On Our Inner Bush: Corporate Monkeys In Our
National House Of Mirrors
By Phil Rockstroh
22 September, 2006
“On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land
will reach their hearts’ desire at last, and the White House will
be adorned by a downright moron.'' --
H.L. Mencken, Baltimore Sun, 1920
Americans waddled into the new century, overweight, overworked, and
as self aware as a cloister of sea slugs -- so too arrived, affecting
his bandy-legged, fake cowboy swagger, George W. Bush, to usher in this
era of unquenchable, consumer craving and perpetual, martial emergency.
Currently, we watch as Bush
vacillates between chest-puffing belligerence and jaw-gyrating fecklessness.
Due to his hapless response to overwhelming events, some commentators
have made comparisons to Jimmy Carter. Not true: Carter, as beset by
tumult and contretemps as his administration was during the late 1970s,
never resembled, as Bush does, a tweaked-out methhead in the throes
of a full-blown Methamphetamine-induced psychosis.
There is little mystery as
to why Bush is now beating a war drum, in time to that all-too-familiar
election time, Rovian rag. Bush’s handlers are desperate: Recent
polls have revealed that suburban males, Republican women, southerners,
and even Christian fundamentalists are starting to have misgivings about
Bush. Why? One would guess: Since Bush has proven himself incapable
of changing Iraqi blood into cheap, ever-available oil, this has caused,
for a portion of his base, the sheen of beatitude to come off Jesus'
The aura of despair leveling
upon the country is undeniable ... Not that there was a great deal of
peace of mind previously here in The United States of Distractions.
The act of being in perpetual flight from reality requires a great amount
of energy; it's quite a workout pushing down dread. We’ve been
faking it for a while now. Over the years, our relentless selling of
ourselves to the world became about as genuine as Bush's forced smile
when he's in the presence of cameras or African Americans.
Baffled, mortified, by what
we’ve witnessed during these Bush-afflicted years, we ask ourselves:
How did this come to be?
We may be unable to answer
this question -- because we cannot lay all the blame upon Bush. Our
nation’s aura of insularity and hysteria was present long before
Bush. Bush is merely emblematic of the depth of our collective denial
regarding how cheaply we have sold ourselves to the exploitive corporate
order and the concomitant unease engendered by this Faustian bargain.
Although many of his former
supporters may be growing weary of him, one is cautioned not to mistake
these developments for any sort of vast, societal awakening. Bush’s
steady decline in popular support is merely the result of Americans,
on a personal level, beginning to feel the effects of his administration’s
mixture of ruthlessness and incompetence.
But this fact alone will
not effect change. One does not exactly have to be graced with extraordinary
powers of perception to notice that Bush is a fraud. What is more difficult
to apprehend is this: The emergence of Bush is not an anomaly. Bush
is merely a symptom of the pathologies of corporate capitalism. He is
not the disease.
Bush was packaged like any
other corporate icon; accordingly, the war in Iraq was sold in the manner
of any other corporate PR campaign. Bush is simply a product, designed
by and marketed for the benefit of the elites of the corporate state.
image is a hack's construct of mythic American manhood: He was sold
as an uncomplicated man of action -- a Christian cowboy redeemer --
a man who could kill evil-doers at fifty paces … Just from a single
whiff of his manly phenomenal musk -- our enemies would flee back to
their caves and cower in abject terror ... Although events have shown,
to appropriate an overheated metaphor from the Christian fundie, End
Time lexicon, Bush is, in fact, closer to an Angel of Idiocy come with
a Sword of Stupidity to reveal the rot of our corporate dystopia.
The sad and tragic circumstances
of our time are much larger than Bush. Bush's grandiosity mirrors us,
a people who have lost all sense of proportion. Look around: notice
how huge and grotesque the objects and accoutrements of our age have
become: colossal motor vehicles; the portions of food we crave; gaudy,
land-devouring mcmansions; American consumer's enormous, sea-to-shining-sea
asses. These things are manic compensations antecedent to the crash
to come. Apropos, our SUVs, oversized pickup trucks, and hummers are
no longer large enough to compensate for our feelings of powerlessness;
our epic servings of food no longer serve to push down the sense of
dread; we cannot find enough room in our mcmansions to hide away all
of our anger, sorrow, and regret.
Mojo Nixon sang, “Everybody
has a little Elvis in them.” Nowadays, regrettably, we must sing:
Everybody has far too much Bush in them. Internally, to one degree or
another, we’re all George W. Bush. Bush is the corporate state's
dancing monkey -- as, to one degree or another, we all are. The corporate
state necessitates that we become, like Bush, all puffed up phonies,
in order to face a daily life ruled by its mandates -- as well as --
to compensate for our inner emptiness, borne of our internalization
If we choose to face our
inner Bush, our habitual verities and sacred beliefs risk being shattered
and scattered asunder. Because the situation is larger than us and it’s
larger than Bush: Bush is merely a reflection of it all. Ergo: to listen
to the mangled syntax of Bush’s speech patterns is to hear the
sound of the national infrastructure crack and buckle; his booze and
cocaine decimated brain cells mirror the earth's diminishing bio-diversity;
his snits of entitlement and his ruthlessness echo the entropic forces
of global capitalism that are driving the engines of extinction.
There is a feeling of flimsiness
and haphazardness present in our daily lives here in the empire. Even
the landscape before us has been inflicted with an ugly, ad hoc quality.
The structures of our age evince a lack of substance. The shoddy, quick
buck-snatching stripmall/big box store/fast food outlet, prefab nowhereland
of the present day United States is reflective of our shoddy, quick
buck-snatching leaders, who are, in turn, a reflection of us. We have
come to dwell within this Architecture of Denial; we have come to call
this House of Distorted Mirrors, our way of life.
As, all the while, the parallel
narratives of compulsive consumerism and Christian End Time Mythology
Contemporary Christian fundamentalism
is a religion of consumer instant gratification. It is a religious cosmology
resonating from a junk food paradigm: a Gospel of The Drive Thru Jesus;
when The Rapture comes, our corporeal bodies will be cast aside like
fast food wrappers.
But be warned, by your eating
of all that high caloric food, all of you Jesus-hungry Lard Asses of
The Lord: If your clothes were to fall from you (as your prophecies
claim they will) as you rise skyward, the sight of all your fat, sagging
bodies, floating in the air, will resemble anything but the dawning
of eternal paradise -- instead the event will more likely resemble an
endless tape loop of a porno video for fat fetishists shot in a zero
On the secular side of our
sickness: Big Pharma factories and rural crystal meth labs can't manufacture
enough product to prevent this sinking spell. Soon, even the ruling
elites will begin to buckle beneath the weight of their self-deception.
We the laboring classes already know the feeling, due to the fact, we’ve
been carrying those bloated bastards, plus their delusions of infinite
entitlement, on our backs for quite some time now. We strain beneath
the load, because the plutocrats have grown very fat gorging themselves
on the nation's seed crop.
Bush is nothing more than
the effluvia, rising from the landfills of the Corporate State. He's
the abiding stench of what we buried and tried to pretend never existed.
Corporate culture is based
on mendacity made palatable for mass consumption: Public relation and
advertising firms exist to create cute, cartoon animal icons to mask
the realities of the slaughterhouse. In corporate life, there is scant
reward for depth and authenticity; conversely, an amicable ruthlessness
pays off well indeed.
is all about “perception management". Hence, a corporate,
utterly commodified, life usurps, exploits and diminishes not only the
outer environment -- but our internal ones as well. How could one not
play off the other and visa versa? How can one spend all day in a so-called
"work environment," spending a large percentage of one's life
beneath florescent lights, with sweatshop-cobbled shoes touching industrial
carpeting, and bodies supported by bland, utilitarian office furniture
-- then return, by way of a hideous, dangerous freeway, home to some
ugly suburb or exurb -- all the while having one's senses incessantly
inundated with commercial imagery calculated to manipulate -- hypnotize
one, actually -- into a particular way of viewing the world, and not
become subject to the sort of psychic pathology that is pandemic among
the populace of the empire.
Living such criteria, day
by day, how could we not have conjured Bush and company? Bush is only
a byproduct of the present corporate order; he is but a reflection of
the everyday hubris, denial, mendacity, and exploitation of daily life
in the corporatist state. He is emblematic of the House of Mirrors that
our nation’s collective psyche has become -- a mass of distorted
perceptions sustained by professional liars and ignorant killers.
Bush is our hidden intentions
made manifest before us: We live in an empire bent on murder/suicide;
our nation has become a global-wide spree killer ... unrepentant ...
seemly devoid of conscience.
Then what hope remains for
us, here, in this age, where self-serving lies promulgated by public
relations hacks have hijacked the verities of the human mind, heart,
and imagination, as all the while, so many genuine voices of humanity
have been lost amid this seemly endless bacchanal of bullshit and blown
That is up to us: Personally
and collectively, our fate might well be determined by how honest we’re
willing to be with ourselves. After all, by way of our passivity, we’re
at least partially responsible for letting a million Rovian Turd Blossoms
bloom. We have summoned Bush by the incantation of our hidden intentions;
perhaps, if we were to awaken to the George W. Bush concealed within,
we might understand our own collaboration in creating him – and
then, at long last, we can begin the process of dismissing him and all
a self-described, auto-didactic, gasbag monologist, is a poet, lyricist
and philosopher bard living in New York City. He may be contacted at: