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Chicken McPat.

During the primaries, Pat Buchanan was like a gas--if there was space, he'd fill it. In non-primary times he is a more contained gas bag. Rumor has it he is now foreman of the Big Wall/Rio Grande construction project between Texas and Mexico. See Pat with goofy yellow hard hat perched on head.

It's not that I miss Pat, I just don't like it when he's quiet. I like knowing where he is, squinting and squealing. In the absence of the Buchanan blitzkrieg, bizarre news is bubbling up from both the animal and human kingdoms.

First, there's the monkey problem in Texas. Just so happens I was in Texas that week, not for the NRA convention in Dallas (though Marion Hammer and Marge Schott do make a nice couple) but for a show.

My hosts reassured me that the outbreak was in a very remote area of Texas, as if that narrowed it down, and that the strain wouldn't affect humans. It was also the tenth anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster, so color me skeptical, especially after the Russian reactor obliged with a celebratory flare-up.

All assurances aside, Phil Gramm, curious George Bush, and Ross Perot Party of One do prove a certain "downwind-from" theory. In response, the Texas Board of Tourism voted to pull Spanking the Monkey from the one art house where it was being shown.

I was in Texas when my taxes were due. This year for the first time, I claimed my "partner"--all this work on gay marriage and you'd think we'd have a better word--as a codependent.

After figuring my large layout of often-spurned gay money to the seasonal tax-service industry and writing out the check to the IRS, I must admit to a certain moment of sympathy with the Freemen of Montana. But that doesn't mean I'm going to take my town hostage.

By the way, the Montana legislature, so taken with Theodore K's look, unanimously voted for a new license-plate slogan--MONTANA! WE CUT OUR OWN HAIR. And all over Montana, small enterprise flourished, as KACZYNSKI BIKE SHOPS: USED AND NEW opened for business.

Not one to miss out on publicity, Dr. K. changed his name to the Una-embalmer.

A certain perverse interest in the Unabomber story--maybe it's just my unnatural fondness for hooded sweatshirts--led me to attend the second annual Luddite Convention. We had to check any personal electronic devices at the door. None of the sessions was videotaped or audiotaped. In the evening we all went bowling. Alone. At the Strike and Very Spare Lanes.

At the other end of the consumption scale, how 'bout that Jackie O tag sale?

Just goes to show that great quantities of disposable income make people stupid. That wasn't Camelot, honey. That was Camelotta money to burn.

But take heart. Stormin' Norman Schwarzkopf has been named director of the Quality Value Channel, QVC, so hurry and get your cubic zirconium flak jackets. The Raison d'Avoir is now the Dancing Raison d'Etre of capitalism.

Meanwhile, Minnie Mouse is becoming Maxi Mouse as Disney links up with ABC, the FCC, and McDonald's. In test markets in New Hampshire, McDonald's is serving up Chicken McPat, all right wings and assholes.

Some people worry about what's happening in Central America; I worry about what's happening in Central Florida. I think we are watching the ever-quickening deadly Disneyification of the world. Think Mouselini. DISNEY: WE PUT THE FUN IN FUNDAMENTALISM.

Note: I do not know how much longer I will be able to do this monthly column, as I have applied for the recently vacated job of editor at The New Republic. They love women over there. Check your masthead. From the people who brought you fat chance. It could happen.
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Title Annotation:Unplugged; political humor about Patrick Buchanan, McDonald's, and other topics
Author:Clinton, Kate
Publication:The Progressive
Article Type:Column
Date:Jun 1, 1996
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