Column Date 2007-06-04

Saving W with Feng Shui

Here’s how the Reuters story starts:

The Shenzhen Intermediate People’s Court in Guangdong Province, tainted by a bribery scandal, has hired a feng shui master to help purge the court building of bad luck, the Beijing News reported.

Isn’t that brilliant?

The Chinese court, which had three of its senior judges prosecuted for taking bribes last year, decided that the real problem is that they happened to be in a building that’s bringing them bad luck!

The bribery scandal is clearly the building’s fault – with the corrupt judges barely mentioned. (Although how you bribe a whole building is still hazy to my western mind. Do you buy it a drink in a shady bar and offer it money in a brown paper bag? And what if asks for a numbered Swiss bank account?)

What a breathtaking concept: you do something wrong, you blame the building you’re in, then you bring in a feng shui master to re-arrange the furniture, or paint the door a different color.

Problem solved.

Now, doesn’t this sound like something our current leaders in Washington should be interested in?

After all, nobody in the Bush administration has ever admitted doing anything wrong, or even making a mistake.

And they’ve been “tainted” by the chaos in Iraq, the neglect in New Orleans, the duplicity of the ‘Clean Air’ Act, the Terry Schiavo affair, the Jack Abramoff affair, the Scooter Libby affair, the Alberto Gonzalez affair, and so on and so on.

Who, one might ask, is actually responsible for all that stuff?

Why, the White House, itself!

Obviously, it’s a very unlucky building for W, and something should be done. And immediately.

Call in a feng shui master!

Remember: the White House was rebuilt and refurbished by...Democrats! (It underwent a major renovation under President Harry Truman in the early 50’s, then had an extensive redecoration by Jacqueline Kennedy in the early 60’s.)

Obviously the Democrats did everything wrong...creating troubles that a feng shui master can undo. And I don’t think we’re talking about major surgery here.

For instance, here are the problems the feng shui master found with the Chinese court building:

• The western side’s “yin” was too strong, and needed a pair of stone lions to ward off misfortune.

• The eastern side was facing a factory with an “inauspicious” smokestack. It also had an unlucky number of stairs.

Sounds like an easy feng shui fix to me. And the White House shouldn’t be much of a problem, either.

Maybe all those concrete security barriers were placed inauspiciously. Or perhaps those Democrats put a door or two in the wrong places. Or maybe every meeting room should be rearranged so you have to enter it from the right instead of the left.

Whatever is wrong with the White House, I’m certain that a feng shui master could clear up the problem in a jiffy.

Then, all it would take is a few billion dollars to Halliburton for minor repairs, and the country would be well on its way again.

(FYI. As you might expect, the Shenzhen Intermediate People’s Court has issued a statement denying the whole thing. The Chinese news reporter, however, is sticking to his guns, saying the story was based on personal interviews, and that guards expelled him from the court when he tried to speak with officials. To quote Kurt Vonnegut: “And so it goes.”)

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©2007 Peter Tannen