The Lukewarm Butterknife

Fireaxe Newsletter - edition 7.3.1

Apr. 1, 2004

"Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal savior?"
- classic Christian question

"Have you accepted death as the end of your existence?"
- a wonderful reply

Holy shit, and plenty of it. Religious believers seldom agree on anything and often settle their differences by conveniently ignoring the pacifistic parts of their faith, but there is one thing that they all do agree on and that is that atheists are completely wrong. So when Fireaxe chose to gratuitously assail the foundations of all the major religions of the world with the release of "Food for the Gods" it is no surprise that the offended gods brought their wrath down upon the infidel. Not personally of course, as the gods don't really exist, but wrath in the form of their followers toting holy books with revised phrases such as "vengeance is mine, but go ahead and punish the sinners for me", and "Thou shall indeed kill". In other news, Fireaxe has teamed up with a rap star from Afghanistan to cut a new CD. Lastly, it's time to cast your votes in the final round of the Fireaxe September eleventh memorial design concepts.

A big "Hello" to anyone receiving the Lukewarm Butterknife for the first time. Read it twice each day and you will end up very, very big, if you know what I mean. This is the official parody of the Fireaxe newsletter.

Fireaxe creator's first television appearance does not go well

"And as for Iraq…", the righteously enraged anchor man concluded, turning towards the camera that showed him in the most sanctimonious light possible. "Everything is great and getting better there. And if it wasn't for the lying liberal media and the traitorous democrats and anti-war demonstrators encouraging the Muslim extremist terrorists and Saddam loyalists to kill and maim our troops, everything would be perfect there by now. And we'd have taken over Syria and Iran and Saudi Arabia too and found all of Saddam's weapons of mass destruction because that's where he hid them. And we also would have turned those countries into democracies, which is what all the reasonable Muslims want, and the unreasonable Muslims better do things our way if they know what good for them. And we won't stop there, we'll go to Pakistan, and North Korea, and Indonesia, and Libya, and Egypt, and Yemen, and back to Vietnam to finish the job there too. And we'll take care of China because they're better at capitalism than we are. And we'll show those cheese-eating surrender monkeys in France, and we'll show the Canadians because some of them speak French, and we'll show those cowardly terrorist lovers in Spain, and then we'll take Old Europe, and we'll take New Europe, and we won't stop, we'll go all the way to Moscow! Yeeeeeaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrgggghhh!"

At that moment all across America, millions of tragically information starved and ill-informed voters nodded in silent agreement. The anchor regained his composure.

"And now it's time for the 'Dwithit Factor' with your host Phil Dwithit.", the anchor said with a look in his eye that said, 'it's not enough to simply agree with Phil Dwithit, you must love him too'.

Yet another middle aged white male appeared on camera with his face twisted into a scowl not unlike the look an alcoholic father comes home wearing after a bad day at work.

"Good evening.", Phil said disingenuously. "America is under attack not only from Muslim terrorists but from liberal, sleaze merchants who poison this nation with obscenity, porn, and sacrilege. Like pedophile priests they prey upon the young, forcing vile filth into their ears and brainwashing our children into joining the sick, depraved underworld of drug addiction and promiscuity. These immoral cowards are hiding behind the first amendment so that they can exploit the nation's innocents for profit and they simply don't care that they're transforming this nation into one where a Columbine happens every week."

"With us today is one of the most notorious internet sickos out there who spreads his brand of moronic atheistic nihilism across the web hoping to destroy all religions and send all believers off to concentrations camps just like the commies did. He's Brian Voth, creator of Fireaxe and slimy spawn of Satan.", Phil said, finally pausing to breathe.

"Thanks for having me. Nice alliteration.", Brian replied. "Do you always speak in logical fallacies?"

"Excuse me?", Phil said, caught off guard.

"Poor arguments. Empty words. Misinformation.", the guitarist tried to clarify. "Everything you said was a logical fallacy. I counted three false analogies, five ad hominems, two slippery slope arguments, three arguments from adverse consequences, a bunch of half truths, an endemic confusion of causation and correlation and one long straw man argument. And you threw in some lies too, for color I would think."

"Well of course, the spawn of Satan would say something like that, and avoid the real argument.", Phil said indignantly.

"There is no real argu…", Brian began but Phil cut him off by talking over him, as is the style on modern talk shows.

"You're a Satanist! Atheism is a religion! It's a religion because they can't prove that God doesn't exist! And that means…", Phil bellowed, but Brian fought back by using the talk over strategy to cut him off in turn.

"That's non-falsifiable. Non-falsifiable! You can't prove a negative.", Brian shouted.

"…AND THAT MEANS, if you'd let me finish.", Phil, an expert at interrupting his guests, having had lots of practice, said loudly and slowly. "…that since you don't worship God, you worship Satan!"

"Excluded middle.", Brian said calmly.

"It is not! It says in the bible that…", Phil began.

"Argument from authority.", Brian answered.

Phil cleared his throat and started again, "Jesus said…".

"Same thing.", Brian said smiling.

Phil looked flustered, but quickly pulled out his trump card. "So is the world a better place without Saddam Hussein?", he roared, hoping to pin the surprisingly intellectual rocker.

"Begging the question.", Brian said with a laugh.

Phil was speechless, but only for a moment. "So you refuse to answer any of my questions. Just what I would have expected from a Satanist.", Phil looked at the camera and gave the audience the very well rehearsed look of a man who had just won an argument. Across America, millions of viewers bought the act. Brian just shook his head.

"In your CD you prove that you're a Satanist.", Phil began, pulling out the lyrics booklet for "Food for the Gods". "You sing about Satan winning a war in heaven, about the Virgin Mary getting raped, about Jesus getting crucified upside-down. You talk about your goddess Kali, who's the Hindu version of Satan. You sing about killing all the gods, and you advocate war and rape and slaughter. That sounds like Satanism to me. You are a Satanist! Quit trying to deny it!"

"Did you read the disclaimer?", Brian said, giving his eyes a quick roll and further enraging the 'interviewer'. "It's on the back of the booklet, 'Those who attempt to portray the actions and attitudes of the characters depicted within as being those the artist advocates and holds are pushing their own agenda and do not deserve your attention'. If you had you wouldn't be making an ass out of yourself right now."

"Of course I read that.", Phil lied. "You are the ass. You can't just shirk your responsibility to the community. Kids are going to listen to your CD and commit crimes and that's your fault no matter what your disclaimer says."

"They might.", the guitarist conceded.

Phil was stunned again, but recovered. "Ha! That's right."

"But plenty of people read the bible and then go on to kill people because they think that God or Jesus told them to do it.", Brian added. "If we're going to start banning books and CDs for violent content and inciting crime, the bible is definitely at the top of the list."

Phil scowled. He looked down at the booklet for anything that he could find that he could shove in the fiery young man's face and twist around to discredit him. He found it.

"A swastika!", Phil erupted as he looked down at the cover. "You're a Nazi! Zoom in on this."

Phil turned the booklet to face the camera as the cameraman zoomed in where he was pointing.

"Yes, that's one of six symbols I chose that represent the major ideologies that influence the world today.", Brian explained with a sigh, knowing that that his words would be uttered in futility. "There's a swastika, a hammer and sickle, a crescent, a cross, an American eagle, and a star of David."

"It's a swastika! A swastika!", Phil ranted, getting a little too excited and spraying spittle on everything in his vicinity. "You're a Nazi! A Nazi!"

Then Phil looked a little closer. "Wait a second. Right next to it. Zoom in on that. Do you see it?", Phil said as his anger quickly turned to fear and his face began to pale. "It's a Star of David. Right next to the swastika."

"Yes.", Brian tried to explain. "Those are two of the six major ideologies. I put those particular two next to each other because of their inter-relatedness."

The stunned demagogue's eyes opened wide as he heard the words. Brian looked around, wondering if he had said something wrong.

"You know what that makes you, don't you?", Phil asked, his face ashen.

"A Satanist?", Brian answered slowly.

"Worse. An Anti-Semite.", Phil said coldly.

"Oh shit.", Brian replied.

The next forty-eight hours was a blur. The creator of Fireaxe was taken out of the studio by force, gratuitously roughed up a bit, and locked up in a holding cell somewhere within the massive Southern California Department of Homeland inSecurity main office and prison complex. There he was tortured by being forced to fill out dozens of forms in triplicate and answer the same personal questions to scores of inSecurity agents. Then the interrogation began.

"Who are you working with?", the interrogator asked for the twentieth time.

"I told you, I'm not a terrorist.", Brian groaned.

"We'll decide that.", the interrogator continued. "Give us a name."

"I don't know any terrorists.", Brian confessed, but the interrogator wasn't going to take 'no' for an answer.

"Alright, alright.", Brian broke down. "There's this guy that I know. Pretty high up. He's got terrorist connections. He used to be CIA. He funneled lots of money to Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda, millions of dollars that they used to buy guns and explosives."

"That's what I'm talking about.", the interrogator smiled. "Write this down.", he told a subordinate.

"He's got connections to a few corporations in the US too who sold chemical and biological weapons to Saddam Hussein. He pulled strings in the White House to get the deal to go through. And he's got ties to the Saudi royal family.", Brian added. "He's had a hand in building up every organization that we're fighting today. He's as dirty as they come."

"Yeah. Alright! We're going to go nail this traitor.", the interrogator said excitedly. "What's his name?"

Brian raised his head and looked the interrogator in the eye. "His name is George H.W. Bush. He's the president's father."

The interrogator slammed his clipboard onto the floor and threw a fit.

"So now you're going to torture me right?", Brian said, resigned to his fate.

"No. The United States doesn't torture people. It's illegal", the angry agent said. " But it's perfectly legal for us to send you somewhere and have them do it for us."

And so they did.

Brian was taken to an undisclosed Middle Eastern country where he was tortured relentlessly for months. They tied him to a rack and tortured him, and when he got angry they took him to a longer rack. There he was drawn until he felt nothing and they had broken his back. Still he gave up no names. So they burned a cross into his flesh and pulled out his intestines before his eyes. Still he gave up no names. So they dragged him down to the river of madness and baptized him. Still he gave up no names. So they made him watch the Super Bowl halftime show over and over and over. Still he gave up no names. Finally, looking through the collected works of Fireaxe to get more ideas for ways of tormenting its creator, they found an old but novel idea.

"Take him to Jerusalem!", the head torturer cried out. "And crucify him."

The road to Jerusalem was long and brutal. Every step of the way Brian had to drag a heavy wooden cross that was tied to his genitals. His shoes were stripped from him and he was made to walk across broken glass and roofing nails for hundreds of miles through 130 degree temperatures. Angry Jews, Arabs, and Christians lined the road, pelting the atheist rocker with stones and cell phones, and crashing their SUVs into him at high speeds. Around his head they wrapped a crown of barbed wire, and then they said, "heck with it", and wrapped barbed wire around his whole body. Then they threw him off a bridge and made him crawl all the way back up, after which they threw him off again. All the while the fanatics on either side of him cursed him and shouted at him and told him that his vocals were terrible. Brian Voth, cut, bruised, and bleeding, left a trail of red mud behind him as he stumbled along, losing gallon after gallon of blood.

But that was only the beginning, once in Jerusalem…

(Editor's note - We have seen fit to remove approximately fourteen pages of the text describing the inhuman amounts of torture and suffering inflicted upon Mr. Voth. To be quite frank, it was excessive, ridiculous, and ultimately pointless.)

…and then they nuked him, and nuked him again. And the grand interrogator asked, "He has been nuked twice. Is being nuked twice punishment enough?" And the crowd shouted out, "Nay! Nay! He must be nuked a third time! Three times must he be nuked." And so it came to pass that the enemy of all religions was nuked a third time, and there was much rejoicing.

Finally the blasphemer, beaten, nuked, and still nailed to the cross, was confronted with his sins.

"You are hereby accused of being an anti-Semite.", the grand interrogator said as he stood before the angry, shouting crowd. "Do you have anything to say in your defense?"

"I do.", Brian gasped as the crowd quieted down just enough to hear. "I don't have anything against Jews. I admire the intellect, talent, and accomplishments of the Jewish people."

The crowd soften just a little, but Brian, who felt the need to be completely honest, continued, "Sure, I feel that the state of Israel is a little extreme in its policies, but…"

"Silence! You know nothing about suffering!", the grand interrogator bellowed as the crowd looked at the brutalized musician and scratched their heads.

"I mean, after thirty-seven years of fighting terrorism unsuccessfully doesn't it make sense to try a different approach?", the tortured guitarist replied.

"Nonsense! It's working.", the grand interrogator shot back. "We have more land now. We have settlements all across the occupied territories. And look at how many billions of dollars the United States gives us every year. And just take a look at all the sophisticated military hardware that we buy at discounted prices in return for battle-testing them for American defense contractors.", the grand interrogator boasted. "The occupation is working wonderfully."

"So you'd gladly sacrifice some of your own people to suicide bombers so that a few Israelis can get filthy rich?", Brian asked, not for his benefit, but for the benefit of those in the crowd.

"Ding! Ding! The atheist wins a prize.", the grand interrogator mocked. "Now if you would be so kind as to tell us what you meant when you said that Nazi and Jewish ideology were inter-related."

A stir went through the crowd. Everyone was eager to hear what the atheist was about to say.

"Well, in the bible, God told the Jews to exterminate all the non-Jews from the promised land. To commit genocide.", Brian explained. "The Nazis attempted to commit genocide against the Jews in the name of God. That was Hitler's interpretation of his Christian faith, blaming the Jews for killing Christ and being a synagogue of Satan. Now we see the Israelis, some of whom are descendents of Jews who lived through the Holocaust, treating the non-Jews in their lands like second class citizens, denying them human rights, abusing them, evicting them, torturing them, killing them, and carrying out a slow motion ethnic cleansing as part of a brutal occupation."

Brian took a breath and spoke again. "Also, both ideologies have racial purity as a central tenet. For the Nazis it was belonging to the Aryan race. For the Jews it is descending from the twelve tribes of ancient Israel. It seems that an ethnically based conflicts are something that both ideologies share and which have fueled animosity and aggression in the other."

"Bullshit!", the grand interrogator shouted. "We are nothing like the Nazis. They act out of aggression. We act out of self-defense. The Arabs want to destroy us, and they spread lies about Jews to stir up hatred and provoke violence."

"Hey, if you're telling me that Arab leaders are exploiting their people for their own ends you're preaching to the choir.", Brian conceded. "And I'm not going to get into a 'who started it' argument. But listen to yourself. Why do you call them 'The Arabs'? Why do you lump them all together? Why are Israeli Arabs not given the same rights as Jews? Why does a nation that claims to be a democracy have a Star of David on it's flag? Isn't Israel a theocracy based on racial identity?"

"We're just trying to preserve the Jewish character of the nation.", the grand interrogator said unconvincingly. "Still, we act out of self defense. We have the right to defend ourselves from terrorists and our actions, while regrettable, we do to try to stop the cycle of violence. But we are not at all like the Nazis. We're not committing genocide. We're not putting the Arabs into ovens."

"Why are you taking their land away?", Brian asked. "That's not self-defense. Not when you put settlements there. Isn't expanding your borders an aggressive act? Aren't you conquering land to appease the radical Israelis who want a 'Greater Israel'? Isn't it a conflict of interest to claim to want peace while relishing the spoils of war?"

"It's our land!", the grand interrogator cried out. "God gave it to us. It says so in the Torah no matter who was here first. We are acting as agents of the creator. By fighting off the Arabs we are doing the Lord's work."

"Yes.", a member of the crowd spoke up. "All within the state of Israel. Nothing outside the state of Israel. Nothing against the state of Israel."

"We are engaged in a final all out battle between Islamic fundamentalism and Judaism.", added another member of the crowd.

"Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.", the grand interrogator concluded. "And so you are one of THEM."

The crowd went wild.

"You guys realize that by keeping the cycle of violence going you're proving me right, right?", Brian asked the grand interrogator.

"Sure. You've got some good ideas. You've just got your heart in the wrong place.", the grand interrogator confessed quietly as the crowd chanted for more blood. "Stoke up the anti-Semitism. The Jewish extremists love it. It fills them with the most noble sense of persecution. They're not unlike Christians you know, who want to be like Christ. Deep down all fanatics are pretty much the same."

"I can do the anti-Semitism thing.", Brian offered. "Will it get me out of this?"

"Maybe.", the grand interrogator replied. "Let's see."

The grand interrogator settled the crowd down. Brian cleared his throat.

"Master race, chosen people, what's the difference?", Brian called out.

The crowd screamed with anger.

"Anti-Semite! Anti-Semite!" The crowd chanted.

"That's pretty good.", the grand interrogator admitted.

"And Israel is the Fatherland! Oops, I mean, the Promised Land.", Brian added.

The crowd chanted louder. "Anti-Semite! Anti-Semite!"

"You shall build a Jewish Reich, I mean state, that will last for a thousand years!", Brian called out. "Heil Abraham!"

The crowd couldn't bear to listen to any more. A few members became enraged and pulled out a spear, stabbing Brian in the side and reopening his radical nephrectomy scar.

"Good enough?", Brian asked through clenched teeth.

"Yes.", said the grand interrogator. "But of course, there's no way that I can save you now. You're on your own."

For days Brian hung on the cross slowly dying, while the crowd never ceased its chanting. They wanted to see him die and there was nothing that was going to stop them.

Almost nothing.

Near death and parched from the heat Brian wondered if there was any way that peace could be made in the Middle East. He stared up at the burning sun. Then he was struck with an inspiration.

"I've got it.", Brian exclaimed. "I know how to make peace between an oppressed people and their conquerors."

The crowd booed and jeered but the grand interrogator soon quieted them, wanting to give a dying man a chance to utter his final words. Silence swept over the crowd as all eyes were focused on the man on the cross.

"Casinos!", the excited musician erupted. "Turn all the settlements into casinos! It worked in the US. It can work here too. Have casinos in Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Ramallah, and all over the West Bank and Gaza. You'll make millions. Billions. And there will be peace."

The grand interrogator considered the idea. "It could work.", he finally said. "Cut him down."

And so it came to pass that a hundred tacky religiously themed casinos were opened up all across the occupied territories. And the peoples of the region and others from far beyond came to the West Bank and Gaza to experience the showy, glitzy, and gaudy wonders that had been created. And finally there was peace as Hasidic Jews, Muslim extremists, and Born-Again Christians sat side by side, drinking, whoring, and losing money in the name of the one true god who they could all agree upon was real, Mammon.

Fireaxe to cut a new CD with Afghan rap star

Yet more controversy erupted within the normalcy-challenged recording industry as the new rising star of what is being dubbed as "Mujahideen Rap" announced his intentions to release a metal crossover CD with internet unknown Fireaxe. This reporter decided to attend the well engineered press conference not because I was bribed and because I'm underpaid, not because rap stars are always surrounded by barely dressed women with smooth round buttocks, and not because of the open bar, but because it's my job to provide fair and impartial reporting to the youth of the world who need to know the truth. Yeah, right.

I'd heard great things about the new wave of Mujahideen Rap and it's founder "One Mean Mutha Mullah from Badassbad". He's a young ethnic Uzbek out of Mazar-i-Sharif who belts out rhymes like his AK-47 belts out bullets. Who could forget such powerful songs like "Bend your Booty over Burka Bitch" and "Taliban Shmaliban Gonna Kick your Afghanistan". Who else could layer rap lyrics over sitars and back it up with percussion instruments built out of former Soviet Republic mechanized vehicles? It flat out rocks.

I downloaded a few Fireaxe mp3s and they were pretty amazing, but seriously, no payola, no backstage passes, no free shit, no kind words in return. This moron has to learn about what it takes to succeed in the business today.

So the conference starts out with a bang. The promoters staged a drive-by shooting, at least I think that it was staged, and out of one of the stretch Hummers steps One Mean and at least half a dozen gyrating hos wearing nothing but bikinis with transparent burkas over them. They were totally fly with racks like J.Lo. Who knew how hot Afghan babes were? I mean I can totally understand why there's so much fighting over there. They're fighting over pussy, and the pussy is out there, Knamean? Shit, I'd keep my hos covered up too to stop Yankee infidels from showing up all uninvited and trying to get it on with my bitches. I'm down with Sharia law, big time.

We get another drive by and One Mean's bodyguards open up with their AK-47s while the bitches hit the deck. Then One Mean pulls out an RPG and shoots the shit out of vanload of Pashtun punks. It was way cool, like Universal Studios on steroids. Anyway, One Mean is dressed like pimp sheik. He's loaded up with the bling-bling and a gold plated turban, and he's showing off all the tattoos on his six-pack. He's letting everyone know who's the man and telling the crowd that South Central doesn't mean shit compared to South Central Asia.

Fireaxe showed up driving a rusty old Jetta. No show, no babes, no gold. What a loser.

So I've got to ask One Mean some questions but he's not taking any interviews and all of his babes are posing for the cameras. No luck there. Brian is standing there all alone looking for anyone who might want to talk to him but no one does. Screw him, he's boring. I figured he'd just go off on some long rant about politics or religion anyway. Who cares about that? I've got to focus on what's really important. Image. People only have a five second attention span these days anyway. Concepts are old school. Flash is king.

The press conference finally starts and One Mean steps up to the mike and lays it all down on us.

"America helped my countrymen defeat the Taliban.", One Mean began. "America freed us from the oppressors who banned all forms of music in my country. For that I want to thank America from the bottom of my heart. So I give to you the gift of music, music that was once banned but which is now free. Just like me."

The crowd went wild and Bush's popularity rating jumped up a full two percentage points.

"Yes, now I'm free. And so are the women of Afghanistan who can now go out in public without a burka.", One Mean nodded towards his hos who showed the cameras their slightly covered boobs and booties again. Once more everyone, feminists and members of the Christian Right alike, cheered.

"We are totally liberated now.", One Mean continued. "Afghanistan is a country where farmers can become rich growing opium to sell to the youth in your country. Where young men can make money working for warlords, paid off by the US, for hunting Talibans and Al Qaeda Arabs and who can kill and rape ethnic Pashtuns while the US looks the other way. Afghanistan is a country where I can not only sing about violence, but perpetrate it as well."

The crowd clapped nervously, unsure if what he said was good or bad.

"Now I'm joining forces with Fireaxe, a totally hardcore metal madman who wails on his guitar like a freakin' whirling dervish.", One Mean said, turning towards Brian. "He's professin' all that god killing shit and I'm down with that. Together we're going to cut a disk that's going to kick that bitch Allah in the ass and blaspheme the fuck out of his pedophile prophet."

The crowd grew even quieter as Fireaxe creator Brian Voth walked up to the mike.

"I'm not a big fan of rap music, but One Mean is different.", Brian began. "He isn't like all those poser rappers who grew up in white middle class neighborhoods and then go and dress up like gang members and claim that they have street cred. That's bullshit. And some of them don't even stop there. They actual become gang bangers and do the raping and killing thing just so they can get their names on the police blotter to boost their CD sales. That's fucked up."

"But One Mean is the real deal. When he sings about gang raping some burka bitches or castrating some Pashtun punk with a rusty razor, he's actually done it.", Brian said with a flair. "And isn't that what music is all about. We don't want role models for our kids who just pretend to be rapists and murderers. We want our kids listening to actual rapists and murderers. Honesty. That's what it's all about. Our children deserve nothing less. And let me tell you something about the bottom line. Nothing sells like the real thing. What's the sound of an AK-47? Ch-ching. Ch-ching. Ch-ching."

The sound of Brian Voth imitating a cash register echoed through the quiet hall. It was at that moment when a young Arab ran into the press conference and reached into his jacket. But he didn't explode, or pull out a gun. Instead he pulled out a birth certificate of a person named Irving Norwiddle and a copy of the man's New Jersey driver's license whose picture bore a striking resemblance to One Mean Mutha Mullah from Badassbad. In an instant it was all over. One Mean's career as a rapper was dead. His burka bitches left him. His bodyguards left him. The reporters and press cleared out like there was a bomb threat. The damage was done.

I saw Brian still standing there at the mike shaking his head and wondered if there really was something to the idea of producing music with substance and meaning. I took a step towards him but then my ears picked up the sound of another recording industry controversy erupting nearby and I left to cover it instead.

Final round of voting for September eleventh memorial

First of all I would like to apologize in advance if anyone who finds this piece at all offensive. I don't mean any disrespect for the victims of the people who died on September eleventh or their families. I feel that they deserve to be remembered and that the memorials in their honor should be a little more meaningful than those that are usually given to those who die before their time. It was indeed a national tragedy.

However, I feel quite adamantly that the event has been blown completely out of proportion by those seeking to use it for their own selfish purposes. As tragic as the event might have been I can personally see no constructive purpose for continuously memorializing the event ad naseum in what can only be described as a sickening display of pompous piety. The excess of patriotism, fear mongering, and political correctness which has accompanied these displays could almost be described as a national embarrassment, and both political parties, not just the one in power, are guilty as charged.

The current proposed memorial and the controversy surrounding it is but a snapshot of the lunacy that has possessed the country. Some claim that nothing should be built there since the land is now 'sacred ground'. Apparently the slaughter of the Algonquin Indians in Manhattan hundreds of years before wasn't enough to sanctify the island. But the general consensus is to build something more spectacular and expensive than any other memorial ever built, forever enshrining our collective self-absorption in a massive monument of glass and steel. To me it will stand as a glaring national blind spot, a towering testament to human hypocrisy, and thus nothing could be more fitting than the most outrageous monument conceivable.

Somewhere on the internet, although I have lost the URL, was an artist's rendition of a proposed design for rebuilding the WTC towers. It consisted of five towers standing next to each other facing east with the center tower twice as high as the other four. The visual joke is that the towers were made to look like fingers of a hand flipping the rest of the world the bird. The people who made the picture were very much pro-American, but I found great amusement in the fact that it was profoundly appropriate. There's nothing more American than telling the rest of the world to go fuck itself, a sentiment which is fully evident in the Bush administration's foreign policy. If you've seen that picture, pass it on to me and I'll send it out to everyone. It's a classic.

And now, on with the jokes.

We've narrowed the field down to the final five candidates for the September eleventh memorial. Cast your vote now for the memorial that you like the most. All voting will be done electronically and the votes will be tallied by a company whose owner has said that he'd do everything in his power to make sure that concept #4 is chosen.

1. Praise be to the Almighty

A fitting tribute to that which was occurring in those towers during that fateful September day and which was brutally interrupted by the attack, this monument consists of 2792 statues (one for each victim) in an epic display reminiscent of the pyramid construction scenes in "The Ten Commandments". The statues will be chained together, heaving on ropes, pushing stones into place, and lifting a great skyscraper into the sky which rests upon their very backs while other statues motivate them to work hard by hitting them with whips and spiked clubs. The skyscraper, 1776 feet high, will appear slightly tilted, as if almost set in place, and consist of two great towers, like the original ones, joined together by an S-shaped tower. The memorial will appear as gigantic glass and steel dollar sign, the holy symbol of capitalism, and tower over the skyline like the national debt. Parking around the memorial will cost $50 per hour.

2. George as Calvin

In a shocking display of rare introspection, this memorial consists of a gigantic globe full of office space colored to make it look like a replica of the world. Towering over the globe will be a statue of the man who was president on that fateful September day, George W. Bush. In his mouth will be a gigantic multi-tubed straw plunged into the globe in Central Asia, the Middle East, and anywhere else where there is oil to extract. The Bush statue's pants will be down around his ankles, and he will be peeing a fountain of toxic waste down upon the globe, poisoning its air, water, and inhabitants.

3. A tribute to every American

As a constant reminder of that fateful September day and also as a reminder of where we were and what we were doing on the day it happened, this memorial consists of two massive structures which will be filled with offices. One structure will be set upon the footprint of the two towers and will be shaped like a giant television set with a huge 200' by 200' screen showing the impact of the second plane into the south tower over and over and over again like a colossal drive-in movie theater. On the other side of the site there will be a giant replica of an overweight person sitting on a couch whose unchanging face will bear an expression of profound and utter disbelief.

4. No more mister nice country

To show the world that the United States isn't just some big pushover, which of course the entire world thinks - why else would anyone raise up arms against it, this memorial states clearly and forcefully of what will surely happen to you if you are stupid enough to fuck with the wrong country. The two towers will be rebuilt exactly where they were before only this time they will each be 2792 feet tall (one foot for each victim), tapered at the top, and painted so that they look like giant nuclear missiles. Also proposed is a change to our national motto from "In God we Trust" to "Nuke them till they glow, then shoot them in the dark".

5. History does not repeat itself

Standing in stark contrast to the other proposals, this memorial consists of no skyscrapers, no buildings, and no structures at all. It converts the entire site into an idyllic, grassy meadow with trees and a path meandering through a graveyard. There will be a gravestone for each of the victims, something simple, traditional, and tasteful. At the end of the walk there will be another series of graves, these depicting all of the fallen empires that the world has ever known. Ancient Rome will be on one gravestone and the Mongolian Empire will be on another. France under Napoleon will have a gravestone, Germany under Hitler will have one, and England, upon whose most recent fallen empire the sun was said to never set, will have one too. At the very end of the path there will be a final gravestone representing the United States, except that on that stone the epitaph will read, "Nope. Not us. There's no way that this could ever happen to us. Truth, Justice, and the American Way will conquer all and rule forever!"

Ending Comments

Last year I didn't know if I was going to be alive this year. As it turned out, the surgery was successful and the tumor was removed. Since then all the tests have showed that the cancer has not returned. So in regards to the comments that I made last year I must concede the following:


I know that a number of you prayed to the dark goddess and were rewarded when your prayers were answered. Bless you. I also know that a number of you prayed to some other god and I regret to inform you that those prayers were in vain. As I lay unconscious during the surgery I had a vision. In that vision Jesus came to me and tried using his healing powers to remove my tumor. Alas he couldn't do it, swearing up and down that the tumor was caused by some irredeemable sin that I had committed and that he could do nothing about. Yes, he copped out. When he left I had another vision. This time I saw the dark goddess appear before me. She ripped the tumor out of my body and devoured it whole. I remember the words she spoke to me as I faded back into unconsciousness…

"Never send a creator god to do a destroyer goddess' work."

Brian Voth - Creator of Fireaxe

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