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VOL 3. NO. 30 Monday, August 6 - Sunday, August 12, 2001
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AGAINST THE GRAIN
The Invasion Of The Tax Snatchers
By C.D. ELLISON

Tax Rebate Celebration, AP Photo

No more than a week after the House banded like bandits in the night to ban human cloning, the Grand Ole' Party's Lower Chamber leadership conformed ahead with this ill move on the Capitol steps.

I was bugged out. This photograph above dropped me to the fuzzy state of conscious coma one must have felt in the aftermath of a Vulcan mind melt. The staged, Captain Crunchy Kodak moment caught by one mighty damn anonymous Associated Press snap shooter threw me into narcoleptic repression for the remainder of my dreadful 9-to-5 work week (which is the bull-ish Dr. Feel Good metaphor for what amounts to 60 hours a week and no life). It was all as if Leonard Nimoy re-appeared ridden with electronic mothballs from network storage, mumbling some nonsense about "Jim "

his spiked ear, King of the Nerds composure towering over my shoulders the instant racy eyeballs caught this on Washingtonpost.com

Time, motion, thought, touch - all essential interactive elements of human existence folded into suspended snap shots of animation. My mug dodged micro-sized, atom splicing minutiae in the quest for a correct analysis of the situation:

Everybody in this joint looked the same.

Now, unconcerned with the deprecating, self-humiliating impression this might leave, I lifted the laptop in gazing incredulity while looking for unseen malfunctions. Thirsting for a third-eye burst, the ThinkPad got twisted, turned, tagged and tackled. This couldn't be

But, it was. My gut buckled to fend off nausea. It was a disgusting, paisley patchwork of gray suits, white shirts and mousse-slicked toupees. There weren't even any women in the photo-op to add a little balance, a little maternal-nurturing, soft gender flavor to spice the image of a political party besieged by accusations of White maleness. These are the moments when activists on the left field (just as guilty) can poke fun at the "Gipper" Club - the moments when they leave themselves so exposed, but can't diminish enough of the culturally conditioning arrogance to really do something about it. Celebrating Republican Congressmen grouped across the Hill landscape like The Borg, all waving early received tax rebate checks in the air, cheesing staged grins and partisan taunts for the other side in a brief Broadway musical of tax cut zeal. "tax rebates Tax Rebates TAX REBATES - HO!!"

Dick Cheney's in the center, at the dais, his back hunched like a mad science experiment gone wrong.

Hill homeboy to the upper left of the photo didn't get the memo. He's sporting nothing but a tie and a white shirt - his colleagues, while cutting facial cheese, are poised to pummel him with soap bars in pillow cases later that night. "Insurgent!" We won't hear about him on the front page of Roll Call since he effectively shortened his political life in a brief burst of dissension.

"You refuse to follow the memo, dissenter?" queries Hill Clone 4 out of 10.

"What memo? Huh?" stumbles 3 out of 10.

That Black guy to the bottom left, that's the House Republican Conference Chairman Rep. J.C. Watts (R-OK) - yeah: unfortunately, he's the only one they got. The fate of diversity in the Republican Party rests on this lone soldier's shoulder blades. But, he's in for it, too, because his whitening cream didn't work. Cheney joked about it earlier during the rally, his displeasure veiled under that crooked, stroke-driven smile: "And we were like in the Rotunda yesterday telling J.C. that if he wasn't so dark, hell, he could be one of us! HA!"

That evening, the suspected radicals run through the cavernous halls of the House, each sweating profusely, tripping over flat marble while struggling to escape the clutches of cloned robotic sentries in pursuit: "Ex-terminate! Ex-terminate!"

These sorrowful souls failed to read the memo Vice President Dick Cheney circulated to White male Republican Congressional offices the previous day. Tax Rebate Rally Preparation Memo #77. Section 1.5: "The collective offices of the President and Vice President hereby instruct mandatory wearing of white shirts, gray suits and black wingtips for the scheduled Tax Rebate Rally. All Southern conservative Members - including House Majority Leader Rep. Dick Armey (R-TX) - are permitted to wear dark colored horse boots, pursuant to rules found in The Bible-Belt Party Clause. Please contact the Social Secretary in the First Lady's office for detailed instructions on tie coordination."

Arrggghhhh!!!! Conformists! My brain is blown into bits of fury and red tissue. No one but few will see what I'm talking about - I'll be labeled the corrosive, conspiracy-theory crackpot with nothing better to do than chase Aliens, X-Files and Black Helicopters all day. But, that's the price one pays for the critical third eye. I'd die without it. Everybody else be scammed! Fools!!! You revel in the glory of those taxed tax rebate checks, but fail to realize they are merely advances on next year's refunds. Meanwhile, those social programs and citizen perquisites we were all once so fond of will disappear under the thunderous weight of budget balancing, a trillion dollar tax cut (meaning less revenue to pay for government services) and that now shrinking surplus, slowly crunched and compacted into obscurity.

I wrote about that once: the sameness of it all. Thinking, looking, acting, interacting and voting the same. The rising, foul, toe-bending stench of sameness in American Democracy. My X-File remains active. The photograph was one isolated instant out of many - my quest for the truth is undeterred. Yes, I will uncover the truth

They lie! Human cloning isn't being banned. It exists - alive and well, it is. Living, breeding and spreading within the Congress.

C.D. Ellison is Contributing Writer to Metro Connection. He can be reached at againstthegrain@metroconnection.info.


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