Thursday, January 04, 2007

Death* to Tyrants -OR- Snuff Said

(* full and unconditional pardon to American tyrants)

The long-running badly-written dark comedy known as The Saddam Show came to an abrupt yet predictable end when the show's star was executed in the final cellphone snuff video installment of the multi-network reality show. Some have said that the death penalty is too extreme a punishment, even for Saddam Hussein, and that a more appropriate punishment would be a life sentence, allowing the condemned to slowly contemplate his misdeeds and write autobiographies, as was the fate of the contemporaneously-deceased Gerald Ford and his mentor Richard Nixon. Others have contended that a lifetime spent justifying past decisions in endless interviews on Larry King Live is cruel and unusual punishment, prohibited by the US Constitution and Geneva Accords, to which the death penalty provides a quick and merciful escape. Still others argue that most people, given the choice of ruling their own small-to-middle-sized country as an absolute despot for 37 years but knowing at the end they must face the fate of Sadddam Hussein, would happily choose that career path. One imagines Ford and Hussein in a boat crossing the river Styx, each without the money to pay the boatman, but the boatman accepts a song offered by fellow passenger James Brown to save the day.

I remember Ford's guilty and shameful eyes as he pardoned Nixon, an expression of determination tinged with fear. Perhaps he thought angry mobs would raid the Presidential Palace White House. Or, maybe Nixon's plumbers had threatened him. He seemed less ambiguous in later years; either his acting skills improved or he was well-compensated by the Nixonists.

Justice is good, but hard to come by, and applied unjustly.

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