From Deconstructing the
Demiurge: a work in regress:
Collateral Damage, or
The Death of Classics in America
And at that moment, Tiresias wandering like a Somnambulist
Threw a Zip Loc on Forcas's Scalloped Lips. And invoking
The Ancient Greek God of Household Savings whom the Romans called
Variously Molli Lectus or Coqui Olla, he mounted a vision,
The Car of Kronos with Four Chargers foaming and stamping in front
And One Enormous Arrow in his Quiver, with a Tapestry of the Acropolis
In Utter Ruins that dropped suspended from a Brass Banister running the
Length of the Mezzanine of the Old Gold Exchange. And from his perch
Tiresias declaimed: "Official Version, House Document 12588 or
The Day the Classics in America Died. It all started with
A Muckraking Journalist from the Lone Star State who
Went snooping around in the Bush Clan's Nazi Archives
And got George Senior all Frothing and Fearful
At the Blasphemous Truths directed at Old Daddy Prescott.
But matters became intolerable when this Muckraking News Hound,
Who for Reasons of Levity, we will call Hamstrung, began to
Dig around in Poppy's business deals and Capacious Acts of
Felony and Fraud on the part of The Juniors and Jeb.
It's then that the Wheels of Dallas Justice à la
Lyndon Johnson, Bill Moyers and Mack Wallace began
To grind again in its Fiefdom, Washington DC. It's mildly
Suspicious that Gordon Liddy had John Dean fill in
On his Talk Show and that Howard Hunt missed
His Knife Throwing Class. And that Jeb was in Florida
Beating his Manatee. And Junior was in Texas
Executing a Schoolgirl. And Dad was in Kennebunkport
Where they keep Prescott Sr. in an old Amana Freezer.
And Scowcroft was in orbit on the Shuttle
Dyspepsia, mapping new sights for Israeli
'Avocados' under Exclusive Contract
To the Sultan of Brunei. And Eagleburger
Was at the annual Vernon Walters Belly Flop Contest
Leaving Impact Craters in Pure H2O.
And Donald Gregg was using the Family Vacation,
Once again, as an Occasion for Perjury. Dick Secord was
Being Crowned Emperor of the Plain of Jars
By Pharmaceuticals Executive, Vang Pao.
And Felix Rodriguez was cutting sacks of
Powdered Milk with Runway Quality Cement.
And Tom Clines was burning Edwin Wilson's
Appeals in a Trash Bin behind the George Bush
Memorial Torture Theatre in the Round
On the Backlot at Langley Studios. And Albert Hakim
Was wiping the Belly Button Account off his Hard Drive
With his tongue. And Dewey Clarridge was picking his Ass
At Ilopango. And Robert Gates was having his Larynx
Replaced with a #2 Clarinet Reed while Walter Pincus
Called in Sick at the CIA. John Singlaub was hunting
Guatemalan Orphans on the Back Lot at Disney World.
Posada Carilles was on assignment for the N.Y. Times
And Ricky Morales was doing the Lights for
The Ted Koppel Christmas Special called "General Pinochet:
Is the U.S. Doing Enough To Protect His Rights,"
Sponsored by Vita-Germ, Fort Detrick's first attempt
To exploit the Burgeoning American Market in
Race-Specific Over-The-Counter Sterilization Bacilli.
Henry Kissinger was having his Back Hot-Waxed while
He fought his extradition to Hanoi. And Frank Carlucci
Was parked at a Panorama overlooking the Potomac just as
William Colby pushed Off in his Kayak not noticing
Ted Shackley, who was fishing from a Nearby Pier,
As he signaled to Frank Sturgis disguised as a Despondent
Congressional Aid fiddling with an outboard. Joseph Alsop
Was channeling through Howard Kurtz as he puttered at the Keyboard
Of his Powerful PC. And 6000 Specially Selected Latin American
Military Personnel were attending the Late Klaus Barbie's
Taped Seminar, "Human Rights: Fact or Fiction,"
Specifically the section entitled "How Not To Give
Yourself Away at an Exhumation" with Helpful Hints
Like Avoid the High-Five with your Co-Assassins,
Don't Send Out For Takeout, and Cover All Tattoos
That Display the Image of Reagan or Mein Fuhrer.
And Our All-Knowing, All-Seeing, Exotically Omnipotent
God was playing dice with Enrico Fermi and Four Roman
Centurions against the Wall of a Stall in the Lawrence
Livermore Laboratory's Lavatories. So when Hamstrung,
late for an Interview with the Community Access Show,
Print News Report with a Viewership of 8,
Approached the Driveway of the Marriott Hotel, his accelerator
Jammed and his rented Yugo hurtled Headlong toward
The Collective Genius of the Society of American Classicists
Gathered for their annual convention. Now why these Brilliant
Scholars were walking in the road instead of the Broad Sidewalk
Provided by the Good People of the City of Washington has
Become the subject of Endless and Monumentally Idle
Speculation. Some think that, even though the Doors of
Athenian Temples were Powered by Steam, the Ancestors of
The same doors that breach our contemporary Wal-Mart; in short,
Even though Ancient Greece is the Cradle of Western Technology,
The Burp Place of Modern Science, the Classicists so caught up
In their Eros and Agape ignore the Very Existence
Of the Piston, the Pneumatic Tire and the Attendant
Rat Race. Others attribute it to a Vague a/k/a Liberal
Concern for the Environment, a result of Europe being in the throws
Of Rome for at least ten centuries too Long. And others say
A Shifty Fellow dressed as a Bellhop with Lieutenant Colonel's Stripes
Requested that the Scholars strut in the Road to spare the Sidewalk
Undo wear. But No Man would say their Deaths were caused by
Hubris or Monstrous Pride. The Net Result was the Sabotaged Car
Like a Deus Ex Machina in some ignored Product Safety Expert's
Wet Dream plowed through the Cream of Classicist Thought. And
That is why, despite the Protestations of America's Most
Patriotic of Poets, the Classics, whether Catullus or Kung,
Due to Alleged Mass Vehicular Manslaughter on the part
Of a Bush Cabal, Do Not Have a Wide Circulation, Pal.
I know there are Readers who will chalk this up
To the Conspiratorial Blitherings of a Blind Psychic with the
Genitals of Both Subsets. But indeed "the sale of [panty] hose
Has long since superseded the cultivation of Pierian roses."
And when All the Profits have been Assiduously Computed;
And All the Debts passed on to the Weak; And when All
The Starving have been extorted; and All Political Favors
Duly Dispensed; And All the Laundries have been acquitted;
And All the Systems checked against Balance;
And All the Asses That Count have been kissed.
One must Conclude with Utter Certainty
That Five Hundred Dead Classicists have hardly been missed.
And call it Simple Manslaughter
Or call it Vehicular Homicide.
There's One Thing that's for Certain;
The American People were just along for the Ride."
"No Regrets!!" Homer hooted, churning the Air with his Fist.
Gracious Mammon said, "Thank you, Tiresias, for your
Inspiring Tale. But let's get you and Your Charge
Through Hell here so Forcas and I can get back to work.'