The Null Device

In the Great Hall of the Justice Department building in Washington DC, there stand two Art Deco statues representing the Spirit of Justice and the Majesty of Justice. The Spirit of Justice is represented as a female figure, draped in a toga-like garment with one breast exposed. Now the US Attorney General John Ashcroft, a hardline Christian Fundamentalist, has ordered the statue to be covered up and made chaste, with US$8,000 worth of drapes manufactured for the purpose. Well, at least he didn't have it dynamited like those other religious whackos. Though you'd think that covering up nude statues was a cause that only attracted doddering crackpots.

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Posted by: Toby Wed Jan 30 10:22:05 2002

acb, this is scary. It reminds me so much of Margaret Atwood's "The Handmaid's Tale" (highly recommended reading). I read it over xmas and was chilled to come across the following passage (written in 1985): [spoiler]

"...If there had still been portable money, it would have been more difficult. It was after the catastrophe, when they shot the President and machine-gunned the Congress and the army declared a state of emergency. They blamed it on the Islamic fanatics... That was when they suspended the Constitution. They said it would be temporary."

Wonderful book. Not a wonderful reality.

Posted by: acb Wed Jan 30 18:29:51 2002

I read The Handmaid's Tale some years ago, and found it chilling. Though I doubt that the Bush administration is quite that fanatical. Ashcroft would fit in quite nicely in the Republic of Gilead, and Bush could be an American Mullah Omar, a pliable idiot who fronts for the real powers. (I'd say "holy fool", except that he doesn't seem to exude an air of holiness.) But the rest of them serve the God of Pragmatism and self-interest.