December 2004

Michael Schaub

propaganda

Religious Zealot Gift Guide!

Christmas is the time that newspapers start caring about books. Without literature, there would be one less "gift-giving guide" to publish. You know the articles -- perfunctory rundowns of books that would theoretically make good presents. (Warning: Do not give anyone The Da Vinci Code or The Five People You Meet in Heaven unless you want them to think you're a fucking moron.)

The problem is, very few of these lists (besides, say, The Washington Times) have possible gift suggestions for all the right-wing nutcases in your life. Sure, the Diebold company gave them an early Christmas present by delivering them Ohio, but that's no reason to skimp on the gifts. 'Tis the season for giving, even if you are giving weird ultra-conservative propaganda. So here's some suggestions. Here's hoping you're liberal with your gift-giving this year.

The book: The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History by Thomas E. Woods Jr. (Regnery)

The gist: According to Regneryst history, textbooks are penned by "left-wing academic historians who treat their biases as fact." Curse those academic historians! This book aims to shatter these illusions. For example, did you know that Japanese Americans weren't taken to internment camps during World War II? Actually, they were taken to carnivals and amusement parks, where they were given coupons for free corn dogs.

Sample Amazon.com reader review: "Even more illuminating fact like that Miscegenation laws were originally passed to stop Slave masters from raping their slaves, not to stop black men from marrying white women as most slanderous articles now assume." (Seth J. Frantzman, Jersusalem)

Someone actually wrote that? Yes.

What a dick. Yes. What a gullible dick.

Perfect for: Your ultra-conservative, who will go to any self-deluding lengths to believe that America never did anything bad, and who still has a picture of Joseph McCarthy on his mantle.

The book: American Soldier by Tommy Franks (Regan Books)

The gist: A memoir from the general who won the war with Iraq -- if by "won" you mean "didn't win." But hey, we've only sustained 1,000 American casualties! And those 100,000 dead Iraqi civilians -- they'll be proud they sacrificed their lives for an ineffectual puppet government.

Sample Amazon.com reader review: "This book will not only warm your heart, but it will take you into the world of the U.S. Military in ways that others have failed to do. If he wants to run for President in 2008, he will have my vote. BUY THIS BOOK - THAT'S AN ORDER!!!" (S. Wilkins of Houston)

Sample review from the vast left-wing conspiracy: "One of the "impractical" suggestions from Feith that disregarded, we now know, was to rally Iraqis to assist in their country's liberation. More than a year later, the United States continues to pay a heavy price for not having mobilized sufficient Iraqi security forces early on." (Max Boot in the Washington Post)

Perfect for: Your chickenhawk cousin who supported the war, but didn't enlist because of his nagging acid reflux disease. Semper fi!

The book: A National Party No More: The Conscience of a Conservative Democrat by Zell Miller (Stroud & Hall)

The gist: Democrats have betrayed their party, and their country, by fighting for the things that Democrats believe in. Wait. What?

"Conscience"? Apparently, even vicious homophobes and apologists for racism have consciences.

What liberals have been calling assholes like Miller, who betray their party and then claim they were betrayed: "Zellouts."

Amazon.com reader review: I did not read this Book as yet, but I caught His Speech at the Republican Convention. This man spoke from the Heart, with Convinction from the Soul. I was even moved to tears - I identiefied THAT much with HIS words. I had already planned to vote for Bush long before, already knowing my family, my Morality- has NO PLACE in this Party, not in today's world. I am one of those voters who WOULD have LOVED To Vote Democratic, We are low wage earners, Husband has a Union Job, we drive cars that are 15 yrs old, we agree with many of the Economic issues of this party. But I can NOT in Good Conscience Relate or Condone a party who will fight to give Convicted Criminals the Right to Vote, compare Slavery to Homosexuality (this is an insult to our Black neighbors & their Forefathers), fighting for the right of our daughters to have an abortion without the parents KNOWING, Trust their Judgement on throwing out Frivolous Lawsuits when the majority would feel even our Dog has a "Right" to sue if we give him the wrong Dog food (I am kidding here)... (Anonymous reader "OverRunWithSons)

She hasn't read the book? I think even reading the back of a cereal box would be an accomplishment for this girl, so let's not be too harsh.

Number of journalists who Miller has challenged to a duel: One. That we know of. (Chris Matthews)

Perfect for: Your Republican coworker who also has anger management problems.

The book: The Faith of George W. Bush by Stephen Mansfield (Jeremy P. Tarcher)

The gist: If you didn't vote for Bush, that means you hate Jesus. Why do you hate Jesus?

So Bush is a Christian. You're damn right.

Even though he executed a woman who had been born again, actually mocking her pleas for mercy? Yep.

Along with several retarded people? That is correct.

OK. Yep.

Man, Jesus is going to be pissed when he finds out about that. I'd imagine.

Sample Amazon.com reader review: "The Word of God quotes Jesus, saying, "The world has hated you because it first hated me, but fear not, I have overcome the world!" Of course the world hates George W. Bush. He is a lighthouse for Christ and truth and that irritates people. The world hates the truth, and they hate President Bush because of it." (Jason Johnston of Grapevine, Texas)

Perfect for: Pretty much everybody! Who doesn't love religious hypocrites?