Postcards from Buster Presents: A Cheney Family Christmas

2/8/2005

When Hermann Rorschach came up with the idea for the psychological test that bears his name, it was based on the notion that he could figure out what was going on in someone’s brain by their interpretation of “ambiguous stimuli.” Rorschach showed his subjects inkblots and they revealed their inner demons by explaining the meaning of the stains.

I don’t know how it worked exactly, but I imagine it went something like this:

Subject #1

Rorschach: What do you see?

Sane Guy: Um, it looks someone spilled ink on this blotter paper.

Subject #2

Rorschach: What do you see?

Crazy Paranoid Guy: I see a Godless cult plotting to overthrow all that is good and decent.

Tragically, Rorschach died in 1922, before the invention of television. If he’d lived long enough to watch people’s reactions to shows like “Sponge Bob Square Pants,” and “Postcards from Buster,” he could have saved a lot of ink.

So in the interest of advancing science, the Muse has updated the Rorschach test to account for the technology of TV. It works like this: you simply show the subjects an episode of “Sponge Bob” instead of an inkblot and you get:

Subject #1

Rorschach: What do you see?

Sane Guy: I see a cartoon about a sponge that lives at the bottom of the sea in a pineapple.

Subject #2

Rorschach: What do you see?

Crazy Paranoid Guy: I see an agent for the homosexuals that is part of the cartoon cartel determined to turn our kids into sodomites.

While this experiment was a simulation conducted for purely educational purposes, life does sometimes imitate art. And in this case I’ll be damned if it wasn’t the right Reverend James Dobson playing the role of “Crazy Paranoid Guy” at a Republican soiree the other night. Dobson warned the faithful that Sponge Bob was in cahoots with other notorious cartoon characters like Big Bird and Winnie The Pooh, and was plotting to “promote an agenda that involves teaching homosexual propaganda to children.” He pointed to a video made for “National We Are Family Day” as evidence.

Of course the first rule of dealing with “Crazy Paranoid Guys” is to check out what they say before accepting it as gospel. Several news organizations did just that and were unable to find any sexual reference whatsoever in the video (thus confirming the Muse’s diagnosis: a crazy paranoid guy).

Another unwitting volunteer for the new and improved Rorschach test is Education Secretary Margaret Spellings. Once a uniter, not a divider, who was responsible for bringing Ted Kennedy and George W. Bush together to pass the “No Child Left Behind Act,” Spellings has joined the ranks of the wild-eyed and is ranting about cartoons corrupting our kids.

One would hope that in a nation in which students think President’s Day commemorates furniture stores and that :-) is a word, our Education Secretary would be talking up the virtues of reading, writing and arithmetic. But there’s no time for fancy book-learning when there’s pesky rabbits out there promoting lesbianism.

I speak of the unspeakable “Postcards from Buster” series produced by the Communist-leaning PBS. A show so horrific and shameless that it openly displays its radical agenda on its Web site: “to build awareness and appreciation of the many cultures in America and to support the language learning of children in the process of acquiring English.”

A recent Buster episode entitled “Sugartime” raised the ire of sourpusses everywhere because it featured a blissful Vermont family that happened to be headed by two mommies. So incensed was Spellings that she spent the second day on the job writing a letter to PBS demanding that the show be pulled.

“Many parents would not want their young children exposed to the lifestyles portrayed in this episode,” huffed and puffed Spellings about the show, which portrayed a lifestyle that included the making of maple syrup.

This brings us to the title of today’s commentary, “Postcards from Buster Presents: A Cheney Family Christmas,” which by now you must have thought was a complete non sequitur.

Suppose Buster had sent a postcard from Wyoming, where he’d visited with Vice President Cheney and his family for the holidays. It would be interesting stuff, Dick would show off memorabilia from working for three presidents and maybe even give us a lesson on casting a fly line. Second Lady Lynn would impress with her considerable skills as a historian and writer.

Then that evening the Vice President would gather the family around the table, join hands and thank the Almighty for the blessings they’ve received–including their gay daughter Mary and her partner.

Would such a broadcast prompt the same outrage from Dobson and Spellings? Would a display of love, acceptance and tolerance from this conservative icon be met with the same scorn meted out to a cartoon sponge and postcard-writing bunny? Or would the religious right give it a pass because “Dick Cheney’s one of us.”

We’ll never know, of course, because Karl Rove and his ilk would not allow it. Showing Dick Cheney saying Grace alongside his lesbian daughter and her partner might get some people to rethinking their prejudices and deprive the GOP of the craven politics of gay-baiting.

And that’s why when the Muse looks into the inkblot that represents the unholy alliance of Republicans and the religious right I see duplicity and a mean, mean spirit.

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