The Tao of Bush

Putting the fear of Dongyue into the heart of Dubya

| November 2005

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    A traveler wanders among some of the 76 departments of hell at the Dongyue temple in Beijing, China
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    One of hell's bureaucrats looks on as a lazy man gets a kick in the ass in hell's Urging Department.
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    In the Department of Implementing 15 Kinds of Violent Death, one sinner stands decapitated while another falls into an abyss.
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    Each prayer tassel hung on the pickets at the Department of Official Morality represents a visitor's hope for honest government or a corrupt official's atonement.
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    The Department for Distribution of Medicine insists that those with remedies should give them away.
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    A bunny finds refuge in hell's Department for Preservation of Wilderness.

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If you've ever fantasized about sitting George W. Bush down and being the one to make him see the error of his ways, you already have it worked out in your head: Maybe you want to take him for a tour around an inner-city school, introduce him to a working family without health care, or have a long talk about the human costs of war.

In my version of the fantasy, I take Bush to the Dongyue temple in Beijing, China, for a little fire and brimstone, Taoist style. In small halls off the courtyard of this imposing place of worship, brightly-colored, hero-sized gods preside over the 76 departments of hell. Near-life-sized sinners carved out of wood suffer appropriate punishments, the saintly reap blessings, and hell's bureaucrats record every detail. All this is explicitly narrated on stainless steel panels bolted to each hall.





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