Tuesday, January 29, 2008
The catharsis of hurling putrid rotten tomatoes at the puppeteer and his puppet
Did you notice how, during Bush's last State of the Union address, Cheney didn't even have to look at his puppet to operate the controls? He had his arm behind the puppet's back, but that was all it took. By looking away like any good ventriloquist, he preserved the illusion that his puppet was speaking for himself.
For a while, I amused myself documenting the relationship with my camera while watching Bush's typically mind-numbing speech, but you can only do that so long before being overcome by the usual combination of anger and insane boredom. You need something to vent the rage. Something you can throw.
That's where the putrid rotten tomatoes came in. T had prepared them in advance, knowing how worked up I get. Sometimes you just have to throw something at the TV. These babies were made to be thrown. T had tightly balled up some old socks and wrapped them in red tissue paper with the labels shown. They had a good heft to them, similar to the real thing. Throwing them at the TV was deeply gratifying.
I was going to write down the words and phrases that triggered my throws (a few actually hit the puppet and his silent puppeteer right between the eyes) but I couldn't keep up. A reference to the last seven years being filled with stirring moments in the history of liberty was one. The fear-baiting grim reminder of evil men who despise liberty was another. But the air was soon filled with flying fake tomatoes, and there was no way I was going to stop throwing and start writing.
I finished the State of the Union feeling a lot less dispirited than how I usually feel after a Bush speech. Not a bad workout, and an incredible release -- just as good as real tomatoes, but a lot less messy. I can't recommend ritual fake tomato throwing too highly. Start saving your old socks now.
This may be his last State of the Union, but he's bound to give us more occasions to throw things before he's finished.