Sunday, May 22, 2011

Conan the Scumbag

There's a reason men reach their sexual peak at 18 while woman don't get there until age 40. It gives men a quarter-century or so to calm down and take the edge off of their sexual frenzy, so that when the time comes for mature sexual activity, they will supposedly have enough self-control not to act like a Schitzu in heat. Comedian Eddie Griffin stated that a man's sexual organ is designed to last about as long as the speed limit, depending on where you live. It's a good thing Jimmy Carter's not still president or we'd all be driving 55. This bizarre rash of post-manopausal, paunchy, middle-agers, participating in sex scandals and fathering love-children well into their sixties, however, illustrates that certain types of men never outgrow their jackrabbit, youthful ways. And while the cornucopia of pills for erectile dysfunction is succeeding in making their penises harder, they are simultaneously making their brains softer. I usually try to abide by that "Judge not," admonition and avoid commenting on the private lives of celebrities. I've lived a rock and roll life, and while most people have a skeleton or two in the closet, I still have red meat hanging in there. But this latest rash of high profile sexual atrocities is giving all men a bad name, and in the words of Paul Newman as "Hud," "Don't go blaming all the dogs just cause one of 'em has fleas."

Last week's arrest of International Monetary Fund director Dominique Strauss-Kahn illustrates the audacity of certain powerful men who have become so used to abusing women with impunity, they feel entitled to act as they wish and the consequences be damned. Strauss-Kahn, or DSK, as the media has dubbed him, has allegedly committed sexual assault on a chambermaid in a pricey New York hotel with a recklessness and aggression too nasty to describe outside a court of law. His first defense was to say that the sex was consensual. The maid walked in while DSK was naked, so he had no choice but to assault the woman. In the hundreds of hotel rooms I have stayed in my life, I have never felt the desire to grope the maid who comes to clean the room. But, of course, DSK is French, and they don't look as unfavorably at sexual "dalliances" as we unsophisticated provincials in the USA. When an old, wrinkled, horny man forces himself upon a servant, we still tend to call it "rape." At first, they put DSK in Rikers Island and strapped him into an anti-suicide vest to keep him from harming himself. A man with an ego so large he thought he could take one to go and get away with it, is not about to kill the person he loves most; himself.

Strauss-Kahn made bail and received one of the sweetest house arrest deals ever. He's in a protected Manhattan high rise with an ankle bracelet while awaiting trial. However, he will be permitted to attend religious services and doctor's appointments, and in addition to family members, he is allowed up to four visitors at a time. He is also restricted from being out between 10pm and 6am. This is punishment? It sounds more like my everyday waking life, minus the ankle bracelet. DSK's lawyers insisted he was not a flight risk despite the fact that he was sitting on a plane when arrested. This is obviously a job for the Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. On television, at least, they aren't so lenient concerning rapists' accommodations. So while DSK sits in a penthouse professing his profound love for his wife, the tabloid media has staked out the residence of the maid and has kept her under virtual house arrest as well. A bidding war has started for photographs of the victim and her neighbors have been bombarded with questioning "journalists." Wasn't there a time when the identity of a rape victim was kept confidential? I suppose with TMZ, Access Hollywood, and other programs devoted to celebrity gossip, that has become a quaint notion from an unenlightened age.

TMZ went wild over the Schwarzenegger revelations that he fathered a child with the family maid and kept it quiet for his tenure as Governor of California. Even in a state accustomed to electing movie stars to public office, this was beyond the pale. TMZ accused the maid of "pursuing Arnold," as if she were just too alluring to resist, but the tawdriness of his "any port in a storm" mentality and the massive deception perpetrated on not only his wife and family, but the California electorate, is unbelievably repugnant. Arnold may have considered himself a Kennedy, but at least JFK had Marilyn Monroe and left the help alone. Schwarzenegger left office with a 20 percent approval rating, so it's a safe bet to say, "He won't be back." The outpouring of sympathy towards Maria Shriver, who had to live a decade with Arnold's love child hanging out at the governor's mansion while the maid continued to work 10-14 more years for the family, has caused Arnold to rethink his current plans. Confident he could return as the "Terminator: The Geriatric Years," all movie projects have been put on hold, including an animated series called "The Governator," in which Schwarzenegger was to be portrayed as a "Superhero living a double life." His partners at Archie Comics and Stan Lee Enterprises felt that this particular "double life" was too unbelievable even for a cartoon.

By now, the list of politicians from both parties involved in marital infidelities or reckless sexual conduct has become common knowledge. Beginning with Bill "Elvis" Clinton, the current list extends from whoremongers like David Vitter and Elliot Spitzer, to homewreckers like John Ensign and John Edwards. And let's not forget Governor Mark Sanford's stroll down the Old Appalachian Trail. My favorite excuse comes from serial philanderer Newt Gingrich, who said his love of country caused him to cheat on his wives. "Driven by how passionately I felt about this country..I worked far too hard and things happened in my life that were not appropriate." A statement that absurd gives me cause to worry about his "passion" for the country.  Should he receive the Republican nomination for president, it sounds like he plans to screw us all. Henry Kissinger once said that, "Power was the ultimate aphrodisiac," while the aging professor squired movie starlets half his age about town. It was a ridiculous spectacle, but at least Kissinger wasn't married at the time, and without access to Viagra, the public was spared from imagining Kissinger and Jill St. John "en flagrante delicto." No more. Armed with Cialis, old men have set out like Don Quixote, lance in hand, to conquer the world. A brand new medical study just stated that Viagra can cause hearing loss. At least this gives women a "heads up." Watch out for the ones with the hearing aids.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Show Me the Mullah

Ya'll know me. I'm usually the raging advocate for liberal causes. But every now and then, an issue arises that seems clear to me, but puts me in the opposite camp from my progressive friends. I vociferously disagree with the president's decision not to release the Osama bin Laden death photo, and I uncomfortably find myself on the same side as Alan Dershowitz, Sarah Palin, and a mess of right-wing Republicans. Conspiracy theories began to sprout the moment bin Laden's death was announced. CIA Director Leon Panetta initially announced that "ultimately, a (proof of death) photograph would be presented to the public," but someone quickly yanked his leash. The government needs to post the photo tomorrow, not for the prurient pleasure of revenge seekers or lovers of gore, but to send a message to jihadists, active or potential, that if you attack the United States, this is the fate that awaits you. Already, the Pakistani residents of Abbottabad are denying that the terror kingpin was ever among them. Even though Al Qaeda acknowledged bin Laden was killed, there are thousands of people who believe that Elvis faked his own death to escape the limelight and lives in Michigan. Hell, there are people that still think Hitler survived WWII and is spending his dotage in Paraguay. And Mr. President, 33% of Republicans think you're a foreigner, and 20% believe you're a Muslim. Why would you think they would take your word for it about bin Laden? These are the same people who believe John F. Kennedy was kept on life support at Bethesda Naval Hospital after his brain went missing.

Speaking of JFK, is there anyone left that has not yet seen the Zapruder film? If I can take watching President Kennedy getting his brains blown out ("back, and to the left"), I can stand a photo of bin Laden with a hole in his head. Yet, the president remains cautious, so as not to further inflame homicidal zealots that hate and want to kill us anyway. These are the savages that beheaded journalist Daniel Pearl and posted it on the internet. When the military caught up with the assassin, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the Bush posse blew up the photo of his dead ass, poster size, for the world to see, and there was one less delusional killer making snuff videos in Iraq. We have lived with the horror of Al Qaeda for twenty years and three presidents now. Show them the photo and give them a taste, and if some naughty people want to make computer games and YouTube videos of the graphic image of a dead Osama; oh well. Freedom of the press gets messy sometimes. Were the decision mine, I'd drop copies of the photo from a helicopter over the Pakistanis that harbored him, and send a special 8x10 glossy to Ayman al-Zawahiri with the phrase "Sic Semper Tyrannis" engraved underneath.

The U.S. Navy granted bin Laden more respect in death than he gave to his thousands of victims, but the burial at sea better have been videotaped. When the Fascists were defeated in Italy, they hanged Mussolini, and his wife, upside down in the town square. When Nicolae Ceausescu lost his job as Butcher of Romania, the photo of his bloody corpse finally gave surcease to his suffering subjects. The president claims publishing a dead Osama picture will cause an "incitement to violence." Is he kidding? The Shia and Sunni in Iraq are killing each other for sport. If it's our troops Obama is concerned about, go ahead and bring them home. The drone strikes are effective and, despite their vow to avenge the death of bin Laden, Al Qaeda's collective sphincter just tightened several notches. The president says he doesn't want to give the terrorists an iconic image to exploit, but he's a bit late for that. Think of Osama and the turbaned image is already imprinted in your mind. The Bolivian Army was forced to publish pictures of the bullet-riddled body of Che Guevara on a slab to prove that he was dead, but that's not the iconic image people wear on their T-Shirts.

I was once a turn-the-other-cheek pacifist, until age and experience convinced me that some people are so obtuse, the only way to get your point across is with a smack upside the head. My Georgia in-laws will forgive me for referencing General William Tecumseh Sherman's quote; "Make war so terrible (and) make them so sick of war that generations would pass away before they would again appeal to it." President Truman followed the Sherman example to end the war against Japan. Despite the horror of war, no amount of diplomacy will dissuade a generation raised on the glory of the mujahedeen from ceasing their hostilities against the West. The U.S. created and armed this monster to fight the Russians during the Reagan era. It's only fitting that our soldiers should also destroy them and their charismatic leader. Thanks to the fresh efficiency of the CIA and military, Al Qaeda has been reduced to a bunch of bitter, womenless men, riding dirt bikes and playing guerrilla in the mountains of the Hindu Kush. Motor scooters can't cross an ocean. Unquestionably, some deranged individuals will try to commit some new atrocity on U.S. soil, but the threat of bin Laden's Al Qaeda is essentially over. We have their Rolodex. Since the "Arab Spring" is sweeping the Middle East, the U.S. has an opportunity to embrace a new generation, disenchanted with despots and jihad that offer only death and despair.

Nip these cancerous conspiracies in the bud by publishing the post-mortem photograph. Even then, some people will still believe it never happened, just as others won't accept Obama's birth certificate. If this drags on, Donald Trump will insist on seeing a "death certificate." Traditionally hawkish GOP legislators are suddenly questioning the legality of the targeted killing, and the sloppy way the administration rolled out the narrative only aided their cause. They raised the questions: did bin Laden hide behind his 18 year old wife? Was he holding something or reaching for a weapon? Personally, I don't care if he had the remote control or his dick in his hand - good shot guys. Maybe I've lived in Memphis so long, a bit of redneck has rubbed off on me, but I've come to agree with my Texas cousins' aphorism that "some people just need killin'." After the destruction of American embassies in Tanzania and Kenya, the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole, the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, plus hideous acts of terror in London, Madrid, Mumbai, and Indonesia, no one in the world had it coming more than bin Laden. And when they got him, he was planning a 9/11 tenth anniversary attack on U.S. railways. Fuck him, post the head shot. I trust and believe President Obama, but if my position is conservative, I may as well quote Ronald Reagan, who once famously said, "Trust, but verify."