Great American Parade:

“…Worst Novel Ever Published in the English Language… I am on the phone with Robert Burrows, author of the recently published political novel Great American Parade. This book has sold only 400 copies nationwide, and Burrows seems flabbergasted to be hearing from me. The most prestigious newspaper to have shown any interest so far is the Daily Student at Indiana University.

I tell Burrows that if he is willing to submit to an interview, I am willing to review his book at length in The Washington Post. The only catch, I said, is that I am going to say that it is, in my professional judgment, the worst novel ever published in the English language.”

(…)

Me: It is possible that some people might have found the plot a little improbable. They might find it hard to believe that, in order to garner political support for his tax cuts, George W. Bush would secretly arrange a giant parade in Washington honoring the richest people in America, who would march front to back in order of their net worth. Or that a cadre of earnest, teetotaling college students would get wind of this and, encouraged by Sen. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, rise up to stage a heroic counter-parade honoring basic American values like morality and hard work. Was this perhaps deft satire, a nifty Swiftian touch?

Burrows: No. Washington Post

The Banner Art Collective

creates, collects, and distributes net.art and poetry within the limitations and context of web advertisements.


Most view net advertising as a necessary evil. But creating an effective ad requires a strict adherence to voluntary standards that strictly control both the pixel and file size and limit the interactive behaviors of the ad. Designers must produce work that will be viewed in a variety of contexts on a variety of pages, and they must create an ad that uses its position within the marginalia of a webpage to its advantage. In addition, ad designers must be hyperaware of accessibility issues–an unviewable ad is a dead ad.


By creating and distributing art within the limitations of WWW advertising, net.artists are forced to work under stringent rules. In that regard, banner art follows in a historical tradition of working against and within the limitations of a strict, sometimes arbitrary, form. In exploring this form, they also explore the marginalization of net.art; in banner art, this marginalization is quite literal.

An American Apology To The World:

From the heart of the United States, we extend a profound apology to the rest of the world for the serious failure of our political system.

While not receiving a majority of the popular vote and selected by the Supreme Court rather than elected, we nevertheless have ended up with a sociopath as President surrounded by religious fanatics who actively seek war and others who seek to destroy our democracy and impose authoritarian values.

This group is taking the world down the path to an Armageddon that they believe is the necessary and appropriate end to the world as we know it. They hate life, believe themselves to be flawed by sin, and long for a divine intervention that will make them rulers of an Earth transformed by the absence of earthiness.

They care nothing for the environment because there won’t be an environment when they are done.

They do not care about international law and a preemptive U.S. strike as precedent because there will be no such law under the elevated “Christian” rule.

They do not worry that an invasion of Iraq may cause outrage in the Muslim world and spread the conflict because such an expansion is part of the necessary script.

They do not worry about later retaliation by those angered at an invasion of Iraq because all such lesser beings will be under their unbreakable domination after the final battle.

They do not worry about how to govern a post-war Iraq because they will be ruling the entire world and everyone will appear before them on bended knee.

They do not worry about Iraq or the U.S. initiating the use of nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction because use of such weapons is part of the Armageddon script.

The only thing they worry about is getting the war started before some force can prevent their usurpation of everyone’s future.

At home, civil liberties are quickly being erased in favor of absolute government to prevent democratic discussion of and opposition to the coming holocaust and to practice for their coming domination of the world.

We lack an appropriate political mechanism for removing these dangerous people from power. We do not have the opportunity to vote no confidence, as the Australian Senate did.

The once proud Democratic Party is coopted and corrupted by corporate contributions and eager to beat the drums of war in hopes of being popular.

The once independent media is now a corporate conglomerate that closes more doors to truth than it opens.

Our people are fed lies big and small and lack access to the information they need to understand what is happening in our country.

Flush with the wealth exploited from the planet they seek to kill, our government and corporations bribe, buy, or otherwise coerce smaller and more fragile governments into ignorantly supporting the coming destruction.

All we can do is appeal to those outside our country to save the world from our government.

Even though we will not hear about it from our media, march in your streets.

Even though we will not hear about it from our media, expose the lies being told by our government and others.

Even though we will not hear about it in our media, talk about Armageddon so people will know where the madness is leading.

Urge your government to vote no on any U.N. resolution furthering the Armageddon agenda.

We will continue to reach out to our fellow citizens within the limitations imposed on our society and do our part to bring sanity back to the human family and protect all life.

Our apology is an expression of our love for and unity with that family and the living Earth.

As it did for the reader who sent it to me, this captures many of my feelings. We may truly be living in the end of days if the madmen in Washington have their way.