Wednesday, July 16, 2008

It is the other place, Jesse...

By J. Thomas Duffy

You're traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind; a journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. That's the signpost up ahead — your next stop, the Twilight Zone.

Yes, there he is, the recently-departed Jesse Helms, relaxing in his big, plush condo, the extremely comfortable Barker Lounger, favorite beverage in-hand, settling in to watch some television.

Quickly, though, Helms blanches, fear and anger overtaking his body.

There, on the screen, is this:

Elizabeth Dole Tries To Name AIDS Bill After Jesse Helms

Republican Senator Dole introduced an amendment to name an HIV/AIDS relief bill after the recently deceased Jesse Helms. Helms, of course, was a strident foe of HIV/AIDS prevention, research and treatment.

A guttural, anguished cry comes out of Helms.

Then, on the screen, is "Joe My God," and he begins reading off the list:

Jesse Helms, the man who in 1987 described AIDS prevention literature as "so obscene, so revolting, I may throw up."

Jesse Helms, the man who in 1988 vigorously opposed the Kennedy-Hatch AIDS research bill, saying, "There is not one single case of AIDS in this country that cannot be traced in origin to sodomy."

Jesse Helms, the man who in 1995 said (in opposition to refunding the Ryan White Act) that the government should spend less on people with AIDS because they got sick due to their "deliberate, disgusting, revolting conduct."

Jesse Helms, the man who in 2002 announced that he'd changed his mind about AIDS funding for Africa, but not for American gays, because homosexuality "is the primary cause of the doubling and redoubling of AIDS cases in the United States."

"No!, No!" a weeping Helms shouts back at the screen.

"Stop! Stop!"

Over and over, the same thing plays on this television -- for hours and hours.

He can't escape it, the television won't turn off, the volume can't be lowered.

Then his host enters.

"Is something wrong, Mr. Helms?"

Maybe it's Louis Cyphre, coming to claim his soul.

Or little, six year-old Anthony Fremont, who liked to create his own television (which Helms best learn to say, very quickly, "Real Good Anthony ... That was some real good television", otherwise, run the risk of being wished into the cornfield).

Or, is it the cornfield is where he is?

I prefer to think of it being Sebastian Cabot's "Pip", with Helms clutching at him, crying, pleading ...

"Why ... Why are you doing this to me? ... Why would you bring me here and do this? ...I'm a God-fearing man ... This could only happen in the other place and I'm a God-fearing man ... I'm a believer ..."

As in the episode, Pip retorts "Heaven? What ever gave you the idea that you were in heaven Mr.Helms? This is the other place!"


Bonus Helms' Karma Riffs

So Nice ... The Very Last Moments of Jesse Helms

Wonkette: Elizabeth Dole Wants To Name AIDS Relief Bill After Heroic AIDS Goblin Jesse Helms

John Aravosis: Dead racist bigot Jesse Helms, AIDS hero? I don't think so

Eschaton: Rolling In His Grave

Pam's House Blend: The Empty Wig's flipped: proposes naming AIDS bill after Jesse Helms

Andrew Sullivan: The Jesse Helms PEPFAR Bill

Chris Johnson: Punished for being HIV-Positive?

(Cross-posted at The Garlic.)

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  • This is rich Carol! May I crosspost it at Sirens?

    By Blogger Unknown, at 5:01 AM  

  • Why, why, why do the Republicans still have any kind of credibility with anyone any more?

    By Blogger Capt. Fogg, at 10:47 AM  

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