Some woo I can almost support

Apparently, our President brings “bad energy” wherever he goes, requiring some strong woo to cleanse the area after he leaves:

Maya leaders are to perform a special cleaning ceremony at ancient ruins to clear bad energy after a visit by President Bush.

Mr Bush is due at the Mayan ruins of Iximche in Guatemala as part of his tour of the Latin American region, reports the BBC.

But after he leaves, Maya protesters said they would hold a ceremony to restore peace and harmony to the area.

Morales Toj said: “We will burn incense, place flowers and water in the area where Mr Bush has walked to clean out the bad energy.”

Although it’s all a bunch of woo, I guess you can’t blame the Mayans for wanting to do something after Bush left.


  1. #1 blf
    March 13, 2007

    I note the linked-to article said:

    Mr Bush is expected to be welcomed with native dances…

    A sacrifice sounds about right. 😉

  2. #2 S. Rivlin
    March 13, 2007

    I have long-wondered how non-Americans all around the world have managed to see the real scourge of George W, while significant number of Americans (35%), even today, still hold him in high regard. Amszing.

  3. #3 factician
    March 13, 2007

    S. Rivlin,

    It’s the same reason that 20% of Russians would like to see Stalin back as president (disclaimer: no, I am not comparing Bush to Stalin). No matter what ridiculous question you put in a poll, around 10-20% of folks will give an answer that seems stark, raving mad. I think the lesson to learn here, is that at least 10-20% of folks are stark, raving mad. That still makes you wonder about the additional 15% of Americans who support G. Bush, but perhaps they haven’t been following the news much, or getting their news from

  4. #4 S. Rivlin
    March 13, 2007


    You are probably right in your analysis. Nevertheless, I don’t believe that the Maayans who are going to cleanse their ancient ruins from the “bad energy” of W are watching more news on TV than the 15% Americans who are not stark, raving mad. I think that there is no difference between the Maayans who believe that Bush is “bad energy” and the Americans who believe that he is “good energy.” It is woo and that is. The problem is that our president himself is woo.

  5. #5 Dianne
    March 13, 2007

    Well, I’m a US-American and if Bush visited me I’d want to clean everything he touched afterwards too.

  6. #6 DouglasG
    March 13, 2007

    “We will burn incense, place flowers and water in the area where Mr Bush has walked to clean out the bad energy.”

    To me, it sounds like Mr. President has a bad case of gas… Somebody, please burn some incense! At least put some flowers out…

  7. #7 DouglasG
    March 13, 2007

    I would think the 15% or so that actually support him in this scenario do so because he has done things which are good for them. Oil companies are making big dough! If you had a lot of money in oil stock and you are seeing a large return on your investment, wouldn’t you support the person responsible for that? Many of those people could ignore everything else he has done…

  8. #8 TheProbe
    March 13, 2007

    Dick Cheney visited Sydney while I was there. I asked the Aussies if they would keep him…no one would tak eme up on it. They pointed out that Bush is expected in September, and they are all taking vacation.

  9. #9 Marc Mielke
    March 13, 2007

    As bad a president as he is, I can’t see how Bush could taint a place used for Human Sacrifice. Although using “Bush” and “Human Sacrifice” in the same sentence makes me smile.

  10. #10 Susannah
    March 13, 2007

    I would bet that many, if not most, of the Yucatecos involved in this ceremony do not really believe their “woo”, either.

    Living for many years in Mexico, I learned that they will jump on any chance at all to make fun of bureacrats, especially American bureacrats; a purifying rite sounds just the ticket.


  11. #11 Keanus
    March 13, 2007

    As another American I’m with Dianne. Were Bush to invade my house (he couldn’t visit because I’d never extend an invitation), afterwards I’d have to open all the windows, clean the carpets, and burn incense for a week. Woo or not, I’d have to cleanse the place to maintain my self-respect.

  12. #12 Llelldorin
    March 13, 2007

    I think for the last 15% you can blame the power of cognitive dissonance.

    These are people who voted for Bush over Kerry. Since the fact that Bush’s entire administration has been a catastrophe has begun to be obvious to everyone who isn’t in the 20% mad group, they’re confronted with a contradiction–people who they trusted–and the leaders of their “tribe”–have lied openly to them, and they fell for it. Meanwhile, the hated “liberal” tribe has been correct on issue after issue. Since that can’t be tolerated, they’re forced to construct “well, at least…” scenarios to justify continued support of Bush.

    That’s why the “what would Kerry have done if elected” scenarios have been going off the rails recently–they have to be substantially worse than reality, which has been a challenge recently. I’m still waiting for, “well, at least space-time hasn’t been destroyed the way it would have been under Kerry,” but I’m sure it can’t be far off.

  13. #13 Coin
    March 13, 2007

    I’m still waiting for, “well, at least space-time hasn’t been destroyed the way it would have been under Kerry,” but I’m sure it can’t be far off.

    Wait until the Large Hadron Collider goes live.

  14. #14 Inquisitive Raven
    March 14, 2007

    Ah, another chance to spread the meme. For all of you wondering about Dubya’s continuing base of support, I strongly recommend that you check out Robert Altemeyer’s The Authoritarians. Scary stuff. And Dubya’s support seems to come that portion of the population that scores very high on Altemeyer’s RWA scale.

  15. #15 Prup aka Jim Benton
    March 14, 2007

    Just want to second Inquisitive Raven. I have some questions about minor parts of Altemeyer’s work — in particular I see Bush as an ‘authoritarian follower’ unexpectedly thrust into power rather than a true ‘leader.’ But it is a major work tht should be read by anyone trying to make sense of the last six mad years.

  16. #16 Ahistoricality
    March 14, 2007

    I did some digging when this came up at Archy’s, and this “purification ritual” is a staged event by political operatives (indigenous ones, to be sure, but activists, nonetheless) rather than the “primal wisdom” of “tribal elders” or some such.

  17. #17 ebohlman
    March 14, 2007

    I can see another reason for some of Bush’s continued support: there’s something strange about the man that causes a substantial number of people to project their own viewpoints and attitudes onto him. Shortly before the 2004 election, PIPA (the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland) did a study that showed that Bush supporters frequently held positions that were at odds with Bush’s, but incorrectly believed that Bush agreed with them (the biggest effect involved trade agreements: the majority of his supporters wanted them to include labor/environmental protections, which Bush opposed. However, most of them believed that Bush wanted such protections).

    So it seems to be that quite a few of Bush’s supporters aren’t supporting the real Dubya at all but rather a fantasy image of him. It’s important to realize, however painful it may be to geeks, that the majority of voters don’t vote based on ideology but rather on subjective considerations of “character” and “likability.” Bush somehow sends out signals that trigger these impressions, even when the facts don’t support them (he’s the guy you’d “like to have a beer with”; how many people really enjoy sharing a beer with an alcoholic?).

  18. #18 daenku32
    March 14, 2007

    The spiritual stench would have to be pretty bad considering all the bullshit spewed during the visit.

  19. #19 Flex
    March 14, 2007

    Llelldorin wrote, “well, at least space-time hasn’t been destroyed the way it would have been under Kerry,”

    Heh, reminds me of the first Sim City. One of the reviewers played the Detroit simulation. Even with all the catastrophes set to maximum frequency, a simulated Detroit did better than the reality under Mayor Coleman Young.

    It just goes to show that humanity is still more destructive than any computer can be. It kinda make you proud.

  20. #20 Andrew Dodds
    March 14, 2007
  21. #21 blf
    March 16, 2007

    Steve Bell in The Guardian has picked up the sacrifice angle in his own unique way:,,2035613,00.html

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