Sunday, May 27, 2012

They Eat Puppies, Don't They?

They Eat Puppies, Don't They? by Christopher Buckley

I don't know if it's very wise to risk offending a fifth of the world's population when you're trying to sell books, but Christopher Buckley went ahead and threw caution to the wind with They Eat Puppies, Don't They?

When Congress denies funding for a new commercial jet-sized unmanned military drone known as Dumbo, one of the executives of the company that was going to be making them enlists the help of Bird McIntire to try to ignite anti-Chinese sentimentalism throughout the world in order to ensure funding for their next military project. But that's harder than it sounds. During the Cold War, it was always easy to get Americans riled up about the Soviets, but Americans just don't care much about issues dealing with China, with one notable exception -- the Dalai Lama.

Americans love the Dalai Lama and when he's laid up with a stomach bug from eating a bad clam, Bird decides to start the rumor mill going with reports that it was an assassination attempt by the Chinese. In fact, the poison he says they used was created by extracting a deadly enzyme found in dead panda livers. When His Holiness passes away a short time later (from circumstances wholly unrelated to pandas) anti-Chinese sentimentalism, reaches a fever pitch, and Bird is right there to try to take full advantage.

I love satire, and Buckley is one of the best writers of it. Puppies is smart, topical, unapologetic, and will offend more than just the Chinese--members of the Ann Coulter Fan Club: beware.

★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

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