TALLY BRIGGS, ACTRESS AT LARGE
Member of the BBBR Aide de Camp
May 1, 2001
Why, I can smile, and murder whiles I smile,
And cry 'Content' to that which grieves my heart,
And wet my cheeks with artificial tears,
And frame my face to all occasions.
I'll drown more sailors than the mermaid shall;
I'll slay more gazers than the basilisk;
I'll play the orator as well as Nestor,
Deceive more slyly than Ulysses could,
And, like a Sinon, take another Troy.
I can add colours to the chameleon,
Change shapes with Proteus for advantages,
And set the murderous Machiavel to school.
Can I do this, and cannot get a crown?
Tut, were it farther off, I'll pluck it down.
-Duke of Gloucester (Future Richard III)
Henry VI pt 3, Act III scene ii
(For the record: Comparing Smirk with Richard III
is like comparing a Happy Meal with Filet Minion at Morton's)
There is a new form of re-birth going on since November of 2000. The Los Angeles Times recently ran a front page story on yet another poll on Bush's first 100 days in office. It shows Bush as having an approval rating of 57%, with 54% just in California. Question: who are they asking?? I have never once been polled, nor do I know anyone who has. So my feeling is, they are either making up these numbers, or they are only polling republicans. Or maybe all democrats are screening their calls with Caller ID. I'm sorry, but the only calls that can get around my call ID box, which refuses blocked ID numbers, are the telemarketers who somehow manage to hack thru under “Name Unknown /Number unknown.” I do not answer these calls. If I were to take a poll of people I come into contact with on a daily basis, my numbers would look more like this: Approve - .04 percent; Disapprove, loathe and revile - 96 percent. The main thing I've noticed however is like me, most people I know have recently experienced a new political awakening. Now this is nothing like the scary religious nutcase zealots who are so blinded by their own hate they've been seduced by the Dark Side of the republican Force. No, this is far deeper entrenched in reality, and nowhere near as frightening.
Up until this most recent election snafu, I wasn't what you'd call 'into politics'. I don't mean to say I ran around pleasantly ignorant of the world around me, but I certainly had other, more important things in my life that took precedent over things that politicians were whining about. I also, mistakenly, trusted them. Ever since Watergate, when I was forced in school to watch it non-stop on television, I developed a minor revulsion of politics and all things government related. I suppose it was largely due to the fact that at thirteen I was much more interested in Wayne, the hot blond on the baseball team, than I was in a bunch of crooked politicians who lacked the confidence in their cause to such a degree that they felt they had to stoop to cheating as their only means of victory. (I do realize the GOP still haven't grown out of this. In fact it has become a cancer in their very philosophy.) I didn't complain too much, after all, the teachers were occupied by the constant political drivel, and we had all the time in the world to pursue things far more important to Jr. High survival - like flirting.
As soon as I came of age, I did my civic duty, and voted. I even paid attention, and read my ballot, including information on every initiative and proposition my district would be voting on. Throughout the years, I've had the odd moment of concern - how could Jimmy Carter lose to a bad 'B' movie matinee idol? Isn't it too coincidental that the hostages are getting released the very same moment Reagan is getting sworn in? We are what? At War? In the GULF? Illegal arms? Iran-contra? How odd to pardon Caspar Weinberger and Company, whose testimony within the week would most likely have implicated both the current and former presidents, and on Christmas Eve no less.
Then came Clinton. A man who could speak clearly, and with honest feeling. A man who came from literally nothing, a single parent home, and earned everything himself. Someone who actually knew what it was like to put himself through college and live paycheck to paycheck. Someone who could relate to me, and I to him. For the first time in my adult life, I cared about the administration, and had complete confidence. So for eight years I watched this amazing man grow, and make this country a better place to live, in spite of the dogs at his heels.
There was a strange dark side though, one that I had only glimpsed in my peripheral vision, like a shadow demon, but now started to manifest itself in full. It began with the republicans in congress doing everything in their power to undermine every single thing the Clinton administration tried to pass, no matter if it was good for the country as a whole, or that their constituents were for it; if it was Clinton's idea, then it was shot down. They were acting like selfish children on a playground who didn't want to share their toys. I couldn't figure it out. Why would these professionals, these adults, who had chosen public service as a profession, and were hired by The People, behave in such a way? They tried to use everything imaginable against the Clintons, from the bad luck Bill and Hillary experienced on the White Water deal, to their involvement in a travel agency. Millions of dollars were wasted all because of these people's jealous hatred. All for naught. No wrongdoing was every found. Then came Monicagate. Suddenly the right to a man's privacy was invaded and yet more millions of dollars wasted over something that was no one’s business but the two consenting adults in question. Adultery on any scale is not illegal. What was strange was that while most people I knew didn't care what he did with his anatomy, (that is personal after all, as is my sex life or anyone else's for that matter), it also didn't matter that most of America thought that the president's sex life, as long as it was between two consenting adults and not with a 15 year old minor, was off limits. After all, it was over. A small incident which had been brief at best, and never resulted in an unwanted pregnancy or subsequent abortion for an underage girl (unlike the current Boy in the Big House). But the hateful ones, driven by their all-consuming rage and jealousy, did care. This all caused me concern and anger, but as I had hoped, the American people had their way in the end. Cooler heads and common sense prevailed. We moved on to more important matters like world peace and letting the man do his job.
Then came Campaign 2000. At first I was of the mind, 'how can Al Gore lose'? Here we have a distinguished man of honor, integrity, and experience, who has spent most of his life in government and public service, and is smarter than pretty much everyone. Cool! McCain looked to be his strongest opposition but then something happened. McCain took a fall and withdrew. Even though something was fishy about it, and it was very muddy, it also reeked of the opposition, so I didn't pay too much attention. Besides, with Boy Wunder-Bush as his new front running opponent, Gore was a shoe in. Bush was an idiot. Rules for a debate? Not allowing questions? Was he serious? He was making himself look more like a boob every single day, and I certainly didn't need the media telling me what was going on. Then the unthinkable happened. A media-driven election psy-op and a coup d’etat handled illegally by the Supreme Court. A man taking the oath of office who had, by every means possible, thwarted an honest election process and recount. It was as if I was living in a nightmare. How could this be possible, especially here in the United States?
It was during this election fiasco that it happened. My Awakening. Seeing for the first time clearly into a political process so corrupt it seemed like a dream. I was enraged. I was fired up. It was a gradual process, as the days after the election played out and I witnessed some of the most unbelievable events in my own country during my lifetime. I was not about to become complacent. This event has made me hyper-aware of the freedoms we take for granted. The depth of deceit to which a political party has stooped to win at any and all costs; fraud, disenfranchisement and the stealing of an election. The degree to which the corporate owned media have been a willing accomplice to a bloodless coup, and the ease with which we've let our rights and freedoms be usurped.
One of my main shocks has been how these hateful people can exist. How they can look in the mirror and live with themselves? They are of the mind that they are the only ones who really deserve anything of value. An old guard, good-ole' boy, whites-only, male mentality, that says women, homosexuals and any 'minorities', (read: non-white since they have yet to discover they are no longer the majority), should never presume to rise above their station. And if they do, they will suffer the most severe punishment imaginable.
How dare Hillary Clinton assume the responsibility to devise a plan for Health Care reform? Not only was she just the First Lady, but merely a woman. Only the privileged few deserve health care. No matter that she is an amazing lawyer, who has out-earned her husband most years of their marriage, and is better educated than most members of congress combined. These people are not about winning or doing anything 'fairly'. Honor and integrity are but words; shallow, hollow, and empty. A phrase to be thrown around without meaning, when necessary. Not concepts, nor values, or a respectful way of conduct. Just words.
I have grown in my Awakening. I no longer place my trust blindly in those with power and authority. I've thrown away all pretensions of politeness. My newfound voice will cry in outrage whenever I encounter injustice. I know I am not alone in my new awareness. I am not unique, there are many like me, more than the media or those who hold their questionable power want to believe. We have been shocked into the reality of something we naively believed could never happen to us, to our beloved country. To be living in the midst of an organized plot so detailed in its deceit it rivals The Final Solution of Hitler and the Nazis. No longer do I have my childish trust of government leaders and corporate CEOs, since I have become all too aware that my best interests are their lowest priority, and their first commitment is to their already obscene fortunes.
To their peril do the greedy, the voluntary corporate-castrati, and the soulless, ignore our numbers.
We are legion. We are many. And Hell hath no Fury...