Action Figures For Imbeciles
It's the G.W. Bush "aviator" doll, just in time to degrade every notion of heroism, ever
By Mark Morford
Country's in shambles and economy's gutted and schools are shot and Iraq's a violent bloody mess and joblessness is rampant and it's a proud time indeed to be an American, and hence you might be asking yourself, what, pray what, can I give the hardcore lockstep pseudo-Christian homophobic Republican on my gift list?
What can you give the one who just loves bogus wars and BushCo's lies and thinks SUVs are way bitchin' and believes every bile-filled opinion crammed down their throats via Fox News and Hannity/Coulter/Limbaugh et al., hates them damnable gays and libs and environmentalists and has one hand over his heart while the other gropes the cat?
If you shouted out "a pile of Schwarzenegger DVDs!" or "Lifetime NRA/KKK membership!" or "The Complete Catholic Church Total Absolution/Multimillion Dollar Settlement/Home Enema Kit!" you're only about half right.
Because now we have a new doll, this neat little prefab landfill thing, the George W. Bush "Elite Force Aviator" action figure, to stand proudly alongside your "We Will Rock You" Animated Soldier and your ultraviolent civilian-maulin' "Forward Command Post" toy set from JCPenny! That's right! Collect the whole set!
It is so damn cute. It is so damn cute you almost have to shudder with nausea and ennui and soul-cringing pain and then rush right out and buy a bottle of wine and a Pyrex sex toy and a ticket to Burning Man, just to cleanse.
It's true. It's real. The Bush action figure is a genuine serious item and not, as you would fully expect, a joke, not a parody, not necessarily meant to be a gag gift you would give to your favorite rabid pro-military war aficionado to make them cheer and stroke the flag and sigh wistfully for a time when men were men and Uzis were legal.
There he is, all faux manly and squinty and artificially buffed up, his gull-wing ears toned down and the thin-lipped brow-furrowed monkey confusion so common to his scrunched little face apparently erased by expert doll craftsmen and/or a drunken 50-cents-an-hour sweatshop employee somewhere in China.
There he is, all fierce and makeshift macho and ready to be flown a handful of miles offshore to land on a carefully positioned photo-op aircraft carrier and make an entirely staged entirely bogus internationally embarrassing speech announcing the end of the Iraq war, hee hee suckers whoops sorry about all the dead U.S. soldiers and Iraqi civilians, every day, ever since.
And sure you can try to say "George W. Bush action figure" without choking on your vodka/Valium martini, but it is worth noting that it is, apparently, and tragically, not common knowledge that Shrub avoided almost all military service through his daddy's connections, skipped right by the Vietnam draft by enlisting in the National Guard and then went AWOL from that service for well over a year, and that military service is to a Bush WASP-mafia member what oral sex is to a Hilton sister: that is, degrading dirty scum work full of icky germs and heavy lifting and scary phallic exploding thingies best left to the middle classes and the plebes.
Oh my God but we love fake heroism. Oh my God but we are so easily duped by the macho and the puffed up and the synthetic and the heavily shellacked.
Here is Arnie. The big dumb Terminator. Kindergarten cop last action hero Conan the barbarian. A man with zero political experience and negligible actual acting experience and the intellectual and verbal acumen of something you find on the bottom of your shoe at a Shania Twain concert.
And here is California (or is it just the gullible media?), suddenly all agog and atwitter over the possibility that we will beat out Minnesota on disastrous thick-necked aging quasi-celeb governors who turn their respective state into an international laughingstock, a fiscal and socioeconomic disaster, more of a joke than it already is. (P.S.: Go, Arianna.)
Have we really forgotten what a hero is? Have we have been so desperately numbed into thinking it's some overpampered spoon-fed monosyllabic C-grade Texas daddy's boy who thinks the world is full of "evildoers" and "sinners" and "furriners" and a desperately lonely Condi Rice?
Have we been so endlessly hammered with the celluloid lie that a hero is some sort of scarred grunting lug nut with a machine gun and a bandanna and big veiny muscles and copious fake sweat who blows away the corrupt sheriff or the evil rogue robot in bloody ultraviolent glory and gives us a big thumbs-up at the end before he self-destructs to save the world?
Maybe we want to believe the miserable U.S. soldiers in Iraq are heroes, are serving some sort higher and more noble good, are protecting us from some sort of impending looming evil that was never really there in the first place, when deep down we all have that sinking feeling they're really just disposable henchmen for BushCo's endlessly gluttonous petrochemical and political stratagems.
Maybe we've forgotten that a hero is, of course, someone who goes deep into the underworld and has terrifically spiritual and self-revealing adventures full of danger and mystery and hot moist goddesses who offer him magic and mysteriously juicy fruit.
All coupled with the ever-present threat of death and/or immortality, endless failures and setbacks and strange gifts, and yet he re-emerges above ground stronger, more aware, attuned, enlightened and potent. Does anyone really believe that's appropriate to Shrub? To Arnie? Are you now gagging? Exactly.
The Web site claims demand for the Bush "flyboy" action figure is incredibly high. Undoubtedly due in part to how the link to the hilarious little product has been making the rounds on the Net, as tens of thousands of nauseated people send it to one another, as a joke, as a punch line, saying oh my God have you seen this? What the hell is the world coming to? What the hell is wrong with us? Who, pray who, is buying this ridiculous thing? And who, pray who, actually believes Bush is a hero?
Who will save the children from karmically poisonous toys? Who will save California from awful thick-necked actors who don't know a fiscal policy from a dumbbell? What sort of hero will rise up and resist this degrading onslaught, fight back the demons of ignorance and misinformation and BushCo lies and "I'll be back" moronism? Who, in short, will be the hero to conquer all this bogus heroism?
The answer is easy. The answer is right there, in front of you, in you. Don your intellectual armor, grab your divine sword, get ready to go deep, lose a dogmatic limb, gain astounding insights, win the accolades of the universe, endure the sneers of the uptight and the deluded and the asexual and the flag waving and the ultraconservative and the Ashcroftian and the terminally pissed off.
Because the hero you most need? It's you. Simple, really.