People appear to have misconstrued our Great Leader's statement that the raging tsunamis from all over the Indian Ocean to the East African coastline were "beyond comprehension." What his Highness really meant to convey to the hoi polloi was that he could not comprehend that his much-deserved vacation had been interrupted by the drowning of some low-lifes -- something we casually entertain on a daily basis in Iraq without even batting an eyebrow -- and that he had had to be taken away from his bush-clearing détente to mumble a few words of grief and compassion.
Compassion, he wondered... How more compassionate can one be? Colin Powell had already pledged $15 million in assistance. And, now that Karl Rove had whispered in his ear that this was a unique opportunity to show to the world the kind of country we are, how generous the American people are (the most generous on earth and in the heavens), he just threw in another $20 mil. After all, if we can spend $30+ million to bring Democracy to the Ukraine (60 million if you add "private" funds from Soros and Co.), $200+ million a day -- yes, each and every day -- to foster Freedom in Iraq, or $3.2 billion (yes, billion) to alleviate the suffering Florida was subjected to by a series of four hurricanes during an election year, $35 million and mucho military assistance are darn generous! Anyway, he thought, one dollar goes a long way -- has much more leg -- in those far away places where most people earn a couple of bucks a day, or less. "Now excuse me all," he said, "I've to attend to my bushes, and then get prepared for my $40 million January 20 coronation festivities. God Bless and all, ya' hear."
Listening to the Great Leader's deep empathy for his fellow humans, the US media, as always, fell in rapture...
...Which shows, once again, that reality is far stranger than fiction and makes us wonder whether our traditional Infamous Predictions are indeed more real than fictitious. You be the judge. Enjoy! (We'll post the next issue on January 3, 2005.)
As always, please form your OWN opinion, and let your friends (and foes) know about Swans.
SWANS: 2005 Predictions
"To laugh is proper to man."
—Rabelais (in Gargantua and Pantagruel, 1532)
"Everything human is pathetic. The secret source of Humour itself is not joy but sorrow. There is no humour in heaven."
—Mark Twain (in Following the Equator, 1897)
The unbearable scenes of the natural disaster that has befallen so many countries surrounding the Indian Ocean, and the unfolding carnage in Iraq -- as well as the long term consequences of these catastrophes -- should in and by themselves put a damper on our traditional Infamous Predictions. So should another four messianic years of malfeasance by the current fundies occupying the White House, the continued sexual repression, loss of liberties at home and abroad, dilapidation of human capital, abandonment of the environment to the worse predators, the ever-intensified social Darwinism transcended in Creationism cum-rapture, and all those forces of darkness (literally, since these people have long gone biblical) -- all these heavenly lullabies and songs of renunciation, by which, in the words of Heinrich Heine, "the people, that giant clown, is lulled from its lamentation."
Yet Twain reminds us that sorrow sows humor. Remember the rule Maurice Maréchal, the founder of the satirical French weekly, Le Canard Enchaîné, once concocted (see our 2002 Predictions): When confronted with the gravest of injustice, first, "get indignant;" second, "Laugh: It's more powerful, more effective, more avenging, and funnier." After all, "freedom produces jokes and jokes produce freedom," said Jean Paul Richter in his 1804 Introduction to Aesthetics. Though highly unlikely, perhaps aesthetics will carry the day in the not-too-distant future and defeat meanness, ignorance and sheer idiocy.
So, here again, we present for your enjoyment our yearly, slightly obnoxious predictions, courtesy of the few clowns who find Swans' stables more appealing than the Emperor's clothes, and who, in the company of Max Ernst, prefer "one wild strawberry to all the thrones in the world."
After Bush's second inauguration, it is reported that many Democrats are suffering from a condition akin to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. As a result the pharmaceutical industry rushes a new antidepressant to market -- Republizac: The drug causes Democrats to smile like happy imbeciles as they roll over for far-right-wing appointments and legislation without a fight nor even a whimper of complaint. It is later reported that the leadership of the Democratic Party has been medicated on a test version of the drug for many years...and the side effects are plain for everyone to see.
The thriving pharmaceutical companies will become the benefactors of the under-funded public education system: As a result, public schools will begin to be named after the popular products marketed by their benefactors. Example: The Ritalin Way Elementary School.
After an American company mucked-up the flu vaccine supply and the United States government implemented a convoluted reversal on its ban of drug imports from Canada, and then scrambled to acquire 40 million doses of vaccine, scientists predict a record mild flu season. Embarrassed by all the controversy, President Bush orders the Department of Homeland Security to release influenza virus on all domestic flights thereby creating the threat of an epidemic and ensuring the hard-won vaccine inventory will be utilized.
The last remaining blockbuster drug on the prescription market, Viagra, is found to be associated with fatal heart attacks in males during sex. Fearing the FDA will ban its use, men across America band together for the first time ever to fight for the right to choose. "It's my body and I have a right to do what I want with it, even if it kills me," says the recent Viagra convert and new Pfizer spokesman, Newt Gingrich.
In other pharmaceutical related news: A vial of Steroids will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. More...
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