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June 14, 2012

George Bush's Head on a Spike


“The last head on the left is George Bush. George Bush’s head appears in a couple of beheading scenes. It’s not a choice, it’s not a political statement. We just had to use whatever head we had around.”

That’s what the “showrunners” of Game of Thrones had to say about the fact that one of the heads that appears on a spike in the series is, in fact, a replica of former president George W. Bush.

Now it’d be all-too-easy to chalk this up solely to prankishness, but there is a funny (but not-at-all funny) relationship here to something America just hasn’t dealt with openly. What the prop raises on the fringes (pardon the gruesome pun) is the subject of Bush and war — which, if you want to stare right at it, means his elective war; his incessant and barbaric “smoke ’em out of their holes” mentality; and America’s terrible loss of life and treasure.

If the fourth estate, or the too-cowed opposition, or the Obama Administration had demanded more of an accounting, and the human cause-and-effect could have been (or could be) acknowledged more than tacitly, I wonder if creative types, working the background of the cultural canvas, would have still felt inclined to mete out to the smirking Bush a treatment just slightly harsher than what Saddam (and frankly, we) got.

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