No sooner had I landed in Hell on my shopping expedition to choose a destination for the afterlife than I heard a small, distant voice crying out:
"Extra! Extra! Read all about it!
Now what? I wondered. Curiously, there was a newsboy hawking his wares under a stoplight frozen eternally on 'caution'. I turned away. I hadn't even had time to properly assess my surroundings. It was a bleak place, stark even, but that I had expected. The fact that there was water here was a surprise. Then again, without water I suppose you couldn't have golf courses.
Well, at least they had newspapers here. That would give me something to do on Sunday mornings, since I assumed there were no church services. Then again, maybe there were. Also, if I was going to spend the afterlife here I'd have to check out the real estate section.
"I'll take one, young fellow," I cried. He handed me the top rag on his stack. "Oh God no," I said, "not the Wall Street Journal! I can't read that crap. 'All The S**t That Fits': that's their motto. What else you got?
"We have The Weekly Standard, sir," he replied. Polite young fellow. I liked him.
"The Weekly Standard? That's another Rupert Murdoch paper! He set that up just so that neocon boob, Bill Kristol, could have some place to blather other than on FOX News. Don't you have anything else?
"No, sir. I'm sorry, sir.
"Lemme guess: I bet the only TV station you got down here is FOX, right? Murdoch owns Hell, doesn't he?
"Yes, sir. But I do have some good news for you, sir. Starting Monday I'll be carrying The New York Times.
"The New York Times? Ah, now yer talkin', kid! But wait a minute! I don't get it. Why The New York Times?
"Because starting Monday The New York Times introduces its new op-ed contributor, Mr. William Kristol.
"What?!" I was in shock. "Jesus! Did Rupert buy The New York Times, too? God, kid! Bill Kristol is the second or third biggest idiot on the planet, if he's not number one! Remember his 'Project for the New American Century', a century that lasted all of six years?
"Oh yes, sir. All of us here in Hell are big fans of Mr. Kristol. We love 'Dan Quayles' Brain' down here.
"That's right! Among all his other idiocies I forgot all about that. He was Dan Quayles' Brain! He gave poor Dan his spelling lessons.
"Yes, sir. He was Dan Quayle's Brain just like Karl Rove was 'Bush's Brain'. Are you starting to notice a trend amongst Republican leaders, sir?
"That they don't have brains? That's old news, kid. I couldn't believe they could out-dumb Bush, but you should see the crop they got up there now. I still don't get it, though. Why would The New York Times hire Kristol? They already have that boob Brooks who thinks they have earthquakes in Iowa. Didn't they learn their lesson when they helped Kristol & Company sell the Iraq War? Now they're going to help him sell the Iran War?
"The truth is, sir...and I shouldn't be telling you this...The New York Times is having revenue problems. Their ads aren't selling, especially the luxury goods ads which make up half of their advertising income. They need money, and since the poor are no help in that area they need someone to help them drag the rich neocons back into the fold by presenting themselves as fair and balanced, just like FOX News.
"They're selling out!
"Yes, sir. But this should come as no surprise. As you say, sir, they've done it before.
I was stunned. Hell was falling quickly to the bottom of the list as my chosen destination for the afterlife.
"OK, kid. Gimme one of those WSJ's. Might as well check out the real estate market while I'm here, just to be thorough." I reached into my pocket. "How much you need?
"Ten dollars, sir.
"Ten dollars?! For The Wall Street Journal?! That damn rag ain't worth ten cents!
"Delivery costs are high, sir. The price of gas and so on.
"Gas? You want gas? Why don't you get Bill Kristol to open his mouth, that'll give you plenty of gas. Better yet, you could take it out of his a....
"Be careful there, sir!" the newsboy cautioned me, pointing at my feet. I noticed now that the rock I had landed on was covered with sewing needles. "The permanent residents here keep trying to squeeze through those things...