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INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS That was the day Ray had bought his new hat. I’m not sure where we were. Presently, there could be heard a maudlin Russian dirge, accompanied by an accordion, playing on a jukebox.

“Listen,” Ray began, “I’m a slouch and I don’t know shit, but it seems to me that we’re entering a very frightening time in American history. Very frightening. It’s like Invasion of the Body Snatchers. People you once thought you knew are suddenly backing the President and telling you that, in fact, yes, they agree that we should attack Iraq.  And they’re doing it all with this eerie complacency. You can see it in their eyes – the very absence of their souls. Something has taken it away and now it is gone. These aren’t people; they’re aliens in the bodies of former friends.

“And then you read in the newspaper that President Bush is an extremely popular man. Something like 50 percent of the country thinks he’s doing a bang-up job.

“Listen, we’re talking about a man who slid into the Presidency in the most unscrupulous way. All of that crap that happened in Florida in the 2000 election, well, as it turns out, if the votes from every county in Florida had been properly counted, Gore would have won. That’s been determined. Gore should have, and in fact, did win Florida. I can just imagine it like a movie. The camera does short little sequences of small town streets in Ohio and Idaho. All of these people, their bodies have been snatched. You can see it in their eyes.

“So now, We have a serious serious problem, and this madman is throwing us into a war. A war that is going to cost us a fortune at a time when our economy is bad. And against the will of the United Nations, no less: A proposition that is probably going to irreparably fracture our relationship with the whole world.

“Did you ever see that movie? Invasion of the Body Snatchers?”


“Like I say, I don’t know shit,” Ray said, “But start looking around for cocoons.”