Today is the day George W. Bush will once again take the oath of office as President of the United States of America. To celebrate, we bring you an excerpt from our upcoming first book, published by Random Werewolf Press, We and GWB: Notes from the First Four Years.
This volume, a collection of CSP political essays from the first GWB presidency, is still being edited, but should be available through major booksellers sometime in February or early March. We're very excited about it, and will, of course, keep you posted.
On November 2, 2000, I was in rehearsal for the first play produced by what would later become Lucid by Proxy (the theater company run by Shannon, me, and a handful of my close friends, including Jeanette and Rick, both of whom have contributed to this book). While Shannon and I were driving to Rick's house (where the rehearsal was to take place), Florida was called for Gore. By the time we walked into Rick's living room, it was being called for Bush. Halfway through rehearsal, no one seemed to know who would win Florida's crucial votes. By the time rehearsal was over, Fox, and others, had started calling it for Bush again.
That night was the first time I heard someone (my good friend John) say that if Bush were elected, he'd move to Canada. We all laughed, and agreed. But none of us really meant it. The election was disappointing, and none of us understood how this man, who most of us saw as simply an underqualified clown, could have defeated Vice President Gore. We worried about what this might mean for the environment, for the economy (Bush was already talking up his proposed tax cuts), and for stem cell research. Beyond that, though, we did not conceive of the serious damage this smirking, jovial, again, clownish man could do to our country.
The first few essays that appeared in Clark Schpiell Productions about President Bush and politics under his administration were humorous - light political satire aimed at a President who was a poor public speaker, and who had a history of deferring to his handlers. We were, after all, primarily an online humor magazine, or at least we were trying to be. Most of our content consisted of satire, scatalogical humor, and the occaisional book or film review. After September 11, 2001, that began to slowly change. More and more, essays focused on politics. More and more, the handful of writers who contributed to the site started to grasp the seriousness of the damage George W. Bush could do to America and her ideals and place in the world. More and more, these regular, mostly historically non-political folk began to respond in the best way they knew how - by writing about what, it their minds, was going terribly wrong. Clark Schpiell Productions, a tiny online humor magazine, began to transform.
This is the record of that transformation; how a handful of regular folks (most of us, for our day jobs, are cubicle jockeys) began to understand the impact of the first George W. Bush administration on the future of America, and how we tried, in our small way, to change things.
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