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Photograph by Clay Butler

Bedtime For Bozo: Kathy Eder's anti-Bush book 'No, George, No!' is outselling Clinton's autobiography in Tower Records in Campbell.


I Believe in the Truth Fairy

Los Gatos schoolteacher Kathy Eder, who successfully parodied Iraq's Most Wanted cards with her trailblazing Operation Hidden Agenda deck, is back, this time with a book that's outselling Bill Clinton's My Life by a ratio of 4-to-1, at least at the Tower Records store in Campbell. Eder's explanation?

"It seems that the young shoppers who turn to Tower Records are more focused on what is happening in our world right now than in the past of Bill Clinton's life," says Eder, who was having a hard time placing her self-published No, George, No! The Re-Parenting of George W. Bush, until she called the Campbell Tower Records direct.

"They asked, 'Is it anti-Bush?' and I said 'Yes,' and they said, 'OK, bring it over,' and now Tower Records is carrying it in Washington, D.C., Las Vegas and Reno," says Eder, who is particularly pleased that her self-published fiction about Bush's re-education at the hands of the Truth Fairy is hitting shelves in Reno and Las Vegas, since Nevada is a swing state.

As it happens, Eder, who got the inspiration for No, George, No! while walking through Yosemite, resisted the idea for a book at first.

"After the Operation Hidden Agenda cards came out, I had death threats and hate mail, I had to let go of fear in such a huge way, so when the idea came to me, my first reaction was, no, not two projects like this in one year," she recalls, noting the all-boys Jesuit school where she teaches received emails and cards demanding that she be fired.

"It took up a lot of the administration's time," Eder recalls, adding that she doesn't talk about either project in the classroom.

"It would be unethical to discuss things I'm selling, but outside of class, most of the kids tell me they appreciate what I'm doing, with a few who don't like it saying they're glad I have the freedom to do so," she explains.

Meanwhile, fans of political cartoonist Clay Butler, whose subversive Sidewalk Bubblegum strip used to run in Metro Santa Cruz, should note that Butler is responsible for the book's illustrations, including the Truth Fairy's dangerously tight purple leggings. "Clay's morality fits right in with mine," says Eder, who gave $40,000 (that's 50 percent of the profits from her Hidden Agenda cards) to peace organizations and veterans dealing with the Gulf War effects, and plans to repeat that tactic with proceeds from the book.

"I was brought up Jesuit. I see myself as a voice for the voiceless, the poor and the oppressed," she says.

Dicking Around

In a week in which Slim Fast dumped Whoopi Goldberg for making X-rated puns on Bush's name (even as Arnie called Sacramento Dems "Girlie men"), Dubya announced he won't be dumping the F-bomb-dropping Cheney from the presidential ticket. It was a move that must have gotten Kerry cracking open the bubbly, given that polls show voters think Edwards is hot and Dick is, well, not, with Cheney's "experience" being the kind we're better off without.

If that wasn't enough proof of wanton stubbornness, Bush, who ironically keeps accusing Kerry and Edwards of being "out of mainstream," continues to threaten to make his gay-marriage ban "an election year issue," even though polls place the economy, the war in Iraq, education, health-care reform and social security far above the need to dick with the Constitution, not to mention the fact that John McCain and five other Republican senators crossed party lines to defeat Dubya's ban, which McCain described as "antithetical in every way to the core philosophy of Republicans."

All of which suggests that the gay tipster who said he was planning to withhold federal tax in proportion to the amount of rights he'd be denied by Bush's proposed gay-marriage ban may have to file tax forms after all.

No Such Thing as a Free Fireworks Show

Watching a few fireworks light the skies over the yacht harbor last weekend, Nüz was reminded of the annual July 4 extravaganza that took place a couple of weeks ago at local beaches despite our citywide ban on fireworks. Witnessing the conversion of Seabright beach three weeks ago into a surreal light- and smoke-filled Armageddon complete with beach fires, tents and fire dancers--a conversion that apparently began July 3, which was when people started burying fireworks and provisions in the sand and dumping materials over the side of the cliffs--Nüz couldn't help wondering what the beach would look like, if fireworks were actually allowed in the city.

As it was, from 8:30pm onward, we heard hundreds of fireworks pop, crackle and snap each minute, with the occasional window-vibrating blast making us feel as if we'd been airlifted into Iraq--a cacophony that also got us wondering, given that most of these fireworks run in the $5-$30 range, just how much money was going up in smoke: $100,000? $150,000? $250,000?

Though Nüz did overhear one guy berating the police for "letting this happen," we were impressed at how cooperative the crowd and law enforcement remained, with the cops outnumbered by the crowd by 1-to-1,000. As one cop, speaking off the record about the subtle dance that allows fireworks to be illegal in this town while allowing locals have their July 4, put it, "There's the letter of the law, and then there's the spirit of it."

Part of that spirit is the Pack Your Trash volunteers who cleaned up all the beach the very next day. Thanks!

Heil Nine

"Those who seek to stifle free speech and property rights must've been at their Bund Kampen for the last two weeks. However, they have returned and apparently earned their Iron Cross merit badges in anti-democracy-middle-of-the-night sign terrorism." So writes Tbill in the Forest (Nüz, June 16), who, since posting a brand-new, albeit more colorful, "Veteran for Kerry" sign--the ninth in a little more than 11 weeks--on his tree, has been signing his emails as "till the price and meaning of vigilant freedom in the forest."

Nüz just loves juicy tips: Drop a line to 115 Cooper St, Santa Cruz, 95060, email us at , or call our hotline at 457.9000, ext 214.

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From the July 21-28, 2004 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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