Goodnight Bush: a Goodnight Moon satire for the electoral season


I just spent ten minutes cracking up in a bookstore over a copy of Goodnight Bush, a satirical remix of the classic Goodnight Moon that wishes the Commander-in-Chief a hearty farewell (and don't let the door of history hit you in the ass on the way out). I couldn't take a copy home because all the store's copies were spoken for -- apparently they can't keep it on the shelf. Link

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  1. Isn’t this just the sort of thing that the penny-arcade guys got c&d’d for? Specifically American Greetings argued that penny-arcade could not use Strawberry Shortcake to poke fun at American McGee. I think the idea was parody was solidly fair-use, but you can’t use one work to parody another.

  2. George W. Bush is not a work, though.

    He’s a PIECE of work, but that’s something else altogether.

  3. I’d just like to point out that anything that equates “Bush” with “Moon” is just WRONG!

    Signed,

    Moon

  4. brave otaku: cease and desist letters don’t mean much. They just mean somebody out there (right or wrong) thinks you’re doing something you’re not supposed to, and is asking you to stop. In this case, it’s seems unlikely an actual human produced the complaint at all: it looks like automatically-generated boilerplate.

    Also, “fair use” is a notion from copyright law. The letter is complaining about trademark infringement. (Which I personally know nothing about, but I would’ve thought that unless penny arcade was selling something that might be misconstrued as a real “strawberry shortcake” product then the complaint was bogus.)

  5. I hope it doesn’t violate any policy to post a link to the Flash (grrr) preview of this book, as Cory has basically already endorsed the thing and I have no connection to the book or publishers. There are six or eight pages to give you a taste:

    http://www.goodnightbush.com/

  6. tony snow just died. meh. hopefully he is just paving the way for his puppet masters, the subjects of this here book! (like how i worked that in?) long live the king! or not…

  7. That’s not very nice to make a joke about a person who just died of colon cancer, Mintphresh.

  8. tony snow just died. meh. hopefully he is just paving the way for his puppet masters, the subjects of this here book! (like how i worked that in?) long live the king! or not…

    Thought I’d have mixed feelings about that, but I don’t. He was an effective mouthpiece for bad men, exhibiting no respect for the importance of the press in American politics, for the Constitution, or the “representative” part of representative Democracy, but still … early death by colon cancer. That’s sad. I hope his passage was as smooth as possible. And that his masters live a long, long time … in the Hague.

  9. #10 Huh?

    Also, what are you bush haters going to do when he leaves office? Mindlessly blame the next president for all the world’s ills?

  10. Also, what are you bush haters going to do when he leaves office? Mindlessly blame the next president for all the world’s ills?

    Rejoice. Duh…

  11. no, we’ll be mindfully blaming bush and his owners for leaving an insolvable mess. What will you be doing?

  12. i find it ironic that he passed from colon cancer. certainly, my condolences go out to the family. however, i have no respect for the man or his politics, or the bungsplats he worked for. as far as you go #11, please tell me one good thing that the bush administration has done for: a. this country or its economy. and b. the world and our place in it. go ahead, take your time. i am truly interested as no (pardon my pun) ‘Bush lover’ has been able to answer this question yet.

  13. #11: It’s appropriate to have ill will for a president who has been so thoroughly bad for America, all while claiming to have American interests at heart. Bush is the president who broke everything he touched, throwing a worldwide temper tantrum to prove that “you’re not the boss of me”. Tolerable in a twelve-year-old, not so much in someone with his hand on the triggers of Great Big Bombs.

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  15. @22:

    Riiiight. You do realize that thanks to Bush, the rest of the world thinks that your country is populated by morons–the biggest of whom is confidently leading the country straight into the toilet.

    And we’re not falling in line or getting in line–we’re patiently waiting for just the right moment to flush.

  16. #14 Actually thinking about this country’s problems, rather then reflexively blaming a scapegoat, same as always.

    #15 Taught (hopefully) half the country the folly of mindlessly following a guy just because he has a D or an R next to his name.

    #16 Appropriate to hate a president for all the shit hes actually done wrong, sure, but dont use that as a pass to stop thinking.

  17. Am I the only one who wants to hear Christopher Walken read this alound?

    (Obligatory Simpson’s reference)

  18. #20, sorry homes, strike 1: lowered the income tax of the incredibly wealthy? not a good thing, ‘specially since he decided to make our $ practically worthless. strike 2: so being the biggest bully on the playground pounding your chest like a spastic gorrilla is a good thing? killing innocent humans in the process by the hundreds of thousands? hard to find the good in there… got anything else? and #25? you gotta be freekin kidding me. he dun so gud by teaching me what i’ve known for 40 someodd years. so worth the war, the crap economy, the worldwide scorn and ridicule. all the homeless peeps. so worth it! oh, i mean strike 3.

  19. You do realize that thanks to Bush, the rest of the world thinks that your country is populated by morons–the biggest of whom is confidently leading the country straight into the toilet.

    For better or worse, a lot of us do realize this. And saw it coming even before the 2004 elections, when I couldn’t frickin’ believe the guy got re-elected after he’d shown what he was really about. Too bad John Kerry was such a self-involved wanker really into Being John Kerry. “I’m John Kerry … and I’m … reporting … for duty!” Puh-leaze.

    You know, I bet the last of a giant collective weight has finally been lifted off the German national psyche.

  20. I must confess to much fear. Whether the bush cabal gets its third term or not, there is still dire danger in the short term. I don’t believe Obama can do much more than delay and mitigate, but who know? He may buy the world time. And it is the world at stake, like it or not. If the American economy falls overnight, whether by overt war or covert fraud, we are all in for it – regardless of where we live.

  21. get ready for the next step: THE NORTH AMERICAN UNION! our new currency? THE AMERO! oh, hallelujah!

  22. I’d like to think that history will show that he was pretty much the WORST RESIDENT EVER (said like the Comic book guy) but history really will forget how bad he was.

    For example, I had a flamewar with a 20ish lesbian when Ronnie Reagan died and she was CONVINCED that he was a GREAT guy, a wonderful leader and a friend to gay men and lesbians everywhere. Unfortunately the vast majority of people believe untruths without hesitation, don’t process information well, don’t learn the real history that concerns them, and are politically and neurologically unsophisticated.

    I suspect given 20 years the VAST majority of people will forget how TRULY evil he is and how reprehensible his actions were and there will also be a new group of adults who weren’t even alive to judge fairly. It’s sad.

  23. From The Sunday Times
    July 13, 2008
    President George W Bush backs Israeli plan for strike on Iran
    As Tehran tests new missiles, America believes only a show of force can deter President Ahmadinejad

    so, is the turnaround on troop withdrawal to secure cooperation of the military by protecting resources otherwise vulnerable in a possibly nuclear Iran attack?

  24. under what circumstances will Americans accept martial law? A “terrorist attack” or in for a penny, in for a pound after an Iran attack fait accompli?

  25. @#28:

    Too bad John Kerry was such a self-involved wanker

    s/was such a/came across as a/

    Since I really don’t know the guy …

  26. You do realize that thanks to Bush, the rest of the world thinks that your country is populated by morons–the biggest of whom is confidently leading the country straight into the toilet.

    They’d be mostly right. Even putting the issue of possible election tampering aside, a hell of a lot of people voted to reelect Bush. I suppose I could understand someone voting for him the first time, but the second? The rest of the world is right.

  27. If the American economy falls overnight, whether by overt war or covert fraud, we are all in for it – regardless of where we live.

    Globalization = globally coupled system …

  28. What happens when the Bushmaster checks out? Well, guys like me will still be going to work, still mowing the lawn, still getting the car tuned-up, still buying groceries.

    But we’ll also still be working on new ways to power the machines society uses. We’ll still be working on new treatments for muscular dystrophy, cancer, AIDS and others. We’ll still be digging up dinosaurs in the Gobi Desert on a US grant. Driving rigs coast to coast. Making food and clothing for the masses.

    It’s good that somebody worries so much about politics, but not everybody has the time to dedicate to it.

    When the bastard leaves office, I’ll notice it, but so what? We’ll get a new leader. He’s likely to be an idiot, just like the last one. But we’ll see. Either way, the machine of progress grinds onward.

    What else is there to say?

  29. What else is there to say?
    Stop the War!
    #34: Iran has no nukes.
    If nukes are used it will be by Mr. “All Options Are On The Table”.Often said while stroking his weapons…
    To threaten force against a Nation is contrary to the UN Charter.
    If you attack Iran (or decide to defend Israel from the inevitable (and in my opinion justifiable) Iranian defensive counter-strike) this War too will be Bush’s: and a second great nation destroyed even though it has never even threatened the USA (save in response to American threats).
    Try to remember the Iranian Passenger Plane shot down “accidentally” by the US Navy…and the Iranian response to that shoot down…
    All of mankind has the right to Nuclear Power, if Nukes are so bad maybe the USA should not have fallen in love with the Weapons to start with…and when exactly are you Americans gonna allow us to inspect your WMD and biowar facilities?

  30. #20, sorry homes, strike 1: lowered the income tax of the incredibly wealthy? not a good thing, ‘specially since he decided to make our $ practically worthless. strike 2: so being the biggest bully on the playground pounding your chest like a spastic gorrilla is a good thing? killing innocent humans in the process by the hundreds of thousands? hard to find the good in there… got anything else?

    If I did have anything else, it would probably also get edited into unreadability, since the official policy here seems to be that any standard of ethics other than that of the modern liberal is forbidden.

    But by my standards, lowering the tax of the wealthy is good. It puts the economic focus on capital and luxuries instead of on necessities. That will bring economic advancement, while selecting out the drags on the economy.

    And yes, from my view, showing our force is a good thing. You talk about the killing of innocents? Well, if we have, they’ve gotten some pluses out of their deaths:

    -No one ever blames their deaths on a conspiracy by the Taliban or Saddam Hussein.

    -No one ever says they deserved to die for being fat or stupid or complicit in their countries’ actions.

    -No one specifically targeted them for being unarmed.

    -Their deaths are routinely labeled as being based on their race or religion, while ours are excused as political.

    So I will keep saying that George Bush has done good for the country. If you insist on saying that what I think is good must not, cannot be good, then don’t claim to be fair and tolerant of other values.

  31. #23 You must be traveling in some weird places. I world travel quite a bit and i dont get anything like that. Its no great suprise, either, anyone with above a 4th grade education knows that a country’s politics and its people are distinct.
    I would say that of all the different places ive been and people ive met, the ones that like to think of americans as idiots are other americans with some kind of national guilt complex.

    The rest of the comments, you’re exactly what i was talking about, blathering off at the mouth about Bush rather then thinking about what your talking about. Take the economy for instance, anyone who has taken basic civics knows that congress controls the spending, not the president. Anyone who has studied the mortgage problems in this country knows that this crisis dates back a lot farther then 8 years. But dont let any of that stop you, its waaay easier to just blame BushCo Junta or whatever pejorative is in style nowadays.
    And that is what i mean when i ask what you bush haters will do when hes gone. With a president Obama, who will you blame all the world’s ills on? You’ll see, in no time at all the internet will be filled with bone-headed Obama bashers every bit as ignorant as you. When you respond to those people, i want you to ask yourself, “Is this what i sounded like back in the Bush days?”

  32. #42 yeah the President has no effect. Not a moral exemplar? Just another self-interested money man?

  33. Yeah #42 those you met were perhaps being too polite for Americans to properly understand what they really meant…

  34. Yeah #42 what did Our Most Gracious Sovereign Elizabeth II mean, when standing on a Podium next to GWB she stated in her speech: “People must learn to listen…”

  35. Yeah #42 the Executive has nothing to do with regulating the capital Markets, Congress appoints the Fed and SEC Chairs don’t they and the DOJ’s Prosecutors are also controlled by Congress everyone knows that Congress carries the Sword of Enforcement of the Laws, huh?

  36. #42 yeah that Republican Congress from 1994-2006 really did a great job huh? Especially since with right-wing Dems there’s been no change in who calls the shots for now… ?

  37. #45 Yea i would say that the foreigners i met were polite enough not to use me as a stand-in for George Bush. They were also mature enough not to just froth at the mouth about America just because im an American, and instead listened to my opinions about whatever topic was at hand. Maybe im just running into exceptionally bright foreigners.

    #48 & #49 at least your grasping that it isnt just the executive branch that might be at issue. At a minimum congress has to approve the Fed chair and head of the Justice dept. As for regulating capital markets, im pretty sure that regulation comes from the legislative branch, not the executive. Try fixating less on the D’s and R’s and more on what’s actually being done.

  38. Taught (hopefully) half the country the folly of mindlessly following a guy just because he has a D or an R next to his name.

    The GOP’s new tactic is to say “they all do it”. Well, maybe they do, but you backed this guy with all your power and let him get away with crap that nobody else has.

    When Obama gets in power, if he tries crap, people will come down on him like a ton of bricks. Note the FISA controversy already.

  39. The GOP’s new tactic is to say…

    Oh man, so close. You see, im not “the GOP” im just an (ex)republican.
    As for the FISA controversy, im glad to see people standing up for their principles and not just partisanship. We need more of that, a lot more.

  40. Someone answer me this, please: what is so all-fired hard about getting a warrant before you wiretap? Isn’t there already an emergency court for just that purpose? Do we not have enough on-call judges? We can hire more, ya know … We could even give them pagers! Blackberries, even! Prepaid cellphones so they never have to pay their own phone bills!

  41. @42:

    I didn’t say “populated ENTIRELY by morons.” There are obviously some non-moronic people in your country, but how many, I can’t be sure. The numbers definitely don’t fall along political lines: the West Virginia and Kentucky primaries made clear that there are plenty of moronic Dems out there as well, which was something that blew my mind, I have to say. Oh, speaking of the primaries, it seems that a lot of the morons have found Punditry an ideal calling…ugh.

    And granted, I haven’t done much global traveling and interviewing of the locals about their views of the US, but the view that “the US is populated by morons” seems to be a popular one in my country–the one just to the north of yours. And I know of plenty of people in the UK who support that view as well. And if you read the international press, you’ll see this view well-represented.

  42. #54 what did you mean by this?

    the West Virginia and Kentucky primaries made clear that there are plenty of moronic Dems out there as well, which was something that blew my mind, I have to say.

  43. Interesting that the title uses the phrase “a parody,” because the distinction between parody are considered by the courts when the evaluate whether or not a secondary work is fair use. Parody copies a work to ridicule the work that is being targeted (and is Fair Use), whereas satire copies a work to ridicule a third party or another work distinct from the targeted work. This is almost exactly like Dr. Seuss v. Peguin Books. This is exactly like the case “Dr. Seuss Enters. v. Penguin Books USA, Inc.,” (109 F.3d 1394, 1398 (9th Cir. 1997)). In that case the author used the Cat in the Hat to ridicule the murder prosecution of OJ Simpson and OJ himself. The court found it was not Fair use because it was not transformative enough because the target or the secondary work was not the Cat In the Hat, so it was satire and not parody. The decision was upheld on appeal. I would like the courts recognize Satire as Fair Use, the distinction does not really make much sense to me. If this author did not get a license (unlikely, why else would they state that it is a parody when it is clearly satire?), so this work could potentially be a vehicle to overturn a very influential case in Fair Use and Copyright law.

  44. i have to say, flamingphonbook, that none of your arguments seem to hold water. where is the economic advancement? i haven’t seen it. the innocents have some plusses to their deaths?? fkkin puh-leeze! i suppose if they were your sons/daughters, you would feel the same way? what if the people in iraq or forgotistan were your relation, how would you feel to read about their deaths? i am fair and tolerant of other viewpoints, but the ones you spout just seem malicious and ignorant to me.

  45. I’m surprised anybody still talks to that FLAMING A . . . . . E. Why feed the fires of malignancy?

  46. very interesting there minTphresh, but I still suspect the populations of Mexico and Canada are opposed to a merger that would make them second class citizens. That is the deal – killer.

  47. hey buddy66, i was hoping if i urinated on the fire it might help to extinguish it. i forgot that when i eat habaneros, i piss rocket fuel!

  48. This is a fact: There are more stupid people than intelligent people. This is also a fact: there is more ignorance than knowledge in the world.

    Power accrues to those who understand and use these facts.

  49. #54,

    I’m a hybrid (that’s more PC than ‘half-breed’): Canadian mother and Tennessean father, so I’ve lived in both countries; and I assure you that I’ve met a good many moronic Canucks, although numerically there are obviously more moronic Yanks simply because there are more Yanks. There are also, of course, many more smart ones. My beloved country’s most recent difficulties, I suggest, are due to that Petri dish of pestilence in Washington, D.C., and not the low brain wattage of its citizens.

  50. I believe that it was Tony Snow, who when asked the significance of the 2000th American casualty in Iraq, remarked , “It’s just a number.”

    Karl L

  51. @66 (Buddy66):

    My point wasn’t to provide an assessment of the relative intelligence of the American public, but to challenge @20’s (now unintelligible) point about the “good” things that Bush has done for America/Americans. Rather than proving the country’s superiority (as @20 seems to think he’s done), I’m arguing that Bush has made the country and its citizens the laughing stock of the global community.

    As for why Bush’s idiocy/Washington’s pestilence-ness gives the global community the impression that the American population is full of morons, it’s because it’s the citizens who give power and authority (both through the electoral process, and by not “bearing arms” and overthrowing the government) to the “Petri dish of pestilence” in Washington D.C.

    So either America is not the Democracy it claims that it is (in which case the country’s morons are those who passionately claim the superiority of their democratic system of governance), or it IS a Democracy, and the morons are the citizens who are effectively responsible for the moronic actions/inactions of their government.

    Either way, Bush antics/policies have not proven his country’s superiority, but have instead undermined both the credibility of both the country’s democratic system and the citizens’ intelligence.

  52. @#70

    Of course you are right. We are a democracy in name only. The noble experiment of a democratic republic is a failed one. What was briefly the light of the world went out 200 years ago. But some of us doggedly carry on with the dream….

    Wish us luck.

  53. #56 wrote:
    I would like the courts recognize Satire as Fair Use, the distinction does not really make much sense to me. If this author did not get a license (unlikely, why else would they state that it is a parody when it is clearly satire?), so this work could potentially be a vehicle to overturn a very influential case in Fair Use and Copyright law.

    Ideally I’d like to see courts decide that the First Amendment makes it unconstitutional for the government to ban any works based on copyright claims, although if the work violates “fair use” the government could still mandate that some or all of the profits go to the copyright owner. It isn’t the government’s business to go around pulping works such as Mickey Mouse Meets The Air Pirates even if they are in total violation of copyright–what is that if not a form of government censorship?

  54. #70

    Rather than proving the country’s superiority (as @20 seems to think he’s done), I’m arguing that Bush has made the country and its citizens the laughing stock of the global community.

    I respectfully submit that those two are not opposites. It is possible for the global community to laugh at one country which is nonetheless superior.

    And I’d also like to point out that if anyone claimed that Canadians are morons, or that Syrians were terrorists, or that Chinese were thieves, they’d be excoriated for stereotyping. But Americans are fair game?

  55. I apologize if I have offended my American cousins (really …no sarcasm intended…I do have American family) but if you can’t talk straight to family who can you talk straight to? We are Allies, get over it…
    Eh as to copyright or the relative intelligence of populations divided by the entirely artificial concept of citizenship of a given nation state, I say “Meh,whatever…”
    It’s just that the USians are so well armed it puts us all off a little…now to the Topic @ Hand:
    In all instances it is the Holder of the Copyright who institutes the Action, so it’s a Private-Law thing, if you are going to use the forms generated from materials said to be under and possibly subject to such a Claim do so at your own risk…perhaps more original Imagination would help…by the same token I have no sympathy with Copyright Holders being able to use the Courts and enforcing their Rights so won without them paying full freight and costs …its their business, not OURS so why should cops et al be involved?
    From the point of view of most, it would seem rather less bother and more beneficial for Society to lessen its involvement, rather than increase it in this area, since increased action comes at a risk of potentially screwing up tech which we as a species may need to survive, not to mention simply increasing the cost of the storage and transmission of both information and knowledge (and if we are lucky Wisdom) to those who would otherwise have it not….

  56. #56: A work can be both satire and parody at once…all great Art is multi-valent (like some atoms)…

  57. Ideally I’d like to see courts decide that the First Amendment makes it unconstitutional for the government to ban any works based on copyright claims, although if the work violates “fair use” the government could still mandate that some or all of the profits go to the copyright owner. It isn’t the government’s business to go around pulping works such as Mickey Mouse Meets The Air Pirates even if they are in total violation of copyright–what is that if not a form of government censorship?

    My comment regarding Fair Use was regarding a civil suit between the owner of the original work (Goodnight Moon), and not related to the restrictions placed on artists by the gov’t. This work is clearly politically motivated, and therefore enjoys the highest level of protection under the First Amendment. However, it is very likely that without a license from the holder of the original copyright, the publisher may be forced to not or publish the secondary work, as well as pay damages (up to $150,000) for every instance of copyright infringement. My advice: if you are interested in this book, buy it now while it is still available.

  58. flaminga…e, once again your logic is … assinine! do you ever read the stupid things that come off your keyboard? wow! perhaps some immersion therapy is in order! and by immersion therapy i mean waterboarding, which by your previous comments, you are ‘for’. dear lord, the planet is populated by stupidity and ignorance. as my uncle used to tell me ” god must love stupid people, ‘cuz he made so damn many of ’em!” i nominate you as their ambassador/king.

  59. Anonymous @ #56 and #76,

    You seem knowledgeable. Wouldn’t you like to become a registered user?

  60. at last! Sudan’s Bashir is the first sitting head of state charged by the International Criminal Court for genocide! No more legal obstacle for going after bush!

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