Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Idiot Bush Wins Award!

No, I'm serious. Sam Apple's parody that puts Preznit Bush in the role of the "idiot" in William Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury has won the top honor in this year's write-like-Faulkner contest. But you won't find Apple's story in the print edition of Hemispheres, the United Airlines magazine that sponsors the contest. It's only on the website. Organizers of the Faux Faulkner competition accuse Hemispheres of playing politics:
"One of the things they asked was that we didn't have profanity or any obvious sexual content. We watch for that. But anything else, like a political subject, was funny, it was parody. ... We felt that that shouldn't be censored," said Larry Wells, who organizes the contest with his wife, Dean Faulkner Wells, Faulkner's niece.
But magazine editor Randy Johnson claims the mag is simply trying to get more hits on the website:
"The number of people who are able to see the Web site completely stands on its head any charge of censorship," Johnson said. "We are making it available to millions of people."
Johnson further points out that Apple's parody was previously published in the online magazine Slate. Apple's story portrays President Bush in the role of Benjy, the mentally challenged son (the "idiot") in Faulkner's 1929 novel about the wreckage of a Southern family. Just as the first section of Faulner's novel is told from Benjy's point of view, Apple's story -- The Administration and the Fury -- is told from Bush/Benjy's point of view as Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld prepare him for a news conference:

"'Go and get him Saddam's gun,' Condi said. 'You know how he likes to hold it.'

"Dick went to my desk drawer and took out Saddam's gun. He gave it to me, and it was hot in my hands. Rummy pulled the gun away.

"'Do you want him carrying a gun into the press conference?' Rummy said. 'Cant you think any better than he can?'"

Apple won the contest, not because of the political content of his piece, but because -- in the words of contest organizer Larry Wells -- "it mirrors the labyrinthine language of the Nobel laureate." Plus it's a damn funny bonus that "Condi" sounds like "Caddy," Benjy's beloved sister. More:

No comments: