September 22, 2006

Schadenfreude Friday: All The World's A Stage

As usual, there are just too many good stories. It's tough to settle on one.

from the AP

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez called President Bush "the devil" in a fiery speech to the United Nations, but later reached out to an audience of Americans, saying he sees himself as a friend of the United States.

The leftist leader, long at odds with Washington, appeared to be making one of his boldest moves yet to coalesce international opposition to the Bush administration. Chavez began Wednesday's speech noting that Bush spoke from the same podium a day earlier.

"The devil came here," Chavez said. "Right here. Right here. And it smells of sulfur still today, this table that I am now standing in front of."

He then made the sign of the cross, brought his hands together as if praying and looked up to the ceiling. Chavez's words drew tentative giggles at times from the audience, but also some applause.

He later spoke to hundreds of New Yorkers who filled a college hall Wednesday night, saying he hopes Americans choose an "intelligent president" in the future.

"I'm not an enemy of the United States. I'm a friend of the United States ... the people of the United States," Chavez said during his speech to an audience including union organizers and professors. "They're two very different things you the people of the United States, and the government that's installed there."

He drew a standing ovation when he said Bush committed genocide during the war in Iraq.

"The president of the United States should go before an international tribunal," Chavez said as applause filled the hall at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. He compared the Bush administration's actions to those of the Nazis.

Okay, okay, okay...I'd be lying if I told you that this didn't please me just a little bit. I'm not condoning what Chavez did but it did make me giggle. But to do this at the U.N? About as appropriate as a skinhead at a Black Panthers rally, K-Fed in the music industry, Dubya at a Mensa convention, good acting in a porn get the drift. Why? Beth and I had the following conversation. It may help me illuminate my point.

Her: So, you were wearing your President Bush/American Psycho shirt today.
Me: Yeah.
Her: And I kept having to resist calling Bush bad names when Mia pointed at it.
Me: I noticed.
Her: I don't think we should trash him in front of her.
Me: Me either. Although I'll miss calling him an incompetent fuckhead ass-weasel.
Her: You shouldn't say that in front of her anyway.
Me: True.

You see, I knew where she was coming from. As much as I don't like the incompetent fuckhead ass-weasel, he's the President of the United States. And while I don't respect the man even one little teensy bit, I respect the office.

Yes, Chavez has some valid points. Whether a valid understanding of himself on the world's stage, he sees himself as a voice for the disenfranchised third world, the ones just now beginning to stand up to the U.S. in all it's imperialistic glory. Of course, the U.S. also buys roughly 65% of the oil produced by Venezuela. I didn't see Chavez standing on the docks refusing to let the oil tankers depart for America. You can't have it both ways.

Posted by Chris at September 22, 2006 6:23 AM

I don't like the fact that this weazel, Chavez was standing in my country, spouting these mocking words about my president. (like him or not) What was even worse was the gleeful giggles of the other UN members who were sitting in NEW YORK, where they LIVE, EAT, SHOP and PARTY.
Don't like it at all.
I say stop buying Citco fuel, toss the stupid UN assholes out of the country, (they're a joke anyway) and stop funding that place.
Kofi Annan is a a very bad man, as are most of his cohorts at the UN.
WOW. Must have made the coffee strong this morning.

Posted by: Maribeth at September 22, 2006 7:16 AM

It's nice for him that America's free speech laws allow him to do this. What do you think he'd do if someone critized HIM in his country like this? Oh, right. They'd probably be in jail permanently sans trial. Asshole.

However, it continues to prove why the first amendment is so important. If we don't let people say what they think, how will we know who the assholes are?

Posted by: Leah at September 22, 2006 7:29 AM

I respect the office as well.

Nuf said.

Posted by: cassie-b at September 22, 2006 7:30 AM

left or right wing, this is the sort of zealous action that makes me nervous. these are the kinds of moments when people commit acts in righteous fervor, convinced that they're right and doing what's best for the people. he could have accomplished the same thing without resorting to such blatant name calling. he could have but never would because i'm betting good money he'd argue it was necessary to shock and wake people up.

when I walk by the White House i cringe a little to know who's sitting in the Oval Office and yet, dude, it's the White House. that's pretty cool. people travel hundreds of miles to see it and i get to have it any ol' day i want. DC living has it's advantages.

Posted by: pea at September 22, 2006 7:40 AM

All we have left is the respect for the office.

Posted by: Wicked H at September 22, 2006 7:59 AM

I get you on that. There is a website that LittleJuJu sometimes plays games on, and in the sidebar one day I noticed a "game" where you can "shoot the president". Now, had I known that areas of the site were so blatantly geared for adults, he would not have been allowed in. When I noticed him click on the link and tell me he wanted to shoot the president, I knew that it was time to tame our opinions around the house and also police the sites a bit better.

Posted by: JuJuBee at September 22, 2006 8:07 AM

Truer words were never spoken.

Posted by: wordgiirl at September 22, 2006 8:08 AM


Posted by: Betty at September 22, 2006 8:23 AM

It always make me slightly irritable when someone chides me with "He's still the President, you should respect that." That respect for the office is the common denominator to our outrage.

Bless Chavez's heart. He sounds very theatrical, and totally inappropriate for the U.N. I'm surprised Pat Robertson didn't rise up from the audience and shoot him - he did call for his assassination, remember? :) Or was that some other South American leader?

Posted by: samantha at September 22, 2006 8:35 AM

Yeah, that lacked some class for sure. I felt pretty irate about the whole thing. Of course, go ahead and ask me how much I like the UN...I dare ya ;-) When I hear the words "UN," "United Nations," "UN Council," I want to start strangling puppies. (But that's just me.)

Posted by: Ginny at September 22, 2006 8:54 AM have your head screwed on straight today!!! Good on ya!!!!

btw loved the vacationless vacation part deux pics! Looks like you had fun.

Posted by: linda at September 22, 2006 8:58 AM

Chavez and Bush: Waterbaloons in the UN parking garage at high noon.

I'd pay to see it . . . .

Posted by: Betti at September 22, 2006 9:07 AM

Bush at Mensa made me laugh out loud! I queue what?

Posted by: Nadine at September 22, 2006 9:11 AM

Meh. It's not like Bush has been especially respectful of other country's elected leaders. If the United States is going to go around telling other people what to do and pronouncing judgement on other countries and their leaders, then we should be able to take a little bit of criticism.

The US has a terrible history in Latin America. Let's not forget all of the coups that the CIA perpetrated down there. I say it's about time that a Latin American leader stood up to us.

My parents bashed Reagan in front of me all the time when I was a little girl. I think that Bush is a disgrace to the Office of President. I show my respect for the office by saying that he isn't qualified to hold it. :P

Posted by: Hope at September 22, 2006 9:38 AM

While I might think that Shrubya is an idiot, an asshat and a terrorist in his own right, calling him the devil serves as little purpose as calling the taliban evil - it dehumanizes them and thus makes it much easier to garner support to attack, kill, torture, whatever...

Basically, what i'm trying so ineloquently to say, is that we should not be resorting to name calling in world forums, no matter who those names are directed at. Because it takes away from the true issues at hand. Whatever Chavez's valid points might have been, they are being totally ignored and dismissed because of the way he framed them. By trying to make a mockery of bush, he's made a mockery instead of himself. Shown he is not really one to take seriously.

Posted by: suze at September 22, 2006 9:54 AM

that's a tight spot. But you're both right on...

We respect the office, no matter the idiot in it. I do have to say I giggled a bit when I watched him praying at the podium.

Theatrics though - to win him the support of US haters... that's my thought.

Posted by: Autumn at September 22, 2006 10:59 AM

i agree with you completely. just because bush is an incompetent asshole doesnt mean that the position he holds is a worthless one - it just should be occupied by a more deserving party.

and i disagree with chavez - bush is not the devil. id like to think the devil has an IQ higher than that of a brocolli.

Posted by: steph at September 22, 2006 11:27 AM

I know exactly where you are coming from. I got back-lash from my pro-Bush sister for flipping off the White House. I advised her it wasn;t the White House I was flipping off but the man inside at the present time.... The funny thing is she said it would have been funnier if I had mooned him versus throwing the finger. What's the proper ettiquette here??

Posted by: ::c:: at September 22, 2006 11:38 AM

Ok so here I go, stop me if you've heard it....... Bush is an Idiot? Oh man you've already heard it? Awww Shucks.

Ok so time to spout off, well I live in the good ole state of Texas and at times I'm so ashamed of him. Now Chavez had some valid points, yes, like the whole devil thing! LOL But seriously, he would never allow someone to go into his country and spout off as he did. They would be shot dead as soon as they left. No questions asked. You see thats the main problem that I have with people who don't belong in the US is that they want to use all the advantages that we have to make their lives better but they still call us the devil and want to harm us. Why is that?
Damn my feet hurt gonna let some one else stand up and yell for a bit! lol

Posted by: CJ at September 22, 2006 11:39 AM

I think the bottom line is that such opinions are disrespectful and inappropriate is such an international forum. There is something to be said for diplomacy.
Mostly, though, Suze said everything I'd want to say on the subject.

Posted by: Heather at September 22, 2006 12:11 PM

What is Mia's email address? I will gladly tell her that Bush is an incompetent fuckhead ass-weasel myself. That way, you and Beth look like mature adults and Mia still knows the truth. It's a win-win situation!

BTW, incompetent fuckhead ass-weasel is one of the best descriptions of him yet. =D

Posted by: Q at September 22, 2006 12:40 PM

You and I are almost alike in thought but just from different sides of the fence. My problme is, wheter it be Bush, Clinton, Left or right, the person is still MY president and I do not like people trashing him.

Posted by: Bill at September 22, 2006 1:20 PM

It's kind of like when you have someone fucked up in your family, YOU can say negative things about them, people in your family can too, but anyone outside the family, they just can't. No matter how messed up that person is. They just can't.

Posted by: Kate at September 22, 2006 1:36 PM

Yes, I wish Chavez hadn't gone so over the top, because now people won't take him seriously, even when he says something valid.

And he does say things that are valid, and he has done a lot for the people of Venezuela.

As for respecting the office, eh. Bush hasn't done anything I can respect, so I will proceed to call him an incompentent fuckhead assweasel to anyone who will listen. But good for you for being able to take the high road.

Posted by: bad penguin at September 22, 2006 1:38 PM

I couldn't agree with Chavez more. Our president IS the "debil." I've noticed that my TV starts blinking in and out everytime Bush is on it.

Oh wait...

That's my attention span.

Posted by: Tink at September 22, 2006 4:05 PM

I'm not so insecure in the persons that this country voted for (why?oh why? they voted for him TWICE is beyond me)that I can't handle a little criticism, no matter where the forum exists. We obviously need the criticism. When we stop it from existing in our country, we become no different than those countries that don't allow public criticism of their leaders. I believe those countries are called what? dictatorships?

As for the boycotting of purchasing CITGO fuel...please. You think you'd be hurting anyone but the American CITGO employees in Houston? You certainly wouldn't be hurting PDVSA or Venezuela or Chavez.

Posted by: Kelly at September 22, 2006 4:44 PM

Oh what a tangle you weave here. Do I respect the office of the President. Of course. However, the man presently holding that position is nothing short of a criminal. Both Constitutionally and legally.

I actually think what Chavez did was fair. This President has made a career of "calling names" and I only think it is fair that somebody give him a bit of the same.

Posted by: Latte Man at September 22, 2006 5:08 PM

Let's not all forget that while Bush might be an incompetent boob, Chavez is a murderous socialist dictator of the old school. It is interesting to me that the Venezualan people are forced to listen to this troll, but people in the USA pay to see him. Do any of you think for a second that you'd be able to publicly slander this man, like you do the president, without winding up dead or in prison?

Posted by: Chris at September 22, 2006 8:13 PM

If the man currently in the office had respect for the country, for the constitution, for the rule of law, for the Geneva Convention, for the middle class, for womens' rights, for the poor, for the Katrina victims, for... well, shit. I could go on all day long. I've got 6 years worth of material. It's as easy as shooting fish in the barrel (or lawyers with on bird hunts)

Chavez is looney but he's in this country and he's got the right. For now. Give Bush some time. He's still got two years.

Posted by: L.A. Daddy at September 22, 2006 10:34 PM

Leah, I LOVE your comment!

"If we don't let people say what they think, how will we know who the assholes are?"

HA HA, I am definitely going to use that!

Posted by: Leilani at September 22, 2006 10:35 PM

Once again, I am 100% in agreement with you. A couple of years ago I visited DC with a couple of friends for the March for Women's Lives. The ladies I went with wanted to get their pictures taken in front of the White House giving Dubya the bird. I couldn't do it. While I cannot stand the man, he is still the president of my country - a country that I love very much. Besides, he wasn't home then anyway.

Posted by: Beth in StL at September 23, 2006 12:27 AM

Did you hear about Chavez supplying 12,000 Rural Alaskan homes with oil this winter? All true. It was in the Anchorage Daily News. And sadly, it's badly needed. I live in one such community in Alaska. People are either elated to be getting help or are strongly opposed to accepting oil from such a "tyrant". Nevermind that we've been accepting oil from the likes of them for years (the country as a whole that is). I'm siding with the U.S. on this one though. A line has to be drawn somewhere.

Posted by: Chris at September 23, 2006 4:52 AM

You are such a good person. As is Beth.

Also ... I saw this one porn flick once with this really amazing acting.

Nah, I'm kidding. I don't watch porn. Of course!

Posted by: DeAnn at September 24, 2006 1:36 AM

Have you seen V For Vendetta yet? Scary considering the story was written in 1984.

Posted by: Krystyn at September 24, 2006 9:57 PM

Personally, I think Jack Bauer should be president. Yes, he is a fictional character, but he would definitely kick some ass in the Oval Office.

Posted by: Michelle at September 25, 2006 8:29 AM

Incompetent fuckhead ass-weasel... I love it!

Paraphrasing Sarah Vowell, I've been trying to fill the past 6 years with not hating him. He makes it so hard, though. I've been trying to call him "That Man in the White House", lately. I figure if it worked for Republicans for 16 years of FDR, it ought to get me through the last two years o'Bush. Right?

Posted by: Kate the Shrew at September 25, 2006 12:53 PM