booze: the anti-bush

One morning I woke up behind a Kinko’s where I’d been pounding my head against the dumpster trying to erase the image of Donald Rumsfeld’s taut little liar’s smile from my mind….”

 

by jon weatherford

 

Hi, my name is Jon, I’m 32 years old, and alcohol is my anti-Bush. I have never had a hobby based on drowning out a Presidential administration, but the stuff this White House is pumping out just seems much more potent and addictive than ever before. That’s why you need something to help you get through the tough times.

In years past I had no problems just saying no when somebody offered me some deep-seated feelings of political marginalization. Once at a party in college I hung out with some guys who were doing a lot of yearning for a return to egalitarian democracy, but I didn’t take any. I admit that a couple of times I experimented with some righteous indignation, but I just thought it was not my thing. As it turned out I could not have been more wrong.

This then, is my story. It’s a story of a hellish descent into hopeless dependence at the hands of a ruthlessly addicting Presidency, but it’s also the story of how rejecting critical thought and dedicating myself to strong drink has helped me into the light of recovery.

You always think “it won’t happen to me”, but I guess there’s something about this latest president that just blows my mind. I did not need an anti-Clinton, although I do remember some moments of profound disappointment. I didn’t have any real problems with the elder, yet seemingly-less-obsessed-with-cramming-his-fist-into-the-rectum-of-the-American-people Bush. I never even really got into Reagan, although to be perfectly honest I did masturbate through much of that administration.

Like so many otherwise intelligent people who have been ruined by Bush, at first I didn’t even realize I had a problem. I rationalized that I was just being “politically aware”, “involved”, or worst of all, “plugged in”. Everybody was doing it, and it just felt so good. You start out by maybe reading the Front Page before you turn to Sports, and pretty soon you’re following stories over to A9. I abandoned a lot of my old friends, and started hanging around mostly with people who were into Bush too. From there the addiction just snowballed.

Before I knew it I’d subscribed to two national newspapers, seven news magazines, my TV never left MSNBC, and I was listening to NPR while I slept, just to cover my bases. I was reading thousands of pages of political theory a week from John Locke to JFK. I had given my misbegotten tax credit to the ACLU, but no matter what I did I just wanted more.

That’s how obsessed I was with Bush. I’m not proud, but they say you have to hit bottom before you can begin to heal. One morning I woke up behind a Kinko’s where I’d been pounding my head against the dumpster trying to erase the image of Donald Rumsfeld’s taut little liar’s smile from my mind. I had an American flag in one hand, and a cogently-reasoned 79 page essay using over 200 years of legal precedent on why Bush should be impeached in the other. I had spent my last dime on Xeroxing, and I’d never felt so alone in my life.

I guess those are the times when you find out who your real friends are. That night, I was supposed to meet some of my old buddies from before I got into Bush. I’d given my standard bullshit excuse: “Can’t tonight, too busy attempting to effect bloodless intellectual coup for good of all peoples of the earth”. Luckily, their minds weren’t completely wracked by Bush, and they saw through my denial. “Dude, it’s Dean-O’s birthday, and we’re dragging your ass out to pound some beers, even if we have to carry you”. Those are the words that changed my life.

I’d like to say it was like flipping a light switch, and that that first beer made me forget all about Bush, but real life’s not always that easy. It wasn’t the first, the second, or even the third. No, turns out nine beers and a couple shots of bourbon was the magic number that night. I was idly peeling the label off that ninth bottle when I noticed I’d poured most of the beer into my lap in the process. This was a problem. My beer soaked pants were a problem. It seemed vaguely like there might have been some other problems in the world, but I sure couldn’t think of any, and hell, my pants would dry. I was on the road to recovery.

Of course, with something as powerful and insidious as Bush, one night of hardcore drinking wasn’t going to reverse years of addiction. The next morning I woke up on a strange couch with half a beer in my hand, and a headache like a rototiller. It was a good 5 minutes before I thought: “although we are poised at a watershed period for our nation and its place in an ever shrinking world, we are being led by a man who is pathologically short-sighted, determinedly self-serving, and passionately unilateral in his thinking.” Bush still had its claws pretty deep, but luckily some guy was making Bloody Marys in the kitchen.

So that’s how I got better. It’s been 10 months, 3 weeks, and 4 days and this is my message to all the other Bush addicts out there. There is hope, and it lies just beyond the bottom of that Jim Beam bottle. And some beers. Or some Tanqueray. Or like half a dozen Long Islands. And some more beer. Whatever. It’s up to you, but the important thing is that if you’re hooked on Bush, start drinking now. Don’t waste my time (and yours) with excuses like “oh I just need a little something ‘till the election”, because that’s the addiction talking.

I won’t try to tell you it’s easy, or cheap. Or beneficial to your sex life. Listen though, this is probably the most nefarious, radically reactionary administration in American history and you’ve got to drink through it. Alcohol is my anti-Bush, and through it all I guess I only have one complaint. Sometimes late at night, despite my best efforts at auto-anesthesia, I find that I have staggered off the front porch, pointed into the East wind, and am micturating fiercely into the gale.

 

Originally published:
Issue Thirty
March 2004

 

 

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