Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Get Thee Behind Me, Satan!

As a heterosexual female, I've never had much difficulty finding men willing to consider sex with me. Statistically speaking, I couldn't say that had I been a homosexual man: a straight woman can honestly claim "Up to ninety percent of the male population might do me," while a gay man is limited to the remaining ten percent (unless he's in an American prison).

So gay guys must learn to recognize subtle cues indicating a man's a potential sex partner, like "he wears an earring in a certain lobe" or "he's a right-wing political or religious figure who spends lots of time lambasting the evils of homosexuality." Ted Haggard. Larry Craig. They know what I mean.

That said, even the most finely tuned gaydar occasionally shows a false reading, so I cannot state with absolute certainly that Michigan assistant state attorney general Andrew Shirvell is a homosexual so far in the closet he's conquered Narnia. What I can say about Shirvell is this: something about hunky college boy Chris Armstrong, the University of Michigan's first openly gay student-body president, dumped an economy-sized can of obsessiveness into whatever's simmering in the pressure cooker of Shirvell's brain.

Shirvell, posting as "Concerned Michigan Alumnus," started the Chris Armstrong Watch blog, filled with long lurid ramblings illustrated by swastikas and rainbow flags crudely Photoshopped onto pictures of Armstrong. Shirvell calls him "Satan's representative on the student assembly," and made similar claims during his sadly entertaining and partially coherent interview with Anderson Cooper. Despite his busy schedule, Shirvell has also found time to picket Armstrong's house.

Of course, none of this constitutes solid proof that Andrew Shirvell fantasizes about Chris Armstrong when he masturbates. Even though Satan's homosexual representatives on the student assembly always behave so abominably, those wicked naughty degenerates, fantasizing about using their rock-solid hard oiled bodies to pin down helpless doughy God-fearing assistant state attorneys general Chris oh Chris EVIL FUCKING HOMO FAGGOT I HATE YOU!!! I've always hated you! Loathed your hard tan toned body thrusting with arrogant Godless confidence across the sweaty acres of the Quad with your long pulsating manhood ever-ready to violate my helpless holy Christian ass. Get thee behind me, Satan! Get thee behind me now, right now, I can't wait any longer, spray your white-hot homosexual agenda all over ME OH YES YES FUCK YES FUCK ME SATAN YES yes yes yeeeeees ... [trails off into unconsciousness] [snores for the next six hours].

I have absolutely no proof that's what's going on here.

I'm willing to bet a good chunk of my savings on it, though.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Masturbation: An Actual Non-Ironic Political Issue

As a patriotic American, whenever I masturbate I levitate in the direction of Washington, DC whilst singing The Star-Spangled Banner. (It requires split-second timing to hit the crescendo in the "land of the free" before the diminuendo at the "home of the brave," but I am indeed awesome enough to ... uh ... pull it off.)

Since Tea Party darling and Republican senatorial candidate Christine O'Donnell doesn't do any of this, I can only conclude she hates America.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Fidel Castro: Better Than The DEA, But Still Pretty Much A Bastard

Yesterday, when news broke that Fidel Castro finally admitted Communism wasn't working for Cuba, I posted to explain why needing fifty-one years to admit failure still gives Castro a better record than American drug prohibitionists.

Still, I wouldn't want that misconstrued as support for Castro apologists. Castro should've figured out his system wasn't working the day he had to seal the borders and refuse to allow anyone to leave his pestilential country. For all the many, many problems that exist with the modern American (and British!) governments, they have two traits which make them undeniably better than Cuba's: one, citizens are free to openly criticize their governments with no fear of the secret police punishing them or their families; and two, if you live in America or Britain and really, really hate it, your government will not stop you from leaving the country and trying your luck somewhere else.

I've been a salaried or freelance American journalist for about four years now, and over that time I've personally offended or pissed off multiple government officials, including one state attorney general; a governor; a few US senators and congressmen; multiple congressional aides; four different police chiefs; a half-dozen mayors or head selectmen; and too many state- and city-level representatives to count. I've also published harsh and usually insulting criticism against two sitting US presidents and multiple high-ranking military officers.

How many times I was arrested for what I wrote? Zero.

How many times did police or other agents of the state assault me, or threaten to, for what I wrote? Zero.

How many of my friends or family members were arrested or beaten for what I wrote? Zero.

No Cuban journalist who's criticized his own government has ever been able to make the same claim. Make no mistake: Castro was and is a horrid dictator. He's still better than the DEA, but that's damning with faint praise; Castro's better than Hitler and Kim Jong Il, too.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Fidel Castro: More Honest Than The DEA

Fifty-one years after imposing Communist rule on Cuba, dictator Fidel Castro finally admitted Communism is a failure: "The Cuban [economic] model doesn't even work for us any more."

Kudos for his honesty, though merely saying "Oops, my bad" doesn't possibly atone for a half-century of injustice: over those five decades, how many innocents suffered or even died in hellish prisons for refusing to conform to their government's unrealistic models of behavior? How many people were denied their full potential by a stiflingly unjust legal system?

Yet if the American government were as honest about its policy failures as Castro finally was regarding his -- which is to say, honest enough to only wait fifty-one years before admitting that the policies they implemented to presumably alleviate human suffering and degradation only served to inflict more -- then back in the 1980s the United States would've admitted "Those drug-prohibition laws we enacted in the 1920s and '30s aren't working for us." But we didn't scale back the War on Drugs; we turned it up to eleven.

When I was young and naive this revelation would've left me dismayed. Today, fortunately, I possess the wisdom and maturity to damned well know better than to expect my government will show the same honesty and integrity as a murderous Cuban dictator.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Prostitutes V. Politicos: Compare And Contrast

"What's the difference between a prostitute and a politician? Prostitutes only screw you when you pay them."

That was the original lede to my latest column in the Guardian, but my editor cut it because he's British and therefore immune to the vulgar attacks of nyet kulturny which frequently infect my American self. I've never actually met any of my colleagues from the Guardian, but I picture them always in elegant dark-paneled rooms, sipping tea from antique Wedgwood cups and speaking in hushed tones about the Servant Problem.

Which is probably delusional, but no moreso than the self-congratulating politicians preening this week because the "Adult Services" shutdown on Craigslist will end the Prostitute Problem once and for all. At least when I'm clueless about reality, I have neither the authority nor the desire to force others to act in accordance with my delusions.

The censorship of Craigslist is, along with an Arizona prosecutor's decision that prison guards did nothing criminal last year when they broiled convicted prostitute Marcia Powell to death, the topic of my latest Guardian piece.

It's all about priorities. Being a hooker -- very bad. Broiling a hooker -- eh, not so much.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

The Results Of Oxygen Deprivation Are Not Pretty

A couple weeks ago I burned out completely and ran away from home.

All right, maybe there’s melodramatic embellishment there; I didn’t “run away” so much as “vacationed in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.” The glaciers went completely bugnuts carving up the landscape there ten thousand years ago, and in modern times the drought which plagued New Hampshire all summer ended the day I arrived in the state, because it always rains when I visit northern New England.

But my Traveling Companion and I had one clear sunny day, on which we rode the aerial tramway to the top of Cannon Mountain. It’s not tall enough to have a treeline, but on the mountaintop there’s a stunted conifer forest whose tallest and oldest trees are only around twelve feet high. Most of the trees were my size or smaller, and as I towered over the treetops I noticed a couple girls walking through another part of the miniature forest. They wore long black skirts and at first I thought they were Goth but soon realized they were actually religious; after several more long black skirts I saw an Orthodox Jewish patriarch, complete with yarmulke and long curling forelocks.

Proportionate to the population, I saw more Orthodox families in and around Franconia Notch State Park than anyplace else, even New York City. I also saw families from India, heard a few European languages I didn’t recognize, and felt a warm fuzzy glow about how wonderful America is, with our tolerance for races and creeds and blah blah bullshit, because I paid no attention to the news while on vacation and thus didn’t realize that the toxic opposition to the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque” had metastasized, with anti-mosque/anti-Muslim rallies springing up throughout the country.

But – my dismayed self thought upon returning from her vacation – at least I can be happy because we’re finally out of Iraq, right? And heaven knows the country needs that money we’ll save not being there anymore. Except I keep reading how we’ve still got 50,000 troops there, which I always thought constituted a “significant military force” but we’re out of Iraq.

“I could knock down every tree in this forest with the sheer force of my mighty hands,” I said to my Traveling Companion back in the stunted forest, as I reached out and patted a treetop that came up to just below my neck. “Here in Hobbitland, I am a giant.”

My Traveling Companion smiled. I often say such things; they’re hyperbole, not hallucinations. So no need to fear the thin atmosphere which produced those stunted trees also deprived me of oxygen and left me loopy, right? I certainly didn’t think so – yet I really did think I could knock most of those little trees if I wanted to. And I really did kindle warm thoughts about E Pluribus Unum and the American way, even though I knew about the anti-mosque nastiness before I left on vacation.

Oxygen deprivation. Maybe that explains why I keep reading “50,000 troops still in Iraq” when everybody else keeps saying we’re out of there. What other theory makes sense?
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