An earnest young disciple of the Hon. Eliot Spitzer makes an inquiry about his true loves only to be made the butt of ridicule:
This girl and I have been dating for a few months now. Things are going really well, and I could see myself being with her for a very long time, maybe even marrying her. The only problem is, I have a secret. I went through a bit of a dry spell in my late 20’s and ended up paying for sex with multiple sex workers many times. I don’t know if this is something I need to reveal to her, or something I can keep to myself for the rest of my life. I don’t even know where she stands on the issue of prostitution, but I’m guessing if she found out, she would not be happy. What do I do?
First of all, don’t use the phrase “I have a secret” only to follow it up with the fact that you saw a couple prostitutes. It’s anti-climactic storytelling. Did you at least fall in love and go on a crime spree together? Because if it’s just that you paid for sex, I don’t really know where the drama is.
(July 5, 2013)
Funeral services accorded to fifty thousand brave pollinators by the citizenry of Oregon presumably under the watchful eyes of the state’s National Guard armed with rubber bullets:
Fifty thousand bumblebees will be honored in a memorial this weekend at the Wilsonville Target where a majority of the insects died. State officials directly linked the die-off to trees that had been sprayed with the insecticide Safari.
Rozzell Medina, of Portland, said on the Facebook page that the event will “memorialize these fallen lifeforms and talk about the plight of the bees and their importance to life on Earth.”
Bumblebees are native to North America and play an important role in pollinating various crops, including berries and clover.
“I thought it would be a good opportunity for people to see that this is not just a news item,” Medina said. “With a lot of these ecological catastrophes, they become so abstract that people become scared to feel them.”
(June 28, 2013)
Professor Anthea Butler, whose first name is derived from an anatomical part of the body best left unsaid, writes from her plush perch at the University of Pennsylvania Department of Religious Studies in her version of slum English about God and other Immensities:
God ain’t good all of the time. If fact, sometimes, God is not for us. As a black woman in an [sic] nation that has taken too many pains to remind me that I am not a white man, and am not capable of taking care of my reproductive rights, or my voting rights, I know that this American god ain’t my god. As a matter of fact, I think he’s a white racist god with a problem. More importantly, he is carrying a gun and stalking young black men.
(July 15, 2013)
Someone writing under the penname of Yasuragi offers a thumbnail history of America from the cool confines of possibly North Korea for the edification of the Daily Kos’s agelastic readers:
We live in the United States of America.
The nation that killed protesters at Jackson and Kent State Universities. The nation that executed Fred Hampton in his bed, without so much as a warrant. The nation that still, still, still holds Leonard Peltier in prison. The nation that supported Noriega, the Shah, Trujillo, and dozens of other fascist monsters who did nothing but f[---] over their own people and their neighbors. The nation of Joseph McCarthy and his current-day descendants. The nation that allows stop-and-frisk.
Before all that: The nation that enforced Jim Crow laws. Before that, the nation that built itself on slavery and the slave trade. And before all of that, the nation that nearly succeeded in the genocide of this continent’s indigenous peoples.
So why are you so surprised that our government is gathering yottabytes of data on our phone calls?
(June 14, 2013)
Cosmetic notes attributed to Kelsey of West River by a prankster writing on the correspondence page of our nation’s Post:
Regarding the June 2 Outlook article “My daughter took a girl to prom. Why did it bother me?”:
I had to laugh that, in a commentary on gender politics, the author described her daughter’s “flesh-colored, patent-leather shoes.” Just what flesh was she describing there? Luminescent white like my flesh? Golden brown like the flesh of my friend from Colombia? Or a deeper brown like my African American friend? I assume the color to be that of the crayon by the same name from my youth, but the term seems anachronistic for an article discussing such a modern struggle.
Kelsey Barnes, West River
(June 7, 2013)
The antics of an apparent Peeping Tom provoke Adam Winkler, an idealistic professor of law at UCLA, to make a fool of himself on the prissy pages of the New Republic:
Where should a transgender schoolgirl be allowed to pee? To some, this may sound like a minor, insignificant question, but not to Nicole Maines, a 15-year-old transgender girl who attended Maine public schools. Born a boy biologically, Maines now self-identifies as a girl, dressing in girls’ clothing and sporting a typical 15-year-old girl’s hair and makeup. In addition to the harassment she faced from other kids, Maines also met intolerance by school officials, who refused to allow her to use the girls’ bathroom. Instead, in a remarkably insensitive decision, the school required her to use a staff bathroom after a grandparent of a male student complained that Maines shouldn’t be allowed in the little girls’ room….
Restrooms are one of the last explicit vestiges of segregation on the basis of sex. In a nation evolved enough to allow women to serve in combat and have women on the presidential ticket, we still maintain strict and outdated rules that discriminate in who can use which restroom. Even at liberal law schools like UCLA, where I teach, the bathrooms are all clearly marked for gender uses in a way that no one would accept for race: there are rooms labeled specifically for men and others specifically for women.
Most people don’t question this form of separate-but-equal, perhaps because there don’t appear to be inequalities engendered by gendered bathrooms. (This, despite the fact that there often seem to be much longer lines to use women’s rooms.)
(July 12, 2013)
Timely geopolitical advice to our Noble Peace Prize-winning president from his worthy successor in the Nobel ranks, Dr. Dennis Rodman, about how to deal with that basketball-loving little butterball of a dictator, Kim Jong-un, as reported in a noted journal of foreign affairs:
Early on this warm, blustery afternoon outside the Jet Blue baggage claim at JFK, the Worm is holding forth-to his limo driver, to anyone who will listen, to the wind-on his foray into geopolitics. “Before I landed in Pyongyang, I didn’t know Kim Jong-un from Lil’ Kim,” he says. “I didn’t know what country he ruled or what went on in the country he ruled.”
So how is life in North Korea?
“I can’t complain.”
His getup looks like debris from an exploding thrift shop. Slung from his left shoulder is a satchel stuffed with scarves, some lacy, some sparkly, all exotic. His T-shirt is untucked, his Converse All-Stars are unlaced, and he’s got more metal in his head than the average golf club.
So, Dennis, what was your sense of Kim Jong-un?
“All he does is smile and smile and smile. He’s just having a blast.”
No, not that kind of blast!
“Fact is, he hasn’t bombed anywhere he’s threatened to yet. Not South Korea, not Hawaii, not…whatever. People say he’s the worst guy in the world. All I know is Kim told me he doesn’t want to go to war with America. His whole deal is to talk basketball with Obama. Unfortunately, Obama doesn’t want to have anything to do with him. I ask, Mr. President, what’s the harm in a simple phone call? This is a new age, man. Come on, Obama, reach out to Kim and be his friend.”
Rodman plans to return to North Korea in August. “I’m just gonna chill, play some basketball and maybe go on vacation with Kim and his family,” Rodman says. “I’ve called on the Supreme Leader to do me a solid by releasing Kenneth Bae.” The Korean-American missionary was recently sentenced to 15 years of hard labor on charges that he tried to topple the North Korean regime. He’d organized tours into the isolated state.
“My mission is to break the ice between hostile countries,” Rodman says. “Why it’s been left to me to smooth things over, I don’t know. Dennis Rodman, of all people. Keeping us safe is really not my job; it’s the black guy’s [Obama’s] job. But I’ll tell you this: If I don’t finish in the top three for the next Nobel Peace Prize, something’s seriously wrong.’”
(July 8-15, 2013)