Discussed in this essay:
HOW I BECAME A SPOKESWOMAN FOR THE CHURCH OF THE SATANIC APE
by the High Priestess of the Church of the Satanic Ape, the former first lady Bush
Regan Books, 2012
Riveting in its amalgam of noir intrigue and sci-fi futurism, the former first lady’s new memoir, How I Became a Spokeswoman for the Church of the Satanic Ape, recently published by formerly flaccid Regan Books, stands poised to eclipse even the King of Pop’s 2006 tome, In Bed With Apes, as the all-time best-selling memoir having to do with the triumph of our nearest evolutionary cousin, the chimpanzee.
Interest in the de-evolution of humankind reached its apex in the latter years of the Bush administration, before the transformation was complete. Authors of all stripes had spent the previous decades hard at work casting the slow burn of American empire (alongside the ever-quickening incineration of the world’s fossil fuels) as one of the least intellectually engaging collapses ever — so obvious were both the signs of the impending crises and the willful ignorance of the vast majority of the American political establishment. Still, it wasn’t until 2005 that the relatively unknown Jacob Cyrus McCormick, of Chicago, established the soon-to-be guiding metaphor for our sinking ship of state as return of the lower-level cretinous ape to the very top of world civilization, the assumption of the American presidency, in his obscure but soon-to-be prescient Chimps Ahoy! or All Chimps on Deck or The Foolhardy Organism of Reverse Darwinism and the American Presidency.
Ms. Bush’s How I Became a Spokeswoman details the after-effects of the metaphor’s ascendancy in America’s perception of itself. Ostensibly an absolutely over-sincere “twilight years” narrative with a terrible grasp of basic narrative prose (its wretchedness unmatched since the “Left Behind” series of biblical thrillers penned by right-wing babboons Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins, among others in the “years of the half-man-half-ape,” as they’ve come to be known), the book reveals the infidelity behind the imperial pair’s much-publicized split and the subsequent “abduction,” staged as it was in a manner sensational enough to rival that of Patty Hearst oh those many years ago. The details of the Church of the Satanic Ape story are now well-known, yet to read them in these pages is to experience the elucidation of several key epiphanies Ms. Bush and many of us had and/or are still having about the period of decline. Among them are:
1) De-evolution is not always mutually exclusive. From the former first lady’s detail of her first encounters with the Church of the Satanic Ape, it becomes clear to us — though not all that clear, arguably, to her — that the CSA was actually of a higher order of intelligence than the society in which it operated, mostly belied by the fact that total allegiance was not required of its members, making its core one of the most harmonious and at the same time dedicated of underground paramilitary organizations in history.
2) Chris Rock, you will be missed. The blissful utopia depicted in Rock’s ascendancy to the throne of American power in the now-apocryphal Head of State (in which, among other things, the American presidency was envisioned following the rise of one of the more complicated and humanistic and ultimately beneficient of American cultural products, i.e. Rock’s character was portrayed as a big fan of the rapper Jay-Z) was never to be realized, of course, and Rock’s early demise at the hands of government agents will be lamented for centuries in the history books, a fact Ms. Bush only tacitly grasps but that screams through the blank spaces between her leaden lines.
and finally 3) The much-vaunted “slice to the jugular” was at best a political ploy, and at worst simple b.s. As clear as it seemed at the time, the so-called “supreme revelation,” or “slice to the jugular” delivered to our country’s news-ingesting public by its mainstream media, the unveiling of the covert last-ditch suicide plan via nuclear self-annihilation, was not as cut and dry as it seemed. Again, the former first lady’s lifeless prose doesn’t live up to the sting of our knowledge of the falsity of this revelation and what it could mean to the future of our society. News organizations, as Ms. High Priestess of the Satanic Ape reveals, are not to be trusted. And she is right. But the by-now descended and obvious destruction of any sort of trust in our society goes unremarked upon. So much for new orders, new ways of seeing. So much for de-evolution.