Another Political Bestiary, Ep. XXXI

The Ghoul (2020). Acrylic and ink on paper. Artwork and text copyright Danny Grosso.

Continuing the expeditions of Jeff MacNelly, James Kilpatrick, and Eugene McCarthy, with apologies.

The Ghoul

Abiding, rather than living, in the epochs of geopolitical time, the enigmatic Ghoul is a recurring visitor to the Bestiary. Incited in periods of realpolitik, the creature rears its bespectacled head and lowers expectations in capitals all over the globe. Need to sidetrack some badly needed reform? Subpoena a Ghoul to testify before committee. Want to douse the spark of a people’s revolution? Post a Ghoul to that far-flung embassy. Trained in the dark arts of emotional distance (Ivy League) and invisible control (Langley), the creature is well suited to its tasks, in which it revels, quietly. The Ghoul, congenitally reticent and, at times, attention averse to the point of invisibility, can sometimes be easily spotted in the wild. Its recent habitats include the House GOP Caucus rooms, the international terminal at Reagan National, and the U.S. Embassy in Hong Kong.

-Danny Grosso

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