RUETERS EXCLUSIVE: 187-Year-Old Cicada Dishes on State of Union; Spoiler Alert: Even a Fucking Bug Knows We’re in Trouble; Bonus Feature — Putin Voted ‘Sexiest Man’ in Russia, Wait Till You Lay Your Eyes on ‘Sexiest Woman’

Oldest member of cicada family’s famous 17-year Brood X, Jerry, known in his underground community as ‘Old Dada,’ tells Rueters what he has heard, seen since first coming up for a look in central Virginia in 1851. Says he has “seen it all — from ground level” and has warning for country and planet: “Take better care of it. Don’t nuke each other or my kind will take it all back – in the end.”

April 10, 2021

By Andrew Squibley and Arthur Bushwhacker, Raising Contributions for Matt Gaetz’s GoFuckMe Account

“Democracy Dies In Darkness…..Same Place Where Vote Counting For Russia’s ‘Sexiest Man’ Occurs”

LADYSMITH, VIRGINIA (Rueters) – The United States is on a “perilous course” to a fractured future but still has time to close deep divisions, according to the world’s oldest insect in an exclusive interview with Rueters earlier this month.

“Old Dada” tells Rueters the US has rarely been as divided as he sees it is today. “It’s not too late, though, to turn things around,” he added in a note of optimism. (Rueters photo)

Only weeks before he’s due to emerge from an underground nest along with billions of members of his extended family, during a once-in-17-years cacophonous mating ritual, the 187-year-old cicada leader, Jerry, also known as “Old Dada,” said he has seen Americans more divided than they are today, but not often.

“I’ve been keeping an eye on things ever since popping up in Virginia back in ’51 — that’s 1851,” Old Dada told Rueters. “At that time, I was just a kid, just turned 17. But even then I could tell things were looking bad,” said the most elderly member of the Magicicada species whose unprecedented age has been verified by Guinness World Records.

“Back then I spent time on a cotton plantation and what misery it was for the slaves. Didn’t seem to me anyone really cared about them, but I came to learn that wasn’t true. There were millions of people willing to die to free them,” he said. “And hundreds of thousands did.”

Old Dada, who was born in 1834, said that after a few weeks being on the surface for the first time in 1851, “I figured the best thing was to skedaddle back to the nest. I knew I was supposed to stay topside, get laid, make some babies and die. But I’m no hero. I wanted to see how things worked out for the humans.

“It’s been that way every 17 years,” he added. “I don’t know why more cicadas don’t just hop back into the ground and wait it out another 17 years. It’s not boring. We’ve got magazines, we’ve got antennae, so we can pick up some local TV and radio. WiFi is a little weak under six feet of dirt, but we can always find someone to talk to.”

And speaking of finding someone to talk to, following is a transcript of Rueters conversation with Old Dada near his underground retreat close to Petersburg, Virginia. It has been edited for length and clarity because, well, turns out cicadas aren’t any more articulate than the Orange Menace of Mar-a-Lago.

Rueters: Thanks for sitting down with us, Old Dada. So we calculate that at 187 years old, you’ll be making your what — eleventh? — appearance on the surface, every 17 years from 1851 until 2021. To what do you attribute your longevity?

US Grant with trademark smoke, ca 1864. (Photo courtesy US Military Academy)

Old Dada (OD): Cigars, mostly. Always enjoined a good Cohiba. President Grant first introduced me to the pleasures of a good smoke back in (18)68. You remember “Sam” Grant, don’t you? He’s the general who put the “Lost” in “The Lost Cause.” Ha ha. But I come from tough Irish stock, originally. I think my people — sorry, shouldn’t be so insensitive — I think my fellow bugs came over on the Mayflower and eventually settled in cotton country. Much milder weather. The ground hardly freezes at all. Easier to survive there than in, say, Massachusetts or New Hampshire. Winters are a fucking nightmare up there.

“Old Dada” and his Cohiba – 2021

Rueters: Looking back almost two centuries, Old Dada, what were the worst of times in the US, do you think?

OD: What? Besides now? Well, even though 1851 was my first time up, even a kid like me could tell things weren’t going well. Lots of arguing between the North and South; about slavery, a lot of it. And from what I can tell, that putz Millard Fillmore, who was president, didn’t seem to care that the country was heading to civil war. It only got worse with Franklin Pierce and James Buchanan, it turned out. Pierce and Buchanan were both Democrats, by the way. No one wanted to tackle the country’s divisions.

Rueters: But weren’t you underground for the war that finally did come? You weren’t back up again until 1868, right? Why do you say the Civil War was the worst when you didn’t see it?

OD: Didn’t see it, that’s true. But we — all of us down there — heard, felt and smelled the fighting. Hell, I was living near Petersburg when the goddamn Union army decided to blow a hole under the Rebs who were holding out there. Fucking explosion damn near blew me back to Richmond.

By the time I came back up, in ’68, there was no war but there was still plenty of hatred to go around. Can you spell KKK? Only spent a few days on the surface that year. It was pretty depressing. Didn’t know what to expect next time. At least I met Grant and got my first cigar.

Rueters: Americans say they came together after the Civil War, put the fighting behind them. Did you find that to be true?

OD: In some parts of the country, according to my fellow cicadas, yeah, there was cooperation and friendly relations. But in Virginia? In parts of the South and certainly even up North, there was trouble. Mostly it had to do with race. If you were white, that was fine. Whites preferred each other. Always did, from what I saw. One of your comedians said Whites weren’t any better than others, but clearly it was better to be White in the United States. Government wanted to keep the country White, too. Virginia even had a law that made it illegal for Whites to marry Blacks. And that law lasted until nearly a century after the Civil War. Some asshole named Jim Crow was making a lot of the trouble for Blacks. Frankly, I still see his impact today — in laws and war memorials. That’s no way to fix what ails us. It wasn’t back in 1868 and it isn’t today.

It has been a tough time for minorities in this country even though they fought for the US. I surfaced in 1919, right after the Great War, and again in 1936, just as Europe was heading into the Second World War. Whites and Blacks and Native Americans and Latinos and Japanese Americans all fought and died together. But, honest to God, every time I’ve come back since the wars, it seems Whites still have someone to pound on. Mostly it’s Blacks and mistreatment and murder by the police. But other minorities haven’t been treated well, either. I’ve been reading the news lately, you know, to get ready for what’s out there this year. What’s happening to Asians in this country is terrible. I think they’re being treated like — should I say it? — bugs.

Reuters: But Old Dada, surely there’s been improvement. The country has come so far, politically, legally, technologically, environmentally, healthcare-wise. You can’t overlook that progress, can you? With your regular absences, you must notice changes once you reappear. What about now, 2021, this time? What are you seeing? What are your thoughts?

OD: Granted, last time I was up top it was 2004, but I read the papers. The country was still reeling from the 9/11 attacks and Americans wanted to get the bastards who were responsible for thousands of civilian deaths. The country pulled together and went after the bad guys as one big team. Today, what do we see? Something called social media that’s used for misinformation and disinformation, libel and invective and spreading racist propaganda. The US isn’t thinking and acting like a team. We’re many teams and with that many teams, there’s hatred and bigotry and terrible obstacles to getting things done.

The Democrats were no saints. Like I said, neither Pierce nor Buchanan fought to avoid a war. Each one sat there for four years and couldn’t wait to bail out of the White House once his term was over. And that’s how history has judged these two losers. But today’s Republicans? What are they doing?

Rueters: What’s wrong with the Republicans? They aren’t the only ones in government.

OD: Very true. And there are many good and decent Republican office holders. But what does the party stand for today? Spreading lies about election results? Restricting voting rights, instead of assuring everyone — including minorities — their vote will count? Now the GOP (legislature in Arkansas) is telling families of transgender kids they can’t get medical treatment, like they know better than the kids’ parents and doctors? And that last putz in the White House actually told America there are “fine people” among the neo-Nazis! Jeezuz. Telling women they have no rights over their own bodies? Unbelievable, even to an insect. This isn’t legislation. This is tyranny.

Why do I see these and worse things from the Republicans every time I come back? This is not the Republican party I joined in 1868. I supported Sam Grant, a good man who loved his country and cared for Americans.

Seems to this lowly bug that Republicans are spending most of their efforts on restricting the rights of Americans instead of preserving or enhancing them. Back in 1987, I remember President Reagan talked about the Republican’s “Big Tent.” All were welcome. Now it’s a tent that looks like it’s been hit by Covid: the population is getting smaller and widely spaced, not more inclusive.

Rueters: What, if anything, Old Dada, makes you optimistic for the country’s future?

OD: Well, first, the country bounced that racist con man and his band of crooks and incompetents out of the White House last year. No “Big Lie.” Just the God’s honest truth. Anyone with half a brain, about the size of mine, could see that. We all heard the news down under and let out a sign of relief. Electing Joe Biden gives us at least a reasonable chance of meeting our challenges and standing up to bad guys — maybe even as one team again.

I first met Biden, I think it was in 1885, and he impressed me then. Sure, he gets a little befuddled. He’s no kid, at least in human years. But his moral compass is true and he seems to have good people working for him. The results of his efforts give me something to hope for the next 17 years. He has enormous challenges in front of him, but from what I’ve seen, he’s not afraid to tackle them. My only issue before I have to go under again is getting signed up for a Moderna or Pfizer shot. I don’t want to miss the rest of the century. Should be a good time.

Rueters: Thank you, Old Dada. Let’s plan to talk again in 2038.

OD: Amen to that.

____________________________________________________________________________________

Bonus Feature: Putin Russia’s ‘Sexiest Man’? Who Are We to Argue?

MOSCOW (Rueters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose age the Kremlin says is 49, has been named the country’s “Sexiest Man,” the results of a nationwide “free and fair” election, the Tass News Agency reported on Saturday. “Our great president won in a landslide with 90 percent of the votes. The other 10 percent won’t be voting again,” Tass said.

“There can be no doubt that the president represents everything a modern Russian woman finds sexy in a man,” the Kremlin said following release of the voting results. “Short, hairless, bright pink, and balding.” A newborn gerbil comes to mind, a Kremlin critic told Rueters.

Of course for every “Sexiest Man” there has to be a “Sexiest Woman,” and the Russians are no different from other countries in that regard. Meet “Sexiest Woman” Olga Ovechkin, chosen for her winning borscht recipe, grandmother of Washington Capitals star and captain Alex, telling Rueters through sign language just what she thinks of Rossiya’s so-called “Sexiest Man.”

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One Comment

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  1. OD was speaking a lot of truth. Squibley and Bushwhacker don’t always find such forthright fellas.

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