|By Clyde Lewis
"Every era has a currency that buys souls. In some the currency is pride, in others it is hope, in still others it is a holy cause. There are of course times when hard cash will buy souls, and the remarkable thing is that such times are marked by civility, tolerance, and the smooth working of everyday life." -- Eric Hoffer
It has been an overwhelming week for me and all of the staff at the radio station where I work. We recently moved our studios from a third-floor communications building in downtown Portland to another communications facility that I refer to as the "strip mall". Here in our new digs, radio studios are sandwiched back-to-back, and staff from every radio format give quick hellos in the hallways as they rush from room to room like rats in a maze.
I have not been used to a corporate radio atmosphere since my days working news, when I had to answer to three different corporate entities.
There is an advantage here though.
I have met some very good people here. There are some who tell me that they are fans of my show, and there are others here who I have worked with in the past at other radio stations. So that takes away some of the agony of being a "new kid" on the block.
One afternoon I was standing outside having a smoke and talking politics with one of the engineers who calls himself "Hurricane." We were shooting the bull about politics and how it seems that there are a few legislators that are just giving up.
It’s no wonder.
Politics these days have become more paranormal than anything that can be dreamt up by Orwell or Huxley today.
Hurricane said that maybe I should run for office. I said to him that others have said that and I say no. Hurricane laughed and said "Are there skeletons in your closet?"
I said, "Well none that you know of."
Daria O’Neil, who is a well-known Portland television and radio personality, chimed in and said, "If anyone had skeletons in their closet it would have to be Clyde!"
She winked at me and I laughed.
Daria was kidding, of course, and if you knew her you would probably say that she is the best excuse for scientists to start cloning.
To know her is to love her and you wish there were more women like her.
We all finished our little meeting and I went back to my work.
As I sat doing my traffic reports, I was thinking about skeletons in the closet.
That led to thinking about digging up old bones, and that led to thinking about death.
Funny how my brain works.
I hadn’t thought about mortality in a long time.
I don’t know if I have ever written in an essay or article about my fear of death.
It all started when I was thinking about working as a bereavement or grief counselor for the funeral industry. It was something that a friend of mine had suggested. He was a funeral director in a small mining town in Utah, and he told me that sometimes it is helpful to have someone around who can calm the families when someone dear to them has passed away.
It is a requirement for grief counselors to have a positive outlook on life. Sometimes it is hard to be an optimist when a mother loses a child to a drowning, or a beautiful young girl kills herself because she is afraid that her parents will find out that she is pregnant.
I have been present for a number of difficult situations.
My fear of death is more than the idea of nonexistence; it is the fear that after you are dead you are basically a mess that needs to be cleaned up and then disposed of. I fear this even though I know that the body feels nothing, and that it won’t matter to me anyway.
My fear is that something might embarrass or harm my family after I go, and that I wouldn’t be able to change any of it, or defend myself in any way. Once you are gone, there is nothing you can do about the aftermath. You can’t change hurt feelings, or say good bye. People rummage through your things, finding personal things that you don’t want them to.
You expect to go with dignity. You expect that you will be respected and loved. You hope that the memory of you will be precious and valuable to those you love.
I decided that while many people kid themselves about the dignified death, there really is no dignified way to go.
The body goes through changes, and as it transforms it becomes blotchy and stiff. And after the embalming, the body is placed in a coffin and lies in the ground becoming a waxy, soapy mummy.
Many people are unaware that due to advanced embalming methods, most bodies that lie underground remain intact and would still be recognizable some decades later because of a little something known as adipocere.
People in the business call it "grave wax" or "mortuary fat", and the embalming process helps to transform Mr. and Mrs. Dead American into a morbid wax figurine.
This is known as saponification.
Saponification means, literally, to turn into soap. It is an unusual occurrence, dependent on factors such as humidity, temperature, the presence of clothing, and bacterial activity.
The fatter the person, the greater the chance saponification will occur.
Now think of this for a moment.
Due to the fact that most Americans prefer embalming to cremation, we are interring millions of people and these millions are turning into heaps of adipocere.
In fact we must be the adipocere capital of the world.
In ideal conditions, adipocere forms concretion. It becomes rocklike.
If we take these millions of bodies that have been buried in the ground and let them decompose into rocklike material, they will eventually return to the earth and be transformed over thousands of years. Man might become the very oil, the very fuel, that is used by some other civilization.
It is like something from "Soylent Green" where human bodies are used for food sources.
The fattening of the humans makes corpses that would yield better adipocere.
Perhaps the elite masterminds of this planet are aware of this. This is perhaps why they dwell in death and hold it so dear. The shedding of blood is a good investment.
Death means money. Bodies are a resource.
You bury all of your little assets underground and put nice cement markers on top of them.
This way you can remember where you left them.
This way you can always pull them up out of the dirt and kick them for a little loose change.
I know this is a sick thought. The morbidity of this little moment seems to be the only thing that captures the attention of people who want to experience the "shock" value of death.
It has to be shocking, violent, or morbid in order for it to really sink in.
As I have said before, the secret societies’ agenda is to gain control by using fear and guilt to traumatize you into accepting their agenda. This act of trauma-based compliance creates an acute dissociative disorder that disconnects the individual from self-awareness, other people and their feelings, external circumstances and time.
When it is used as a trigger mechanism to force you into reliving a moment, it can shock you back into thinking about that trauma and what it meant to you.
President George W. Bush's campaign released a blitz of campaign ads that used images of the 9/11 attacks and of firefighters removing a flag draped body from the rubble.
After Bush was criticized for using the images, the Bush campaign prepared a statement whose use of these images was very telling.
The campaign staff believed that the images were a 'very tasteful' portrayal of the nation's shared trauma.
First of all let us stop and say WHAT?
There is no tasteful portrayal of trauma. That is pure duckspeak from the Bush Campaign.
Hundreds of firefighters and police were among the almost 3,000 dead from September 11, 2001, and the families of some of the dead firemen were angry because they felt that the ads exploited their lost loved ones.
"It's a reminder of our shared experience as a nation. I mean, Sept 11 is not just some distant tragedy from the past. It really defined our future, The campaign is really just beginning today. Today, we go up on air with our television commercials. Today, the race is really on!" -- Bush's campaign adviser Karen Hughes speaking to CNN
It is sad really.
What is even more tragic are those who defend the use of the ads as a way to generate support for President Bush.
These people have developed a dissociative disorder. They have completely lost touch with other people and their feelings. They have cruelly disregarded the time that people need to heal, and they have somehow become so detached from reality that they believe that these ads will be effective.
Perhaps we are expected to give them the benefit of the doubt.
But I won’t.
They did this to be cruel and to manipulate others.
They are ghouls!
In May of 2002, the White House was already selling photographs of President Bush taken on September 11 as part of a GOP fundraising effort.
The photograph shows Bush aboard Air Force One, talking to Vice President Dick Cheney hours after the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee sold the picture, along with photos of the president during his State of the Union address and at his inauguration, to donors who contributed at least $150 to his campaign.
People cried out then that The President was using the tragedy of 9/11 as a tool for political gain, but they were immediately chastised by then Press Secretary Ari Fleischer.
"I think the Democrats are having a very difficult time coming to grips with the fact that this is a very popular president and what they do is they take some of the times that lend themselves to the president's popularity and they try to lash out without any solid basis about it."—Ari Fleischer defends the use of the tragic events of 9/11 for political gain.
Eventually the Bush campaign promised they would not use the tragedy of 9/11 for political gain again.
Most of us will agree that our eyes seem to focus on the looped images of the World Trade Center and the Towers collapsing. What must it do to us all internally when we see this again and again?
These images are indelibly etched into our psyche.
They know what they are doing; they know what memories this will dredge up. It seems that they think people have forgotten. I guess many have, because I have been reading in opinion pieces in the paper, and hearing on talk shows, that the September 11th tragedy defined Bush’s presidency.
So let us be literal for a moment.
Just for fun, let us suppose that if we looked in a dictionary, we were to find a definition for "Bush Presidency". According to the neo-cons and supporters of the president, this would be the definition:
Bush Presidency : (boosh pre’-z&-d&n(t)-sE,) : September 11th, 2001, one of the most horrible tragedies in American History.
I guess they are telling the truth. The Bush presidency is one of the most horrible tragedies in American history. Now, if we looked at other synonyms for his presidency, we would see:
See also: vampirism, skullduggery, arrogance, racial profiling, religious profiling, intelligence failure, national debt increase, wars, Patriot Act, intolerance, hypocrisy, hubris, Skull and Bones, Miserable Failure.
That’s only a drop in the bucket.
Oh, I know that supporters of the President will see this as sour grapes. If they do, that’s okay, because it seems that those who support him will fall for almost anything.
The whole exercise has me remembering a passage from Orwell’s 1984:
"For the moment he had shut his ears to the remoter noises and was listening to the stuff that streamed out of the telescreen. It appeared there had been demonstrations to thank Big Brother for raising the Chocolate rations to 20 grams a week. And it was only yesterday that it had been announced that the ration was being REDUCED to 20 grams a week. Was it possible that, after 24 hours they could swallow that?"–From 1984 George Orwell
The idea of President Bush using 9/11 as a campaign tool should raise a red flag about who is trying to benefit from the event.
He doesn’t care that he is exploiting the dead of 9/11 and neither do his staunch supporters. He is reveling in the death, destruction and tragedy.
He declares that it defines who he is. It defines what he stands for, it defines what he is proud of.
"It makes me sick. Would you ever go to someone's gravesite and use that as an instrument of politics? That truly is what Ground Zero represents to me."—Relative of a victim of 9/11.
This defining moment makes him what he has always wanted to be: a "War President."
What it really shows is that he is digging up the bones and adding up the adipocere. The more dead there are, the more tragedy he can claim that he is saving us from. It is all for his own gain.
It wasn’t enough to use the images for his campaign commercials.
He was at a groundbreaking ceremony for a new victims' memorial that is set to be built and finished by 2005.
New York Gov. George Pataki, former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, and Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., attended the ceremony.
Afterward, the group of politicians followed the President to a fund-raiser.
Bush has raised more than $160 million for his re-election and hopes to reach his goal of $170 million dollars.
"It was a major moment in our nation's history, It was a time when the enemy declared war on us. And as I tell people, war's what they got with George W. Bush as the president." – Bush defending the usage of 9/11 footage in his Presidential ads KTRK-TV in Houston
Yes that is exactly what we got with George W. Bush.
He not only exploits it, he is damn proud of it!
He declares it boldly on the pulverized bodies of Ground Zero. He stands at a spot where two 30-foot towers will be erected and a cement marker will be placed with the names of the dead.
This way he can remember where he left them.
This way he can always pull them up out of the dirt and kick them for a little loose change.
Copyright 1998-2007 Ground Zero Media, Clyde Lewis, and John Hart. All Rights Reserved.