The Buy Bush a PlayStation 2 Campaign

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The following is a smattering of some of the letters I've received over the past few months in support of the campaign. I present them here, unedited, as proof that yes, some people out there actually like the idea of sending the president a video game console. Thanks to all the supporters, and I'm sorry if there's anyone I didn't have time to reply back to personally.

Greyfox writes:
A comment from the Frozen North (okay, so it's not really frozen right now, blame El Nino)--God bless you and keep up the good work. The Prez definitely needs some harmless toys. Maybe an Erector Set. Nah, that would be for Dole.

Jorma Anttila writes:
I noticed the campaign in an environmental email list based in Finland. The person who informed about this said howerer the campaign is closed, though worth to go and look. It didn't seem to be closed. Unfortunately i didn't put my city or country there, because I just wanted to try or test if it worked. So, is this still an actual campaign of the day?
I found the campaign a little bit too childish for my viewing, but wanted to sign it for its cause to prevent illegitimate war on oil and the fatal consequenscies to the Mid East and the rest of the world.
Good luck for your efforts to promote some sensibility and reasonability.

Maggie F. writes:
Dear Mikel,
My son loves his video games, but one day he may have to put on a military uniform and face enemies with live ammunition. These people who will have to fight this war are other mothers' sons and daughters. We can't do something like this for the wrong reasons. Not everyone has a rich, powerful daddy able to wrangle his way into the National Guard, and some will come home in body bags. I don't want that to happen to anyone's child -- at least not for the wrong reasons.
You've had a wonderful idea to make the point.

(When I wrote Maggie back to ask what she thought about being on the letters page, she replied with the following. -- Ed.)

Well, how kind of you! ... I just personally believe that intelligent people should be able to find better ways to resolve disagreements than by forcing young people from opposing countries to shoot at one another.
Unfortunately, you'll never probably actually make intellectual contact with those people who are trying to shout you down. As a lady in my bereavement support group put it so very well, people can't usually reason themselves out of a position they didn't use reason to get into in the first place.
I'm hoping that the folks protesting across the country and the letters and calls to congressmen are having some effect, which is probably why we're not already over there fighting. But whether Bush is doing this to avenge his daddy, to wag the dog so we won't notice that our 401Ks have lost half their value, or because he's just a garden variety war-monger, the results will be the same: dead young Americans. It just feels like we're starting another Vietnam, doesn't it? And I was hoping so much that our next generation of kids would grow up without the sort of anxiety we knew during the Cold War.
Makes me wish we could all just hibernate with a PlayStation and wake up when this bad dream is over.
You take care, hon.

Lavode writes:
You rock! I found your site after it was too late to donate, but have been keeping close tabs on it since.
Are you going to put some info on what you found out about sending packages to the White House so they don't get dissected?
Here's to a great idea!

(Here's a note for anyone wondering about sending stuff to the White House: All you need to do, at least according to the White House Gift Unit, is get the address right. I have no idea what sort of arcane security procedure the PS2 was subjected to after I got that simple step right, but I have no doubt that it would cause grown men to cry out in the night with fear and terror. -- Ed.)

Worried in Louisiana writes:
I am glad that someone agrees with me that the President is just itching for a war. Personally, I am very upset about this, because my son just received news that he will be deployed on Jan. 3rd to Afghanistan. He is in the National Guard.
I agree that Bush needs to play a video game instead of using real people (my son) to act out his fantasies.

Ryan S. writes:
I just stumbled across your site and lost it completely. I think what you did was a great idea. Although I missed the window for donations, I will be back to your site to follow the progress of the PS2 and watch for any updates. I happened upon your site because I too want a PS2 just like Deep down I know Bush wants one also. If you start up another Buy a PS2 program I would gladly except one under the "19 yr old trying to put himself through college and live in New York at the same time" category. Otherwise keep up the good work and congrats on raising the Money for your cause.

Heke writes:
I just wanted to say, I think yours is one of the most brilliant and inventive campaigns I have ever heard of, and I thank you for it. Your cynical humour is absolutly wonderful. Thank you!!

Leadprod writes:
I am glad you hav reached your goll . however if this dont work there is a song on pinkfloyd the final cut cd . ( the fletcher memorial home ) that seems appropeat hope you can opptane a copy .

(Wait... what? -- Ed.)

Alan H. from the UK writes:
Nice site, lads! Why not invent your own special game for Dubya? How about "Grand Theft Election"?
I really do think you chaps and chapesses across the pond should have stuck with George the Third. That way you would have avoided George the Second.

Ljiljana writes:
I am so sorry to be late for being a donor.
You're idea is really perfect but can anyone stop that player?

(I have heard intelligence reports that Bush's secret powers make him unstoppable, especially at backgammon. -- Ed.)

Susanne G. from Germany writes:
I've already signed Your petition. I really do agree with You.
Before election in Germany (September 2002) there was a female politician in government (named Herta DSubler-Gmelin) and she'd said, Bush acts like a modern Hitler.
Now she is not a member of the new government.
She said the truth.
And she paid for it with her job.
That's life.
There's no protection.
Bush thinks he is God.
And he acts like God.
But he is a mistake himself.

John Seipp writes:
I think it's a great idea to buy Dubya a Playstation2 but I've come up with an even better idea. I'm gonna send him a big bag of pretzels for Christmas! What I'd like to do is start a campaign to get millions of intelligent like minded Americans to do the same. Actually, we could have people from all over the world join in and have them all send him a bag of pretzels. Imagine TONS of pretzels being delivered to the Whitehouse this holiday season. What better way to celebrate the holiday and ring in the New year. Imagine all the major news organizations reporting on Dubya's unique gifts from people from all over the world. Let's let Dubya know what the world REALLY thinks of him. Can you help me to spread the word?

(Sure. Hey, everybody, support this campaign! It's pretzels! You like pretzels, right? Everyone likes pretzels! Buy the president the pretzels!
Oh, wait... it's past Christmas. Sorry, John. There's always this year, though... -- Ed.)

Chris W. writes:
Hi Mikel
I think your campaign is a great idea, and the spirit of it is clear from your web page, but I thought I'd just bring a concern to your attention.
The thing is, I can imagine the monkeyman not bothering to read your page and just reading the letter (OK, this too is unlikely, but let's imagine!).
That being the case, I'm pretty sure that when he reads this:
Given the amount of public speech and political rhetoric you have devoted to this issue in past months, it seems to us as though you are more interested in playing commando than in fighting an actual war with actual human casualties.
he'll think:
"Oh, wow. They think I'm a wuss - all mouth and no trousers - and don't have the balls to do it for real. Hell, I'd better get on with it and get the death count rolling!"
Sad, laughable even, but potentially true, no?
So that you don't have to have the nagging feeling that you may have tipped him over the edge into doing the deed (if the deed happens, as seems likely), perhaps you could rephrase that part of the letter?
Perhaps something in the spirit of:
Sure, you promised your dad and Carlisle Group buddies to triple the size of their fortunes within three years, but doesn't a graduate of Yale and Harvard have the brains to do it by getting the world economy to prosper, rather than by grabbing yet another country's oil at the expense of the innocent?
Or whatever.
Hmm, your original gets in the idea of *playing* which leads on to the PS2. So you could continue:
To entertain, thrill and satisfy you when taking a rest from rising to the intellectual challenge of winning the Great Game of World Economics without bloodshed and the destruction of unrenewable resources, we've decided to give you something to satisfy your lusts and help save the world.
OK, there might be too many big words for him to properly understand, but he should get the drift. And it might be a clearer message when repeated in the press.
HTH, and thanks for a great idea. I hope it works!

Dan Bailey writes:
Thought you should know, I've been running a spoof george_dubya blog over at LiveJournal for a few months now (note that the mood is always "confused")... My Playstation woes started back in October, and I've tied it to your page...sorta. Check it out:

Armin writes:
I love your Idea! And would even give money, but i live in europe...

What you think about buying Saddam a playstation aswell? sony i going to launch their internet servers for ps2 soon and they could actually fight against each other over the internet then - bush vs. hussain

(It's a good idea, but I think the export of PS2s to Iraq is illegal. I think the NSA is afraid that Saddam's scientists will use duct tape to attach it to the tip of an old V2 rocket, thereby making it somehow more destructive, and also twice as fun. -- Ed.)

Matt B. writes:
Hi. I read about your campaign in today's Indiana Daily Student, the Indiana University student newspaper. I think this is absolute brilliance and political expression at its best! I have one suggestion: get a copy of the strategy guides for the games so Bush will have something to help him out if he gets stumped and the cabinet's out to lunch. Best wishes!
"Pride follows many paths, speaks in many voices, and comes in many forms." -Associated Student Bodies

(To the author of that student newspaper piece, a bit of advice from one journalist to another: In the news business, it is generally considered colossally bad form if you do not make even an attempt to contact the person you are writing about. -- Ed.)

Robert L. writes:
Can't we at least get him the best next generation consoles- the X-Box- it kicks ps2 out of the water- and really will let Bush see the blood and guts of these games with the x-box's superior graphics.

(You know, we get a lot of these "Why not an Xbox?" letters. The answer is simple: The Xbox didn't have many good, jingoistic military games as of last November. More importantly, the damn thing is so heavy that the postage would have killed us. -- Ed.)

Applesfromavalon writes:
Please, be sure to include Sim City, for rebuilding the Iraq infrastructure.

(Not a bad idea... of course, I have a feeling the president would get the wrong idea and waste all his "nation-building" time trying to figure out how to get a giant monster to attack Baghdad. -- Ed.)

Walt F. writes:
One of the nice side effects of morality is that you don't really need moral support.
But what the hey: Thanks for a great concept and Good Wishes for any future endeavors.
My only concern is that there may be some truth to this "killing games rot the mind" argument, and that despite your fine intentions, this will have unintended consequences. He may want the higher-priced version of the game, with more realistic footage, etc.

Patrick C. writes:
You're a genius. I only regret that I cannot participate, seeing as the campaign is over.
Should we buy Dan Quayle a memory card too? I didn't realize it was so easy these days to upgrade the mental facilities of our government officials. Can we get Bush a faster processor too?

Bak Y.S writes:
Dear Mikel Reparaz
I read the site with interest.
I will stand by you.
The majority of Korean people strongly opposed to the war.
I dont know why Bush receive strong congressional.
If i was American people i'll teach them a lesson.
The majority of Korean people simply dislike Bush-detest him.
There is no smoke without fire.
Maybe he has forgotten [a meaning of"a sense of justice"].
I dont know what is "real evil".who is "real evil"
Good luck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Cameron M. writes:
I remember reading frequently during the early months of the Bush junta that Baby Boy's favorite pastime was playing video games. That meshes with his ADHD personality and his need for constant narcissistic gratification, not to mention his petulant, childish need to win at any cost and his total absence of introspection and highly developed vindictiveness. We also know that he has a history of cruelty to animals, a key predictor of sociopathic behavior. All of these charming traits and many others are now being writ large on the world stage, of course, by the most developmentally arrested and dysfunctional milli-wit ever to occupy--and I do mean OCCUPY--the White House.
So maybe the problem isn't that he doesn't have enough outlets for his aggression, but that he has too many. Recent research from Japan is showing attentional deficits and other long-term changes in the brains of those who play video games for long periods of time. We also know that playing aggressive video games does indeed make children more aggressive and reduces their empathy for the fictional consequences of the games.
Maybe the problem is that Bush has fried and perverted what is left of his minuscule brain by secretly playing too many video games. After all, he claims he doesn't drink, so he must be doing something to escape from the reality that the entire world finds him and everything he does or says thoroughly and unbelievably idiotic. As Dorothy said to the Scarecrow, "What would you (Baby Bush) do with a brain if you had one?"
"It is the responsibility of the patriot to protect his country from its government."
--Thomas Paine
Vote for a Green and support fatalism and apathy at home. Then start kissing this country goodbye.
Vote for a Republican (it's easier than thinking) and support fascism and greed-driven, obscene destruction throughout the world. Then start kissing this country goodbye.
Or--vote for a Democrat and help save this country.

Ed writes:
Hi Mikel,
This is a great idea you've got here. I really hope you'll be able to get somewhere with the delivery. If not, maybe phase two would involve trying again in a different way.. Maybe you could arrange to have him win the PS2 at one of those fancy fund-raising dinners (as a door prize). Or maybe get it to his daughters so he'll see it and get hooked on it (while they're in rehab or something).
If you are successful in getting the PS2 to Bush, then maybe it will be time to move on to other world leaders. Tony Blair, Ariel Sharon & Australia's John Howard may be next (as some of Bush's biggest supporters in the wanna-be war).

Terry L. writes:
Perhaps you should consider providing Mr. Rumsfeld with a controller. He wouldn't want to be left out.

Adalia S. in Iowa writes:
Dear Mikel, This is the best idea that has ever passed the mind of an American, and I know you are. I received this message just moments ago from a friend in Denver who makes video games for a living - VR-1 Entertainment is the business, and I think they do some things with Sony. It's not that I believe that grassroots organizing and protests don't work, but they seem to get washed down in the press and there doesn't seem to be enough about how this new war would absolutely suck for most of us. It's a bunch of crap. We're having a rally here tomorrow downtown to protest this stupid new war. Getting him a new playstation is a fantastic idea, and I wish I had thought of it myself.

Amanda writes:
Great idea, just wanted to let you know of a change I'd like to make, as a like minded anti-war activist. You might want to omit "small-group" of anti-war folks who are contributing, because it is indeed quite a large group!! We all know that the statistics can be manipulated to generate any number CNN or MBC wants, don't we! Great idea--video games are a great catharsis.

Deviant from Poland writes:
At the beginning i want to say, that i`m not watching ( or avoiding to watch it ) tv , because when i only see Bush`s face, i want to vomit.. That is probably because of his tactic - team with inhuman israel, which is like a serial killer , not watching for anything than only himself ( not even his community ). Killing women, kids and so on is just a normal daily thing. And what says USA , "the worldwide policeman" ? "Ah.. yes.. we agree with those actions - you can kill as much palestinians as you want to, and we would say nothing. We will only criticize Russia, whatever they do and how they do. So keep killing them , no matter if they are 5 years old or injured people in hospital. Go ahead." And what then ? hm.. "let me think" says Bush.. - "Ah! i have an idea! . After Afghanistan, it`s the time for next step. Community does nothing, so probably i have an aproval in my imaginated world protecting plan. Now i can make my dreams come true and kill some people (especially women and children ). uhhm.. and those amounts of oil.. i just feel the cash everywhere. oil .. oil.. more oil... more dead people. But huh, wtf is that ? Some countries are not with us! Well.. i need some ha! Saddam is enemy no.1 , he want to kill us, steal our money, cars, homes and even my limo. - still no approval? - he is very dangerous, he is actually having nuclear weapon ( we don`t have it of course hehehehehhhe ) , he want to use it ( and what we are having it for ? hehehe ). ok. so.. lets prepare for fight. we will always find some good enough arguments or faked attack , even al queda connections with saddam - anything."
OK. enough. now i want to add, that i appreciate your action and idea of buying a ps2 with game and additional game pad for Cheney. ( maybe think about multiplayer , so also ( at least ) ehud barak ( israel premier ) and tony blair could play. ). I want to say also, that i was thinking about all United States community with Bush and others are just damn , not thinking and blind people, looking only for money for themselves, for having still more and more, for swimming in cash. ( try living in my country, average payment 140$ per month, but this is other case ) . Now i see, that the (part) of community is doing something , thinking , planning and trying. These actions could show americans from other side - good side ;-) So.. my english sucks anyway writing in few minutes ), my vision could suck too, but i don`t care about it ;-) If you have some questions or need some info from me , feel free to write. Best wishes and i hope this action will change something.

Tony W. from Cincinnati writes:
I love this plan.
I'm sorry that I arrived after the original goal was achieved. However, I have a suggestion and a pledge.
I suggest that your next goal be to send a copy of Sim City and a decent strategy guide to Ariel Sharon and Yasser Arafat's. I went to Israel on my honeymoon, and all of the cities I visited were filthy. Perhaps if they practiced managing cities, instead of fighting wars, they might build a decent place for them to live. Then perhaps they would quite fighting over which piece of desert god like best.
If you go with a goal like this one, I pledge $30.
Keep up the good work.

(Actually, Tony, that's a great idea! I might implement it, but first I need to finish this one. -- Ed.)

Frances G. writes:
Dear Michael:
I am somewhat cheered by your frothy sarcasm in buying the so-called Leader of the Free World a cathartic device; and cheer is hard to come by these days.
I'm a cynic, however, and must point out to you that unless one of his Secret Service types has visited your website and had a chuckle at the boss's expense, your gifts will never get into the White House. Even if aforementioned Secret Service types are expecting a package like yours, it's unlikely it will ever get through.
You must have already realized that you're being too subtle; they won't get it. With luck, the unpaid interns might get the stuff and have some fun but, think about it: if the current administration can't hear the voices of the American people (and I don't buy those poll results for a nanosecond), how can they ever get what you're putting across?
Nevertheless, creativity is in short supply these days as well. Please keep thinking up great ideas and putting them out there.

(Mmmmmm... frothy sarcasm. -- Ed.)

R Michael H. writes:
Somebody forwarded the URL of the "Buy Bush a PS2 Campaign", and I wanted to point out one flaw in your project. Bush in fact _has_ played videogames. There was a press release, I believe during the campaign, in which his schedule for a day was included, intended to make him look like "just plain folks". Included in the schedule was an hour blocked off for playing videogames, some time in the midmorning.
While I'm pleased to know that some politicians are apparently aware that videogames are, in fact, not spawn of Satan sent to corrupt the children of the Earth, it would be nice if this awareness was reflected in their public statements -- the reflex of blaming videogames every time somebody gets shot is getting _really_ annoying. On the other hand, maybe Bush just considers himself so morally upright (ha!) that he can't possibly be corrupted by games.
Of course, it's also entirely possible that the games he plays are massively outdated, or silly Windows toys like Minesweeper or Solitaire.
In any case, I'm also not sure I think it's acceptable for the President to spend an hour in the middle of the day playing games. He can do that when he goes home at night. I know _my_ employer would get pretty mad if I spent an hour playing Solitaire on my work computer. :P

Imperial Commando writes:
Saw the site.. bloody brilliant.
Anyway, I was thinking of some other things you could do with the extra money. I heard Desert Storm wasn't all that good anyway.
GTA3: You wanna keep Bush distracted, this is a hideously addictive game. Believe me. As a 15 year-old I'm definitely more mature than Bush here, so I know what he'd like. You wanna go bomb someone, you can level a whole CITY.. and the great thing is, the city is ALWAYS THERE. You can kill a million people and there'll still be more. The possibilities are endless, blowing up cars, tanks, shooting down helicopters. You know that after many tries, when he completes each mission he'll go running down the hallways of the white house, hands still sweat-soaked, controller in his right hand, his arm extended, screaming "YAYYYYY!!! I DID IT! WHO'S THE PRESIDENT *NOW* BYAATCH!"
Metal Gear Solid 2: You know his dream is to be Solid Snake, sliding silently through corridors, infiltrating and destroying... Okay, maybe subtlety isn't QUITE Bush's specialty, but still.. Solid Snake man! Maybe Cheney would prefer it, if nothing else!
Yeah, take them into consideration, if you haven't already. They're great games.

Robin B. writes:
Mr. Reparaz,
It is this type of humorous thinking that gets messages across faster than anything and makes those who wouldn't otherwise think about it take a moment to consider. Thank you for your brilliant thought and professional execution. If I might make a recommendation, though, is there a PlayStation 2 game that you could buy for Mr. John Ashcroft? He has way to much time on his hands.

(I'm thinking Ashcroft maybe needs a copy of Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball, or maybe BMX XXX. You know, something that would give him the excuse to drape a curtain over his TV. -- Ed.)

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