The Curmudgeon


Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Foxed, Cocked, Stained and Faded

Apparently George W Bush has an honorary doctorate, courtesy of the Southern Methodist University in Dallas, where the First Lady is, by the grace of God, a trustee. In partial repayment for this no doubt unsolicited honour Bush is planning to have his presidential library erected, or perhaps consecrated, or possibly just plonked, on the university's grounds. Like every library worthy of the name, it will not confine itself to mere books; no indeed.

For one thing, the Bush administration's records, once the crimes and screw-ups have been edited out, are unlikely to be very extensive; for another, the one book Bush himself is positively known to have read, at least in part, is My Pet Goat, which might not convey to posterity quite the image his marketing executives deem desirable. Of course, Bush is aware of other volumes; on 2 April 2002 he admitted to Hop on Pop-oriented thinkings, and he has also mentioned Camus' The Outsider; a history of the American Civil War; and The Case for Democracy by Natan Sharansky, to whom the Guardian refers as a "Soviet dissident", although by the time Sharansky wrote the book the Soviet Union had not existed for a decade and a half and Sharansky himself was happily ensconced in Ariel Sharon's government, from which he later resigned because it wasn't right-wing enough. Anyway, Bush found his book "short", like the Camus and, presumably, My Pet Goat.

In order to fill up the shelf-space, then, it is expected that Bush's memorialisers will establish "a public policy centre, possibly called the Institute for Democracy" in order to promote "compassionate conservatism, the spread of freedom and democracy throughout the world, and defeating terrorism" and stuff like that.


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