Saturday, May 20, 2006


One Nation Under George

I finished Z.M. Wagner's satire about a week ago, but haven't had the time to write about it. I generally don't read political books; sorry Kos, sorry Glenn, sorry Dave. They make my eyes glaze over and roll back in my head, sort of like reading about economics. "How can you say that, being a political blogger of some (what kind is up to the judgment of the readers) repute?" you may ask. When I read, I want to be taken to exotic places, engage my imagination in adventurous ways. I can't read policy. That said, I was approached by Wagner's publicist to review this book and if it weren't humor I would have declined. I get my laughs in Blogtopia (yes! skippy coined that phrase!) from the likes of Jesus' General, WTF is it Now??, World O'Crap, Sadly, No!, and TBogg, and Wagner doesn't disappoint.

Wagner begins his story in 2008, as a Regular Joe ("a liberal Jewish man from the East Coast") looking back on the Bush Era. A few pages in, the smile grows on my face as he describes the Neocon/Republican/Bushista rise to power; the little push here, the keywords for the base there, always believing the propaganda. Always from the point of view of the uninformed who don't see Fox News for what it is.

He goes on, Wagner's best chapters in my opinion, explaining how school reform under Bush has transformed the public school system; individuality, violence, teen pregnancy, and drug abuse a thing of the past as accountability is stressed and demanded.

The Army, short on manpower, is also transformed, thanks to Rumsfeld's vision, and a new 'convict army' is sent to Iraq and Iran, avoiding a Draft and fulfilling the need for new recruits. In short, jail sentences served as infantrymen.

In the world of President George, every aspect of life is managed by the government, all to the benefit of the public good. Order is preserved, and the only places liberalism is practiced are in the ghettoes of New York and Massachusetts.

Wagner made me smile, and at the same time scared the living shit out of me. For those unfamiliar, imagine the world of Jesus' General as all too real, and then realize, should the power of the Neocon cabal remain unchecked, it very well could be.

I only had one complaint about the piece, and a minor one at that, and that was with the editing. It's probably more subjective on my part, but I've had experience with lazy editors in my own publishing career. I would most certainly recommend you drop the twelve bucks for a very entertaining fast read.

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