By Clyde Lewis

There is a book that is kept in the drawer of most hotels. In it a being creates the heavens and the earth. All done in six days and on the seventh the being sat back and said "This is a good thing." On the eighth day man made inferior and second rate counter parts. Through the Millennia that followed the so called wisest of men have been able to manipulate, and change everything from history to the human body itself. What I am about write about is hopefully the growing pains of a new century. Hopefully it is an amusing passing phase. If it isn't we may find ourselves amused to death.

On the morning of my 38th birthday I had an interesting experience. I was just crawling into my bed and was just closing my eyes and the phone rang. Indeed I was a little startled because it was after 3 A.M.

I answered the phone and a woman was speaking to me. I didn't recognize the voice at first and then I heard her say "Clyde Jim has left to go to Seattle for a Star Trek convention and the police are next door because someone tried to break into the market." It was Cheri; my friend Jim's roommate and she sounded a little scared to be home alone.

That woke me up.

The Ross Island Grocery is my morning hang out where I can drink coffee and make conversation with the neighbors and with both Karla and Rhys who are very intelligent and very lovely ladies who work there. The market is a small neighborhood market and has the atmosphere of a fine European market. I hang out there because it's a community center, it reminds me of an Argentine Market that I hung out in when I lived in Buenos Aries, and of course the girls.

To think that the place where I warm my whistle has been broken into was an outrage. The idea that my best friend's roommate was scared got me out of bed and into my clothes. My heart racing I ran up the hill and thought, is this some sort of ploy for a surprise party?

That would be odd. A surprise party at 3 A.M.

Knowing me, it wouldn't be too out of the question considering some of the parties I have been to and some of the people I associate with. Who do you know that had a birthday party on the air with Lloyd Kaufman of Troma motion pictures, a whole herd of amateur wrestlers and a Drag queen named Harvey Hardcock? There are some memories you can tell the grandkids when you are old and drooling.

Cheri was happy that I came by and we drank wine into the wee hours of the morning just talking about how strange the world has become.

I was telling her that it was like a Batman serial from the 1940's. The evil doers were plotting against the United States and the United States was preparing to attack the dreaded "Axis of Evil." We are mimicking scenes from a "Commander Cody" Movie serial, or worse an Ed Wood film.

I mean take a look at a famous speech by Bela Lugosi in Ed Wood's "Glen or Glenda:"

"Beware. Beware! Beware, of the big
Green dragon that sits on your
doorstep. He eats little boys!
Puppy dog tails! Big fat snails!
Beware. Take care. Beware!"

Doesn't the spirit of that speech reflect the constant trigger phrases that are being churned out on a daily basis from Washington?

We are being told that a bogeyman is hiding at every turn. We are asked to do strange things as if it was a giant prophylactic to protect us from the evil ones.

What I am referring to is some of the most illogical actions and silly Simon says behavior that I noticed prior to the super bowl, and the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. I was laughing out loud when I read the news that a man who committed the crime of urinating 25 minutes before landing in Utah was facing 20 years of jail time because air marshals claimed he was interfering with a flight crew.

The man violated something known as the "30 minute" rule that came from out of nowhere from the FAA concerning flights into Utah during the Olympics. If that isn't comical enough the "Air Marshals" then ordered the passengers to put their hands on their heads and keep them there for the rest of the flight!

To add insult to injury one of the hostesses on the flight felt that he was suspicious because he was a large gentleman leering at her in a weird way. I would too if I were being detained by authorities and noticing that the passengers had their hands on their heads. What next, the hokey pokey?

I don't know about you, and already this will be interpreted as a politically charged question but don't you feel like you are in this surreal movie where we are being led by the keystone cops? Have you noticed how the headlines look like those headlines that spin into the scene and the orchestra swells "Duh ta dum?"

Never in my life have I seen such blatant lunacy happening all around us. A world where up is down, beautiful people are the ugliest, black is white, and black and white are red white and blue.

There are so many examples of out of the ordinary activities and people are so desensitized. Either we are numb, mind controlled or stupid. I can't believe what I am witnessing.

When the President was on his whirlwind tour of the orient he stopped off in Japan to speak with the Diet in Tokyo. He spoke of unity between Japan and the United States and as his brain began to congeal and develop the consistency of a novelty rubber turd he not only caused a run on the yen by using the word devalued instead of deflated but once again confirmed our fears that our president is semantically challenged. Most news authorities claimed that it was the president's only gaffe. However the media must be falling asleep during President Bush's speeches and give him good marks because they have joined the moron club too.

They choose to avoid the bleeding gaffe where the president forgot about World War II.

"My trip to Asia begins here in Japan for an important reason. It begins here because for a century and a half, America and Japan have formed one of the great and enduring alliances of modern times. From that alliance has come an era of peace in the Pacific. And in that peace, the world has witnessed the broad advance of prosperity and democracy throughout East Asia. From its very birth, our alliance has been based on common interests, common responsibilities and common values."

Not easy to see with the naked eye, Many of us have developed a blind eye when it comes to Bush's faux passe. He inadvertently forgot all about World War II and the fact that we dropped an Atomic bomb on the Japanese. Yet for a "century and a half" we have been one big happy family with the Japanese.

This happened ironically after Vice-president Dick Cheney appeared on The tonight show with Jay Leno and claimed that the American people appreciate the "simple straight talk" that Bush is famous for. This after the "W" was criticized for his harsh words and declaration of war against countries he called the "Axis of Evil." Well we are not seeing "simple straight talk" we are actually witnessing "talk, straight from a simpleton." Don't expect the transcript at the Whitehouse website to reflect the gaffe. It was immediately reworded to reflect "half" a century. I expect history books to reflect the same. After all if they can alter transcripts of the presidents screw-ups what else are they able to manipulate without you knowing.

We are constantly being told about the 80 percent approval rating of Bush and yet it seems that we have fallen short of objectives. We are allowing for freedoms to be taken from us because we are told it is necessary for homeland security. However if the threat of terrorism was to be wiped out over night I think that it would be safe to say that a powerful government who has been handed more power, will not surrender it willfully and quickly.

The threat of terrorism needs to exist. We need to be reminded of how frightened we are. We need to encourage overcompensation for acts of murder. It is similar to the cold war bomb scares where we were told to duck and cover.

The fear needs to be fed and the enslavement is running it's course little by little. I have been hearing over and over again from people who see that microchips are on the ready for implantation. They claim that they will never accept the chips. To do so would be anathema.

However the alternative exists. The alternative is to continue to have security checks, seizures and inconvenience on a grander scale. The alternative is to say "how high" when the government tells you to jump.

It is illogical for a country to continue doing what it is doing in order to combat terrorism.

We must realize that terrorism is nothing new. We all run the risk of being murdered. We run the risk of dying in a bombing. We run the risk of being taken in a hostage crisis, but let's face facts.

You will probably die in a mediocre and mundane way.

In the big picture these horrifying ways of dying happen less frequently than we are lead to believe. How many times have we been warned about terrorist threats that have never transpired?

If one or more terrorist attacks were to have been carried out on the United States then the security precautions that have been put in place are null and void.

We have been led into a time of "unreason" a time where common sense comes in second place. All for the benefit of keeping puppets on strings.

It seems that all that is being offered to the American people are opinions that seem to find their way in our print, and audio visual media from mediocre people who are projecting an exaggerated amount of self importance.

The 9/11 tragedy has been a great way for certain people to advance their careers and to join in the fray of waving the flag and wagging the dog. We are viewing the grand illusion. Patriotic images are being flashed on the screen everyday. Songs are being written and performed and news reporters are finding new found celebrity status if they play the game of the "majority."

We are now being programmed to believe that image far outweighs substance. If they look like a leader then they must be a leader. If they look pleasing to the eye than it is only wise to assume that they are the ones that we need to emulate.

It was a sad day for journalism when everyone was discussing the sex appeal of Paula Zahn or the lack of sex appeal that plagued Greta Van Susteren.

But that wasn't a problem for Greta a few lifts and tucks and she looked like a completely different person. It had such an impact that she ended up on the cover of people magazine.

Meanwhile the curve for young girls is being set by Britney Spears, a mediocre pop star that only seems to have these great vocals in a studio but never live on stage.

Maybe someone can ask Justin Timberlake if she even lip synchs her orgasms? I am not the only one who is tired of the force feeding of this Barbie doll image. Recently posters all over New York Promoting Britney Spears on HBO were defaced signaling that some people are tired of the artificial bombardment of superficial flavors of the month.

Posters of Britney Spears were defaced at New York Bus stops and subways. This signals that there may be a backlash against image over substance. In the meantime you are most likely to be overlooked for a promotion or looked at as a possible criminal suspect if you are considered undesirable.

What message are we sending out? Is intelligence and competence taking a backseat to style and image? Seems like we believe what we see and only what we see. Even if it is manufactured pap to get you to fall in line.

How many people are detained at airports for just looking like terrorists? How many times have you eyed someone thinking that they may be suspicious because of their skin color or ethnicity?

As you can see a new class warfare is breaking out. A backlash is in the works. You may not see it now but it is boiling underneath the mass that seems to drown out common sense.

Your image pins you to a character. Your look could already make you a suspect.

The irony is that the biggest crooks and criminals of all are all wearing three piece suits and have places of power. Do we need to forget that Ted Bundy was a very handsome killer? He had charisma; he had the ability to trick people.

This is the magic of the devil.

The black magic that is being used to entice you to follow. The magic that is imperative to get you to fall into an abyss. All the saber rattling seems to be working. People are eating it up.

When 9/11 happened it was beamed into every home that America was changed. It was most certainly was changed. It seems that it gave license to idiots to make knee jerk decisions that in future will be hard to let go of. You may be saying about now that I have become cynical and jaded. Well what else is new? Someone is pulling the strings and we are becoming a parody of ourselves. We are showing the world how shallow, mediocre, paranoid, materialistic, artificial, and easily duped we have become. The preponderance of the evidence demonstrates that we are no longer allowing criticism of our leaders for fear that we would be looked upon as being unpatriotic.

We are told that if we bring up the literal raping of the American people with the Enron scandal we are aiding the terrorists. We are told that we are jeopardizing the war effort. The media gleefully and without shame allows our president to spew out all kinds of hate speech and saber rattling without questioning or taking him to task on his policies.

You have seen how bad it gets when one questions why we live in such a crazy world. I have been accused of being a Bush hater, an anti American, and an uninformed left wing extremist kook.

Well there is always the cherry to top the fruitcake. Here is the biggest one of all.

George W. Bush has now been nominated for the Nobel peace prize.

A man who from a pulpit at his state of the union speech declared three countries the "Axis of Evil" which is the equivalent of declaring war. While these countries have claimed that they will fight-we have already surrendered.

We have surrendered our intellectual integrity.

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