pal joey / by Warrior Ant Press Worldwide Anthill Headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri, USA.

We've been taking a break to re-examine some cultural phenomena - purportedly our purpose but too frequently of late tied to the never-ending war. Not the one in Iraq but the one on TV. Remember when war was televised and politics was a visceral experience?

We took a pass on the last 2 debates, which more resemble Bud Bowl II, than a measured dialogue on the future of our country. Joe the Plumber showed up in our stead. Joe, who watches his carbs and visits the local gym 3 times a week, drinks Bud Lite - for the taste. He's about as Republican as it gets which isn't very these days, believing in deregulation (practicing plumbing without the proper license) and reducing taxes (even if that means cheating).

Even if Joe the wanna-be-plumber isn't properly registered to vote, YouTube is where the tastemakers reside these days. Now he has more drinking buddies than booze; thank goodness there's a couch still on the porch for the overflow. Like previous White House plumbers, safety lies at the shadow's edge and Joe seems to have lost some of his in the klieg lights.