25 September 2003
Take a shot of malaria
I really haven't given a whole lot of thought to the John Birch Society (not to be confused with the Birch John Society, dedicated to the restoration of wooden toilet seats to their original well-varnished glory) lately; at best, it's seemed to me to be nothing more than a punchline waiting for a desperate Fox network to launch That 50s Show.
Then I turned a corner off 62 today, and there was an actual Bircher billboard, with the classic Bircher slogan: Get US out! of the United Nations! Of course, now it refers you, not to the nearest American Opinion bookstore, but to a Web site. And given the generally low regard in which the UN is held in some circles these days, it's probably as good a time as any for the Birchers to jump-start their organization. There are, to be sure, a lot fewer card-carrying Communists these days, and they tend to hang out, conveniently, in countries starting with C (China, Cuba, the northern half of Corea), but it's not like we're running short of people who are threatening, in the classic Khrushchev style, to bury us.
And besides, if there's room in the twenty-first century for the Flat Earth Society, there simply has to be a place for the followers of John Birch.