I wish I had a plugged nickel for every time one of my victims - er, I mean, readers - came up to me, all flummoxed and dumbfounded by something I've written and asked me, "Dave, where do you get all them crazy idears??!!" (I hear genuine plugged nickels are getting four figures on Ebay.) The answer is obvious: weird, beautiful stuff pops up like radioactive fungus in the newspaper almost every day. This morning, we hit the jackpot: on the front page of the Post, (though inexplicably below the fold) a blockbuster burst upon the world, disguised under the bland headline, "The Rev. Moon Honored at Hill Reception", with a nice little color photo of Rev. Moon wearing a vaguely papal smock, an impressively spiky crown (though far inferior in heft and presence to the Papal mitre) and a self-satisfied smirk, just such as you or I would certainly wear if we were giving a speech in which we confidently asserted that "Emperors, kings and presidents... have declared to all Heaven and earth that Reverend Dave "Nature Boy" Rockwell is none other than humanity's Savior, Messiah, Returning Lord and True Parent and definitely not an immense bloated parasite." (Emphasis and slight enhancement added. Still less than 5% insect parts in our high-standard journalism.)
Well, skewering a windbag like Moon is like shooting fish in a barrel, or more accurately, like strafing a mutant, glowing, lemon-lime-Koolaid-colored alien garden slug five miles long from your Flying Tiger, with your twin 50-caliber wing-mounted machine guns blazing: you can fill him chock-full of lead, but he just keeps on ingesting villages, factories, whole cities, radioactive waste dumps, etc., oblivious to your pathetic pinpricks. Maybe we should just let him keep on slimin'. More interesting is the occasion itself: apparently a generic honor-the-constituents- and-fat-cats affair, a tedious but essential part of modern stop'n'shop democracy. The president himself has to put in his time handing out the Presidential Medal of Freedom to such luminaries as the Pope, Hulk Hogan, Robert Downey Jr. and Britney Spearmint, when he'd clearly rather be golfing, and our congresspersons must in the course of their duties award many lesser honors to whomever asks. After all we are all citizens of the human community, and every blessed one of us, except of course terrorists, should qualify for some kind of medal. (Athough I'm quite sure Osama Bin Laden gives out copious medals, plaques and certificates whenever his henchpersons murder anyone.) My wife gave me one last week for changing the oil in the car. I must admit, though, that she did not place the medal on a pillow and carry it to me wearing white gloves and a little Frederick's of Hollywood number, as Rep. Danny K. Davis (D-Ill.) did for Moon's gilded crown. Don't believe me? Well, the Post didn't have the guts to run that photo. Rep. Davis actually did wear white gloves and did present the crown, but we do not know who took the honor of placing the crown on the smirking monarch's pate. Rumors abound: Hillary Clinton? Rush Limbaugh? GWB himself? Say it ain't so, Joe! One thing is certain, though: the Rev. Moon, Skull and Bones, the Panchen Lama, the Rosicrucians, Captain Nemo, my high-school chess club, the adepts of the Kabbalah - yes! including and especially Madonna! - are all mixed up somehow in one vast, dramatic, paranoia-satisfying conspiracy that will explain every last thing you don't like about this world. But here's the punch line: our solemn Solons claimed that they were duped. They freely admit that they were nothing but pawns in Moon's scheme for world domination! They're perhaps the only totally clueless ones in this sorry mess. And that's why we love them, and return them to office year after year.
Addendum: Today is July Fools Day, and sure enough another item pops up in the metro section, which takes us from the sublimely ridiculous (Rev. Moon) to the just plain idiotic. It seems that a certain Michael Lenz had stabbed fellow prison inmate Brent Parker back in 2000, not once, not twice, but 68 times, which naturally led to Mr. Parker's demise. For some typically dense legal folderol his execution was halted, blah blah blah - and here is the final sentence of the brief article: "Lenz, who had been serving a seven-year sentence for a string of burglaries in Prince William County, had argued that he was the high priest of a Nordic cult and that Parker was trying to intimidate him out of the cult." 'Argued'!? This was an 'argument' for his exculpation? Or perhaps he felt that as High Priest and Whitest of the White of the Nordlandia Alabasteroids he had every justification for ritually ventilating a detractor? And did the judge sit in court with a serious mien and carefully mull over this 'argument'? Many other questions boil forth from our flabbergasted minds, but let us draw a merciful curtain over this unsavory mess with the lilting lyrics of W.S. Gilbert:
"My object all sublime,
I shall achieve in time -
To let the punishment fit the crime -
the punishment fit the crime;
And make each prisoner pent
A source of innocent merriment!
Of innocent merriment."
Copyright 2004 David Warren Rockwell