Is This SuRreaL oR wHaT?
by Gilles d'Aymery

December 12, 1998

Story 1

Gore, of Al Jr. et al, VP, VIP and perennial dreamer of new age thinking in an old body, talks of our shining future in terms of "practical idealism." Wow! Martha R. Ingram, chairwoman s'il vous plait of Ingram Industries Inc., in Nashville, TN, where God is being reborn on a daily basis, makes a private gift to Vanderbilt University, through the Ingram Charitable Fund, of $300 million presently valued stock in Ingram Micro Inc.That's being idealistically practical with a lot of ingrammes attached. It adds weight to the gift. Now, if practicalities are not your peanut butter daily regimen, you may want to try realistic idealism. Like this young woman in Italy all dressed up in her wedding gown worth $6 million for all the diamonds sewn on it. She'll give some to charities, she said. In the real world, one keeps a wedding dress in moth balls for later-year memory lane. Not when you add idealism to reality. Let's be charitable. 'Tis the time of the year after all, the silly season. What do you want for Xmas? A mini reverso for madame, a diamond and ruby watch by Jaeger-LeCoultre? It's only $338,800 at Asprey & Garrard, 725 Fifth Avenue, but of course, in New York. You can order through the Web and they deliver by Concorde. Hey, it's only money. Last October, in preparation for the coming festivities, Americans spent 0.2 percent more than they earned. According to Schumpeter who's back in vogue, it's called 'creative destruction'. Postmodern idealism rhymes with capitalism. Don't forget to send your $10.00 worth of old clothing to Honduras. You'll feel good. Be a sport!

Laughingly outrageous.

Story 2

William Jefferson Clinton -- I love saying that, William... pause... Jefferson... pause... Clinton... pause, I savor the sound of it all, lick my lips, and imagine his savoir-faire. WJC is in great pain, emotional pain, stressful pain for his self-inflicted high crimes and misdemeanors. Contrite, his heart filled with sorrow, he departed for the Middle East where lies, once upon a time, were first invented, and remain true to this day. On his way back, he should stop by the Wailing Wall and shed a few more tears. Then, in a stop over at the Vatican, he should seek forgiveness and blessing from the Pope. You've sinned, my son? I've sinned, father; mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. Sorry, can't report the full confession, but absolution he'll get and prayers to say aplenty. Traveling from Rome to Delain, France should take him an hour or so. There, he could call upon the exorcist who rid the village church of devils who had sent candlesticks flying and ask the brave man whether he could take care of the Senate. The last step for recovering the trust of the American people should take a few minutes of prime time at the rose garden. He could simply kneel, kiss the ground, and sing "I've seen the light, Alleluia. Thank God Almighty, I've seen the light; I'm born again!" Even Henry Hyde should be impressed by that one. It's called white lies deconstructionism.

Laughingly grotesque.

Story 3

In a letter to the Editor, The New York Times, November 23, 1998, Nicholas Cunningham, M.D., writes on behalf of a team of pediatricians and child welfare specialists sent by the American Friends Service Committee to assess the impact of the sanctions against Iraq. "...And having witnessed the suffering firsthand, we verified that the sanctions are having a devastating effect on children. Malnutrition and infection are claiming the lives of hundreds of thousands of children, rich and poor. Those who survive are at risk of permanent disability, both intellectually and emotionally."

Read in an OP-ED on October 12, 1998: "A six-week-old girl...died of malnutrition because her young mother had failed to breast-feed her adequately." The mother had taken the baby to the hospital but "the baby was turned away because her mother did not have a Medicaid card for the child and could not pay $25."

Still laughing?

Published December 12, 1998
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