15 April 2007

For The General Good


Justice Putnam
(Under every stone lurks a politician.
-- Aristophanes)

I thought the State had no need for my services any longer. But a Certain Member of the Assembly visited a few days ago with a message from the Forum Of One Leader.

“The FOOL requires your expertise,” the Certain Member of the Assembly pleaded, using the jargon peculiar to all bureaucrats through all of history, “without your special talent, the People will remain unconvinced and the Assembly will not act. Only you can report the Good News of all that has been done for the General Good!”

An Appropriations Bill was stalled because the People were only hearing negative reporting from the Just Deserts region. It was on all the news. The Forum Of One Leader had decided to silence his critics once and for all, so he recalled my commission and brought me Back On Board.

A good decision, I might add, because that not only makes me one of the BOB’s, I am also a Brownie. You see, I was once the head of the Federal Emergency Manipulation Agency, otherwise known as FEMA. Our task was to communicate how to make lemonade. Life and Government throw many things our way. So it is important that the People can find the pony; that they know at least it’s a dry heat; and if bridges are to be mended, what better time than during a flood?

"It’s not necessary to fly to the Just Deserts region," I said to the Certain Member of the Assembly, "I only need to address all 135,000 of the Brownies."

"How does the Superdome sound?" the Certain Member of the Assembly asked.

"Super!" I responded.

The next day I’m at the 50-yard line of the Superdome surrounded by a sea of brown; not a brown like the muddy Mississippi. No, this was a crisp, ironed and buttoned-down sea of brown. Everyone wore brown shoes, everyone wore brown slacks, (brown skirts for the girls and women, of course!) and most important, everyone wore a brown shirt.

Anyone could wear brown shoes, or brown slacks; but only a Brownie is allowed to wear a brown shirt. A Brownie takes a kind of blood oath. In the beginning, the FOOL’s loyalists were called brown-noses for what critics said was the obvious ass-kissing that allowed the FOOL to govern as he did. But the Federal Emergency Manipulation Agency went into action and issued brown shirts to the loyalists in response. A Press Briefing was organized and the first ritual ass kissing was broadcast. About 70 loyalists, on bended knee, kissed the ass of the FOOL and then donned their brown shirt.

Now a Brownie gets his or her brown shirt when they kiss the ass of a life-sized statue of the FOOL. It’s a lot easier on the Forum Of One Leader, as you can imagine!

"When I was called by the Forum Of One Leader to bring back the Good News of all that has been done for the General Good," I began my speech, "I thought of the hurricane that almost brought down this reverent stadium. Harsh winds tore at her roof. The floodwaters rose and threatened to inundate her. The Little People who used to live in the Old City flocked to her arms for succor in their time of need; and succor them she did!"

135,000 right hands rose in unison as if at a great evangelical church service and shouted in one giant voice,


"And I thought of our brave troops" I continued, "who have sacrificed so much and for so long because of our freedoms! Those brave men and women who are your brothers and sisters, your husbands and wives, your aunts and uncles, your mothers and fathers; and yes! Your grandparents, too!"

The Brownies couldn’t restrain themselves. Pandemonium broke out as they bounced straight up and down like on pogo sticks, their right arms thrust upwards with shouts of "Amen!" echoing throughout the Stadium. I let them have their riot of ecstasy. After several moments I put my finger to my lips to hush them.

"So when our critics accuse us of self-serving political treachery," I said, barely above a whisper, "when our critics accuse us of self-centered political gain," I raised my voice, "when our critics accuse us of inaction, ineptitude and incompetence," I was now full throated, "I want each and every one of you to find those critics," I was yelling, "you find them in their libraries, you find them in their secular schools, you find them in their chat rooms and you ram your finger in their bony chests and tell them, all that we do is for the General Good!"

"Amen! Amen!" echoed throughout the giant structure.

"And it’s all true," I was patting my brow like a great evangelist, "it’s all true! Because all that we do, all that we are, is for the General Good! Because at midnight tonight, the Forum Of One Leader will don his ceremonial fighter jet jacket and forever be known by his new title, THE GENERAL GOOD!" I shouted.

135,000 Brownies took to the streets on that clear as crystal night shouting, "For The General Good! For The General Good!"

I know a few windows were broken and a few fires were set. I know I got them hot under the collar. But at least it’s a dry heat!

© 2007 by Justice Putnam
and Mechanisches-Strophe Verlagswesen

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