Revisionist History [Jun 20, 2003]

Yesterday, I was sitting around the pool with Hillary Duff, my young platonic companion, regretting the expense of putting in a pool just to keep her around. Roger kept the mojitos coming, virgin for Hillary, of course, until she said:

"No more virgins for me. I don't like virgins."

"Ahem," I said.

A half-hour later, after a vigorous and refreshing visit to the master bath, I returned. Hillary, much to my surprise, was reading the newspaper.

"What's revisionist history?" she said.

"Pardon?"

"President Bush is talking about this revisionist history. I thought there was just regular history and that's it."

"Well, Hillary, you've asked the right person."

Roger, who was clearing our glasses, rolled his eyes.

"Fuck off, Roger," I said. "Now, Hillary, revisionist history is when people with a political agenda take something from the past and attempt to bend the truth to suit their own purposes."

"I don't get it."

"Well, for instance, there are still people who claim the Holocaust didn't happen because they hate Jews and they want the Holocaust to happen again."

"OK."

"And equivalently, there are people who claim that President Bush said there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq when in fact there weren't weapons. But those people are totally wrong. We went to war with Iraq to give an oppressed people their freedom, and anyone who says otherwise is a Holocaust denier."

"I think I get it," she said. "So, for instance, when the White House makes changes to an E.P.A. report to downplay the dangers of global warming, that's revisionist history."

"No," I said.

"Why not?"

"Because it isn't, you naive little girl! You're drunk! Roger! Take Hillary to bed."

"I'm not tired!" she said. "Or drunk! And I'm just getting started! It's also revisionist history when the U.S. overseer of Iraq outlaws all demonstrations against the American occupation. I thought we were supposed to be bringing the Iraqis their freedom!"

"In good time, my dear," I said.

"Yes, but President Bush promised them freedom immediately. If the administration is going to revise history itself, the President really shouldn't accuse his opponents of doing the same."

"Eh heh," I said. "Heh!"

"She has a point, sir," said Roger.

I became enraged. Sometimes, I cannot control the rage inside me. I pushed Roger in the pool.

"Goddamn it!" I said. "Don't you see? They tried to blow up the Brooklyn Bridge!"