Click topic below for commentary.

Letter to Councilman LaBonge
Real People as Fictional Characters
Female Actors, Part Two
One Culture Hero Award
Adelante Gay Pride Gala
Best Work of Fiction?
Tom of Finland: Sexual Liberator or Enslaver
Lying Writers
Review of The Man Who Invented Rock Hudson
Promiscuous Thoughts
A Crime of the Heart
A Letter to Michael Silverblatt
"Have you no decency, sir?"
Political Incorrectness: Female Actors and Trojans
He Hugged Moms and Dads
What is a Girly Man?
From Sunset Boulevard to Mulholland Drive
The Gay Mammies
A Writer Protests
Review of Beyond Paradise: The Life of Ramon Novarro
A Spirit Preserved in 'Amber'
The Supreme Court Case
Review of Live from Golgotha: The Gospel According to Gore Vidal
Review of Lost Years: A Memoir 1945-1951 by Christopher Isherwood
Review of Out For Good
Review of Hoyt Street: an Autobiography
Review of Sergei Eisenstein: A Life in Conflict.
Review of Places Left Unfinished at the Time of Creation
Review of Whores for Gloria
Muscles and Mascara
Review of "Blonde"
Brother Paul, Sister Jan, Brother Hinn, God and the Folks
Advice to the Next Generation
Sins of the Fathers
Beatin' Around the Bush

Cruise Not Gay! The Judge Has Spoken

The Horror, The Horror
LA--a Cliché?
Dominick, Mark & Orenthal
Holy Drag!
Ms. Hill & Mr. Tom
Mrs. guy Ritchie 
Supreme Court 
Tom Cruise 
New Times Article 

Click here for details.
He Hugged Moms and Dads

     Propaganda churned. Support Our Troops was twisted into supporting the war--and therefore supporting the maiming and dying of men and women on the frontlines, the slaughter of Iraqis. The majority of American troops were hardly more than kids, some as young as 18. How many cumulative years and decades of life, of possible joy, had Bush stolen from all those men and women on the frontlines, and from their families?

     "Obviously, I pray every day there's less casualty."--George W. Bush, Fort Hood, Texas, April 11, 2004.

     In the talks of politicians, there was an eerie silence about the dead and dying men and women. It was as if all those deaths were merely "collateral damage," incidental to a larger cause: Bush's terrible illegitimate war. It was as if the dying and destruction were to be taken for granted as necessary, just necessary, only necessary. No photographs were allowed to be shown of the coffins of the American dead returned under the camouflage of night.

     "We will make sure our troops have all that is necessary to complete their missions. That's why I went to the Congress last September and proposed fundamental--supplemental funding, which is money for armor and body parts and ammunition and fuel."--George W. Bush, Erie, Pa., Sept. 4, 2004.

     Billions of dollars available for war in Iraq were unavailable to improve education in America.

     "Then you wake up at the high school level and find out that the illiteracy level of our children are appalling." —George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., January 23, 2004.

     Millions of Americans lacked insurance, each day facing financial disaster. In pretending to address the problem, the ex-Governor of Texas shifted emphasis away from rich gouging insurance companies and onto those who might seek relief from corporate malpractice.

     "Too many good docs are getting out of the business. Too many OB-GYNs aren't able to practice their love with women all across this country."-—George W. Bush, Poplar Bluff, Missouri, September 6, 2004.

     Two tyrants, Bush and Hussein, faced each other over a blood-spattered battleground. Captured, Hussein would be justifiably tried for war crimes. By having lied to force the country into war, by having the blood of thousands on his hands, Bush, too, qualified.

     "There is no such thing necessarily in a dictatorial regime of iron-clad absolutely solid evidence. The evidence I had was the best possible evidence that he had a weapon."-—George W. Bush, Meet the Press, Feb. 8, 2004.

     And yet millions of Americans supported and support the lying ex-governor of Texas. Why? September 11 had given him and his right-wing cadre the opportunity to achieve their long-determined goal, the seizure of Iraq and its richness. They grabbed that opportunity. A machine of propaganda forced connections, always in the name of patriotism. Yellow ribbons sprouted all over America, flags flew, patriotic pins decorated lapels, all to be read as support for the war. The spurious equation was repeated: The Twin Towers had been destroyed by Bin Laden and his bullies; Bin Laden was an ally of Sadam Hussein; Hussein, the dictator, was the president of Iraq. Iraq had to be attacked. Weapons of Mass Destruction were there! There was an imminent threat! If war was not taken there, it would be brought here! The message of fear was drummed over and over. The vast populace repeated it, until it was so. Lies became unassailable facts.

     "My views are one that speaks to freedom."--George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., Jan. 29, 2004.

     Ignorant but wily, Bush tapped into the deepest prejudices, always roiling under the surface of America, ancestral fears and grudges. Foreigners--dark foreigners--were lurking at every border, inside every building, waiting to take over the country, its institutions. Those suspicions, that brewing hatred, extended to everything that had struggled to triumph out of the quagmire of prejudice and repression. Women free to own their bodies? Homosexuals claiming rights? The poor demanding help and education?

     So what if 80% of the country believed Bush was "lying" or "hiding something" or "mostly lying." If he was lying--and, mind you, nobody said he was, the Lord love 'im--it was for a good cause; he was a Christian, right?--and God loved Christians and hated "them." Remember the axis of evil? Never mind that Bush came from wealth, private schools; he talked just like 'em, stumbled over words, acted just like folks, good folks, good Christian white folks, like them.

     He opposed birth control, right? Held no truck with fancy experiments to replicate and interfere with the Lord's works. No matter how deep the country sank under the expense of war and Haliburton's thefts, he championed "family values," even a constitutional amendment to deprive them queers of any legitimacy. Didn't he question the need for helping the lazy poor, providing health insurance to the indigent? Maybe not in so many words, no; but they understood him. He spoke their language. He was one of 'em. Sure, American boys were dying, but they were dyin' for patriotism, for love of country, for freedom, for America's safety, for God. So bring 'em on, them heathens! And he had compassion, Pres'dent Bush did, just like them, compassion for bereaved good, patriotic folks.

     After all, hadn't he shared their grief, hugged moms and dads?

     The grotesque banality of evil.

John Rechy
Los Angeles, California
October 2004

Back to top 


Original material by John Rechy appears frequently on these pages.

© John Rechy, 1999-2006. All rights reserved.
Original material may not be used without author's permission. 
For questions please contact