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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Saturday, July 20

Gapers Block

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Yale Alumni for Truth

FROM: DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe
To: America Coming Together (ACT)
CC: Parterniship for America's Families
Big Labor

Script for campaign ad of "Yale Alumni For Truth," a "non-partisan" 527 group opposed to the reelection of George W Bush.

OPEN: Grainy black and white photograph of George W Bush, ca. 1968, in a Yalie sweater, cheering on the home squad.

People say George W. Bush is a good wartime leader. But when the chips were down and the Sigma Alpha Mu's kept taking pictures of their balls on our Fraternity Standard, George W Bush didn't stand firm. He totally went to their mixer with the Delts.

DISSOLVE TO: Old white man's paunchy face, wrought with anguish and regret. He speaks directly into the camera.

V.O. [cont]:
I know because I was there. I saw him sniff a pound of blow off some co-ed's perky front meat.

CUT TO: Crisp photograph of George W Bush squatting next to a bonfire, pantsless.

I remember, it sure. I'll never forget it. I was half a bottle of Chivas in the bag, after W killed the other half-plus freebasing a rail of carpetcleaner. He got reckless. Dropped trou in front of the bonfire and let loose with what he used to call a "Juicy Texan." The resulting ball of flame cinged the eyebrows off Winston Chesterton III's face, and burned at least one prostitute to death. He put us all in danger that night.

DISSOLVE TO: Slightly paunchier white man's face.

When we're faced with, the, uh, bonfire of, umm…economic instability, we can't depend on George W. Bush to, to well, not fart on it.

CUT TO: Full Color Photograph of a young George W Bush with his face glued to the floor, his pants around his ankles, and an empty box of Borax in his hand.

I know, because I was there, that George W Bush lacks the moral authority to lead. He says he wants to ban gay marriage. But he sure didn't seem to oppose anything gay during Hell Week. And after he'd mainline two scoops of detergent, you couldn't keep him off those hairless young Freshmen.

CUT TO: Photograph of a young George W Bush holding two dripping hamburgers in his hands, a shotglass in his mouth.

Compassionate Conservative? Yale used to admit a few poor southern kids every year-they called'em "charity cases." I remember because--

DISSOLVE TO: Sagging, pockmarked face of aging white dude.

V.O. [Cont.]:
I was there. I was one of those "charity cases." When we were getting our free lunches of oatmeal and tripe in the cafeteria, George used to come over with a huge tray of hamburgers. But they weren't beef. They were made out of Snow Leopard meat. He'd laugh while he ate them right in front of us-washing them down with shot glasses full of Do-Do Bird pancreatic fluid. He used Treasury Bills as a bib to keep the White Tiger blood he used as ketchup off of his shirt-which was made out of scraps from the original Shroud of Turin. He'd look at us with wild eyes and say, "Maybe if your granddaddy sold weapons to the Nazis, you could afford livin' like this!"

CUT TO: Black and white photograph of a young George W Bush angrily choking young co-ed

George W Bush has no sense of fairness or equality. I'll never forget the night-hot, sweaty, in the Pike house. We were all young then. Young and -- sure, scared. I'm not afraid to say it, we were scared. But we had pledged ourselves to do it, so we were going to follow through.

DISSOLVE TO: Grainy photograph of George W. Bush being held upside-down, beer keg tap firmly quenched between his teeth.

I went first. I lasted 32 seconds -- I remember, I counted. When it was his turn to go up, he snickered. I'll never forget it because--

DISSOLVE TO: Close-up of old white woman's face

I was there. He said, "No way this here skirt outlasts the ol' Sexin' Texan!" He only lasted 30 seconds. I won. George went crazy and started choking me, demanding a recount, saying he had actually been up for 34 seconds. Eventually, he had his dad call the dean, and he came in and declared George the winner. Can we trust this man to be president?


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The Dumuzi / September 1, 2004 2:23 AM

Weapons for Nazis? That all you got? The Borax was good, but that's way subtle for morons. We need a better Hammer.

How about that final 3 million for the Bolsheviks? What was that anyway, foreign aid to build free-standing walls?

Yo...Mengele...stem-cell this chunky!!!

( didn't get that one either?)

This cell-line is not gonna die by itself, not ever. Another 80 years and this thing will still be jumping out of airplanes.

Twin heads, but joined at the hip? "Don't laugh, our fathers used to work at different jobs together."

It's judgement day. Get it done.

The Exterminator has spoken.

Johnny / September 1, 2004 9:50 AM

Its pretty funny. Ramsin makes fun of Bush using his dad's ties to be declared a winner.

Where are you on the Lipinski nomination? Oh yeah, he's a democrat so that doesn't count.

Ramsin - you write naively about Chicago politics and expect credibility on national politics. Stick to articles about drinking. That is an area where your integrity is unquestioned.

To the rest of the GB crew - Its three days into the GOP convention and not a mention of it. During the DNC convention, you were all lining up to be the next one to glorify Obama and Kerry in print.

Are you journalists or propagandists? Perhaps neither.

Polamer / September 1, 2004 10:22 AM

Gosh would I love to have symbols and values that have become so mainstreem today, those liberal democratic symbols,like fudgepackers, gov't welfare lovers, drug abusers ( and I mean even if your freaking doing it only on the weekend!), oh and free thinking hollywood richassmoviestars, who the fuck are they! Yeah let's get rid of some famly values, and show the rest of the world how cool we are...dude

Pete / September 1, 2004 10:34 AM

GB shouldn't have to commence intelligent discourse on the RNC until the GOP commences intelligent discourse, period. If the Bush daughters' appearance last night doesn't have the Yale admissions office rethinking its position on nepotism, nothing will.

Andrew / September 1, 2004 11:01 AM

Johnny: Perhaps you haven't noticed, but this site is about Chicago. The only stories we ran about the DNC had some sort of tie to Chicago -- and if you look at the posts in July, there was almost no mention of the convention at all -- a couple posts on Obama, one on a local blogger covering the convention, and absolutely none on Kerry, unless you count the one a couple weeks ago about the Tribune editor coming out in defense of his Vietnam record. In fact, we covered the Illinois Republican Party's choice of Alan Keyes for senate more than any other political item in the past two months.

Furthermore, the columnist you've decided is so naive wrote a decidedly non-cheerleader column on Obama a little over a month ago, in the thick of the Obama lovefest.

Sure we're liberal. But this isn't a political site, and we don't inhibit our volunteer contributors' opinions. If you're looking for a right-leaning site, may we recommend our compatriots at The Chicago Report.

But just for you, today, I'll put together a post about the local Republican bloggers covering the election. Would that satisfy you?

Polamer: WTF are you talking about?

As far as this column goes, I read it as a satire of the spurious "Swiftboat Veterans for Truth" ad that has been criticized by both parties as a basketfull of lies. What did *you* think it was?

Johnny / September 1, 2004 11:36 AM

I have noticed that this site is about Chicago, about 3% of Chicago.

Do an analysis on the coverage and put a plus or minus next to each article about Keyes. You will find that it is decidedly negative coverage.

I'm not looking for a right-wing or left-wing site. I'm looking for balance and accuracy and original thought. In the pol section, it is lacking. Half of the time it sounds like Ramsin is hoping to get some appointment by city hall for kissing up to the machine.

How about a story about nepotism in Chicago politics? If one of the biggest peeves of the anti-Bush crowd in Chicago is that he used his dad's ties, then why isn't there any fuss over this city's electoral operations? That is Chicago based and would probably be an interesting story given that GB is decidedly liberal.

Cinnamon / September 1, 2004 11:37 AM

If I'd read this before I posted about the GOP delegates staying in a lavish hotel for the RNC, I might not have posted it just to keep up the "GB must hate all Republicans" vibe. Oh well.

It's hard to recognize satire when it hits close to the truth I guess.

Andrew / September 1, 2004 11:45 AM

If anything, I think Ramsin's pretty critical of the Machine (his abiding love of the Mayor aside). He's written regularly about how Machine politics has ridden roughshod over the little guys -- his stories on the tattoo artist on Taylor street, for instance, or his analysis of the Walmart vote.

I think a story on nepotism in Chicago politics would be excellent, and I'm sure Ramsin will agree, as he's hinted at the issue in the past.

miss ellen / September 1, 2004 11:59 AM

i'm not sure why it isn't showing up in this week's article, but ramsin always requests story ideas, tips, etc.

under "about the columnist", it should read:
Ramsin Canon covers and works in politics in Chicago. If you have a tip, a borderline illegal leak, or a story that needs to be told, contact him at

thanks for the input, johnny.

Andrew / September 1, 2004 12:10 PM

i'm not sure why it isn't showing up in this week's article


amyc / September 1, 2004 1:26 PM

"Do an analysis on the coverage and put a plus or minus next to each article about Keyes. You will find that it is decidedly negative coverage."

So? This ain't the Trib, Johnny. GB is under no legal or ethical requirement to provide unbiased coverage of politicians or anybody else. You are free to start your own Keyes fansite. (But, please, no slash fiction.)

Johnny / September 1, 2004 1:53 PM


Thank you for the legal brief.

It is important for any publication that wants itself to be taken seriously, and I think GB does, to look at that type of issue.

Brenda / September 1, 2004 2:01 PM

I think maybe you take GB more seriously than it takes itself, Johnny. Lighten up. Stop and smell the satire.

JamesMorgan / September 1, 2004 2:30 PM

08.06.04, 05:15 PM — Ramsin said:

Alan Keyes may be a staunch Conservative and lunatic, but he is also possessed of a brilliant analytic mind and debating prowess I have never seen anywhere else outside of academia (I will avoid the patronizing phrase "well-spoken"). We will be cheated if we don't get a host of debates between the two--I think the Obama campaign will want to avoid that, but if it happens, it could be epic.

JamesMorgan / September 1, 2004 2:37 PM

Half of the time it sounds like Ramsin is hoping to get some appointment by city hall for kissing up to the machine.

2.18.04 Ramsin said:

The Chicago political structure relies so heavily on connections, favors, and organizations that "corruption" begins to fudge and lose all meaning.

Steve / September 1, 2004 2:40 PM

Are you journalists or propagandists? Perhaps neither.

I thought the GBers were essayists and bloggers, what with this being a group blog that also runs a daily essay of some sort.

The real problem in the media today is that so many propragandists are erroneously labelled journalists. But that's a story for another day.

JamesMorgan / September 1, 2004 2:40 PM

8.11.04 Ramsin said:

He learned a valuable lesson about how a bill becomes a law in Chicago.

They're not judged by the content of their character, but by the name of their sponsor.

Ramsin / September 1, 2004 2:49 PM

Johnny, would you only be happy if you came here and read what you wanted to read?

Bill Lipinski is bad!

There you go. Happy? The guy is hardly a Democrat, anyway.

I don't think I write "naively" at all. I think I'm actually somewhat astute. I think people who read a column written by a guy who repeatedly describes himself as a partisan Democrat and then gets incensed because that columnist doesn't pick up on every single sidestory about Democrats misbehaving are naive.

I think evaluating politicians and refusing to buy into one extreme or another--whether "They are all corrupt!" or "They are all angels!" is naive. If you go through my columns, you'll see I critique many locals pols and Democrats pretty harshly, but I rarely roundly condemn them, because things aren't that black and white. The Mayor may practice nepotism, but he does good things, too. The same goes for most politicians.

Except, of course, Republicans. They're all wrong all the time.

Ramsin / September 1, 2004 3:05 PM

er, --whether "They are all corrupt!" or "They are all angels!" isn't naive

Gordon / September 1, 2004 3:43 PM

Um ... I wish that fifteen year old who keeps making up new fake e-mail addresses to ineptly spar with Ramsin every week would post to my column. I feel left out.

Hey, "Johnny" — I'll be reviewing something on your intellectual level soon. The SpongeBob Squarepants movie comes out this fall.

Andrew / September 1, 2004 3:49 PM

OK, everyone, we're certainly not showing our open-mindedness and all-inclusiveness by jumping all over the dissenter. Take a deep breath, as RC would say.

MC High Life / September 1, 2004 4:13 PM

Gapers Block is a website.

Johnny / September 1, 2004 4:57 PM

Ah, but Andrew that is the hidden secret of Liberals in the 21st century.

dan / September 1, 2004 5:23 PM

Hey Johnny-

Can I name my band that?... "The Liberals of the 21st Century"?

Maybe we'll put you on the guest list.

Probably not, though.

Mike / September 2, 2004 3:19 PM

All I'm saying is: don't cave to the whiners GB! That's how great things slide, one chronic complainer writes in, saying "I'm just looking for accuracy and balance" all innocent, like they're serious Robert McChesney types. How many letters do you think these people are writing to actual news sites, who do have a serious bias problem and who misinform people so badly that actual wars get started over their mindless parroting of propaganda? Probably none.
Johnny, it's not GB's fault for you mistaking them as "real journalists". You're a smart little tyke, you can read between lines by now and interpret satire, can't you?

Allison / September 4, 2004 3:34 PM

This is the funniest thing I've read in weeks.

Rick / September 5, 2004 1:09 AM

Mr. Canon has shown more integrity and honesty in dealing with both Chicago and national politics than any of you shit-talking wonks could ever hope to achieve. Leave the guy alone and admit his creativity and introspection is what draws you to this site.

cd / September 5, 2004 6:03 PM

What draws me to this site, RICK, is that the political aspect (and discussion section)of this site is an excellent example of myopic, semi-literate, college-"educated" people arguing over what amounts to about half a yard of turf in the fourth quarter of a consolation football game. Not "Mr. Ramsin's" creativity and introspection (no offense). The satire is funny -- not laugh-out-loud -- and I get it. The problem is that politics has nothing to do with Bush or Kerry, or Obama and Keyes, but with forces much stronger and more subtle. Yours is a battle fought on television with recognizable faces and words you try to understand. I'm not going to go too deep into this, but what you people are talking about is a "sophisticated" form of high-brow entertainment. I advise you to save your own ass, and at the end of the day, you'll find that that's enough, and that all this tripe we're talking is just bullshit. Wind, appropriately. Can you dig that?



About the Author(s)

Ramsin Canon covers and works in politics in Chicago. If you have a tip, a borderline illegal leak, or a story that needs to be told, contact him at .

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