looks like George W. Bush will be canceling the
St. Paddy's Day bash in the White House this year.
No more green beer and bad singing, no more green
cake and carnations. Mr. Bush will just have to
spend the day all by himself, watching reruns of
"The Quiet Man," and reciting ditties
his mother read to him at bedtime. Or perhaps he'll
play the tin whistle and dance a merry gig about
the oval office, celebrating the power bestowed
upon him to spoil parties, and pretending that he
alone knows what's best for Mother Earth.
I won't be lamenting the lack of festivities in
the White House. After all, I've never been invited
to these bacchanals, and so I'll not miss hearing
Mr. Bush sing a sorry ballad. What confuses me is
why anyone who wants to build a better world would
agree to celebrate inside of a house where wars
are planned, coups are plotted, threats against
other nations are contrived, and deception is celebrated
as a Christian virtue. Why would anyone who cares
one wit about peace or social justice, in N. Ireland
or anywhere else in the world, want to spend the
day with a man who believes he was anointed by God
to kill women and children in order, he says, to
promote justice? Sure, I can understand why Irish
politicians would want to be photographed on the
White House lawn, but why they would then enter
the portals of the Lie House is beyond my comprehension.
I'm sure the food is delicious and the gargle the
very best, but wouldn't spending St. Patrick's day
in the White House be a bit like celebrating Columbus
day with a Mafioso don?
Bush's ostensible reason for canceling the Paddy's
Day blast is that he suspects some politicians in
N. Ireland might be telling stories, but isn't that
what politicians do so very welltell stories?
Why would G.W. object to other politicians telling
stories, when he is a connoisseur of falsehoods?
Sounds a bit to me like the pot calling the kettle
black. Or maybe the resident in the White House
was worried that some of his invited guests might
excel at telling yarns. Having listened to Mr. Bush
for the past four years, I, personally, would think
twice before trying to out-story the man. I mean,
think what you want, Mr. Bush is a real fine liar.
So good that millions of Americans voted for him
because, they said, he could be counted on to tell
the truth. Poor Bill Clinton. Everyone knew that
he was incapable of sorting fact from fiction, and
even his enemies had to concede that the man could
spin a fine yarn with the best of them. Yet compared
to G.W., William Jefferson Clinton is an amateur
wish I could hold my own St. Paddy's day bash. I'd
start out by inviting politicians from all over
the world, based upon their ability to tell stories.
I would create a kind of electronic lie detector
test and administer this test to prospective guests.
On a scale of 1-10, competitors for the party, potential
guests would have to score 8 or above. My invitations
would congratulate winners on their ability to fool
some of the people all of the time. Then, I would
provide the rules for attending my bash. Each politician
would be required to tell a ten-minute story. Those
who told even one line of the truth would be disqualified
immediately. Anyone who resorted to historical accuracy
would be asked to leave the bash. A panel of experts
in the art of political rhetoric, glittering generalities,
and brilliant self-serving falsehoods would listen
to each yarn, then declare one winner and one runner
up. Losers would be offered tips on how to improve
their story telling abilities, and given the chance
to enroll in my new school for politicians who wish
to be remembered for their tall tales.
I'll send this party scenario to Mr. Bush, and perhaps
he will reconsider his decision to slam the doors
on those who hoped to attend his St. Paddy's day
even if G.W. decides to hold the biggest party ever
in the White House, he will have to disqualify himself
from the yarn-telling competition. I'm sure he will
take it as a compliment when I explain that he is
one of the greatest liars the world has ever known;
therefore, it would be unfair to allow him to compete
with invited guests. Instead, he can act as a judge,
rating the skill with which guests create their
own fantastic world order.
will the prize be? A life-long invitation to drink
green beer, sing sad ballads, and tell outrageous
stories in the house where lying is now a form of