Friday, October 27, 2006

EITHER OR Some vintage Billmon:
The collective sound of all those attack ads is starting to remind me of the one of my uglier childhood memories. I must have been about 10 or 11, and I was walking across a highway overpass not far from my house when I saw a dog on the road down below. It was a big yellow dog, some kind of shepherd mix, and it must have just been hit by a car, because its hindquarters were all smashed up and it was writhing around on the pavement in torment. The traffic wasn't that heavy, and cars were swerving around it, but it was obviously only a matter of seconds before another car or truck came along and mashed it to a pulp. The dog might even have been able to see the vehicle bearing down on it--that is, if it wasn't already out of its mind with pain.

I knew I didn't want to see what was going to happen next, so I turned and ran. But as I did, over a lull in the traffic noise I could hear the dog howling--an indescribable sound, like no sound I've ever heard an animal make, before or since. One final, despairing, agonizing, awful appeal to the canine gods. It made me want to jab out my eardrums with a sharp stick, it was so bad.

And then, abruptly, the howling stopped, and I knew what had happened. But I kept on running -- for blocks it seemed like. And then I stopped and threw up into the bushes.

I think I hear that same sound coming from the Rovian machine right now--a doomed, crazed animal in its final death throes.

Or maybe I'm just imagining that's what it is. Maybe what I'm really hearing is the feral, triumphant howl of a wolf who is proving to the world that he's still the leader of the pack -- by ripping the throats out of a few of the weaker members. Either way, I'll be awfully glad when November 7th rolls around and it finally stops.

CONTRAPOSITIVE is edited by Dan Aibel. Dan's a playwright. He lives in New York City.