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The Jiminy Cricket War or, I Didn't Win the Book
October 12, 2002
By Kevin Dawson

A while back I turned on the television and was favored with a black-and-white sitcom from the early 1950s. Lucille Ball and Vivian Vance were attempting to wrap chocolates which were speeding by on a conveyor belt. In the midst of this hilarity, a garishly-colored sign slid out from the side of the screen to inform me: You are watching "I Love Lucy." I wiped my brow in relief: Whew! I'd thought I'd tuned in to "Hannity and Colmes."

Immediately I imagined Hannity and Colmes doing the candy-wrapping bit. (Wouldn't you?) As you may recall, Lucy and Ethel had been forewarned that if one piece of candy left their midst unwrapped they'd be fired. Well, if that happened to H. and C., Alan Colmes would call in the candy wrapper's union, and Sean Hannity would find a way to blame it on Bill Clinton.

Just for the grins of it, I emailed the above anecdote to the "Hannity and Colmes" show. It seems that noteworthy emails from viewers (who don't mind being stigmatized as "Fox Fans") are eligible to win a signed copy of Mr. Hannity's book Let Freedom Ring. Actually, I had leafed through the book already (some bookstore clerk had wittily filed a copy in the Fiction section--I'm not making that up), but you know how it is when there's a prize in the offing. Besides, I could always sell it on eBay.

The reason I bring this up at all is because yesterday Sean Hannity appeared on "The View." I admit I felt very jealous: no talk show so far has invited me on to plug my book. Those of you who have day jobs can imagine what Mr. Hannity had to say. The studio audience applauded his sentiment that it's a "disgrace" how Hillary Clinton dared to criticize the president "when we're at war."

You really have to wonder where this Bush guy gets his luck. Thirty years ago, did anybody say, "Don't you dare criticize Nixon, we're at war"? Or sixty years ago, did anybody say, "How dare you criticize FDR, we're at war"? Ha! Fat chance! So how come George Wonderful Bush is exempt? (At least I understand where Sean Hannity gets his power. He's got that smirking smarminess that in a superficial society frequently gets mistaken for charm.)

And those were real wars. This one that Hannity never shuts up about can be called the Jiminy Cricket War (after the cartoon character whom you'd never guess was supposed to be a cricket if you weren't told that that's what he was). The president, who doesn't believe in evolution and remains unconvinced, despite increasing evidence, that global warming exists, essentially gives "Because I said so, that's why" as the reason why we should take his word for it that Iraq means to do this country great and immediate harm with its alleged stockpile of weapons.

But it's not the "Jiminy Cricket" war that's the problem. That's just loose talk, a nuisance, like email spam that begins THIS IS NOT SPAM. (People who send those things deserve to have a large animal leave a pile on their front doorstep with a sign THIS IS NOT SHIT. But I digresss.) George We're-at-War Bush and his cheering section have assured us that, once the Blue Fairy turns Jiminy into a real war, "It'll all be over in a week." What will all be over in a week? The war, or life on this planet? (The Hannity-esque faith that, though Saddam Hussein allegedly poses an immediate threat to us if we do nothing, Iraq will sit back and take it if we strike first actually would be rather touching if it weren't so scary.)

We've seen what can happen when puppets get turned into real boys. (You know, like in the 2000 election.) Let's keep Jiminy in his place; pre-emptive strikes are not cricket.

 
Kevin Dawson is the author of the satirical short story collection Bedtime Stories for Insomniacs (web site http://insomniacs.bizland.com). Aside from that, he's nobody in particular.

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