October GREEN 11.1
arrives the time of our Great National Paranoia. Where is that mythical shoe
that haunts our dreams? It's surely going to drop on us and soon.
October is certainly the most fertile of times for this frenzied train of
thought. Citizens are fearing the very worst, because, well, because the
television tells us so, thatís why, and the screen is not without itís
In rural Tennessee, a crazy Croatian hijacks a Greyhound bus, slitting the drivers throat with a box cutter, the new weapon of choice for today's modern terrorist. Dude apparently doesn't know how to drive a bus, so instead of aiming it towards a government building or an atomic power plant, he simply rolls the bus down a hill and kills his own sorry ass. The Justice Department, which sure seems to know about a lot of the inside dope these days, tells grateful Americans that the incident was not a terrorist plot, and that Greyhounds are as safe to ride as they've ever been.
After giving the issue a bit of serious consideration, the GAO comes to the conclusion that the current practice of shipping ready-to-fire Stinger missiles around the country on unguarded Ryder trucks manned by non-union contract drivers might not be such a good idea. Who knew?
Those pesky Ruskies connive to steal back a little of the limelight by allowing one of their airliners to be blown to bits in midair. Sure sounds like it could be terrorists, but really, you get to thinking about it, maybe they just accidentally blew the plane up themselves in a military training exercise or some other sorry spot of Soviet business.
Times have really changed, it seems. These days we feel sympathy for the Russians. They are such an awkward and incompetent people. They are far too insignificant to ever bother us again. We buy their wives but not their products. They hardly matter any more.
domestic terror front, Red disappears from the face of the earth in late
September, only to be replaced by the even more frightening Red's Wife.
Unlike Red, Red's Wife rarely ever speaks to anyone if she doesn't have to.
Just talks in lowly modulated threatening tones to whatever scary companion
she happens to be traveling with at the moment. To the rest of the world
itís all grunts and glares. She can say 'Bud', 'Cuervo', and 'Beam' to the
bartender, but itís 'yeah', 'no', and 'fuck off' to the rest of the world.
You would look across the bar and she would be staring straight at you, and
no matter your discomfort, she would not stop looking your way.
On Thursday October 4th there's a weird little item in the paper, relegated to a page two story, about a Florida man who has come down with pulmonary anthrax. Hmm. Health and Human Services, who are certainly in the best position to know the God's Honest Truth, say that this incident is unrelated to terrorism. Official story is that this hillbilly was probably 'drinkin out of a polluted stream or somethin'.
war prep kicks into high gear. The Cream of the Taliban Clerics skadoodle
the hell on out of Kandahar to hang with their buds on the Pakistan border.
Everyone who is anyone is packing up and pulling out. The people who remain
are either prepping for paradise or starting to loot whateverís left to
loot, which is not one hell of a lot. The meager street stalls are lucky to
scratch up a few moldy turnips.
October 7 12:34 EST. Reuters News Flash: War begins. First over-flights reported. Panic around Kandahar. First declared casualty: Oshkar ('Happy') the camel, 16, hit in the butt with a missile.
of the air raids arrives three quarters of the way through the Fox NFL
Sunday pre-game show. One moment Terry Bradshaw is laughing his fool head
off, and the next, the viewer is swept away into breaking news. The network
is caught totally off guard by the event. They don't even have sufficient
time to locate the breaking news theme music, so of course no one in the bar
notices what's going on for a while - people have been trained to listen
for the breaking news music Ė but soon there is a gradual wave of people
pointing at the screen asking Ďwhat the hell is thatí? Turn up the sound,
bartender. Then loud cheering erupts. America is on the attack.
it looks as if that redneck from Florida wasn't the only one to come down
with the Anthrax. And damn, the fellow wasn't even a real redneck after all,
he was something far worse: he worked for The Sun. Now emerges a second
reported case, an employee of the same tabloid as the guy who died earlier.
Wait a second, we donít recall hearing any news about the guy who drank the
creek water actually dying. Was that in the papers?
Red is high on a mountaintop. The Northern Lights are shimmering. The smell of phosphorous is in the air. ďI love the smell of napalm in the morning.Ē Red doesnít say this, but he imagines himself saying it, and the effect is much the same.
Everybody is extremely jumpy. Osama issues a call for all good Moslems to
fight to the death against the American beast. He gets off a good and
chilling sound bite: ďThere are thousands of our young people who look
forward to death like the Americans look forward to living." Uh ohÖ
to Susanís dismay, Stan has become overtly political, his IQ having dropped
at least twenty points in less than a month. Itís a new disease, a brain
shrinking virus which has spread like wildfire throughout the nation.
Medical literature considers the illness a self-induced malady, a direct
result of massive overexposure to radioactive television waves. Stan has all
the classic symptoms. He has become loud and occasionally belligerent
regarding his opinion of The War on Terror, both at home and abroad. He has
developed a new-found respect for George W Bush. He is consumed. Itís this
damn terrorism thing thatís eating away at him. The very idea. To be
attacked, on American soil.
Susan has been spending an increasing number of nights at Melindaís apartment. Stan hasnít seemed to really notice, or more likely, hasnít bothered to complain. Really, there is not much reason for her to stay with Stan in his current state of mind, although she does check up on him regularly. He pretends to be distressed by her absence, and perhaps he is, but heís remote and sullen when she comes home and his attention fades quickly.
fairly hard to get much of a feel for what is actually happening in the
hills and caves of Afghanistan. Reporters, with the notable exception of the
amazing Geraldo, aren't able to get very close to the action. Instead you
have to rely on newly anointed rock-star Donnie Rumsfeld for bare-bones
information that you hope and believe is the straight dope. Things really
are getting blown up, itís true, but they are not the most interesting of
things Ė rocks, caves, old bunkers, and goats. And oh yes, maybe, Taliban
leader Mohammad Omar's Chevrolet Suburban with several unidentified foreign
And then there is the happy talk. Because this is a compassionate country. Wouldnít it be grand, the president suggests, if all the little American boys and girls were to give a crisp U.S. greenback to all the little Afghan boys and girls? Kids who think that this is a good idea are promptly beat up the next day at school.
gloomy Friday, October 12th , the press begins around the clock
bio-terror reporting. Very bad things are happening, primarily to the media.
Itís one matter for someone at The Sun to succumb to a little deadly poison,
but when they start sending Anthrax to respected journalists like Mister Tom
Brokaw, well, letís just say the gloves are off now, as far as objectivity
man, this is going to be a bad weekend.