This is our serial of the hilarious new book, The Profiteer by Jason Coe, about your favorite ex-president. If you can’t wait to finish this book then buy the full version on Amazon.com.
Chapter I. The Coming of the Chopper
George, the chosen one, the grandson, son, brother, father and uncle of chosen ones, who was a dusk onto his day, had waited 8 years in the White House in the city of Washington for the helicopter that was to carry him back to the land of Texas.
In this eighth year, on the 20th day of January, in the month of pardons, he climbed the White House fence, and looking westward, beheld his chopper coming with the mist. The medallions of his flightsuit were flung open, and his joy leapt sweetly over the Potomac. He prayed quite loudly, and with a lot of amens.
But as he descended the lawn toward the helipad, an unease came upon him, and he thought in his heart:
“How shall I go in self-righteousness and without subpoenas? Nay, not without justifying myself shall I leave this place.
For long were the nights of mumbling spent within its walls, and many were the kernels of microwave popcorn caught in a row- 73, the night we bailed out AIG, was the record, by Condi.
Too many times was I lost in its hallways, and how many tour groups were too late to help me find the nearest bathroom. And of the thousands of times I ordered KFC, Laura only caught me wiping my hands on the draperies twice. Truly, who can withdraw from such memories without an O’Doul’s and a heartache.
Today, it is not a Commander-in-Chief ballcap I tear off, but my secret service beaconed underwear as well.
Yet I cannot dawdle. The wild blue yonder calls me back onto her bosom, even as I never passed my flight physical. For to stay another term is yet beyond the power of voting machines. But in offshore accounts shall we take all that was here and all that will be collected for the next 100 years.
Alas I cannot take the very stones of these walls though I should like to. But I have stuffed my flightsuit with Diet Cokes and Jolly Ranchers. Alone and without his nest the dodo must cross the sky.”
Now when he lay down on the veranda for a quick nap he looked again toward the west and his coming brethren. His chopper had begun to circle. And upon her pontoons clung the men of Texas, giving him the “hook-em-horns” sign. He farted with glee, and blamed it on a nearby secret serviceman. In the awkward silence that followed, his heart cried out to his fellow Texans and he said:
“My brothers, sons of my dad’s friends, sopping with oil and drying off with money. How often have we had prarie dog culls in my dreams. And now you come in my wakefulness, which is truly no different than my sleep.
With my piggy bank, my pretzels and Ken Lay’s letters, am I ready at last to go. Then I shall stand among you, a millionaire Texan among millionaire Texans, and the illegal Mexicans we employ but pretend to want deported. And you, my beloved Oval Office, with my ipod stashed for extra long meetings. And you, my beloved Press Room, where I learned a dozen new words every day from my answer key. And you, Lincoln’s bedroom, where I would hide under the bed and growl when Putin stayed over. And of course the broken dumbwaiter where I would hide porn. Only one more winding shall I make through your spaces, only one last time to become locked in the coat closet while shortcutting.”
As he swaggered he saw from afar his deputies and staff hanging up on their lawyers and coming forth. As he heard them calling his dad’s name he turned and looked behind him, and, seeing nothing, he finally understood that they were calling him instead. He said to himself:
“What day is it anyway? And what the hell do they want? And what shall I give to him whom I already pardoned? And what shall I give to him whom I already gave no-bid contracts? And which of these was my Secret Santa who gave me a value-pack of tic-tacs?
Before them shall my mind become a maze with no exit? Shall my thoughts become a fountain drink with no free refills? Or will God talk through me like before I started my medicine, when he told me to ‘transform’ the Middle East? A seeker of silences am I, and what many pearls/perils (I couldn’t hear him clearly) of wisdom has God told me when I muted commercials, that I may now pass on?
If this is my day of harvest I should not have slept til noon. If this is the hour of my final gratuitous speech then where is my teleprompter and earpiece?”
This he said in words. But much in his deeper heart was quieted as he remembered the music from Star Wars.
When he stepped back onto the veranda, humming, all his cronies had gathered to greet him. Even those whose ideas had been utterly discredited had turned out to see him off. Tears clotted every glistening eye as his face turned over the crowd. The elders among them stepped forth and spoke, saying:
“Go not away from us yet. Lament! On your last day have you slept until noon and left only a shard of time for us to bask in your counsel. As you played Cowboys and Indians in your final dreams, we dared not wake you, not even for your breakfast burrito or your Washington Times open to Beetle Bailey.
No stranger are you among us. Because we all worked for your Father. Do not permit us yet to long for your favors. Stay in our company unto the end. Let not our 4-8 year exile from government hold us apart and our tax cuts become a memory.
You have walked among us and bumped into walls. You have hidden behind the drapes and giggled. But we have loved your threat of veto and your power to portray even our final run on the treasury as a crisis of good and evil. But as we worked these years to veil our blossoming dividends in Exxon and Lockheed-Martin, our love has remained silent. Yet we love you more than the very voting machines that begot you. It is to our shame that we have not unfolded our love for all to admire and stood at your side. And the fact that your approval rating was the lowest in history had something to do with our silence.”
Now others came forth and beckoned him equally. But his gaze rose not to meet theirs. His head remained bowed and his mouth churning quietly. A great worry rolled through the crowd. But when those nearest him saw peanut shells falling upon the floor they breathed with an ease that spread quickly to their finges. They knew he would need a sandwich to compliment his nuts, so that, as one, the throng followed him to the parlor.
There they took what chairs sat about, and the rest settled upon the floor. With a flush there came from the nearby half-bath a man named Dick, and he was George’s sous chef as well as the Vice President. He made great Nachos. He zipped up his fly, scowled and waited for his defibrillator to fire. George looked upon him with a trembling love. For it was Dick who first let him nap during staff meetings. And it was Dick who had a signature stamper made with George’s script, so that he could sign George’s papers for him. And it was Dick who was so patient in explaining Plausible Deniability, remembering to talk slowly, and using cut-outs and fingerpuppets to symbolize detainees. Dick snarled and hailed him, saying:
“Propheteer of God, in quest of a sandwich, long have you sniveled about your chopper. And now your chopper has come, and you must depart before the 1000’s of lawsuits against you mature. Sweet is your longing for your Texas. Yet as you leave us we ask that you speak again the slogans that have left your lips these years like truths.
These slogans we will give unto our children for keeping, and they unto theirs for keeping. So that when the Democrats have once more collapsed beneath their own egos and greed and sex scandals, we may again set a place for fascism and fear-mongering in the halls of government. By the clockwork of human nature our time will come again in the eternal cycling of discontent. Therefore, sing to us now in the oversimplified wordage that only you can forge.”
As if speaking to a wall Dick paused and felt silly. George considered mayo or mustard in little plastic packets, and what kind of cheese. He put it on his sandwich with the cellophane still on. He took a wolfish bite that dribbled olives and sauces on the rug. He smeared them in with his foot, and with a laden mouth he mumbled:
“My Fellow Americans. Of what may I instruct you besides trucks and baseball? How may the decider protect and enfold his children in this final hour?”
Chapter II. On Love
The plump hand of Dick rose and he stood on waffling legs, bad heart, and said, speak to us of Love. And George’s voice rose handsomely over the crowd, saying;
Only when the love of yourself allows you trample others without regret have you found the sacred path hidden among many. Just as the autumn winds lay waste the garden, so too shall your self-adoration lead to scorched deserts. Though this way may maim and cudgel poor children in distant lands, though your enemies may yet burn your oil before you can pump it, and though reason, and even information from the intelligence community may contradict the will of your self-love, you must never relent, lest you be made a flip-flopper fit only for God’s eternal seesaw.
Self love is sufficient to live in a vacuum, or a bulletproof house surrounded by armed guards. It feeds on its own tail and the fawning of the corporate media. But be wary, for just as the comfort of fawning reporters will stroke your self-love as the librarian strokes her cat, so too shall a few in the press corps ask you difficult questions. You should not call on these unbelievers in your press conferences. And leave their complaints to be aired only on PBS and NPR.
And you must know self-love’s booming voice from the whisper of your conscience. For just as Love’s voice will insulate you in righteousness, so is the voice of conscience a murmur of weakness.
Truly it is the easier path to follow your “gut”, disregarding details or scholarly advice. This too is a trial of commitment set upon you by Self-Love. And if you follow blindly along his easy path he will reward you in kind with the peace and comfort of narcissism.
He will dress you in $5,000 suits,
Though you fail in business time and again, he will replenish your accounts with crony funds and low interest loans to be forgiven by boards of directors that you sit on,
He will build your baseball team a stadium funded by taxpayers,
He will bring $100,000 donors to your private dinners in droves,
He will have your deputies take “full responsibility” and flout subpoenas with your protection and pardons,
He will erase 300,000,000 White House emails.
All these things shall Love do unto you so that you will never feel accountable in any way. But if in your fear you cannot act with such decisiveness and disregard, then it would be better for you to become a teacher and run a communal garden. There, under the spell of your homebrew, you can pretend that humans are actually decent in their core.
For love gives not of itself but takes what it pleases. And when you are in love with yourself to this dreaming extent, you should say not that god is in your heart, but that you are simply a god among men. And when others plead that god loves them as well, you should reply, ‘no, he doesn’t, or you would have better weapons’.
For Love has no desire but to fulfill itself at all costs. And if you can go his way without questioning, let these be your desires:
To be born into a ruthless, war-profiteering family,
To invoke executive privilege, and never testify under oath,
To believe that you are always right despite….“facts”,
To revise history and omit your mistakes,
To sign your Holiday cards “with Love, W.”
To wake at dawn and go back to sleep for 6 more hours, giving thanks for another day without indictment.
Chapter III. On Marrriage
Then Rudy Guliani said, speak to us of marriage, and did you know that I was the mayor on 9/11?
And George answered, saying;
You were born together, and together you shall remain until you meet a younger woman who will do to you unspeakable acts that will make you moan. Or even an intern on your staff with a wild bosom. You will be together first in the back of a limo, then in a private hotel suite in another city, under a clever alias, like George Fox, your mistress driven hither by the police, who haven’t better things to do. Your accommodations will be charged upon the taxpayers and considered just a token of what is owed to you. Despite your quick nuptials, you will not be together until the lukewarm caress of death.
But let there be spaces in your 4 years of marriage, defined by prenuptial agreements that are not formed by you in the cloudiness of your lust, but by your cold, critical lawyers in your rush to the alter.
Love one another, but always be on the lookout for someone younger. And let there be a wandering eye moving between you, that wanders more vigorously when you are away on business. Yet beware of the tabloid’s hungry lens. For you can only be seen together as “friends” once, and as colleagues 2-3 times.
Get drunk together, but be certain to destroy your sex-tapes in the morning. And give to one another of your oysters and rib eye, but share not of your secret accounts in Grand Cayman. Buy her lavish diamonds as a substitute for your vacant feelings, that she may pretend as if loved to this scale before her squawking friends.
When comes the occasion to abandon your present wife, burden her not with a face to face explanation, as of a man. But rather first declare your marriage preterit before the presscorps at your convenience. So that she may hear it only through a swift wave of gossip. Accuse her perhaps of infidelity, and project onto her the qualities you disavow in yourself. At the least conjure the term “grown apart” and blame your devotion to public service for the ashes in your wake.
As a man you can father children to a brittle age. Even when your maladies render you limp your seed may be extracted in a simple outpatient visit. So that each of your marriages may be sewn with sons and daughters who hate you, the fatherless cycle reborn.
Then said an AIG exec., speak to us of giving. And he answered:
You give but for tax write-offs when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of the taxpayers’ money that you truly give, in trillions. For what is government but a credit card for the rich. And what good is a credit card that dawdles below its max?
There are those who give little of the vast which they have and they give this for recognition. They are the wise kings who understand that handouts will only make their subjects lazy.
And there are those who have little and give it all. These are the poor sons of bitches who will live on Social Security and Medicare and work into their 70’s.
There are those who give with great pain that the public may have health care, roads, and free education. That pain is their cheapness.
And there are those who move their businesses to the Virgin Islands or Guam to avoid taxes and child labor laws. These are the believers in the goodness of the free market. They give onto the world as yonder smokestack gives its sulfur breath to the streams and meadows. Through the deeds of such people the god of the free market speaks and shows off his dental work, and behind their eyes he winks at us in delight.
You often say to me, “I would give, but only to the deserving”. But the treasury secretary says not this, nor the Chairman of the Federal Reserve. They give as the ocean freely gives its warmth to even the lowest of creatures, that their friends and former colleagues will never have to find real work. For to admit that their tenets have failed is to become unemployed and out of office.
Surely he who has lost billions from his own greed deserves a second chance to bankrupt the nation. And surely he who has poisoned our banks deserves to continue in the same cathedra, and to hold sway over still more banking policy. What courage greater than of these men who receive while in their shame yet with wallets again spread wide?
And you who are receivers of bailout money, assume no weight of gratitude, lest it become a straightjacket upon you, and you become fearful in your hoarding. Rather, rise together on your fleet of corporate jets, and attend lavish private parties in guarded resorts, where you may compare annual bonuses that are more than most will earn in a lifetime, and given you still upon your company’s worst year in history.
Chapter V. On Children
Then Bill Owens said speak to us of children, and George replied with a mutter;
Some of your children are not your children. These are your illegitimate children, who will not share your name, or your table, or even the company of their siblings. They are the offspring of your vanity’s longing for itself.
Though you may quietly buy them cell phones with money passed through your deputies, and put them through the state university over 7 years, and even grudgingly admit them to your wife, you will never be with them until a far off day when you meet in rehab. Then, what was supposed to be only a handjob, may return to blackmail you. Or worse, to vote with the Green Party, and be gay.
And of those children in whom you encrust your name and your dream of immortality? You may give to them your credit cards but not your love. For your love is reserved for yourself. You may house their bodies but never their souls. For their souls belong to hip-hop, which you cannot dance to, even during a seizure. Seek only to make them like yourself, a grown child, possessed by the most primitive elements of being; bullying, hoarding, tantrums, revenge. And hope in your pride that these qualities through them will fall upon the world for yet another generation.
For you are the cannon by which your children as human cannonballs are sent forth. The cannoneer sees his mark on the wall of the infinite. He lights your wick with his cigar that your shot may fire timely and true. For even as he loves the cannonball that hurls keenly an without mercy, so too he loves the cannon that is cold, rigid and inflexible.
Then a Halliburton Executive said speak to us of work. And he said,
When you can enlist in the national guard and not show up for duty, you shall.
When your father’s friends make you a figurehead on boards of directors, you walk with a firm step for the boardroom. When you bill for services in Iraq that you never perform, send your invoices directly to me, care of Dick.
You work that you may keep pace with your neighbor’s Mercedes, and your colleague’s beach house. It is against the paychecks of others by which you measure the merit of your work. For to become idle is to become a stranger to this year’s Prada and Gucci lines, and to shop from the discount rack at a suburban Neiman Marcus.
Always have you been told that your curse by birth is to watch others work for your betterment and wealth. That their sweat and pain shall be your surrogate. But I say to you that in your watching you fulfill the Earth’s ancient need for masters. And someone must be as master, just as another must be as wage-slave without health insurance. By your humble concession to this will, you give yourself over to the breadth of the living and become as oil to a machine or as filling to a twinkie.
Also, that you have overheard that life is nothingness, and truly in your duties you behave with just such obligation.
But I say to you that life is indeed nothingness, save where there is wealth without working too hard.
And all wealth is powerless save where there are low-wage workers.
And low-wages workers are idle without sweatshops.
And sweatshops are fallow save where there are high-end consumers.
And thus it is high end consumers who lead all of humanity as one in our golden ascent.
Too I have heard you utter that he who works in hedge funds is greater than he who works in convenience stores. And by the same light have you declared that he who works in contract law is greater than he who works installing brakepads. But I say to you, verily, it is only for the god of the free market to judge of the flesh. And the dollar does not lie, but comes to each in measure of his worth.
Real work is exhausting and redundant. And if you cannot assume real work, then it is better that you enter politics and sit at the gates of the capital begging taxes from those who work in toil.
For if you mow lawns without a vigorous heart, then you leave ragged swaths of dandelions in your wake.
And if you deliver Chinese food without a keenness of spirit, then your delivery arrives without chopsticks or soy sauce.
And if you convene wars from your executive lazyboy, but your soul is really playing golf in Texas, then you set your fellow man dangling as a million leaves dangle without hope in the heart of autumn.
Though you are clothed, you are naked without your guns. At times you are actually naked while playing with your guns. They are your steady penis when the flesh has withered, the spirit has left you. Keep them in your commode, aside your Valium and Viagra. And though you may shoot blanks of the flesh, keep your gun well loaded.
You have guns so that you need not communicate about your anger. And you shall not talk about your guns. Rather, you shall talk with your guns and by them will others hear you. Even so flippantly as to take aim at your hunting buddies.
I have heard you say cautiously that diplomats should precede guns in all affairs. But I say to you verily, guns are diplomats; American-fucking-style. In your leanings toward mercy, remember what is graven in the Earth. That without the glory of guns John Wayne would be but Elton John. Keifer Sutherland would be a penniless drunk. Mel Gibson, a brimstone preacher. And Sylvester Stallone, your personal trainer.
Nor a soul in this audience is without dividends in the weapons industry. And though in the quiet singing of your heart you may ask why we must sell heavy weaponry to brutal dictators, so that millions of shoeless people can be controlled by the terror of a few. In your wallets you know the answer to this question is……“Cha-Ching”.
And I have heard some beg to inhabit a world without guns. And with pity I say to those, that you would wish for men to settle their wrongs by throwing shoes at one another?
Chapter VIII. On Oil
Then coalescing like a great Steppe wind the whole of the gathering asked in dreamy chorus; speak to us of oil. And with an oaken hue of ecstasy in his eyes, he answered.
The Earth has fed you well with the fruits of her body. And when her body was not enough, she gave to you of her blood, the oceans. And when her blood was not enough, she gave to you her mineral bones of gold, copper, and iron. And as you took of her bones you saw too that she yielded freely of her milk, and her milk is oil.
It is oil that feeds your insatiate lust, though it feeds more than a man’s small wanting.
Truly oil has fed the tasteless dreams of an era, while never quenching them.
Where there is no kindling, oil is a blazing homefire
Where there is no sun, it is the sunlight upon an orchard
Where there is no topsoil, it is the blood that feeds our fields
Where there are but wearied bodies, it is the arms and legs of a nation
By its secret power have you ridden into the heavens.
And by its hidden blossoms have you grown cherries as great as plums,
plums as great as apples,
apples as godly as jewels
Oil tills the Earth, and oil fills her wounds
It carries you homeward and it carries you apart
It shelters you from the heat and it warms you in the deep of winter
By its plenty may you discard the worn for the sparkling new
It is the surely the milk of the mother
So long as her suckle goes not dry your untiring machines can hew a world of illusion For there is not a pore upon your body unnourished by oil
Thus you would surely ask next…..what of peak oil? And to this I say, Shhhhhhhh………….