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'The Bush Survival Bible: 250 Ways to Make It Through the Next Four Years Without Misunderestimating the Dangers Ahead, and Other Subliminable Strategeries' is available from Amazon.com.

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The Next Four Years
A survival guide, and some healing advice


The Book of Lamentations

WHERE IS Elizabeth Kübler-Ross when we need her? Dead, of course, which is the way most of us felt inside after last Tuesday's long nightmare into day. Kübler-Ross, creator of the famous five psychological stages of dying, had the good sense to get the hell out of Dodge just a week before the Republican Convention. The rest of us are just plain depressed, though most of us will not go as far as Andrew Veal, who, on Nov. 6, drove to Ground Zero and sat on a concrete box in the pit with a Smith and Wesson 12-gauge shotgun and a bottle of Jack Daniels. There were disputed reports over whether the election results or despondency over a woman drove Veal to put the gun to his head and pull the trigger.

In the meantime, a sense of perspective can help with the scabbing-over process. One such antidote to despair arrives at bookstores this week in record time. The Bush Survival Bible: 250 Ways to Make It Through the Next Four Years Without Misunderestimating the Dangers Ahead, and Other Subliminable Strategeries (Villard; $9.99 paperback), created by one-time Stanford student and Esquire, GQ and New York magazine contributor Gene Stone with some help from his friends, came together as a pre-emptive strike in late October.

Stone conceived his book while watching the third presidential debate. "Every time Bush did well," Stone says, "my friends looked so dismal and unhappy, and I begin to wonder how they were going to feel if Bush won." Stone immediately pitched the idea to his publisher, who agreed on one condition: finish the manuscript in five days. Instead of flying high on coffee to get the job done, Stone says, "I was so hyper I had to drink that tea called Calm."

The book was copyedited and proofed and ready for the printer by the end of October. On Nov. 3, after all hope was lost, the presses began to roll. Stone, a Kerry supporter, wishes he hadn't had to do what he did. "Some of the people I called to help research it wouldn't talk to me. They said we should be visualizing success."

In succinct fashion, The Bush Survival Bible offers some useful and cathartic suggestions for getting on with our lives, whether that means lead-footing it to Canada or pretending to be a Republican just to see what victory smells like. And the Bush-bashing jokes don't hurt either. To help with the healing, we've picked out some choice samples from The Bush Survival Bible and tossed in local tips from our own traumatized staff, along with consolations from some of our friends.



They Feel Your Pain

(Selections from 'The Bush Survival Bible' by Gene Stone. Copyright © 2004 by Gene Stone. Reprinted by arrangement with The Random House Publishing Group.)

Countries To Move to

Not everyone is going to make it through the next four years staying put. Some of you are simply going to have to find a Bush-free environment. But where?

FRANCE

Bien sur, la France. Land of Jefferson. Land of freedom fries and freedom toast. (Actually, freedom fries originated in Belgium, but that's not important now.)

This country has borne the diplomatic brunt of the Bush administration's admonitions about old Europe. What better place to escape to than one full of people who will smile knowingly when you tell them you simply couldn't stay in les États-Unis one more minute.

However, if you plan on staying more than three months, you'll need a visa and a carte de séjour. This is where the problem starts—you are going to need an employment contract as part of the application process, unless your employer handles it for you.

You can also get student visas, au pair visas, long stay visas (assuming you can get your employer to write you a letter proving your employment during your stay), artists' visas, and, of course, work visas.

CANADA

Oh Canada! How you must tire of Americans' superiority complex—and yet when things here go south, we run north. Yes, after being the butt of way too many jokes, it's the Canadians' turn to laugh when Americans start streaming over the border, pleading for citizenship.

You can visit Canada for up to 180 days before you need a visa. After that, you'll need to produce a Canadian immigrant visa and Confirmation of Permanent Residence; a valid passport; a detailed list of all the personal or household items you are bringing with you and a list of items that are arriving later (if you aren't already living in Canada). You must also bring enough money to cover rent, food, clothing and transportation for a six-month period.

SPAIN

What a country! These doughty citizens elected a new leader even after the former government tried to manipulate a non-Iraq-related terrorist incident to scare voters. Then in a move to further separate their secular government from the Catholic majority, the newly elected leaders instituted gay marriage. Spain is also a constitutional monarchy, providing all the fun and pomp of having a king; the current ruler, Juan Carlos I, is fiercely loyal to his people and their right to govern themselves.

You are free to enter Spain for ninety days without a visa. Visas to emigrate fall into three basic categories (excluding student visas). If you have a valid job offer, you can apply for a work visa. Or perhaps you might be retiring in Spain. There is an application for a retirement visa, but you will need to prove that you possess adequate medical coverage in Spain and an income to support yourself. Then there is a visa for entry for nonlucrative purposes—you must show that you don't need to work. In addition to having medical insurance, you'll need to prove that you receive at least $75,000 annually from your investments. There's also a visa category that allows foreigners to reside in Spain to develop religious, cultural, or scientific activities, exempting you from needing permission to work, but that route seems a little complicated.



People Worse Than Bush
(in no particular order)

TOMAS DE TORQUEMADA
In 1483 Tomás de Torquemada became the inquisitor-general for most of Spain. He was responsible for establishing the rules of inquisitorial procedure and creating branches of the Spanish Inquisition in various cities. He remained the leader of the Spanish Inquisition for fifteen years and is believed to be responsible for the execution of approximately two thousand Spaniards, most of whom were burned at the stake. He devised and promoted the extensive use of imaginative forms of torture including foot roasting, the rack, slow bloodletting and suffocation.

VLAD TEPES
Vlad the Impaler was a Romanian prince known, as his name suggests, for executing his enemies by impalement. His gruesome exploits are credited with giving rise to the Dracula legend, though Dracula's exploits appear far more sanguine. Tepes favored several forms of torture, including disemboweling and rectal and facial impalement. Vlad the Impaler tortured thousands while he ate and drank among the corpses. He impaled every person in the city of Amlas—twenty thousand men, women, and children. For his entertainment, Vlad often ordered his guards to boil, skin, blind or strangle individuals before they were burned, hacked to death or buried alive. He was also said to be fond of removing noses, breasts, ears, sex organs, hands, feet and limbs.

IVAN THE TERRIBLE
Born in August 1530, in Kolomenskoye, near Moscow, Ivan Vasilyevich was the grand prince of Moscow and the first to be proclaimed tsar of Russia at the age of seventeen. Ivan soon set up a bodyguard that has been described as Russia's first secret police—the Oprichniki—as a religious brotherhood sworn to protect the tsar. Their power was absolute, and they became murderous bandits terrorizing the Russian countryside. Ivan sentenced thousands to internal exile in far-flung parts of the empire. Others were condemned to death, their families and servants often killed as well. Ivan liked to give detailed orders about the executions, using biblically inspired tortures to reconstruct the sufferings of hell. He was said to have burned thousands of people to death in enormous frying pans and was also fond of impaling people.



New Drinks to Get You By

Soon to appear at your local bar, courtesy of the second term:
Abstinence on the Beach
Bloody Mary Cheney
Tom Ridge Collins
Jenna Tonic
Old-Fashioned Family Values
Tequila Morning in America
Three Mile Island Iced Tea
Fuzzy Naval Intelligence
Banana Swift Boat



Republican Reality TV Shows To Keep You Busy

What could be more fun than getting through the Bush years by watching Republicans take over all the reality shows as well?

REPUBLICAN EYE FOR THE LIBERAL GUY
Five snappy Republicans take a hapless Democrat and show him how to clean up his act by dabbing crude oil behind his ears, teaching him how to order steak at every meal, dressing him in polyester and putting pictures of George and Laura in every room in his house.

OUTSOURCED!
Six people are taken out of their jobs in Wisconsin and flown to India, where they are placed in a large telephone answering service company and paid one hundred rupees a day.

AMERICAN IDLE
Here we spend hours and hours watching eight unemployed people stand on welfare lines trying to get to the one open window.

MARRY A TRILLIONAIRE
It's so like a Democrat to think that a million dollars is enough money to live on—just the cars, houses, and cosmetic surgery alone cost more than that. Here ten lucky women compete for the chance to marry a really rich eighty-seven-year-old man. (Sequel: Divorce a Trillionaire)

TRADING TAX BRACKETS
Two families, one in the 40 percent bracket, one in the 15 percent bracket, trade places. The hidden trick is that one of these families has actually never paid a cent in taxes—guess which one!

SURVIVOR—MANHATTAN
Twelve normal Republicans are taken out of their homes in Tulsa, Oklahoma, placed in a trendy Manhattan loft with lots of abstract art, and forced to go out every night, eat raw fish, stay up until 4 a.m. and dress in really nice clothes. Who will survive? (Sequel: Survivor—Paris. Now that's really cruel.)



Ways to Pass as a Republican

Certainly one time-honored tradition for dealing with the recent election is to flip-flop. Did I say I was a Democrat? Oh, my no, I'm a Republican. The only problem here is that you're going to have to change some of your habits, because Republicans will sniff out your hidden liberal ways if you're not careful. Thus, you must:

Forget about spending Sunday morning reading The New York Times and join a church (but never actually attend—instead, you sneak off to play golf).

Ditch that fuel-efficient Toyota Prius and buy a Hummer (explaining, of course, that you really wanted a more manly car but they wouldn't let you take a tank home).

Burn your Barbra Streisand records and replace them with Jessica Simpson's.

Stop worrying about the rights of any living adult because you now realize that all human rights begin with conception and end at birth.



6 Reasons to Love Global Warming

Sometimes all we need to get by are a few encouraging words. For example, instead of being worried about global warming, why not, well, warm up to it? After all ...

1. Your trailer in the Prunedale will become oceanfront property.
2. Animal rights activists can take a break from protesting mink coats.
3. You won't have to worry about seasonal affective disorder.
4. Baseball season will last twelve months.
5. Texas will be too hot to live in and all the towns, from Dallas to Crawford, will disappear.
6. You won't have to take off your clothes to get a tan.



Retrofitted Movies for Republicans

As we all learned during their national convention, Republicans will only see movies and shows that conform to laws expressed in the Republican platform. Thus, all movies will be retitled and reedited so that we can still see them—here's the first list as handed down by the new minister of culture, Lynne Cheney.

The Freedom Connection
Dances With Wolfowitz
Richard Perle Harbor
Finding Osama
Men in Colorful Stripes and Solids
My Big Fat Straight Wedding
The Fellowship of the Willing
The Twin Towers
Return of King George



Media Habits of Highly Effective People Who Aren't Republican

By Kurt Andersen

READ NIALL FERGUSON'S ARTICLE "REPUBLICANS FOR KERRY" (www.opinionjournal.com/extra/?id=110005540).

Recently in The Wall Street Journal, the non-left-wing British historian argued that Bush's reelection will be bad for Republicans (and by implication good for the rest of us) because his second term will inescapably be unsuccessful—that it will turn Bush into the American John Major and cause the Republicans to be trounced by Democrats beginning in 2008 by an American Tony Blair.

AVOID THE LEFT-WING OPINION SILO SYNDROME.

I know the right-wing base sustains itself by watching only Fox News on TV, listening only to Rush Limbaugh on the radio, and reading only Ann Coulter, but apart from being unattractive and wrong, this plainly does not win elections for the left. Fahrenheit 9/11, dailykos.com, and The Nation were very popular in the last few months before the 2004 election. If they dominate your media diet going forward, they will only make you smug and intellectually lazy. In a second Bush term, sanctimony and hysteria likely will only reinforce the left's tendency to lose and fetishize losing as a sign of virtue. Instead, for instance, read intelligent, disillusioned, hawkish anti-Bushites like Paul Berman in Slate and The American Prospect, Andrew Sullivan at andrewsullivan.com, and Mickey Kaus at kausfiles.com.

READ BOB WOODWARD'S THIRD BUSH BOOK.

Bush at War (Simon & Schuster, 2002) was very kind to Bush back when Bush was waging an unambiguously correct war in Afghanistan; Plan of Attack (Simon & Schuster, 2004) was more skeptical about the planning of the much iffier war in Iraq but just as juicily insiderish. Presuming that Woodward does a third one, not long after his number one source, Colin Powell, leaves the administration, it will be a great, shocking read.

READ ANYTHING JIM FALLOWS WRITES ABOUT THE ADMINISTRATION.

If you had had only an hour or two to read journalism about Iraq policy this year, his two cover stories in the Atlantic, "Blind into Baghdad" and "Bush's Lost Year," were what you should have read. They are calm, authoritative, unhysterical, morally lucid, and reported up the wazoo.


More survival tips for the next four years... >>

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