The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent
Green Beer & Bad Singing

Fred A Wilcox • 2 March 2005

It looks like George W. Bush will be canceling the St. Paddy's Day bash in the White House this year. No more green beer and bad singing, no more green cake and carnations. Mr. Bush will just have to spend the day all by himself, watching reruns of "The Quiet Man," and reciting ditties his mother read to him at bedtime. Or perhaps he'll play the tin whistle and dance a merry gig about the oval office, celebrating the power bestowed upon him to spoil parties, and pretending that he alone knows what's best for Mother Earth.

Personally, I won't be lamenting the lack of festivities in the White House. After all, I've never been invited to these bacchanals, and so I'll not miss hearing Mr. Bush sing a sorry ballad. What confuses me is why anyone who wants to build a better world would agree to celebrate inside of a house where wars are planned, coups are plotted, threats against other nations are contrived, and deception is celebrated as a Christian virtue. Why would anyone who cares one wit about peace or social justice, in N. Ireland or anywhere else in the world, want to spend the day with a man who believes he was anointed by God to kill women and children in order, he says, to promote justice? Sure, I can understand why Irish politicians would want to be photographed on the White House lawn, but why they would then enter the portals of the Lie House is beyond my comprehension. I'm sure the food is delicious and the gargle the very best, but wouldn't spending St. Patrick's day in the White House be a bit like celebrating Columbus day with a Mafioso don?

Mr. Bush's ostensible reason for canceling the Paddy's Day blast is that he suspects some politicians in N. Ireland might be telling stories, but isn't that what politicians do so very well—tell stories? Why would G.W. object to other politicians telling stories, when he is a connoisseur of falsehoods? Sounds a bit to me like the pot calling the kettle black. Or maybe the resident in the White House was worried that some of his invited guests might excel at telling yarns. Having listened to Mr. Bush for the past four years, I, personally, would think twice before trying to out-story the man. I mean, think what you want, Mr. Bush is a real fine liar. So good that millions of Americans voted for him because, they said, he could be counted on to tell the truth. Poor Bill Clinton. Everyone knew that he was incapable of sorting fact from fiction, and even his enemies had to concede that the man could spin a fine yarn with the best of them. Yet compared to G.W., William Jefferson Clinton is an amateur liar.

I wish I could hold my own St. Paddy's day bash. I'd start out by inviting politicians from all over the world, based upon their ability to tell stories. I would create a kind of electronic lie detector test and administer this test to prospective guests. On a scale of 1-10, competitors for the party, potential guests would have to score 8 or above. My invitations would congratulate winners on their ability to fool some of the people all of the time. Then, I would provide the rules for attending my bash. Each politician would be required to tell a ten-minute story. Those who told even one line of the truth would be disqualified immediately. Anyone who resorted to historical accuracy would be asked to leave the bash. A panel of experts in the art of political rhetoric, glittering generalities, and brilliant self-serving falsehoods would listen to each yarn, then declare one winner and one runner up. Losers would be offered tips on how to improve their story telling abilities, and given the chance to enroll in my new school for politicians who wish to be remembered for their tall tales.

Perhaps I'll send this party scenario to Mr. Bush, and perhaps he will reconsider his decision to slam the doors on those who hoped to attend his St. Paddy's day gala.

But even if G.W. decides to hold the biggest party ever in the White House, he will have to disqualify himself from the yarn-telling competition. I'm sure he will take it as a compliment when I explain that he is one of the greatest liars the world has ever known; therefore, it would be unfair to allow him to compete with invited guests. Instead, he can act as a judge, rating the skill with which guests create their own fantastic world order.

What will the prize be? A life-long invitation to drink green beer, sing sad ballads, and tell outrageous stories in the house where lying is now a form of religion.





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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



All censorships exist to prevent any one from challenging current conceptions and existing institutions. All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions. Consequently the first condition of progress is the removal of censorships.
- George Bernard Shaw

Index: Current Articles

4 March 2005

Other Articles From This Issue:

Honourary White Man
Marc Kerr

A Blanketman Still Fighting to be Heard
Anthony McIntyre

The Dam Has Burst
Mick Hall

The Peace Process Has Been Saved
David Adams

World's Largest Men's Room
Brian Mór

Green Beer and Bad Singing
Fred A Wilcox

Ireland's Neutrality is Not Threatened
Thomas Lefevre

Sentences of Death: Mary Gordon's Pearl
Seaghán Ó Murchú

24 February 2005

The Socialist Objection and Alternative
Eamonn McCann

Taking the Peace
Jimmy Sands

Life Amongst the Proveau Riche
Brian Mór

A Far Cry from the Hunger Strikers' Sacrifices
Anthony McIntyre

Tragic Legacy
Mick Hall

Some Economic Results of the Civilizing Mission
M. Shahid Alam



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