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Ryan Hume

As this school year begins and we all settle into the new schedules and responsibilities that accompany this, there are two pressing issues I just cannot seem to get off of my mind: 1. What developments will this new fall television season bring? And, 2. Why are we going to war with Iraq? I suppose I should probably be thinking about buying textbooks or about who really is my favorite 17th century English poet, but I just can’t escape these two dilemmas.

On the one hand, this might possibly be the last season of “Friends.” Last season ended with Joey, played by Matt Le Blanc, accidentally proposing marriage to Jennifer Aniston’s Rachael. Rachael had just given birth to the newest friend, Emma, who is the daughter of Ross, played by that goofy David Schwimmer. And this is where things get interesting – she said YES to Joey! Now that’s the kind of cliffhanger that will just keep you holding your breath all summer long, whether you’re sitting on a beach with a pi퀌�a colada or at home watching Celebrity Boxing on Fox.

Those summer days just drifted away slowly while I anticipated Ross’ reaction to this misunderstanding. Will this be the end of Joey and Ross’ friendship? Who will Chandler hang out with? And why aren’t Joey and Phoebe together (I think that they would make a lovely couple, don’t you?)? The season premiere only whet my taste buds for the comical situations that are sure to develop.

And speaking of Celebrity Boxing, in the arena of world politics, we have President George Bush in this corner, and in the other, we have – Saddam Hussein? Does this sound familiar to anyone yet?

Now if world politics was dominated by network television executives, this fall’s line-up of war and regime swapping would never have happened, based solely on the fact they could have just played rerun broadcasts of CNN from the period of the Gulf War.

Those old network execs would never have green-lighted a project to derivate off the past seasons of an old administration that was never even syndicated in the first place. I would also argue that if network executives were running the show, the writers for the Bush administration wouldn’t be able to get a job writing quips for Ellen DeGeneres on “Hollywood Squares,” let alone be privy to supplying words to the most powerful mouthpiece this side of Palestine.

Although I am aware that this is a minor subject that I am about to elaborate on, I believe that it says a lot about what our current regime thinks of us. The Presidential Vernacular seems to be as about linguistically faulty as an Anti-Ballistic Missile Shield is literally: Operation Enduring Freedom? That phrase never would have left the writers’ table at “Will and Grace,” but it is good enough for Washington? The War on Terror? Everybody over the age of 12 should know it’s impossible to wage a war upon an abstract noun.

In regards to the plot and development of our future war, I don’t think the Bush administration has learned a thing from basic television concepts. This is all, I believe, that, we, the American people, are asking for. I have gathered that Mr. Hussein does present a threat to us, but this threat has not been elaborated upon, and I don’t foresee any climax in the wake of this threat. The marketing for this media event has been done poorly, I must say. If we are not the aggressor, I bet this plot would stay pretty stagnant: no political upheavals, civilians not blown to bits while they slept, weapons of mass destruction lying in warehouses gathering dust. Although, if we are the aggressors in this war, what does that make us?

Anybody who has ever seen a television show knows the good guys are not the ones who use pre-emptive strikes of violence to settle their problems. The bad guys do. Buffy never attacks vampires until they attack her. A pre-emptive strike is an aggression, not self-defense.

The writers at “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” would never create a scenario that involved Buffy being painted in a bad light, so what does this say about our current situation? In fact, the only element of this conflict that could be worked into a television drama is “the family vendetta”: the son rising up to conclude the father’s unfinished business. If George W. Bush wants to go solo into a war without the approval of the UN Security Council and against the provisions for the justified uses of force established by the United Nations Charter, I don’t see his ratings going up and can only hope that in this next election, his poorly written show will be canceled.

Of course, this new military benefit has already been through committee, planned to the utmost detail, and all this regime expects us to do is sit on the couch and watch it unfold, like a new television season – whether you decide to sit back and watch is up to you. But in the next election, I say screw Ralph Nader, I’m voting for Bob Wright, president of NBC, and I expect four years of healthy nonviolent plot development.