I miss Phil Hartman terribly.  Mostly, I miss him as the Caveman Lawyer.  I practiced in a small town so most of the other lawyers seemed to emulate Matlock.  You know, the folksy speech with the jurors and such.  But, for me, I used the Caveman Lawyer mode.

I loved his softsell presentation to the jury.  “I’m just a caveman.  What do I know about your complicated justice system.”  And then, after laying out the case, he would stick the jury with the punch line, “But, I do know that this young man deserves millions of dollars.”  The Caveman Lawyer rocked.

Why am I blathering about the loss of Phil Hartman and his brilliance as the Caveman Lawyer?  Because I am just a semi-retired lawyer turned writer.  I don’t really have any journalism skills, like so many of you who write in the blogosphere.  If I did, I would fill this diary with wonderful citations and links and photos to illustrate my point, like so many of you do.  But, I do know that the Department of Homeland Security has been running some pretty fucking annoying advertisements for the last couple of years, and I would like to blather to you some more about those ads, if you want to read on after the flip.
You know the ads.  At least if you watch television, you have probably seen the ads.  They play off the same human fears that are used to sell tires, really.  The Department of Homeland Security pays a child actor to stand facing the camera.  The kid is standing in his natural habitat.  Some kind of white-suburban surrounding.  Maybe it’s the kid’s bedroom, or the den.  I don’t even remember.  I can only remember the kid looking into the camera and giving me this soliloquy.

The kid is asking me, the viewer, sitting in the kid’s parents shoes, a bunch of questions.  “Where should I go?  Will you pick me up from school?  Will we be safe?  Do we need gas masks and Saran Wrap over the doors?  What if the radiological bomb blows your face off, Mommy?”

The advertisements have always enraged me, since I read about the appropriation of money to embark on this campaign of propaganda.  As someone who doubts the existence of a sinister, cohesive enemy called “Al-Qaeda” with whom we are at war, I don’t really appreciate my government spending money trying to scare the shit out of my wife and children for no real purpose.  It is the 21st century equivalent of the little pamphlet I found in my junk draw in 1974, distributed in the ’60s by the Department of Energy, I believe, entitled something to the effect of “How To Survive the Coming Nuclear Holocaust Foisted Upon You and Your Family by Communists.”

Now, post-Katrina, the Homeland Security ads are really festering in my brain.  Because, not only were they unnecessarily scaring the shit out of my children for propaganda value, but they were propagated by a Department that has proven itself to be completely useless.  Strike that (as I used to say when a court reporter was taking down my long-winded, and sometimes errant, ranting).  They have proven themselves to be completely counter-productive.  If Homeland Security didn’t exist, I posit that perhaps thousands of deceased people, who survived the initial onslaught of Katrina, would be alive today, having been provided food and water by concerned agencies and individuals without the hindrance of this fucking ridiculous department, whose only purpose, it seems to me, is to scare enough people into voting for Bush so he can spend un-Godly sums of money on oil and The Carlisle Group and Halliburton and other entities that enrich his family and friends.

The thing that keeps echoing in my head from these ads is how they end.  Some line about, “You (meaning, me, and you out there) need to plan for these eventualities.”

I have to say, at this point, FUCK YOU!  You FUCKING IDIOTS.  You have spent billions of dollars.  You didn’t plan for the most obvious of probable occurrences.  Bush.  Cheney.  Rumsfeld.  Condi.  Chertoff.  Ridge.  Frist.  Hastert.  Delay.  Powell.  Brown.  That stupid new york cop who almost got this fucking job.  All of you.  FUCK YOU!

And, thanks for trying to scare the crap out of my kids with ghost stories too.  I tell them the real fucking ghost stories though, about how your fucking corporate greed has forced them to grow up in a world where global warming will likely force them into a life I could have never imagined.  You are truly pathetic people.

Thanks though.  I feel so much safer now that I have my own private plan about how to pick up my kid from school when Al-Qaeda strikes in the homeland.  Un-fucking-believable.

And the band just keeps on playing.  Down goes the ship, but so few of us seem very outraged.  Can’t fucking take it another three years and some odd months.  Not that anything is likely to change then, either.

Feels good to rant a bit though.  Afterall.  I’m only a semi-retired lawyer turned writer.  I can’t change the world.  I can only bang my fucking head against the wall.  Smash my fingertips onto the keyboard some more and type in caps.  But, I do know that this country started out on a course a few notches above this fucking shit we have now as a government.  I hope we as a people might take our leadership by the neck and raise things back up, on course.

0 0 votes
Article Rating