Mark Palermo

Do We Know His Family?

He Was Our S.O.B.
Long Ago Saturday Nights at the Circle 9
The Dark Side of Vaccinations
Wine: Where Ignorance and Pretension Find their Loudest Voice
A 1976 Journey in Search of Self
The Machinery of Mass Dreams
The Outlaw Georgie Bush
Sex Offender Registries Out of Control
Extreme Makeover for Airheads
The Fault Lies not in the Stars, but in Ourselves
Reconsidering George Carlin
If You Think Liberals Are Jerks...
She Couldn't Do Her Chores
Remembering Viktor Frankl
One Day on the Farm-1977
A Fresh Look at Meat
How the Real World Works: A Lesson
30 Bucks for the Human Touch
1929 All Over Again
An Old Man's War, A Young Man's Fight
More Things in Heaven and Earth...
Our Dumbed-down Public Discourse
Bread, But No Roses
Earth's the Right Place for Love
Read This Before Enlisting
Poison Is Good for You: The Fluoridation Scam
Ron Paul:He Makes Too Much Sense
War Is a Racket
Brazil's National Orgasm Day
Calling all Liberals!
Why I Don't Get Flu Shots
What is Community?
Haverhillicus Homocrisicum
If You Wanna Be a Junkie, Why?
Do We Know His Family?
Scam: Youth Sports
A Subsidy for the Human Touch?
How Not to Be Boring
If the Bread and Roses Strike Were NOW
America's Problem with the Body
Columbus Day? or Renaissance Day?
Depleted Uranium Weapons
Mitt Romney: A Clintonian Republican
A Checklist for Conservatives
On Torture and Torturers
Pimp of the Nation
Romney is a Jerk
Hypocrisy and its Champions
The Dumb Society
The Men's Taverns of Yesteryear
On Dittoheads!
Let China Sleep
2004 McDebates
Animal Rights Page
US Wealth Distribution Chart
Public Grief, Private Lives

You are a proud member of Rush's flock of dittoheads and you are dreaming. You are at the country club, a guest at an exclusive, black tie affair. You have cultivated the right contacts, contributed to the right causes, and went along when necessary. Now you are inside the very gates of the castle. All around you are limos, opened doors, fine clothes. These are your people, you tell yourself. And now you are included. How sweet it is.

You are seated at a table in the grand ballroom. Women are dressed in finery and understated expensive jewelry. The elites converse in subdued voices above the tinkle of silverware upon fine china.

You are served an aperitif. Looking to the head of the long table you see him, our leader, Mr. George Bush. He looks as though he is wearing an invisible crown. At his side is his mother, Barbara. They are conferring over something. It looks like a guest list. Barbra is pointing to a name over George's shoulder. Over on the dance floor Dick Cheney is dancing with Hillary Clinton. He is surprisingly light on his feet for a man with a bad heart. He is smiling enraptured with the Perry Como standards the band is playing. As he whirls Hillary to the music, her face lights up in recognition as she spots David Rockefeller. At the next table are Rush Limbaugh and Alec Baldwin. Smoking cigars, they commiserate over an age old dilemma- that good help is indeed difficult to find – even when one is willing to pay even MORE than the minimum wage.

An elegant woman in her forties asks you if you have tried the new wines from Carvone. Yes, you answer, the wines are slightly tart this year due to the rains, but I assure you they are still a good value. (If these people only knew about your youthful drunken nights in Lawrence's old taverns- where you smoked dope and drank Night Train from a paper cup- sometimes right out of the bottle and sleeping in the park.) No matter, you have ascended above it. Nobody suspects.

Suddenly the room appears warm. You feel slightly, imperceptibly uneasy. You become aware of a pair of eyes burning into the periphery of your consciousness. You are startled to see Barbra Bush at the head of the table, assessing you. Is she looking at someone behind you? No, it is definitely you. She says something to her son. You can just barely read her lips. "DO WE KNOW HIS FAMILY?" Her eyes are fixed on you, boring into you with a death ray stare. She turns to George, their eyes meet. A silent understanding passes between them. Barbara disappears.

Now the room seems strangely cold. Two tall men in suits approach your table. One addresses you. "A minor problem, Sir. Would you please come with us?" Their manner indicates that you had better comply. Conversation at your table stops. You make a joke as they escort you to the coat closet. One turns and says, "There was a mistake on the guest list. Another guest, John Kerry, is due to arrive and the management regrets that your invitation has been downgraded to make room for him. The management is aware of this inconvenience and has offered an alternative seating." You are shocked and embarrassed."John Kerry? This is Republican affair. I am one of you guys for Christ sake." Of all the guests in the function hall, they had to bump YOU? One of the men takes your arm and escorts you to the kitchen.

The kitchen is filled with domestic help: black people, Hispanics and old hippies with bad teeth. They are sitting on folding chairs and boxes talking, smoking, passing around a bottle. Motown music is blaring from a cheap radio. You are confused about what has just happened. A Mexican woman with a gold front tooth approaches you with a bean tortilla in her hand. She hands it to you. Sensing your confusion she says, "Don't worry, honey." You gonna have a better time here wit us." You sit down at the table amidst laughter and banter and the bottle is passed to you. A few hours ago, you would have been disgusted. They don't bother with cups. The bottle has been on everybody's lips. You notice the label. It's Night Train! You put it to your lips and take a long pull.

Then you awaken from your dream. You are no longer at the country club, but back in Kansas. Were you dreaming you were really invited to their party? That they accepted you inside the castle gates? That there is no difference between Democrats and Republicans? The dream has shaken you. You decide to listen to Rush this afternoon. Perhaps equilibrium can be regained. Twenty million dittoheads can't be wrong.