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The International Writers Magazine - Our Tenth year : Realty Check 2009

0h-Nine: The Year of the Guilty
James Campion

Two-thousand nine will be the year of The Guilty. Exoneration is in the air. Free rides. Hard promises. Credentials for all; particularly those who don't deserve them -- the powerful, the beautiful, the twisted and the onerous. It will be especially productive for the onerous, where the beating of the chest will pass for intellectual currency. Balls will be all the rage in Oh-Nine; big, shiny pairs - and those unable to acquire them or flash them in a pinch will be in the shit-can.

It will be the year of Blogojevich, the Man From Illinois, who has joined the long line of criminally insane governors, but in Oh-Nine there awaits Retribution. Listen to him now; "They have nothing. I will fight." Shit, yeah. In Oh-Nine fighting will take the place of half-assed lying. Double-speak is not going to cut it. Shuck-And-Jive will have its place, but there will be less to exploit with bullshit when raw defiance is readily available. It will be a time to go all-out, not pitter around making excuses for putting into practice the fundamental principles of good old-fashioned Capitalism: Play To Pay is back. Skinny ties, pastels, mash-ups, liquid speed balls, and Cash On Hand; An Ayn Randian/ Ubermensch kind of free-wheeling.

     Blogojevich will be the shining symbol of the New Year's proud stomp; a staking of claims and a sober revision in Ignoring The Sidelines. This, of course, will mean that Oh-Nine will be silly with shameless entrepreneurship. Shame is not an option now that the bottom has dropped out of the pocket-pickers game. Demure malfeasance is passé. It will be a Blogojevich fire-sale milieu; everything has a price and someone will pay it. No more haggling. All choices will involve money; faith, love, the whole gamut of existential concepts will be readily available on the cheap. The line forms on the left, and you had best get there early; because once the kitty is empty, that's it, jack.

    Always the impatient act-first-ask-questions-much-later progressive, the president has gotten a head-start on Oh-Nine by rolling out his first of several lists of pardons for The Guilty, where Scooter Libby is its most fortunate beneficiary. The vice president's bagman can breathe easier now. The days of apologizing for doing the bidding of The Cowardly have passed. In Oh-Nine, The Guilty will no longer be pariah. Each and every Backstabber will be expected to walk proudly in the glaring light of day; stand tall and wave a symbolic fist. The Cowardly have no place in Oh-Nine. Cheap frauds and moral goblins like Dick Cheney may have to euthanized to clean the slate.

    Ninety percent of Talent is showing up. Woody Allen said that. He was trying to be both funny and philosophical, but it turns out he was mostly prescient. Showing up will also be all the rage in Oh-Nine. Ask Caroline Kennedy, who has emerged from a lifetime political cocoon to wave Camelot aloft once more. Succeeding in making it less wretched to sell a Senate seat in Springfield than it is to hand one to American royalty in Albany, the Kennedy brand has made yet another comeback.

    Not to be undone, the Cuomo's fancy offspring is also throwing his hat in the ring. How about Pataki's daughter? She's cool. I used to work with her in Westchester. She's smart and attractive and has the right last name to beg her way to Capitol Hill.

    But, shit, by the time the Nepotism Twins make a bid for Washington, Oh-Nine will be in full swing, and so shall our familiarity with Realistic Expectations, the mantra of the new president of the United States. Barack Obama's first 100 days of rescuing the national economy, rebuilding international relations, and gutting the federal government's incredible mass of dead weight, will be pushing the great "Proving I Am Not The Christ" syllabus.

    Realistic Expectations is an important ingredient to survival when failing to come with the H-Two-O party tricks, shuffling upon it or making with the wine. Many of the Oh-Eight holdovers are waiting patiently for Change to give way to Divinity. This bodes well for another comeback in Oh-Nine; Crucifixion, which, like Jell-O, one can always anticipate finding room. In Oh-Nine, the stakes in modern politics will be that high. Politicians, now reviled and run out of town aflame with derision will be expected to perform miracles. Sadly, for those living on Cloud #9, the president-elect is merely a politician. This can hardly be denied. He will not escape Oh-Nine anymore than we can.

    Oh-Eight was an excellent example of Rejection. We rejected antiquated notions of jingoism, racism, phony Republicanism, and the Baby Boomer Lie. It is a new time for a new generation. But as the utterly defeated George W. Bush will tell us, The times do not often jibe with The Plan. If not for terrorist invasions and hurricanes or economic implosions, a dunce can make a pretty fancy chief executive. But Times trump Plans, and when the Kumbaya chorus has died down and things get kicking in Oh-Nine, The Guilty will replace The Cowardly, and politicians may have to raise the dead, but it will be anything but boring.
    I'll see you there.

© James Campion Jan 1st 2009

The Bogus Battle for Christmas
James Campion
This just in: Christmas has nothing to do with religion. Around here, and by around here I mean America, it is the granddaddy of consumer holidays


I heard that the pastry industry is next in line for the great bail-out-bonanza. (BEGGARS & CHOOSERS) I already have a check cut for Starbucks (poor bastards) and Amtrak. It's such a joke. And remember all the times we heard that there was no money for art and education. Fuck it. Let them all go down in flames. These bailouts are like covering your asshole with a band-aid then taking a dump.
Peter Saveskie

It is true that we have left ourselves little choice but to lean on government (let that read the populace) to save the nation. Not the first time, and won't be the last. This anger we feel now in response to the "bail out", which is merely a pejorative term for "economic relief", is the equal/opposite of what we were feeling when all was going well and people were grabbing at several brass rings at once from Wall St. to the housing industry to some consumer insanity that has a majority of the nation in serious credit card debt. We tend to swing in extremes in America. It is our legacy. And now our current era of breakdown/build-up is our debtor's world and this debtor's society. If the last eight years taught us anything its that once the Republicans (fiscally responsible and hardly bleeding hearts when it comes saving the world) everyone is willing to allow the spending and spending of a seemingly endless supply of money to make everyone happy and thinking we are safe.
So now the system and WE are broke.
Looks like those who argue we shouldn't save industry and support the solvency of this great nation is willing to succumb to ideology over survival. History is littered with idiots who allowed that to happen.
Lawrence Visconti

I'm sorry, but handing over billions to broken and badly run antiquated companies that have no idea how to evolve and act as if they are "entitled" to survive is everything this country and its ideals stands for.
It is time for serious reappraisals, my friends.
Sarah Nevins

I have family that work and count on the auto industry, but this is not what I write to you and your readers about now. You see, I'm not sure everyone knows the absolute devastation it would mean to thousands upon thousands of jobs if this American institution, the auto industry, goes down. It is imperative that we all pull together, just for a short while, and see this through. I know it appears to be some kind of handout, but it is a vital cog in America's security and well being. It is more than money and industry and economic ideologies. It is a life force. Until we think of it as that, we will be forever in debt.
Antoine Farrar

WOW. Divided we sit, in front of our TVs and computers, looking for anything to support our own world views and reacting like rabid animals to anything that doesn't seem to line up. Our minds are made up, so much so that most of us couldn't even recognize facts any more if they came up and bit us.
Mad props for your willingness to publish all opinions. It demonstrates integrity (aka strength) on your part and reveals just how much diversity exists in our fellow audience members.
Even though the old saw about living in interesting times being a old Chinese curse has been debunked, it holds true, if only in my intuition. I keep thinking that some major revelation, undeniable and universally obvious will allow us all to agree on at least one thing.
Brad Morrison

Fantastic stuff! (WE'RE ALL FINE) More Erin Moore! Sounds like she's becoming the Acosta to your Thompson.
Doctor Slater

If your wife is as crazy as she appears in this space, when she does so infrequently but explosively, then she needs to be given a pen and a space for her wild adventures and warped ideas.
At least I know the two of you are happy in your madhouse existence, a heartwarming tale of love.
Furious Georgie

I happen to agree with your mythical Mr. Cincinnati, we are doomed. This stock market is beyond volatile. It is as if, and I think you once described it this way; a wild animal, thrashing about, completely without reason or purpose, and to have your savings, your very future tied to it is like getting into a car with a maniac jacked up on speed and tripping balls. This is scary shit. Really scary shit. When is the bottom? What will become of us?

Can I party with your wife, James? This is one of the most interesting, bent, and progressive women I have ever read about. I'm sure some of that stuff is embellished, but then again...who knows? This is beyond the labele feminism or anything like that. This is way-out of that league. Let's get her a television show or something. Perhaps we can hear more about what she's like. I suppose there is something to be said for letting it rip. I await her next appearance in Reality Check with great anticipation.
Hell yeah!
Gabriella Weis

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