Saturday, July 23, 2005

The Incredible Courage of the Reasonable!

What ingenuity! What bold vision! A writer wins a parody contest for (gasp!) calling Bush an "idiot." Specifically, Sam Apple wrote a parody of William Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury. The President takes the place of Benjy, the "idiot" in Faulkner's classic. My Way News has the story here. Behold the bravery for yourself:
Apple's story is told from Bush/Benjy's point of view as Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld prepare him for a news conference:

"'Go and get him Saddam's gun,' Condi said. 'You know how he likes to hold it.'

"Dick went to my desk drawer and took out Saddam's gun. He gave it to me, and it was hot in my hands. Rummy pulled the gun away.

"'Do you want him carrying a gun into the press conference?' Rummy said. 'Cant you think any better than he can?'"
Evidently, the story was the winner of an annual contest:
A scathing parody that likens President Bush to the "idiot" in William Faulkner's novel "The Sound and the Fury" has won this year's Faulkner write-alike contest - and touched off a literary spat.

Organizers of the Faux Faulkner competition are accusing Hemispheres, the United Airlines magazine that has sponsored the contest for six years, of playing politics by not putting Sam Apple's "The Administration and the Fury" in its print edition - only on its Web site.

"One of the things they asked was that we didn't have profanity or any obvious sexual content. We watch for that. But anything else, like a political subject, was funny, it was parody. ... We felt that that shouldn't be censored," said Larry Wells, who organizes the contest with his wife, Dean Faulkner Wells, Faulkner's niece.

The story portrays President Bush in the role of Benjy, the mentally challenged son - or, as Faulkner himself said, the "idiot" - in his 1929 novel about the wreckage of a Southern family.
The co-founder and organizer of this year's contest can't even admit the truth about his political motivation:
Larry Wells said Apple's piece won the contest not because of its political content but because it mirrors the labyrinthine language of the Nobel laureate.

"It was very funny, a brilliant use of 'The Sound and the Fury,'" Wells said. "The fact that he substituted Saddam's gun for a horseshoe Benjy liked to hold - it was hilarious."
Please! I have only one question for Mr. Wells: If Mr. Apple had chosen to substitute Howard Dean, Ted Kennedy or John Kerry for Benjy, would the parody still have won? I don't think so.

How original! The Reasonable call Bush "stupid." Amazing how all these years, no one has thought to do that before! And the brave author will read his parody to an audience at the University of Mississippi! Wow! He'll deliver such a controversial work of art to such a hostile environment as a contemporary college campus! I'm overcome. Really. I am.

How low has our culture sunk. No longer will partisans disagree only with their opponent's policies and beliefs. Now, they must engage in creative Ad Hominem attacks and then call them art! How pathetic. How petty. How Reasonable.