I've spent the last week working 14 hour days being a corporate whore, so I haven't had the opportunity to update the Morgue with my usual assortment of irreverent and acerbic-tongued wit. My only source of information has been to read the paper, something I only do under the most dire of non-internet connected, information-deprived circumstances.
But even then, I am still able to unearth a few choice droppings from the media.
Case in point: Page 3 of yesterday's USA Today ran an article about President Bush visiting the town of Greensburg Kansas that a week ago was pretty-much blown clear off the map by a tornado.
Why was the Prez in this town, you may ask? Because his PR people felt it would be good to see the leader of the country pretending to do his job, of course. The photo above, taken by Associated Press photographer Charles Dharapak is from the article and shows Bush with his shirt sleeves strategically rolled up to give the illusion he's hard at work. With his arms proudly stretched back like a peacock displaying its' feathers, this is about as close to a "tough guy" stance as he can get.
In the background of the photo are a handful of citizens - we're sure all carefully chosen by the white house to best represent the typical "average" American. And behind that is a tornado-damaged tree and a makeshift American flag attached to a fork of a forklift.
Jesus, this couldn't have been more of a photo op if it tried.
The article mentions, "At one point in the tour, Bush revved an electric chainsaw as he posed for pictures with National Guardsmen helping with the cleanup." My guess is that it was an ELECTRIC chainsaw mainly because a shot of the commander in chief trying to start a gas-powered one might not be very flattering. I know that my saw rarely starts on the first pull and Georgie can't afford to look any more foolish than he's already been in the past. Either that, or it was discussed in some late-night, 6 hour committee meeting that an electric saw would prevent illustrating our continuing dependency on fossil fuels.
We've been convinced that it's important for us to see our President on the ground, knee deep in the shit to let people know he is "there for us," especially considering how he was grilled pretty good for not doing this after hurricane Katrina and the flooding of New Orleans. But it's just a placebo: a sugar pill forced on the mindless, unthinking public to convince them that their "elected" leader is doing his job.
Honestly all this does is slow efforts down. Instead of helping to get Greensburg back on the map, National Guardsmen had to stop what they were doing to pose for pictures because that's what we are told we needed to see.
I would rather see a line of FEMA trailers making their way to Greensburg. I would rather see how local communities are rallying together to rebuild their town and help each other IN SPITE of the federal government and the mind-numbing sea of bureaucracy that comes with it. I would rather see the mayor of the town and the governor of the state hauling debris along with the townspeople. And I would rather see our President make a comment about how utterly devastating this is, then get his ass back to work on figuring a way out of the cluster fuck in Iraq he so expertly got us into.
I guess subconsciously winning the hearts and minds of the ignorant American public can be a full time job.