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Sunday, January 25, 2015

Repeat

Dear Earthling Friends:
Big Dope is having trouble with his computer and asked me to run a previously posted effort. He'll post something later. In the meantime, I read where your newest Senator wants to invade another Middle Eastern Country. So, I chose the following and dedicate it to this man who apparently has never read history.

May 2012

It was Memorial Day weekend and I looked forward to a peaceful time at the farm. My wife was off baling hay and I wandered into the back yard to enjoy the shade and a rum and tonic. As I rounded the giant fig tree, I stopped.

There, under a drooping catalpa tree sat C.W. in the form of a Prussian private of the World War I era. He sat tall and straight in a garden chair, his blond hair trembling in the breeze. He held a pointed helmet covered with heavy cloth. He saw me, drew in the late spring smells, and nodded.

Herr Gro├čer Dope,” he said.

“C.W.,” I said. “What’s up?” I couldn’t wait to hear. “You making a movie?”

“I am your distant cousin Gustav,” he said. “From Bremen.”

“Gustav from Bremen?” I said, playing along.

“I appear briefly on your family tree,” he said. ‘Geb. 1900, Gest. 1918.’ No kinder.”

I had nothing better to do than pretend. “Died young?”

“In my bloom,” he said. “I had the misfortune to be the last soldier in our company killed in the Great War.”

“On the last day?”

“November 11th, at the 11th hour,” he said. He turned and looked quietly across the field and into the trees beyond. “Reminds me of the French countryside, before the bombs came down and the trenches went up.”

“Tough break,” I said. “Buying it on the last day.”

“A dubious honor,” he said. “But far from the saddest.”

“Oh?”

“No, there were worse. On the American side. Our armies had ceased warring two days earlier,” he said. “We settled in our bunkers along the Meuse River and thought we were safe. We had no casualties for two days straight.”

“What happened?”

“Your General Pershing didn’t follow the lead of the other commanders. He wished that my country would suffer as much as possible. So he kept attacking until the 11th hour.”

“After everyone else had stopped?”

“Charge after charge,” he said. “We had translators on loudspeakers yelling to them to stop. That the war was over.” He shook his head. “But they kept coming. The Americans suffered 3,500 casualties the last day.”

“Sad,” I said.

“Some were Schwarzen, from the Black 92nd Division,” he said. “We thought perhaps your side deemed them dispensable. But then a white soldier from the 313th Infantry, I learned later his name was Henry N. Gunther, came through the fog firing at us.”

“What did you do?”

“We had no choice,” he said. “He was the last on your side.”

“And on yours?”

“They sent me out to retrieve the body of a dead comrade,” he said. “A lone sniper from the American trenches took his revenge as the clock struck 11:00.”

I didn’t say anything, just imagined the scene.

“Know how many American generals died on that last day?” he asked.

“No, how many?”

“None,” he said. “Know how many colonels?” Without waiting, he answered, “None. Lieutenant Colonels?”

“None?” I guessed.

“Same for majors,” he said, his voice rising.

We sat in silence for a moment as he subdued his anger.

“I suppose …,” he said. “I suppose it was worth it.” He stopped and composed himself again. “After all, our sacrifice did, as they say, ‘end all wars.’”

I turned. “Are you making some sort of joke?” I said.

He moved toward me. I looked into his eyes and, as I did, they grew larger and became two black orbs, large and empty. Then I saw movement. My eyes remained transfixed as scenes moved across like gray horses passing through the mist.

I saw a hospital room in Manila filled with Japanese soldiers laughing and playing baseball, using infants as bats.

I saw a field of frozen soldiers at Stalingrad, their arms bent at grotesque angles and with questioning looks on their faces.

I saw Marines dead on the beach at Tarawa, a picture withheld from publication for fear it would spoil the public’s appetite for war.

I saw a line of skeletal faces peering through a fence at Dachau.

I saw a line of soldiers being calmly machine-gunned in the wasteland around the Chosin Reservoir.

I saw a group off teenagers hugging the jungle floor in terror as mortar rounds fell into them in a lonely piece of Hell near DaNang.

I saw a mob of young Iranian boys, holding plastic “keys to heaven” and screaming “Allah is great,” as they charged through a minefield to clear it for their soldiers.

I saw the murdered inhabitants of an entire village in Bosnia piled like cordwood, awaiting burial.

I saw a father running for cover, carrying a young son who was soiling himself from fear as the bombs began dropping on Baghdad.

I saw an Afghan bride and her groom explode into a bloody mess, spraying their ghastly remains among their guests, as a drone-bomb exploded in their midst.

These went away and the eyes became blank again. He turned back toward the green fields of home.

“Please don’t tell me,” he said. “That my species is the one making the jokes.”
 
Something you parents have to look
forward to for your children
 if the warmongers have their way. - C.W.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Sunday, January 18, 2015

234. Authenticity

“Now get out and leave me alone. I want to take a nap.”

“But listen brother …” C.W. wouldn’t stop. “This plan is so simple, plain, or reliable as to leave no opportunity for error, misuse, or failure.”

I finally rolled over on the couch where I was resting. “So what is so foolproof about it?”

“Ah,” he said, “I thought you would never ask.” He was in what he calls his “TV Preacher” shape with a huge head of hair in a ridiculous pompadour and his shiny suit with all sorts of expensive-looking jewelry. “It fits you and I perfectly.”

“You and me” I said. “But how does it fit?”

“Our strengths,” he said. “You know what a good salesman I am.”

“That’s questionable,” I said. “Remember your weight-loss scheme?”

“Okay,” he said, “so it’s hard to sell a weight-loss program based on diet and exercise. That was a loser, but this is a winner for sure. Just consider your great strength.”

“And,” I said, “That is?”

“Lying.”

“What?”

He said, “I hear the things you tell Mrs. Big Dope. Don’t tell me you’re not the town’s greatest exaggerator.”

“Leave me alone,” I said.

“No,” he said, “this is great. There’s money to be made in these false news outlets.”

“These what?”

“You know … these supposed news outlets that have the look of acceptance or belief as conforming to or based on fact”

“You mean these sources of fake newscasts that look authentic? Like  Fox ‘News’ or ‘The Onion’”?

“Exactly. We’ll start one called ‘The Deciding Factor’ and make a fortune selling ad space on it, except our stories will sound real. Want to hear some I’ve already made up?”

“Why not?”

“Okay,” he said. “Here we go … flash … a candidate for the American Presidency yesterday stated that, if elected, he would increase tax revenue by cutting taxes.” He laughed. “Pretty well-to-do, prosperous, or opulent, eh?”

“Pretty rich all right,” I said. But two things.”

“What?”

“One, you must get your Galactic Universal Translator fixed and two, that fake news cast happens to be true, many times over.”

“No,” he said. “Nobody is that stupid.”

“Sorry.”

“Well here’s another,” he said. “Flash … “A recent publication stated that 13 percent of Americans believe that President Barack Obama is something called the Antichrist.”

“Sorry,” I said. “Sorry but fact.”

He was crestfallen. “There are that many Americans who believe that?”

“Afraid so.”

“Are they allowed to run free?”

“Afraid so.”

“That may,” he said, “ruin my next one.” He consulted a notepad he carried in his pocket. “Some Americans believe that humans and dinosaurs co-existed?”

“Afraid so. Same bunch.”

“Oh,” he said, a somber look on his face. He flipped a page in his notes read, and looked up. “The Universe is 6,000 years old?”

“Afraid that one is taken as well.”

“Hmm,” he said. “Maybe I’m using too many simple stories.” He flipped to a new page. “Here’s one specifically oriented to your state.”

“Arkansas?”

“That’s the one. Now here are some factual rankings based on all 50 states.” He took a breath. “Your state is … Are you ready?”

“I might as well be.”

“Number 48th in the country in the health of your citizens.”

“Yes.”

“Number 48th in the percentage of college graduates.”

“Yep.”

“Number 7 in obesity of your citizens.”

“Sad to say.”

“Number three in infant mortality.”

“Regrettably.”

“Number 44 in number of doctors per 1,000 citizens.”

“Alarmingly.”

“Number two in persons below the poverty level.”

“Sadly.”

“Number 12 in violent crime.”

“Frighteningly.”

“Shall I go on?”

“No,” I said, “you’ve made me despondent enough.”

“So here’s our fake news release. Flash … your governor just announced that his number one priority for your state is .... Are you sitting down? cutting taxes. That will get us some chuckles.”

I tried to speak. “Uh …”

“Good one right?”

“Uh, C.W. …”

“A real knee-slapper.”

Uh, C.W. …”

“What? I’m working here.”

“Some bad news for you …”

I'm using this photo for my cover on the monthly
reports to the Falloonian Elders now. - C.W.














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- C.W.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

233. Facts

“We could be champs,” he said. “Champs, or at least contenders.”

Now I’m not saying that the Alien C.W. looked like Marlon Brando, mind you but … well, actually he did. He looked just like Marlon Brando. What can I say? I mean the young sexy one too, not the old fat crazy one.

“Champs,” he said again, nodding his head.

“I’ll bite,” I said.

“Facts,” he said. He took on that familiar pained expression that we know so well. “Facts will …,” his face took on that ‘about to cry’ look, “facts will make us champs.”

“Reporting them?”

His face changed from pain to disgust in less time than it takes to imagine it. “Are you crazy? Nobody gets famous or rich by reporting facts anymore.” He stopped, raised his head in thought, looked at me, and said, “Our prediction, that is to say the prediction of the Falloonian Council of Elders, is that the day will come when your congress outlaws the unauthorized use of facts entirely.”

I considered this, decided he was probably right, and waded in. “So how,” I said, “will facts make us champs?”

“By making them fit,” he said. “We’ll call our company ‘Fit the Facts’ and make a fortune.”

“How so?”

“Look what happened last week,” he said.

“What was that?”

“You had a political party take control of your national senate and that party had just spent six years trying to wreck your economy in order to make the black guy look bad.”

“It didn’t work, though. The economy rebounded over that time, at least for many of us.”

“We’ll cover that another day,” he said. “Right now let’s look at the facts. The economy gained strength and this party was elected to power. Those are facts. Right?”

“Right, but …”

“Shut up and listen. Those are facts, nothing more. Now for the fitting—.”

“The fitting?”

“The fitting. Under our approach, facts are of no use until one fits them to a pre-arranged set of claims, beliefs, myths, viewpoints, or religious dogma.”

“What about the truth?”

“Haven’t you been paying attention? What the hell does the truth have to do with anything?” He actually pointed a finger at me before continuing. “The profitable truth, and the one we report, is that the economy saw this election coming for six years and was just getting ready for it. The party performed patriotic actions through sabotage by keeping that economy from, shall we say, overheating before this election got here. It was an, let me remember the name I dreamed up for it.” He knitted his brows and thought. “Oh yes, it was an ‘anticipatory recovery’ and the colored guy had nothing to do with it. It was all our party’s work.”

“C.W.,” I said, “I think I’ve already heard their senate leader expressing that idea.”

“Hell yes,” he said. “Who do you think sold it to him?”


Just the sort of non-profitable approach to
facts that we want shed ourselves of, right? - C.W.


 
 








Fortunately, we have bright young folks who
understand the utility of facts.


 
 







Fact is ... we need money. Click an ad. - C.W.
Also see: www.wattensawpress.com
http://www.deltadreaming.blogspot.com

Sunday, January 4, 2015

232. Scripts

“Be quiet,” he said. “I’m working on a script.”

“C.W.,” I said, “What the …”

“I told you no talking,” said. He scribbled on a writing tablet with a blue ballpoint pen. After a moment, he, with a great flourish, added a period, looked up at me, and said, “There.”

I know I had seen that face before. It came to me—Rod Serling.

“Mind telling me what’s up?”

“Simple,” he said. “Do you remember all those TV shows we watched while your species was dwelling on the upcoming calendrical units based on the time the earth takes to revolve once around the sun?”

“New Year’s?”

“Exactly.”

“Let me remind you again,” I said, “you need to get your Galactic Universal Translator re-calibrated.”

“My GUT is fine,” he said. “I trust it.”

“That’s what a recent president said. You see where that got us.”

He cocked his head to one side and thought. Then he looked at me. “You want to hear this or not?”

“Okay,” I said, and took a seat opposite him in our living room.

“You know how much I enjoyed those “Twilight Zone” shows, remember?”

“I do,” I said, “but are they really, as you say, the most accurate portrayal of our Galaxy ever filmed?”

“Pretty much,” he said. “See what you have to look directed or facing toward the front or the direction that one is facing or traveling to?”

“I think looking forward to such a future may not seem that pleasant to us,” I said.

“Well think again,” he said. “I’m going to revive the series in a modern setting.”

I groaned.

“No really,” he said. “I’ve written my first script.” He held the writing tablet in front of me. In large block letters on the top sheet he had written, “Episode One: The Day of Oneness.”

I nodded. “Want to explain?”

“Sure,” he said. “Remember how a common theme in the old series was for the main character to wake up in a parallel universe?”

“Like the bigot who woke up in Nazi Germany?”

“You get the picture,” he said. “In this episode, the protagonist lives in a ‘time in the evening when the sun disappears or daylight fades towns.’”

“A ‘sundown’ town?”

“You don’t have to repeat everything I say,” he said. “Now why do people live in towns like that?”

“Uh,” I said, “So they can live with other people exactly like themselves?”

“And?” He leaned back like a teacher pressing for the rest of the answer.

“They don’t like people of different colored skin?”

“Aren’t you the bright one? “he said. “Now,” he flipped the page. “Our hero wakes up one morning and the entire homo sapiens species suddenly has the same skin color.”

“White?”

“Well, not exactly,” he said. “More of a very dark olive skin tone. Everyone thinks that is the best, don’t they?”

I thought, “I reckon, at least judging by the popularity of tanning booths.”

“So,” he says, “with everyone’s skin color the same, his world changes.”

“How so?”

“First, everyone leaves town and his home is now worthless.”

“Uh,” I said, thinking this over.

“It was a dismal place to live,” he said, “except for the fact they didn’t allow off-colored residents and the school kids were all white.”

“Okay,” I said. “Go on.”

“His favorite TV and radio shows go off the air.”

Again, I thought about this. “Hate goes out of business?”

“Now you get the picture.” His face framed an almost evil grin. “Then he loses his job.”

“Why is that?”

“Why do you think?”

It came clear. “The merit system kicks in?”

“I’m turning you into a genius,” he said. “So what do you think happens next?”

“I have no idea.”

“His daughter starts dating a star basketball player.”

“And?”

He frowned. “Think about it.”

I did. “Oh,” I said. “He’s pretty sure that … at least there is a pretty good chance that, … odds are that …”

He completed the thought for me. “The kid had been identifiable as an African-American before the changeover.”

“Oh, dear.”

“And we haven’t even gotten to the part where his son brings a new friend home.”

This man learned so much from
his visits around the Galaxy. - C.W.
“C.W.,” I said, “I think you may be on to something here.”

“Thanks,” he said. He lit a cigarette, and said, “Now get out. I have to work on my next idea.”

“And it is?”

“The country passes a tax that does away with inherited wealth. Each child in your country is provided a good education and a first job. Then they all start out equal.”

“Will you call it The Death Tax?”

He looked at me as though I had just asked if the Tooth Fairy really existed. “Why no,” he said. “I’ll call it The Lucky Sperm Tax.”


Click an ad and help my career. - C.W.
And see also:
www.wattensawpress.com
www.deltadreaming.blogspot.com

Sunday, December 28, 2014

231. Reality

This time I had to ask him to repeat it because I couldn’t believe my ears. The alien C.W. was actually asking for my help. He is usually quite independent as the loyal reader can attest.

“I need you to notarize some reports,” he said early this morning, throwing a pile of papers on the kitchen table beside my coffee. He was nattily dressed as, hmm, let me see, oh, he was trying for the Paul Krugman look, complete with a well-trimmed beard and expensive wire-rimmed glasses.

“What reports?”

“The ones I have to send in.” He stopped, looked around, and bent over to speak to me privately. “I actually sent them in already but some were returned with a demand for human verification.” He looked around to make sure nobody else was in the room. “That’s where you come in.”

“Who is demanding verification?”

“The Elders.”

“Who?”

“The Falloonian Elders. They doubt my power of conveying or perceiving truth or accuracy.”

“Ah,” I said, “your old veracity problem.”

“It’s not that. This time I am accurate. They are charging Luniadicity.”

“They’re charging what?”

“It’s a Falloonian expression.”

“Meaning what?”

He studied me. “It doesn’t have an exact English translation.”

“A rough one then.”

He pursed his lips and stared at the ceiling. “Rough?”

“Rough.”

“Roughly … ‘nobody is that goddam stupid’ and that is a little on the gentle side.”

“Let’s see those reports,” I said, picking up the one on top. It was labeled “Economic Theories – The Supply Side Joke.”

“C.W.,” I said, “what is this?”

“A report on the idiotic reasoning of some of your leaders that a governmental unit can increase its supply of revenue by cutting its supply of revenue.”

He had me there. “Also known as the ‘What’s the Matter With Kansas?’ problem,” I said.

“It’s making your country the laughing stock of the Galaxy,” he said.

“Guess I’ll have to sign off on that one. I laid it aside and looked at the next one. It read, “War as Treatment.” I looked at him and he read my confusion.

“The wars you wage on nouns,” he said, “instead of solving problems.”

“Example?” I said.

“How about the problem of addiction syndrome?”

“The what?”

“It is apparent to everyone who has been reading my reports that your species—some units more than others—has a genetic disposition toward addiction. Our scientists believe it is a remnant from the times when gorging was effi.. effa … effic…”

“Efficacious.”

“Efficacious, because of the unpredictability of food supplies.”

“And?”

“The modern result is the addictive personality. That is your societal problem.”

“And?”

“I’m told that the entire membership of the Elders Conference fell out of their chairs laughing when I reported the solution that your species had devised.”

“They laughed at us?”

“Sure. They know the obvious solution to the problem of addiction is treatment and not your silly solution, if I may be uncompromisingly forthright as resembling a worn-down edge.”

“Go ahead and be blunt. How did you describe our solution?”

“The creation of a so-called war on the noun describing the source of addiction, followed by the creation of an international and illegal black market on the source, addressed by a massive inflow of resources to fund police action designed to keep amateur participants out of the business of distributing the source, and finally a refusal to spend resources on treatment due to a lack of funds.”

“Oh,” I said.

“You can see why they laughed.”

“Right,” I said. ‘What’s next?” I picked up the following report. It was labeled simply, “Gungdoitus.”

When I reported that this man was elected to office
by promising that a small revenue stream would
produce a large revenue stream, the Falloonina Elders
almost brought me home. - C.W.
I stared. “What the …?”

“Another Falloonian phrase.”

“Meaning?”

He thought. “Meaning the condition of having the cure but making it difficult or illegal to use it.”

Now I had him. “Surely you can’t suggest that we do that?”

He looked at me as if I had just said that winds were caused by the fairies fanning themselves.

“Have you ever heard,” he said, and his eyes bored right into mine, “of birth control?”

I slumped and said nothing.

“I hope you have some time,” he said. “We’ve quite a few of these to go.” He picked up one labeled “Transportation.” He grimaced, “No way they’re ever going to believe this one.”
 
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- Your Pal in Truth: C.W.