On the Dead and Dying, Part 2: Arnold's Choice:
Man, the Rude Pundit wants Arnold Schwarzenegger to be in charge of all decisions of life or death. He wants that deep thinkin' demi-Nazi to walk from cell to cell at San Quentin and mark a chalk X outside each door. Because Arnold Schwarzenegger is just who we all want tellin' us who should live or die, who deserves mercy and who deserves death. Goddamn, what an easy world it'll be havin' Arnold Schwarzenegger make all those decisions.

Fuck, let's not limit Arnold Schwarzenegger to the executable on death row; send Arnold Schwarzenegger into hospitals so he can give the thumbs up or thumbs down to each person on life support. The Rude Pundit wants us to entrust Arnold Schwarzenegger with that shit. Let's not stop with amendin' the Constitution so Arnold can lead us all. The Rude Pundit wants Arnold Schwarzenegger on the left hand of God, Jesus, Allah, who the fuck ever, sayin' to that big ass deity where to toss lightnin', where to unleash a plague, where to make the waters rise, and where to make the land dry out.

'Cause no one knows how to judge the worth of a soul like Arnold Schwarzenegger, man. No one could tell whether or not someone's more valuable dead than alive, no one can say how many lives will be saved if Stanley "Tookie" Williams had been allowed to live, no one is full of unbiased, apolitical consideration more than Arnold Fuckin' Schwarzenegger.

Arnold Fuckin' Schwarzenegger? Ya gotta be fuckin' kiddin'. Who's been indirectly responsible for more violence since the early 1980s, Tookie or the Terminator? Tough question, no?

For, if nothing else, the Williams case has laid clear the absurdity of the governorship of Arnold Schwarzenegger. If you spend your life acting like an amoral, gun-firing buffoon, why should anyone expect you to act differently as the governor? That would require an act of clemency by the voting public, that might require you to say you wanted to redeem yourself for your past sins.

Meanwhile, last night, the Rude Pundit flipped between CNN and Fox "News" to watch coverage of the execution of Stanley Williams. CNN went with the more intellectually stimulating CNN International (motto: Other countries are smarter than the United States, and we prove it every day) for its reporting, and Fox went with the usual Murdoch spooge buckets.

A couple of brief observations: whoever the pro-death penalty guy on CNNi was, he was one creepy motherfucker, speaking in perfectly even tones about the need for "justice," and apocalyptically quoting the Bible. When confronted by the anchor (possibly Todd Benjamin) with the notion of turning the other cheek, creepy pro-death guy calmly short circuited as he tried to shoehorn that bromide into his kill 'em all mentality. Then he took out a cute little lamb and ate it alive. Truly stunning TV for 3 a.m.

Fox "News" took every opportunity, which meant every time someone opened his or her mouth, to talk about Williams' murder conviction, the victims' families, or the Crips. Fox had a reporter witnessing the execution. He was roughly the tenth media witness to speak, and the first to say that Williams had stared at the media section as if trying to "intimidate" them. Fox stuck to the script, man, of Tookie the monster, as if to grant clemency meant that Williams would be set free to rape white children, not simply live out his life in prison without parole.

And the most disheartening thing of all was how little was mentioned, in the cruel march to the death chamber, of how the ex-wife of one of Williams' alleged victims, Albert Owens (whose family is entirely fucked-up in conflict over the execution), called for support of Williams' efforts to redeem himself for his gang-building past: "I, Linda Owens want to build upon Mr. Williams' peace initiative. I invite Mr. Williams to join me in sending a message to all communities that we should all unite in peace. This position of peace would honor my husband's memory and Mr. Williams work."

A call for peace to honor the dead? What fuckin' country does Linda Owens think she's living in? Not in George Bush's America, where more must die in Iraq to make sure the dead are honored. And certainly not in Arnold Schwarzenegger's California.