Category Archives: reality

Empathy for the Devil

I posted a while ago that You Gotta Have Heart. I am hereby proving I’m a good liberal gal by demonstrating that I unnerstan’ what it’s like to be George W. Bush these days.

See, in the early days of his appointment to the Presidency in 2001, Bush was riding high. “Heh-heh – Ah really CAN create mah own reality! Ah wasn’t even elected and Ah’m still Preznit!”

Soon, his popularity sank like a stone as people realized he was no brighter than a monkey with a lobotomy. But then – the beautiful, the amazing trifecta was hit on September 11, 2001. The whole country united behind him, and he gained an all-purpose shield for every law he broke. Moreover, the press, never exactly adverse to Dubya’s “charms”, felt it was unpatriotic to do anything but lie down at his feet and grovel. They came up with adjectives that beggar belief – “Churchillian” being one of them, “a treat in jeans” another. This self-affirming hall of mirrors, though reflecting only Bush’s own opinions and those of the pundit class, lasted right up until the devastation of Hurricane Katrina cracked them.

And thus, the nightmare of George W. Bush began, accelerating ever faster after the disaster (for him) of November 7, 2006.

I can imagine that being Bush is like being me, in some ways. I’m of a body type, for example, that was much more popular 50 years ago, in the age of Marilyn Monroe. Everywhere I go, I see images of “beautiful” women that look nothing like me, and that furthermore, I could never emulate even if I starved myself into anorexia. These images are so prevalent that every morning, I’m still briefly surprised that their created reality is not the same as mine, and that I have not, in fact, turned into a 6-foot, 110-pound supermodel overnight.

Bush must be feeling some of the same confusion. After all, he’s moved from his own reality, where he is, in fact, the dictator and everything he does is legal and praiseworthy, to the fact-based reality of Nixonian disapproval ratings, GOP desertions, forced resignations and criminal indictments abounding, and the increasing certainty of his party achieving permanent minority status.

Empathy is a good liberal quality, and I’m glad I have it. But sympathy for this murdering, traitorous bastard? That, I just can’t drum up.


On the Real-Ish

Thanks to Stephen Colbert, we now have a word called “truthiness”, which perfectly describes a statement that appears true, but is not.

Inspired by Ron Suskind’s 2004 article wherein the Bush Administration official scornfully referred to Americans as living in the “reality-based community”, I believe it is long past time for us to have another word for something that appears real, but is not. For me, that word would be “real-ish”.

Think about it. It could describe so many things.

Reality television? Real-ish. Candidate debates on the teevee? Real-ish. Mitt Romney? Real-ish.