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The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society
Miscellanea and Ephemeron

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10/04/2004 Archived Entry: "Book Review: The Bush Junta"

The Bush Junta
Edited by Mack White and Gary Groth
Publisher: Fantagraphics (Release date: October 5, 2004)

Review by Ginger Mayerson

You know you're living in interesting times when cartoons and comic books are now didactic as well as entertaining and have pages and pages of endnotes. Joining TEX on the comics barricades, please welcome The Bush Junta. These two books might not have gone over the barricades, but, in some ways they have gone over the top. But these are the times we live in; mellower voices have been drowned out by the rightwing rant of Fox "News" and talk radio and all those other scary people who think the rights and protections of the Constitution should only be available to those who can afford them. Oh, and the bush family has been covered in blood, swimming in it really, since the 1930s. I knew they were bad; now I know how bad.

There is a lot of well documented information in this collection. I can see it being used as a supplemental U.S. History text when the dust settles (if it ever does) and future generations try to figure out what the hell happened to our country in the first four years of this century. All I can say is that I could have used a book like this on Nixon and Reagan eras.

There is a lot of well documented polemic in this book; an outrageous and outraged quality that might be a turn-off for some readers. I say to those readers: buy a copy of this so your guests will know how cool you really are and then go read something else, like Joe Corson or Eric Alterman or any of these books. These are outraged and outrageous times we live in; some books are going to reflect that more than others.

The soul of The Bush Junta, the one comic that I put the book down to think about after I read it, read it again and thought about it some more, is Carol Swain's contribution, "Florida 11/7/00", a beautifully told story of a black woman's thwarted attempts to vote in Florida on 11/7/00. It will break your heart. For all the carrying on and shouting, this one simply told story of a citizen trying to be a good citizen and not being allowed to be so due to forces that I will not hesitate to call wicked, if not evil, reminds us that what we stand to lose to the bush junta is vast and worth fighting to keep.

The sane populations of the United States are fighting the bush junta with everything they've got. From blogs to comics to concerts to arguing with total strangers in the grocery store, the Left has finally figured out that the world does not run on love and turning the other cheek just gets you smacked twice. Backing down is not an option when your back is against the wall. Can we ever go back to being lovers instead of fighters? Well, maybe someday. But for the foreseeable future we're going to have to fight the present as well as the past. The Bush Junta is a welcome arrow in the quiver. For now, it explains why we must vote bushco out of office so Kerry can fix the international situation and Edwards take on the domestic mess. In the future, it will explain why we had to vote bushco out of office to save the world. You think I'm kidding? I'm not kidding, but don't listen to me, listen to Ted Kennedy on just one area of, um, hysterical (for me) concern:

The Effect of the War in Iraq on America's Security
by Senator Ted Kennedy
Remarks delivered at The George Washington University
Published on Monday, September 27, 2004 by CommonDreams.org

And in addition to that: North Korea has nukes, oil got up to $50 a barrel, health care costs are rising three or more times faster than wages, tens of thousands of people have died in an illegal war in Iraq for non-existent WMD, the Taliban are back in Afghanistan, there's probably going to be a draft, and John Ashcroft is still Attorney General and NO ONE in the bush junta sees any of this as a problem. Job One is take our democracy back and vote these monsters out of office. And if you need still need convincing or just need something to read at the polling place, allow me to recommend The Bush Junta.

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