The Year of the Locust

do you know about the seventeen year locust? it lives on the eastern seaboard, and it was a part of my world when i was growing up there .... the female lays her eggs in slits in branches; the larvae hatch and drop to the ground, where they burrow in ..... it takes them up to seventeen years to mature; they emerge from the earth, shed their skin, leaving dried husks on trees and telephone poles, and they have locusts-gone-wild-spring-break for a week ..... i don't know if they stridulate, which is a great word and something that crickets do ..... that's where crickets rub their hind legs together to make their cricket noise .... but locusts, they're way beyond noisy--the sound of them fills the world in a kind of locust white noise, they're weird looking, and finding empty husks with bulging eyes everywhere was just the kind of experience little boys live for .....

if you've missed this, you haven't really lived ..... but don't despair ......

it's been longer than seventeen years since i've seen or heard a seventeen year locust, but i've been thinking about them recently ...... i'm thinking that our current crop of bulging-eyed republicans is kind of like this insect .... i mean, really .... it's like they went to earth in 1944, just as nazi germany was going down for the count; they stayed underground, with periodic forays out, where they sucked the juices out of roots, and then slowly, slowly, slowly, they've returned to the light of day and the surface world, where they want to suck the life out the constitution and the bill of rights and and their whining and screeching and shrieking fills the media air and just like those old nazis they're putting people in camps and they're invading defenseless nations and they're blaming all our problems on labor unions which they've outlawed and people who are different from them, meaning: not white and rich or poor, white, and stupid ..... we haven't gotten around to blaming the jews yet, but those darned homosexuals have destroyed our families and those darned aliens who are brown have taken all our jobs and that's why a white man can't work any more and we're no longer the united states of america, we've become "the homeland," only i don't know who we're home to and we're ready to supply our corporations with slave labor from our prisons, just like the germans did to i.g. farben and mercedes and messerschmit and bmw and ......

geez .... i don't know .....

our intrepid press has discovered that soldiers get hurt and don't get treated well by this administration .... you notice that i don't say "the government," because other administrations have treated their citizenry a little better than this one ..... it's only corporations and cronies that get the red carpet treatment here ..... ooooooo, they're saying; people got hurt ..... eeeeeee ...... some of them aren't treated nicely and have to pay for their meals after getting their nuts shot off and getting their brains replaced with teflon-coated alpo ...... aaaahhhhhhh ..... how could this happen in a "support the troops"culture of life?

i'm thinking, a few bad apples ..... just a few bad apples in the barrel can spoil the good times for everyone, can't they?

but i'm glad to hear that there's going to be an investigation ..... why, every time the government investigates itself i feel better, just like i did with the warren commission .... and the church committee ..... and how we investigate oil company profits every year ..... and how we investigated abu ghraib ..... and new orleans ..... and what other investigations am i missing? i know we'll find the bad apples that besmirched our name by blowing the whistle and i think we should send 'em over to eye-rak and put on ski masks and string 'em up, that's what i think we should do ......

what the press never seems to point out is that every fuck up, every shortfall, every horror, is a result of republican policies ...... medicare and social security, if they've got problems they'll be due to the republican policies that have failed time after time after time, just like the pundits and parrots who shriek out bullshit and nonsense about iraq are always wrong and still get headlines and no accountability and the same thing for abu ghraib and new orleans and the media keeps doing its job which is keeping us bovine and placid and enjoying our freedoms which is knowing what color panties are on anna nicole's corpse and i haven't heard about brittany's haircut for a while how can i keep with important things?

so much for the culture of accountability .....

hey, i see we're cracking down in baghdad again ..... ooooo ....we're cracking down ..... eeeeee ..... let's see; this is after "shuck and jive ...." i mean, "shock and awe ...." and after "all major combat operations have finished" and after "mission accomplished" and after "we've freed them from the tyrant" and "now they're free" and "aren't they free" and "shit happens" and you'd think that five years later you'd be able to cross the fucking street without an army battalion holding your hand but you can't, that's how free they are, and no one's being held responsible for--not just bad planning--but lack of any planning ......

oh ..... other than looting and privatizing and stealing and ripping stuff off ......

why, right now there is no "plan B" for "the surge ...."

other than ..... bomb iran .......

hey, i hear that the afghani opium crop is really good this year ..... like it was last year, and the year before, and the year before that ....

that's a good thing, because we'll all need to be whacking heroin in our eyeballs to deal with the devastation these republican locusts have brought on this country ..... good thing USAID showed them afghanis how to really grow opium efficiently, back when we were paying the warlords who now front the taliban to grow lots of opium so they could buy stinger missiles from us and other armaments so they could shoot at the russians who had foolishly invaded their country, even though the russians built schools and roads, which we've managed to destroy since we've liberated them from the taliban who were our allies before they became our enemies and i think they're back, too, living in executive suites up in waziristan with wi-fi and little mr. coffee machines and microwaves .....

and, of course, their stinger missiles .....

meanwhile, we have the dog and pony show of presidential politics ..... i don't think i'm going to last through two years of these assholes posturing and blustering ...... hillary wants to tell the electorate that she's got bigger balls than republicans do, and she's not afraid to fight ..... sigh ..... republicans are still doing the "abortion" thing and the "gay" thing and the "alien" thing ..... yawn ..... but here's what i really think, and i know you're relieved because i'm really tangential right now and i'd like to get to the point .....

here's the point .....

hey, democrats .... you want us all to think you've got balls? that you're "tough" and will be "tough on crime" and "hard on criminals" and all that good stuff?

go impeach bush ..... impeach bush and cheney and rice; don't tell me that you don't want to divide the country; that's already been done for you .... don't tell me you want to work in a bipartisan fashion; there is no bipartisan action with these sociopaths .... don't tell me that you don't want to distract the country and the government from the business at hand: the business at hand is to bring these criminals to justice, to uphold the rule of law, to ........

why do i even bother ......

people tell me, hey, dr. pete ..... don't despair! the democrats are holding hearings now! they've got subpoena power! it's like my boys have potty power now; they sit on the potty and wave their little fists around as they learn to control their bowels and bladders ...... yes, i think it's time for democrats to learn how to control their bowels and bladders, too ..... i can't even spin out an even marginal fecal metaphor for them ......

shit ......

next: dr. pete wipes himself

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
PETER KAUKONEN, San Francisco Bay Area guitarist, has played, toured, and recorded with Black Kangaroo, Jefferson Airplane, Jefferson Starship, and Johnny Winter.

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