By Our Mark, Ye Shall Know Us
Celebrating the Retirement of JESSE HELMS--the original Proud-as-Punch NITWIT!
By Our Mark, Ye Shall Know Us (excerpt) by Terry Southern
In These Times
...Even anarchists need organization, and an organization of sorts has evolved, and organization whose principle founders are Sens Strom Thurmond and Jesse Helms. This group, first calling itself the 'PPNs' (the Proud as Punch Nitwits), was born following the appearance of a spunky article by New York Times columnist Anthony Lewis wherein he described the two senators as "a pair of nitwits". To this Helms testily responded: "Nitwits and proud of it!" While Big Stom added with characteristic bravurs. "Yes, as proud as Punch you little commie wop!"
Both men are known to be avid history buffs and to have expressed great admiration for the old Know Nothing movement of the 1850s. It is understandable why they welcomed the Proud as Punch Nitwit so briquet with hearty fervor. Their "PPN" designation, used with great frequency by the media, soon became shortened to the "PP's" and then was vulgarized by the tabloids and the general public into Pee-Pees."
It is an indication of the temper of Helms and thurmond, and of their followers, that they did not shy away from this new moniker. To the contrary, they embraced it with defiant relish, and almost immediatly adopted the gesture of public urination as part of their collective persona. "By our mark shall ye know us!" they proclsimed at a press conference on the lawn of the U.S. Senate and promptly demonstrated their meaning to the gaggle of gawking reporters. These are the persons, bear in mind, whose public paranoia regarding "socialism" or anything that might somehow remind them of it, has denied us not merely the commonsense single-payer solution to health care, but the very keystone of industrial/economic infrastruction of every other non-Third World country on the planet: a nationalized or subsidized high-speed rail transportation system.
In keeping with their typical ('Give 'em Hell, Jesse!') exuberance, the group's device of public urinations eventually spilled over into the smart salons of their fund-raising patrons (usually against velour drapes), a practie which remains a matter of sharp controversy among even their most devoted followers...
[to be continued]...
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