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     | |________________________________________________________________| |

  ...presents...              Mourning in America
                                                         by Steve Ross

                      >>> a cDc publication.......1990 <<<
                        -cDc- CULT OF THE DEAD COW -cDc-

     On January 10, 1986, Queens Borough President Donald Manes was found in a
car parked in a vacant lot, his ankles slashed by a knife.  Observers generally
considered his actions an attempt at suicide.  Then on March 13, Donald Manes,
indicted for bribery, pushed a 13-inch butcher's knife through his heart.  That
knife sliced public opinion into two factions: those who felt this was just a
"copy-cat" suicide, since the second incident followed the first so closely,
and those who viewed it as a separate incident, perhaps the beginning of an

     "C'mon, if it wasn't a copy-cat then why'd he use a knife again?" said
former Bronx Democratic Leader Stanley Friedman.

     "Existing statues imply that a copy-cat, to be recognized as such, must be
copying the actions of another person," said U.S. Attorney Rudolph Giuliani. 
"We see no precedent for this."

     Then on January 22, 1987 R. Budd Dwyer, the State Treasurer of
Pennsylvania who'd been convicted of bribery weeks earlier, put a .357 Magnum
in his mouth and, as before television and newspaper cameras, pulled the
trigger.  Many of the copy-cat ideologies felt vindicated.  "Manes used a knife
-- an implement of eating," said Stanley Simon, Bronx Borough President. 
"Dwyer merely picked up the metaphor and added his own personal touch."  But
most observers agreed that Dwyer's suicide marked a definite epidemic -- a
viewpoint confirmed two weeks later when Robert "Bud" McFarlane attempted
suicide with a handful of Valium.

     The occurrence of politician suicides has tripled in the past five years
and now ranks as one of the primary causes of death among politicians.  In
fact, the reported rate of suicide may actually be less than the true figure,
since citizens have grown increasingly unconcerned and may not be reporting the
deaths of their representatives.

     In order to stem the outbreak of politician suicides, psychologists have
attempted to identify its leading causes.  Some studies pinpoint insincerity,
characterized by "effervescent" smiles and back-slapping, as a potentially
dangerous behavior problem.  Other studies show that a long-standing history of
conflict between the politician and his or her constituents may be a possible
factor.  All studies indicate that politicians called "Bud" are in the greatest
danger.  Felony indictments also seem to be related.

     Psychologists have developed a set of warning sighs that indicate when a
politician may warrant concern.  These signals include:

     --searching rooms for electronic devices upon entering
     --late night telephone calls
     --preferring public pay phones over one's home phone
     --a preoccupation with banks, bankbooks and bank records
     --carrying a passport at all times.

     "His concern about the issues just waned and waned," said Wayne Kelly, a
personal friend of Dwyers who prefers to remain anonymous.  "He took to
drinking -- Shirley Temples, Kool-aid, even Bosco.  Then he began picking up
stray objects and trying to fit them into his mouth.  We didn't know why until,
well, it was too late."

     While there are no foolproof methods for eradicating politician suicides,
concerned professionals have reached a consensus that something should, they
guess, be done.  Bronx Borough President Stanley Simon agrees with the White
House policy of allowing politicians unrestricted freedom in their political
activities, theorizing that "politicians, like people, would act with [greater]
responsibility if only they were given greater responsibility."  Simon hopes to
take his message to the streets, as soon as his indictment for bribery is
resolved.  A group of teenagers in Bergenfield, New Jersey believes that the
media attention granted to politician suicides creates a "poisonous atmosphere"
of positive reinforcement; under the name "The Garage Gang" they have launched
a lobbying campaign to keep the media out of politics.  And a support network
for politicians who have no place else to turn has been established by Friends
Of Politicians (FOPs).  The assistance provided by the FOPs network includes
24-hour paper shredding services and a toll-free crisis hotline

     One method seems to have had the greatest impact in deterring politician
suicides.  The three-point program developed by G. Gordon Liddy in his book
the following outline:

     --Early DETECTION of your representative's emotional vulnerability and
susceptibility to escapist actions.  "The time to look for such signals," Liddy
writes, "is after the subpoenas have been served but before the verdict is

     --Devote ATTENTION and time to your representative.  Since politicians,
unlike mobsters, are usually found guilty, the most practical and useful
attention is spent on guided tours of Club Feds -- penal institutions for
wealthy white collar criminals.  "As a worst case scenario these leave little
to be desired, offering everything from monogrammed Izod uniforms and haute
cuisine to tennis courts, polo fields and olympic-size pools."

     --If the attention doesn't work then Liddy recommends a stop-gap TREATMENT
of physical and verbal abuse.  Liddy writes: "Lily-livered wimps who think
there's an easy way out of anything must be shown the error of their ways."

     But the only real cure for politician suicides is prevention.  As
President Reagan noted, "I, uh, well, uhm, heh-heh."  White House spokesman
Marlon Fitzwater interpreted this statement as: "If your peers ask you to enter
politics: say no.  If your children are thinking about it: seek counseling for
them.  And if someone you care about is already involved in politics: show them
you care, but keep it well documented."

  _   _   _____________________________________________________________________
/((___))\|The Dead Zone........214/522-5321  Demon Roach Undrgrnd..806/794-4362
 [ x x ] |NIHILISM.............415/285-9453  The People Farm.......916/673-8412
  \   /  |Tequila Willy's GSC..209/526-3194  The Bombay............714/897-0412
  (' ')  |Lunatic Labs.........213/655-0691  The Works.............617/861-8976
   (U)   |=====================================================================
  .ooM   |1990 cDc communications by Steve Ross.                  05/17/90-#137
\_______/|All Rights Pissed Away.