Monday, June 23, 2008

THE HORMONAL SURGE IS WORKING. I was worried for a while that I would have to bust Gazillion-Star General Ralph "Blood 'n' Guts" Peters back down to Lt. Colonel. His recent columns have been normally ridiculous, but lacking in that special madness that has made him an alicublog favorite. But in Saturday's New York Post the General uncorked a classic. It sings from the very beginning:
WORKING out last Monday, I heard a campaign flunky on TV insist that progress in Iraq is an illusion. "The war isn't over until all of the troops come home!" she grumped.

Guess we're still at war with Germany. And Japan. Even Italy. Oh, and let's not forget all of our military bases occupying the Confederacy.
Maybe the General's workout stimulated an epinephrine cascade that inspired this column. I imagine him banging it out on the Selectric with one hand and pumping a gazillion-kilo handweight with the other, high off the idea that an operating base in Iraq is a direct equivalent to Fort Bragg.
And one look told you she didn't even know any "troops."
You can smell it on 'em, even through the TV. Probably drives a Prius and eats pussy, too.
But after my initial shrug (back to the bench for more crunches)...
The General is a man of action.
...Since that woman on TV "explained" victory last Monday, I've thought about the different kinds of people who refuse either to accept that the situation in Iraq has improved remarkably or that quitting now would have serious consequences.
Even in the grip of raging catecholamines, the General holds the game together: Iraq is always in a delicate balance between total conquest and all hell breaking loose. And pay attention, because he redeploys this strategy in his big finale.

The General identifies three enemy battalions: First, "Protesting university students," an easy target: "Once they graduate and get a dose of reality, most of the kids will do fine. The need for liberal-arts undergrads to prance to the left is virtually hormonal." (Certainly the reality of the post-graduation job market will put an end to all hormonal prancing. Try prancing in a tiny apartment with three roommates!) Next, "Hollywood stars and other celebrities." Their only ordnance is "self-righteous anti-war (anti-military) films" and Susan Sarandon. The General orders you to laugh!

But he can't so easily shake off that most formidable of foes: "My generation. Those of us from our mid-50s into early 60s. The florid youth of yesteryear... the high point of whose lives came in a protest march down University Boulevard, chanting, 'Ho-ho-ho Chi Minh! NLF is gonna win!'"

You'd think that, now that Dennis Hopper is selling them retirement plans, reality long ago put an end to the Boomers' hormonal prancing. But the General's got that thousand-mile stare: he doesn't see a bunch of greyhaired time-servers -- he sees the Mongol hordes, animated by "bitterness toward the military," looking in the last ditch to "rise above their disappointing lives and to recapture, for one Viagra-assisted moment, their glory days of raised little fists and bell-bottoms."

As the General describes them, his generation is a pathetic bunch, with only "tenure at an obscure college, serial divorces and a failed book or two," while "the nerds in the comp-science classes, the geeks with punch cards in their shirt pockets... became billionaires."

So it's the General and internet billionaires versus a "soured minority" of former commune dwellers. He seems to have this thing sewn up. Can't we just have the McCain victory party now? The General wearily shakes his head: "I'd pity them," he whispers, "if the stakes weren't so high."

So the homefront is really just like Iraq: the enemy is merely a pathetic rump, but the General must fight on, sparing neither troops nor firepower. The enemy is just as weak as he needs for morale-building purposes, and just as strong as needs to justify continued involvement. Most likely he imagines himself, and us, at it for another 100 years.

No comments:

Post a Comment