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