Having seen the recent Bill Moyers piece about the White House’s “Selling of The War” –or was it the Press’s “Buying of the War”(I can’t quite remember)– and our acquiescent unenquiring press’s essential softball relationship with the White House; and having myself marvelled for several years at the press’s unquestioning bemusement, their Putty-fication at, or in, the hands of Bush (or Ari or Scott or Tony surrogate) in the White House Press Room, I have finally figured it out. And it is this:
That “MUSHROOM CLOUD” is not a Mushroom Cloud, as in Nuclear Explosion. It is a Mush Room Cloud. “Mush” “Room”: get it? The “Press Room” was really the “Mush Room” where that Bush Boiled Cornmeal –thick, soft, and pulpy– was served up regularly. And the press always came back for more.
And “The Cloud”? That was easier to figure out. What Mr. Bush was referring to was the famous literary “Cloud of Unknowingness”. Things were unknowable because….Things are Unknowable. (In “Under Milk Wood” –I think it was– I seem to remember the Fortune Teller who started with a promising exegesis for the client who had paid the initial fee and had asked a question. Just as it was getting really interesting the Fortune Teller would suddenly encounter difficulty in seeing the future: “There are great clouds blowing…”(In this case there was a “cross my palm with silver” solution.)
Its…A CLOUD; something in the way, something Vague, something Unknowable. And the cloud settled over the mush room, and pervaded it…
Hence: MUSH ROOM CLOUD