| The Bush clone in different yoga poses
Washington, Oct. 24: With America split down the middle in one of its most divisive presidential elections in history, political humour, spoofs, parodies and mimicry are providing welcome relief in an increasingly nasty and negative poll campaign.
And yoga too is playing its part!
One of the most popular Internet sites for Bush-haters ' and others merely looking for some fun ' is www.bushyoga.com which displays images of a Bush look-alike in 18 different yoga poses.
The site has been such a hit in this political season that it has spawned others showing 100 kung-fu styles of defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld, one of the main advocates of the war in Iraq, and Internet sites selling women's lingerie printed with images purported to be of Bush trying his hand at yoga.
One site is selling thongs with the Bush image at $8.99 a piece plus shipping and handling.
www.bushyoga.com opens to an image ostensibly of America's commander-in-chief in an Elite Force Aviator's uniform similar to the one in which he landed on a US aircraft carrier, USS Abraham Lincoln, off the west coast on May 2, 2003.
The landing has become one of the sharpest edges of the ridicule heaped on George W. Bush over Iraq because USS Lincoln displayed a giant banner screaming 'Mission Accomplished' as the President landed on the ship, seated in the co-pilot's seat of a navy S3-B Viking aircraft.
Critics of the President never tire of pointing out that the Iraq mission was never accomplished and that more American soldiers have died since the President's stunt than before or during the invasion to topple Saddam Hussein.
The opening page of the bushyoga.com site proclaims: 'Love him, or hate him, you can now pose George W. Bush to your heart's content.'
This can be done by clicking on one of the 18 images at the top of the page.
The second image shows Bush in Vrksasana, which is explained as the tree pose. The figurine, purported to be Bush, comments about the pose: 'The cops made me pretty good at this one but it wasn't till I went cold turkey that this pose was really doable. Lift your right foot up to the inside of your left leg with the toes pointing down. Then for the tricky part: take your arms up. Ya can occasionally drown your failures in whisky until this pose becomes easier.'
There is a tip in italics. 'You can use a wall or the cop car for help initially. Keep the standing leg knee firm but not locked.' The reference to whisky is to the days when Bush had a drinking problem and was booked for drunken driving many years ago, before he became a teetotaller.
Bush in Virabhadrasana II or warrior pose says: 'Now I know that this pose was named after some warrior that grew from the hair of a blue devil. See here, I am a God-fearing man. But I do believe you should know your enemy: Hindus.
'Soldier, I want you to step your right foot forward pointing straight ahead with the back foot turned in about 45 degrees. Inhale and take your arms out to the side and on the exhale bend your front knee. Look past your right hand and repeat the mantra 'God Bless America'. This will counter the evil effects of the pose.'
The commentary for the Salamba Sirasana I or Supported Head reads: 'Some people joke that I was holding Dick's hand during the 9/11 commission meetings. Look here, I'm the President. Not a little kid. And plus, Dick says I'm a big boy now, and let's me eat at the grownup table (sometimes).
'I'm not gonna kid you, this here pose is no walk in the park. If you attempt this manoeuvre, just remember that I have no responsibility for what happens to you. I want you to start with your firearms, um, forearms on the ground and interlace your fingers at the base of a wall. Just like an oil drill, drop the crown of your head just below your hands as you lift your backside...'
The reference here is to a Congressional commission appointed to investigate the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. When Bush was invited to appear before the panel, he arrived with Vice-President Dick Cheney for the meeting.
An enduring joke about that encounter goes that when commission members asked 'How are you Mr President' Both Bush and Cheney replied: 'Very well, Thank you.'