Sunday, March 6, 2011

How George Bush Made Me Smile

Ok, I'm now going to admit it publicly. I publish a travel magazine; but aside from Travelife Magazine (the Philippines' leading travel & lifestyle publication, by the way), the only other magazines I subscribe to are Vanity Fair and Architectural Digest. I know I've been reading Vanity Fair for over ten years now (and I've certainly noticed how issues in the past year or so have grown much thinner, unfortunately) and Architectural Digest for at least 15 years, if not 20.

With the exception of reading the latest Travelife issue (I usually get the very first copy hot off the press...with the exception of the February-March issue, when someone beat me to the first copy of my own magazine, so I actually had to content myself with the second copy), nothing -- and I have to repeat, nothing -- makes my day more than getting my issues in the mail and having an hour to myself with my magazines, curled up in my favorite chair.


Interested in the Travelife Turkey Tours
for May 2011?
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with Christine Cunanan,
Travelife Magazine Publisher


POLITICS IN INDIA

Unfortunately, I haven't had the luxury of doing so at all this year -- or of watching movies or DVDs, for that matter. The only time I get to catch up on movies is on airplanes, and I'm happy that most of the airlines I choose to fly with these days have pretty good movies. One movie that really caught my attention was an Indian film called Rajneeti, about the reality of local politics in a small state in India with a little tragic romance thrown in, directed by legendary Indian director Prakash Jha. Indian politics in one sense seems so similar to ours, with its web of intrigues and backroom dealings among a privileged minority class ruling over a majority. But it's also very different -- it seems much more chaotic and violent! I was so fascinated with it that I watched it both ways on Turkish Airlines a few months back, to and from Istanbul.

MAKING TIME FOR BOOKS

One past time I do make up time for, however, is reading books. I always read a chapter or two before going to bed, no matter how late it is; and I find I end up reading many books this way. My favorite books are biographies -- I'm now reading a book on the lives of the daughters of King George III of Britain, simply because it's so interesting to learn about the lives of educated and smart women in the 18th century -- but lately, I've also been rediscovering modern Japanese classics like The Makioka Sisters by Junichiro Tanizaki and Spring Snow by Yukio Mishima. I read these classics many years ago, and I find there's greater enjoyment in my recent revisit of these books.

UP IN THE AIR AND LAUGHING

I haven't at all had time to catch up on my favorite magazines. But on the plane this week, I brought an old and unread copy of Vanity Fair and, among many other things, there was a hilarious (and fictitious, I'm assuming) Q&A interview with former president George W. Bush. Reading it made me burst out laughing so hard that I think the whole cabin was surprised. It was just so funny but at the same time half-believable.

I'm re-posting some of it here, as published in the November 2010 issue of Vanity Fair.


photo from Vanity Fair

LEAP BEFORE YOU LOOK

Folks oftentimes ask me, Mr. President, when’s a good time to go to war?

There’s only one question to that answer. There’s no time like the present. But you must never forget what I always terminate the vital elephant of surprise. Never go to war unless you’re unprepared. Yes, your enemy may be ready—but don’t fall into that trap yourself. Take yourself by surprise: that way you won’t see it coming.

NEVER SKATE ON THIN WATER

Before I was a kid I was an adult, and back in those days I was always requestivating my daddy to let me go skate on the pond. Til my undying day, I’ll never forget the words my daddy told me. He sat me on his laptop and said, “George, if you’re fixin’ to skate on a pond, first check it’s wearin’ a thick layer of ice.”

My ears were open but sad to say they were not listening. I tied on my skates, blade side down, and I leaped onto that pond and I skated and skated and skated. But I just stayed in the same place and I relinquished something was wrong when I felt water all over my eyes and in my ears and down my pants.

STARE HARD AT A MAP AND

YOU’LL SEE YOURSELF WAVING BACK

Maps are a vital part of modern-day warfare. Big maps are better than small maps because they show more. A map of scale 1:1 is ideal prior to an invasion, but it could be mighty hard to fold.

It’s all about stragedy. Before we went to war against Iraq, I sent for a map of the world and took a real good close-up look. “Concentrate on these blue areas,” I told my generals, “because whoever it is has got America surrounded.”

A BIG DEAL IS NO BIG DEAL

Money is what serapates the rich from the poor. The more money you have, the richer you are. I never heard poor folks complain about having too much money, but rich folks are oftentimes upsets about having too little. That’s why my administry concentrated all our efforts on producing more wealth for the rich, because these are the folks who needs it most.

MIND UP HOW I MY MADE

How did I approach my biggest decisions? I don’t think you can come to a firm conclusion about an administry until a lengthy passage of time has collapsed. Face it, history books are not written by historians. I’m going to put people in my place, so when the history of this administry is wrote at least there’s an authoritarian voice saying exactly what did not happen.

When Karl and Dick would inter the Oval Office and demand a major decision on a matter of international importunate, I’d reply, “Give me a minute to have some real big thinks about it and I’ll get back to you.” Then I would close the door open and enrage in a stop-by-stop thought processions:

Stop 1. What is the solution?

Stop 2. What is the problem?

Stop 3. What problem are we talking about here?

Stop 4. Did someone mention a problem?

Stop 5. Remind me again.

And then I’d take out my pen and sign whatever it was Karl and Dick considered appropriated.

ALWAYS DO WHAT

YOUR DADDY TORTURE

“Regrett” is not a word in my vacubolary.

People ask me, Do you regrett going to war against those evil folks in Iranistan and Afghaq? I say, Yes, I have no regretts. My only regrettation is that Saddam betrayed his promise and failed to come up with the weapons of mass distraction he had promised us he did not have.

And even when we hanged the guy, we had to keep on invaderating his country, just to show them once and for all it was high time we teached them a proper disrespect for human life.

PS: Now if reading this doesn't make your day, I don't know what will.


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