“We have this system of bribery. You do realize that you are represented by soulless cash whores. And when I say that, I mean no disrespect to actual whores.” – Bill Maher, 2000 HBO Special.
Imagine that a transglobal corporation pays off the ten-trillion-dollar national debt of the United States. (It’s $2.7 T now) And demands nothing in return. Well, very little in the grand scheme of things.
Now imagine that benefactor company is called Kittyland Corporation and spokesman and marketing masters Kathy and Kevin Cat (handy with global economics, too) hand out ears and whiskers for the president and his cabinet.
And they wear them.
Maryland resident, teacher and author Darryl Becker has imagined all this and more for the extended, 159-page punchline riff of a book called “All the President’s Costumed Characters.”
It’s refreshing to read about how a fictional president sells himself out for the sake of the country. It’s refreshing precisely because it’s fiction. The book is crazy – and funny – in a “Catch the joke before another one comes along” way.
The setting is a time in the very near future (47th president – you do the math), where cats are strong and humans are weak. A time when Kittyland invades every aspect of humanity, from TV to amusement parks to salsa marketed to world leaders by the president, offering a blind taste test.
A time when the president – only once out of office – becomes a clown.
Samuel Tilden Neilson is the 47th president of the United States; a simpleton who likes to think those around him have his best interest at heart.
His wife, Christina, transformed by the Thighmaster, is a hyper-streseed, under-sexed fitness nut; one who’ll ask her staff to “go on, punch me in the stomach. Go on wussy.”
Gerald “pollman” Cleaner is the deus ex machina behind the president. He’s got the power to change worlds on the spin of a whim.
Steve Jensen is a 94-year-old newsanchor who brings down the president with, not travelgate, Memoforgerygate, Plamegate or Contragate but Clothespingate.
Other, costumed, characters are: Jimmy Java, Doogie the Dog, Harry the Horse, Tommy the Turtle and Jerry-Jerry the Clown.
It’s a book where you’re the smartest person around, not least for choosing to read it. And perhaps this should have been mentioned earlier, but the book is not profane, yet, somehow still manages to skewers both the left and right sides of the political aisle.
Hollywood “creativity,” journalism, corporate greed and culture all get banana peels dropped in their path. Sincere fakery is the running theme.
Are politicians leaders or performers? Not sure you need to read this book to answer that question. But twisting your mind around this twisted satire is mind expanding.
On an official visit to Kittyland the president introduces his staff to Lois Woods, the balking secretary for Kittyland President Alex Lattimore, who doesn’t recognize him:
“To show how crucial some of these advisers and staff members are, I’ll point out a random three of them, who don’t even play golf.”
Neilson walked over to the staff members.” By the way, the guys with the cool looking sun glasses are the Secret Service.”He pulled the three members out of the line and escorted them over to Woods. “This is the Under Secretary for Micronesia, the gentleman next to him is the Deputy Secretary of Commerce in Charge of domestic Beers, and last but not least is the Deputy Assistant Press Secretary in Charge of Clipping Out Articles on O.J. Simpson.”
…. I can tell you unequivocally, my staff is made up of loyal public servants. They serve for love of country and not for money, although most of them do dig appearing on all those cable talk shows, and God knows CNN and Fox couldn’t exist without them. The ones who aren’t comfortable doing TV we let appear on MSNBC, at least their relatives will be watching.”
Anyone can order the book by calling 1-301-865-0139 or by e-mail, PINERS @ msn.com. The total price of the book, including mailing cost is $12. For readers of Blogcritics this reviewer will give the first 25 people who buy it and mention Blogcritics.org to Mr. Becker a $5 discount.
You’ll have to e-mail me – writer @ templestark.com – with your address and after I confirm it with the author, I’ll send you a crisp $5 bill. And after I mail it, I’ll promptly forget your address.