Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Stopping by Bushes on a Snowy Evening
I know I’m a little late on this bandwagon, but I haven’t really heard much from the blogosphere on it, so we now present the WULAD Literary Team’s analysis of President Action Figure’s ode to his beloved spouse

Dear Laura,
Roses are red, Violets are blue,

Here Bush makes use of a cliché to establish his tone as firmly in the ironic, post-neoclassical idiom.

Oh my lump in the bed, How I've missed you.
Roses are redder, Bluer am I,

A sudden turn toward the Confessional school, this is the emotional center of the poem and could easily have been written by Lowell.

Seeing you kissed by that charming French guy.

Undoubtedly a reference to Descartes, and the manner in which conservative thinkers have “kissed” Laura with the influence of Cartesian philosophy in opposition to the deconstructionalist methods of the Leftist academy.

The dogs and the cat, they missed you too,

The “dogs” are of course those members of his administration who support Bush’s world view of the United States as a benevolent superpower that rules by example but carries the will to take any action necessary to protect its interests and those of its geopolitical allies. The “cat,” Sec. of State Colin Powell, keeps a statesman’s eye on the proceedings and is a duly skeptical voice as compared to the generally non-disagreeable “dogs.”

Barney's still mad you dropped him, he ate your shoe.

This line is ambiguous; Rep. Barney Frank and the House Democrats? Or Solomon Smith-Barney and the other titans of the financial world? And what is Bush suggesting with the aggressive metaphoric imagery of the eaten shoe? This may be a question left to future scholarship.

The distance, my dear, has been such a barrier,
Next time you want an adventure, just land on a carrier.

Bush closes the poem by returning to the Americana-tinged realism of his Texas upbringing; his assertive repudiation of standard meter smacks of a rejection of the “science” of poetics in favor of a radical, populist approach to art. However, it is impossible to ignore his reference to the intrinsically isolating act of “land[ing] on a carrier”—as Baudrillard said, “Postmodernism is a flow of ultra technological images in a consumerist hyperreality across a mediascape or mindscreen to which we can only passively surrender,” and what more technological image could Bush present than his own staged appearance before his charges on the USS Abraham Lincoln? Further, is he referring to the actuality of the experience, or the deeper, more personal “landing” on the USS Abraham Lincoln he—and by extension, every citizen of the postmodern global village—carries within himself? At best we may only claim a brief glimpse within the consciousness of the man; additional insights will have to come from Bush himself.