No More Deaths
A friend of mine, Judy Plank of Remsen, goes to Arizona in the winter with her husband. The Planks work on the border to help Mexican immigrants. They give them blankets against the cold, for one thing. We need more of this and less of the Steve Kings and the Minute-Wackos in their orange caps with the earflaps pulled down who want to build a fence to the moon to protect who knows what. These people, these immigrants, are good people just trying to make some kind of life for their families. To learn more about how to help out Judy and the folks with the blankets, not the fences, write to her at: email@example.com
Real information, subversive information, remains the most potent power of all -
and I believe that we must not fall into the trap of believing that the media speaks
for the public. That wasn't true in Stalinist Czechoslovakia and it isn't true of
the United States.
- John Pilger, Unseen Lies, Journalism As Propaganda, Common Dreams
Is This Heaven?
by Mike Palecek
It is when you're a big star!
"Channel Nine Live at Five-OH!-Five! - coming to you ... NOW!"
It's me, dude.
Right in front of you.
On ... the ... TayVay. Move your foot.
How's it going?
What I love is how as a member of the Homeland Terror Squad, I get to wear all these
hats: Water Tower Spotter, Undercover Sheep Judge, Pinche Puta Store Detective,
Scarecrow, Bridge Inspector.
And now I get to be a member of the local news team.
My mother, Yahweh bless her dark, little terroristic soul, would not have believed
this, had she survived the interrogation.
I am on-air talent.
And so I get to wear this terror orange suit, of course, and all these nifty buttons:
"The Clouds Are Falling!"
"Stop Drop And Roll!"
"Just Say No To Terror"
"Journalistic Army Of One"
"I'm Embedded & I Like It"
"If it lasts longer than four hours, please consult a physician, veterinarian,
or your local Shrine Circus representative."
Okay, I'm back.
Commercial, we've got some time.
Today we got a visit in the studio, some big shots from the Homeland Broadcasting
Company, Herr Brokaw, Herr Rather, and someone carrying along a big color cardboard
photo of Herr Jennings on the tour.
They walked through, shook some hands, handed out buttons, toothbrushes. Those guys
have the whitest teeth. I am really going to start brushing from now on.
Just a minute.
"Are your children at risk from terror, from Al Queda? From Mexicans? Any Salvadorans
you don't know about on your school board? Well, you might need a deck of Good
Ol' Boy Sports Trivia Cards. Whip out one of these and pop the question to the
Who the f*ck was Joe Dimaggio?
Who the f*ck is/was Don Rickles?
Who the f*ck is/was Phyllis Diller?
"If they don't know right quick, then they are not from around here, are
they? Blow your orange terror whistle and have that sumbitch hauled off to the
county concentration camp.
"You can never be too safe, have too much money, or be too happy.
"We're Good Ol' Boy. New '70s Disco Edition Now Available."
Okay. I just have to do the news, now they'll run another commercial.
Anyway, you wouldn't think much would go on at one of these local stations,
but there's plenty.
We are on the front lines of terror. There are signs all over the
hallways and in the dressing rooms that remind us. They're like those old Uncle Sam recruiting posters.
"Okay, we're back. Thank you, Jennifer, for that on-site weather update.
You're kind of sweating. Take paradise, put up a parking lot. Just kidding. Little
global warming humor. Jennie?
"Well, we seem to have lost our live remote for now.
"On the local scene.
"What you need is an orange Terror Tinfoil Hat. Get one at your local newspaper
or radio station. If you stop by during Terror Month, you might get one autographed
by Matt Lauer, Katie Couric or one of your local television anchors."
Hey, I get a break now until the ten o'clock show, but it won't be much
of one. I catch a burger on the run, then it's down to shoot footage of the "Pit
Bulls & Rotweillers vs. The 9/11 Truthers and Evolutionists" in The Colliseum.
It might lead if I get some good bite shots.
Well, that's about it.
That's what we do.
We're Channel 9 News. We keep an eye on the world, so you don't have to.
Go about your day.
I got this.
From Terror Nation:
TN tells the story of Charlie Johnson, who lives in a small town in Iowa and is
placed into the local state mental institution for writing anti-Bush letters to
Charlie is recently retired from the staff of that same local newspaper. Here he is
writing to an old friend from the paper.
How goes it?
How's the job? Good for you. A real paper. Must be pretty neat.
I read something, about writing. How's it go now? You pretend you're writing
a letter to an intelligent friend.
If you've got one.
That's supposed to be the way to write best.
Don't explain too much. Expect your audience to pick up the jokes, the nuances.
Well, I didn't learn that until you left, I retired.
But I still doodle some, and I write like I was talking to you, old friend.
Secure the perimeter.
That's what you told me they teach you in the Marines.
That's the first thing you do when you set up a new camp.
Well, sir, this here is a "Letter From The Perimeter."
You are in a big city, bigger.
I'm out here on the plains, the trip-wire territory.
The first to go, the last to know. We are the grunts, the foot soldiers.
And I can tell you the perimeter is bleak, grey. No contrast, no depth to perceive.
It does not bode well for the real people in the cities, because this will drift
We are lost and not even searching.
We have not even the sense to know there is a precipice nearby, just cattle out
wandering wherever the grass takes us.
I would not say that we out here on the perimeter are over-run and in need of reinforcements
as quick as you can come.
Take your time.
Because we are merely dull and in need of something you cannot provide. I don't
even quite know what it would be.
We out here protect our own with a fervor, that's what interests us, moves us
along - while letting others die.
That is remarkable, at least.
Everyone, whether brother or mother, bum or best friend, must make it on his own.
Not to mention those in other towns, states, countries - whom we would rather
watch die than let our lives be diminished one percentage point.
That is it from the perimeter for today.
I will keep watch, let you know what develops.
Will be sure to inform you of any changes.
I like Terror Nation because I think it might possibly be cool to be a small town sports reporter who was put into the local mental institution for writing anti-Bush letters to the editor. And a dream of mine would be to cover Iowa sports or coach baseball and have that be good enough.
"If you haven't heard of Mike Palecek, you should have."
- Karris Golden, Waterloo-Cedar Falls [IA] Courier
"Palecek is ... a natural - or highly practiced - writer. With his rolling rhythms, everything he writes, even Charlie Johnson's brutal confinement, goes down easy."
- Russ Wellen, Intervention Magazine
Paperback: 496 pages
Publisher: Mainstay Press (April 4, 2006)
Amazon: click here
View Terror Nation Cover: www.mikepalecek.com