the New Boss; Same as the Old Boss
July 10, 2002
By Dwayne Eutsey
As the war on terrorism rages on (and on) and US bomber
pilots continue making the world safe from Afghan wedding
celebrations, George Bush was reportedly in high spirits the
other day at the Bush family compound in Maine.
Putting around the family golf course on his birthday with
dear old dad, our Fearless Leader seemed undaunted by (or
smirkingly oblivious to) reports of the growing political
instability in Afghanistan, or the widening number of economic
scandals shaking corporate America, or the countless other
"distractions" flaring up in the New World Disorder that he
has helped to create.
Being a wartime President is hell, but, after all, one should
never allow it to interfere with tee time.
Why should Bush be concerned, though? Although his regime
is largely responsible for the world bursting into flames
all around us, he knows that no one is going to hold him accountable
for his pyromania. Our appointed sovereign rests assured that
none of his subjects will dare question his imperial majesty.
You could see this smug certainty oozing out of Bush as he
regally rode around in the First Golfcart. The hat sitting
crown-like atop his pointy head said it all: he's "el
Jefe," The Boss. Previous presidents at least made the
pretense of being an elected servant of the American people.
Not El Jefe, though. The logo emblazoned on his hat reveals
his arrogant assumption that he's the bossman of the United
Sweatshops of America, the CEO accountable only to the stockholders
and their bottom line. The rest of us are here to serve him.
Because Mr. Bush is not one to read anything more complex
than The Hungry Caterpillar, I wouldn't wager that he has
ever read Mark Twain's Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's
Court. But even if he has, I'm sure the irony of strutting
around with "The Boss" stitched on his hat is lost on Bush.
In Twain's classic story, a gun factory supervisor named
Hank Morgan gets bashed on the head by one of his workers
during a fight, and is somehow sent back in time to Arthurian
England. Using his 19th century industrial know-how to fool
everyone into believing he has magical powers, Hank soon asserts
himself as the unopposed ruler of the medieval kingdom. Everyone,
to his pleasure, calls him The Boss.
It's an amazing (albeit flawed) work of satire. Twain takes
on everything: the wealthy, the poor, capitalism, the church,
politics, the human race in general. So when I saw "The Boss"
across Bush's hat, I immediately thought of Twain's book,
in particular, the chapter entitled (not surprisingly) "The
Boss.". In it, Hank describes in a cocky, self-satisfied manner
what it's like to wield vast, unchecked power over the serfs
and nobility alike.
However, with its reference to ruling without dissent thanks
to "the tower episode" (an incident where Hank uses trickery
to startle everyone into believing he's more powerful than
he really is), the chapter has the eerie feel of what one
might find in Dubya's diary (assuming he has the attention
span to keep one) shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks:
To be vested with enormous authority is a fine thing;
but to have the on-looking world consent to it is a finer.
The tower episode solidified my power, and made it impregnable.
If any were perchance disposed to be jealous and critical
before that, they experienced a change of heart, now.
There was not any one in the kingdom who would have considered
it good judgment to meddle with my matters.
…I was no shadow of a king; I was the substance; the
king himself was the shadow. My power was colossal; and
it was not a mere name, as such things have generally
been, it was the genuine article…Yes, in power I was equal
to the king...
Since Mr. C Average knew that Poppy was buying his Yale degree
for him, I'm sure Bush never felt compelled to read Twain's
book (or any book, for that matter) while in college. If anything,
he probably just watched the Bing Crosby movie version of
it and thought that was good enough to help pass the American
Of course, anyone who has read the book knows that it doesn't
have the happy, musical ending that Bing's movie has. In fact,
Hank The Boss actually ends up losing everything: his family,
his power, his soul. He even ultimately destroys the Republic
he tried to establish in England by igniting a nightmarish
war that ends in Hank's insanity and the gruesome slaughter
of over twenty-five thousand people.
Sounds familiar, doesn't it? Our Republic is in danger of
being beaten into subservience to a dictatorship; if he ever
had a soul, Bush has long since auctioned it off for a few
barrels of oil; we're sinking steadily into the quagmire of
a nightmarish, unending war that has already resulted in the
slaughter of thousands of innocents; and an unsettled world
is beginning to question the sanity of George The Boss.
It's funny…no matter how often life keeps imitating art,
we still get fooled again. Here's to the new Boss; not that
different from Twain's Boss.