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The anti-Barney.

Michael Feldman is the executive producer and host of Public Radio International's "Whadya Know?"

Here in Madison, Wisconsin, we are once again bearing the brunt of a wave of liberal refugees--Volvo Wagon People, as we call them--fleeing their former liberal Eastern enclaves to seek the relative Switzerland of the Midwest and perhaps gain the blessing of His Holiness the Keillor for their nearly perfect offspring.

This latest is the third wave--the first having been the Nixon Diaspora (1968-1970), and the second the Reagan Flotilla (1980-1981). Many, if not all, of the first two waves have been assimilated into mid-America virtual reality (Lutheran, Missouri Synod) and are now overwhelmingly in favor of the capital-gains tax break.

Once the future shock of the Gingrich coup is past, a similar re-education can proceed for these latest Volvo people, the baby steps of which are the "new ways" (as Newt has called them in his encyclical, "The Five News and One Same Old") wherein the third-wave eye opens to gaze across the space-time of creation at the original cause himself Newt Gingrich. As each image is visualized, the curtain is pulled back a little further to reveal the man behind, while a feeling begins to take hold that it is possible, if not pleasant, to look upon his face and live.

Soon, the vice-grip on the rib cage relaxes, peristalsis resumes, and the spared prey, empowered in the best Republican sense, is able to stand up on its hind legs and sniff the air for a piece of the action (after all, they're going to need software!). Towards the liberation only a new-age way of seeing can bring, here are:

Ten Ways of Looking at Newt

1. Newt Descending a Staircase.

2. Internewt. Newt is so essentially binary that all of him can be converted to Os and 1s for uploading. Random outbursts, however, will be harder to write into the program, at least until Tourette's 1-2-3 for Windows.

3. Der Newter, head of the American Newtsie Party. Newt in a graceful acrobatic dance a la Chaplin with a balloon shaped like the Capitol.

4. Newt awash in the Republican tide, giving the Third Wave before going down for the last time.

5. Newt as the Anti-Barney. "I zero-out you, you zero-out me."

6. Newt and Bill grown so much alike, Paula Jones can I.D. either.

7. Newt announcing the Book Contract with America: $4.5 million split 250 million ways, or a cool 1.8 cents each (very nearly worth the paper it's printed on).

8. Speaker Loose Cannon. Those condemned to teach history are condemned to repeat it, but not quite.

9. Newtonian physics: Newt, sitting under apple tree. Apple falls. "McGoverniks!" he screams.

10. Newt as the Wizard of GOPAC giving Dole a heart, Helms a brain, and sending Kassebaum home to Kansas.

In the event this exercise fails and all you visualize is whirled peas, there is still hope that a pair of breeding Democrats could be obtained and released in the West, or perhaps an embryo might be cloned from DNA extracted from a mosquito that once bit FDR, found preserved in amber at Hyde Park. It seems like an impossible dream now, but then so did the Newt Deal just a short while ago.
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Title Annotation:Nuts to Newt; Newt Gingrich; humor
Author:Feldman, Michael
Publication:The Progressive
Article Type:Column
Date:Mar 1, 1995
Previous Article:Double talk.
Next Article:The Gulf War comes home: sickness spreads, but the Pentagon denies all.

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