February 2008


In case you’re wondering whether there’s someone out there who still supports Bush, I ran across a couple of them the other night. I did not engage with them. They’ve suffered enough, even if they’ve caused most of their suffering themselves.

I was coming out of a Chinese restaurant in a strip mall. I walked a couple doors down past this bar, the kind that attracts a lot of working-class, military types. A man and a woman were talking about current events, foreign policy, the war, whatever.

Even these hardcore right-wingers are having to come up with new ways to convince themselves that their side is right. They used a rationalization I’ve heard used a few times before – that there’s a lot of stuff going on that our government can’t tell us about. “There’s a lot of covert shit going on,” the man said.

Sure, okay. I could say that that didn’t stop Bush (and when I say Bush, I mean that in the royal sense) from blowing the cover of a secret agent, but we’ll leave that alone for now. Let’s move on.

For the sake of argument, let’s say there’s good covert shit and there’s bad covert shit. I don’t happen to believe that shit myself. I think that if we stopped doing overt shit, we wouldn’t have to do all this covert shit to try to undo the overt shit. Out in the open or behind closed doors, all shit smells like shit. Two shits don’t make a Tootsie Roll, if you get my meaning.

Then again, shit helps the flowers grow, right? Well, that’s kind of what T.S. Eliot said. Either way, do you trust Bush to know the difference between good shit and bad shit?

Tannahill, Reay. Sex in History. Bath, England: Scarborough House. 1982.

Sex in History was a bestseller for Tannahill back in the 1980s, translated into 11 languages. I totally missed it, even though I was a sexually obsessed twentysomething in that decade. I found this cracked, fading, lonely copy on the shelves at my library. I took pity on it and brought it home for a few weeks. Here’s a snippet from page 104, on Athenian prostitutes:

There were streetwalkers, too, with a novel soliciting technique that worked well on unpaved surfaces. One streetwalker’s sandal has survived the centuries. Studded in reverse on the sole is a message that would print itself on the roadway for the next passerby to read. The message, of course, is “Follow me.”

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