Saturday, April 16, 2005


Rave, I smell tear gas!

Raven cocks his head in the directionof the window.

“Good nose. Must be your memeories of the People’s Park in Berkeley coming back to you?”

Or Chicago 68. My welcome to Illinois was watching Daley’s finiest beat the crap out of folks in Lincoln Park.

“I don’t smell it now. Must have been carried in on the wind. I don’t think it’s close to here.”

Check Internet and see if it says anything.

Raven scrolls down the computer screen, hits “Refresh”.

“Yep, it says here on Venezuela’s news site that they’re gassing folks in Parque Ejido.”

That’s not that far from here, Rave.

“Less than a mile, as the Raven flies.”

Hmm. Why did we come to this banana republic?

“It was your idea. Ecuador is a goofy place—politically, anyway. And my species is not even represented here. Talk about feeling like a fish out of water!”

From what I can tell all this fuss is focused on two things: the Supreme Court, who recently annulled the charges against 3 ex-presidents who were hiding out in other countries in the region, and the people wanting to get rid of the current president. I am surprised he’s lasted two years already, since he betrayed the indigenous coalition that put him in office and they almost immediately pulled out of the government.

“Window-dressing, that’s what they were. All the better because they wear those fedoras. I remember at his first international press conference as president Gutierrez said that he was no Hugo Chavez.”

Most people probably realized right there that they had been suckered.

“While all this monkey business goes on here in Bananalandia, Chavez is celebrating the third anniversary of the people returning him to power. He’s stronger than ever, and according to most international surveys, is more influential than George W. Bush.”

That’s kind of misleading, Rave, as Bush’s influence is only negative. I fact, he’s the single most negative force in the world.

“You’ll get no argument from me on that. Even the people in the US—those sheep to the slaughter—are giving him an acceptance rate that’s the lowest of any second-term president since World War II.”

Nixon must be chuckling in his grace about that. And Bush isn’t even telling everyone that he isn’t a crook.

“Doesn’t have the brains. I think he truly believes he’s going to go from the Oval Office to the Pearly Gates in a round of applause.”

I’m starting to feel depressed, Rave.

“Close the window. The tear gas is flattening your affect.”

I can’t smell it anymore. I smell something burning, though.

“My brain cells?”

No, Rave. I think there’s a fire in the wastebasket. Did you put the paper out that you used to light the stove?

Rave peers into the wastebasket.

“By gum, you’re right. There is a bit of a smolder in there.”

He hovers over the basket.

Rave, I can’t believe you did that!

“The Feathered Fire Extinguisher, that’s me.”

Maybe you could drift over to Parque Ejido and see what you can do about the tear gas.

“Naw, don’t want to rain on anyone’s parade.”