


Ah… that’s better. Bring a Bourbon with ice.

This feels like Vegas. Let’s roll some dice!

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Was Palin Flirting With Every Man in the US, or Just Me?

As I watched the 2008 Vice Presidential Debate I felt personally uncomfortable. I felt like my girlfriend and I were out for dinner trying to enjoy the evening but the waitress kept coming over and overtly flirting with me. During the debate, I kept glancing over to my girlfriend, who wisely ignores these trainwrecks, checking to see if I was somehow getting in trouble here. I was just trying to watch a debate. I did not expect such… er… personal attention. She held my eyes and spoke to me familiarly like a neighbor, waiting just next door. But I was strong in the face of those smiles and winks and I thought I might have caught a blown kiss in there too. I held my ground. I would not be lured unto the Siren’s rocks. It helped immensely that the familiar neighbor talk was largely a major turn off. I guess plenty of fellas out there would respond to all the darn tootins, heck yeas and you betchas, but they made me cringe.

Then I asked myself what if a male vice presidential candidate spoke in this manner. I think we call them land sharks or lounge lizards. I usually just call them greasy or creepy. What if Joe Biden had spent the entire night flashing that million dollar platinum grin directly into the camera, cocking his head, dropping the occasional wink and head bob? I think his name would be on a sexual predator list by now.

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A Generational Debate

Friday’s presidential debate highlighted two things. First, Barack Obama indeed has the experience, knowledge and fortitude to be a great American president. He politely considered McCain’s attacks, then confidently countered them. He presented the issues and his determined plans to solve them. Agree with it or not, he has a new, forward-looking strategy. Secondly, the debate showed that John McCain is a shadow of his former self. This is not because of his years. It is because he has lost touch with America. He thinks we are still in the 20th Century. He thinks we are still in Vietnam. But even more regretful, Sen. McCain he has lost touch with himself. He still calls himself The Maverick, but he knows it doesn’t ring true. Not after he caved on tax cuts, caved on religious fundamentalists, caved on his running mate. Throughout the debate, McCain couldn’t bring himself to even look at Barack Obama. McCain spent a good part of the debate grumbling into the podium. At first I thought it was because McCain was angry, but then it became clearer. He couldn’t face his opponent because he can’t really face himself – the compromised version of himself. This campaign and the Republican Party have done what the North Vietnamese could not. They turned him. They broke him. Obama is a lean, strong reminder of the sort of tenacious achiever McCain used to be, of the Maverick he once was. And McCain couldn’t bear to face that reality.

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Palin = Quayle

Twenty years ago Dan Quayle was plucked out of obscurity to solidify the republican base behind George Bush, Sr. He was a staunch, eerily conservative VP candidate who appealed to a broad swath of American fundamentalists. Today, we’ve been dealt a new Dan Quayle, but in lipstick. Sarah Palin has the same uncompromising fundamentalist stances that appeal to a small but highly mobilized population of our country. They are commonly referred to many circles as ‘the crazies’. They love her. And they loved Dan Quayle. They always love people who agree with them, simply because they agree with them when most people do not. Do you know the difference between Dan Quayle and Sarah Palin? And I don’t mean lipstick. The real difference is that George Bush, Sr. didn’t have to hide behind Dan Quayle. We must remember we have a Presidential candidate there at the Sarah Palin rallies – a candidate who is dodging issues. John McCain, like his insta-celebrity running mate, dodges the issues and refused to talk real policy. It is classic evasive maneuvering, meant to dupe the people.