Why the Lady is a PAC...
A Ramblin' Gamblin' Willie story by Greg Swann
It is true that you'll feel better about yourself if you go to a crazy
analyst? It worked for me. At least it did... Until I discovered that
my... (be nice) 'different' therapist might be crazy like a fox. You
see, Dr. Wilma Jungel (pronounced vallma young-gull (for spite)) is a
"A what?," I sputtered.
"A Political Action Committee. You know what that is, no?" She shot me an impatient glance. "It is a way of influencing legis--"
"Wait! I know what PACs are."
"Well, why didn't you say so? I can't help you if you keep these things in. We've been through this so many--"
"Stop!," I shouted. "I think I'm having a 'reality separation'. You're a PAC? You, personally?"
"Yes. Of course."
"Of course!?!. You're a One Person PAC?"
"PsychPAC," she said matter of factly. "This is not so unusual, you know? Always there are few contributors behind a PAC. Many, like mine, have as few as one. For instance, PuckPAC, the movement to make hockey the official national--"
"Hold it...," I said. "How do you finance a PAC? Lobbying, publicity, mailings... That's a lot of staff..."
"Yes, it would be if I had to pay them all the time. But, of course, they would be doing mostly nothing. I don't have business for the government every day, you know? Not like NullPAC, the movement to establish Taoism as the official national religion of sci--"
"Business for the government...?"
"Well, yes. Everybody drinks, you know? And eats." She smiled primly. "Every day. My PAC is managed by a part-time PAC purveyor, ProPACk--
"Professional Packagers. They call themselves 'The Social Relations Specialists'. They manage over 200 PACs, mine among them. You see, legislators eat and drink the same as everyone, every day--"
"Now I get it..."
"Well, you can't call it bribery. It's not as if the check were always picked up by the same PAC. It's a different PAC every day. If two men sit down to talk about important issues--"
"And one always gets a free ride..."
"How can I help you if you insist on looking at things that way?" Her exasperation was evident. "You do not see the justice of it, the collective harmony. The highest stage of democracy. Now, at last, we have a means by which any individual may become a group, by which--"
"'Any individual may become a group'?"
"You are delusional, young man. We have established that. You insist on this individualist, atomist, anti-field consciousness, denying the importance of the group. But the group is the base unit of humanity, so naturally your image of mankind is skewed. We have been over this many--"
"Times... I know, I know, you're impatient. But how can there be a One Person Group?"
"Why, there isn't." She saw my puzzlement. "It's not just me: it's ProPACk, it's other PACs, reporters, legislators, professional hostesses--"
"They all contribute to your PAC?"
"In money? No. But they all contribute to my success, and I to theirs. I participate in PAClique, a mutual PAC-scratching society--
"You soothe my itch, I'll soothe yours. This is a fundamental group behavior. It is a standard by which group conduct can be judged, common to all--"
I said: "'That it may be a government of laws, not of men'..."
"An atavism. We paraphrase Lincoln for a better model of state: Government of the PACs, by the PACs, and for the PACs. You do see why this is so?"
"I am beginning to see how it came to be..."
"At last! Some progress." She leaned forward. "Are you now prepared to admit how backward you've been?"
"Hmm... Wilma Jungel owns PsychPAC. Who owns Wilma Jungel?"
"What time is it?" She paused poigniantly. "That was supposed to be a joke. You must learn to laugh at these things. This vaunted desire of yours for a personal meaning, for purpose, for some uncontested ownership, can't you see that that's a myth, an ill--"
"I'm beginning to see why you say so..."
"Stop interrupting me!" Belligerent? I'd never seen that before, not from her. "I have a PAC, you know? I have friends. I do have friends. I belong. I can make you stop talking like that! I can make you--"
"Government of the government, by the government, and for the government... How do you gain by this?"
"There you go again..." She appealed to the ceiling, sighing. "What makes you look for a motivation? Always, always: causes, events, effects. As I've told you many times 'where you stand depends on where you sit', 'the observer interacts with the observed', and 'the majority is always right'. 'Normal' cannot be understood atomistically, just as matter cannot--"
"And besides, legislators will eat and drink either way... Every day."
"Exactly! Are you beginning to understand?"
"Marvelous! You've given me much worry, you know? Your resistance to higher reasoning is frustrating. It's almost as if you were sent to me as a personal challenge, as a competency--"
"You have been most thorough."
"Thank you." She adjusted the pleats in her skirt, though they hadn't needed it. "But where are you going?"
"To see my lawyer. I'm founding my own PAC: PluckPAC."
"PluckPAC? And what would that be?"
"The movement to make pull peddler taxpayer plucking an Olympic event, since it is obviously such and olympian enterprise."
"That's an anti-social attitude!"
"Watch it! I'm a group now, the base unit of humanity. You must deal with me as an equal."
"True," she said. "I retract the statement. In fact... I think you're coming along fine. Until next time..."