Cipher Alert

The Prevaricator as a Young ManProbably the most disturbing thing about the Joan Didion article on Dick Cheney in the New York Review of Books this month is that she tries and tries, but she can’t really figure out what makes him tick. Is it ideology? No, none there, really. Is it will to power? Maybe, but that’s not really it either. Greed? Could be greed. In the end it seems, Cheney’s terrifying acts of international prevarication and his apparent total lack of inclination to take responsibility for anything (as when he shot his hunting companion in the forest, and then proceeded back to the house to fix himself a drink) issue forth from an elaborately constructed void of his own micro-engineering. His will to hide all things, including himself (even when he has been seen arriving at his vacation home, he’s in an undisclosed location), the activities of his office (no one is allowed to know which individuals work on his staff), any activities of the Executive Branch of the government (he’s basically classified everything he can get his hands on), is perhaps his single-most powerful motivation, stronger still than the greed or the fondness for autocracy. Cheney would never want to be President, because that would mean cavorting about in the open all the time and kissing babies or cutting a rug or playing loads of ice hockey the way presidents always have to, from W to Nelson Mandela to Alexander Lukashenko.

Author: lapata

Daisy Rockwell paints under the takhallus, or alias, Lapata (pronounced ‘láh-putt-áh’), which is Urdu for “missing,” or “absconded,” as in “my luggage is missing,” or “the bandits have absconded.”