Caligula for President: Better American Living Through Tyranny

Overview

In this inventive and biting satire, acclaimed novelist and cultural critic Cintra Wilson reimagines America’s Manifest Destiny as helmed by Caligula, the only leader in world history capable of turning our floundering democracy into a fully functioning—and totally fun—tyranny, both here and abroad. With Caligula running the show, America will finally be able to achieve what the founding fathers really wanted, but never had the nerve to admit. Like, how to:

-Achieve the guilt-free looting of natural resources for...

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Caligula for President: Better American Living Through Tyranny

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Overview

In this inventive and biting satire, acclaimed novelist and cultural critic Cintra Wilson reimagines America’s Manifest Destiny as helmed by Caligula, the only leader in world history capable of turning our floundering democracy into a fully functioning—and totally fun—tyranny, both here and abroad. With Caligula running the show, America will finally be able to achieve what the founding fathers really wanted, but never had the nerve to admit. Like, how to:

-Achieve the guilt-free looting of natural resources for the sake of immediate gratification;

-Declare war on abstract concepts (drugs, terror, the ocean) for the sake of imperial expansion;

-Utilize propaganda, psychological operations, and other prisoner-of-war techniques to create a sense of learned helplessness in the citizenry, gain their utterly terrified trust and obedience—and leave them begging for more;

-Rape, pillage, and loot—both here and abroad—with impunity

Wilson also traces the historical arc of Caligula’s life and not-so-hard times, from his privileged childhood in Syria to his ascent to power to his eventual takedown by the hands of an angry populace, to point out the unsettling parallels between his own extravagant reign and a certain administration, which helped usher in a new golden age of unlimited executive power. Part political parable, part cautionary tale, Caligula for President is an ingenious and hilarious send-up of the current state of our Union by one of this generation’s sharpest satirists.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781596915886
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 10/14/2008
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 4.40 (w) x 7.20 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Cintra Wilson

Cintra Wilson is the author of the acclaimed novel Colors Insulting to Nature. She is also a pop culture pundit whose column for Salon.com and collection of essays, A Massive Swelling: Celebrity Re-Examined as a Grotesque Crippling Disease, have garnered her a cult following. An award-winning playwright and screenwriter, she has seen her work produced by Tim Robbins's Actor's Gang theater company in Los Angeles, Naked Angels in New York, and MTV, where her creation Winter Steele was a long-running segment of Liquid Television. She lives in New York City.

Good To Know

Some outtakes from our interview with Wilson:

"The last ‘real job' I had was when I was a Jagermeister Shot Nurse at a nightclub in San Francisco. I had a reclining dentist chair and a bedpan full of Jagermeister and a large irrigation syringe, and I would wear bondage-style nurse attire and shotgun blasts of Jagermeister down people's throats for $2. Most of the shot usually ended up being dribbled down their shirts."

"I have ADD, so I really couldn't read books until I was around 28, and medicated. Until then I mostly read comic books: Edward Gorey's stupendous Amphigorey and its sequels; Love and Rockets by Los Bros. Hernandez, Eightball by Dan Clowes, all of Lynda Barry's books, plus truckloads of Mad magazines and National Lampoons from the 70's and 80's. A friend of my dad's gave me all the Mad magazines -- a huge box of them, starting with Issue #1 and going all the way up chronologically until 1972. I adored them and read them every day and worshipped them and then one day I got home from school and my mother had thrown them away because she said they made me ‘too much of a smart-ass.' I like to torture her now by telling her how much they would be worth today on eBay, and how I will be denying her that dollar amount in future emergency medical expenses when she is dependent on me.

"My marriage recently dissolved, so Benicio, baby, I got an oiled bear rug and a bottle of Cold Duck and a with your name on it. Grr-wow. Come to Mami."

"I truly love miniature golf. And never stand between me and the karaoke machine."

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    1. Hometown:
      New York, New York
    1. Education:
      G.E.D., 1984; attended San Francisco State University

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