Last night I was down at the Stingray trying to teach the rednecky bartenderette how to play seven-card stud (a game authentic white trash should already've known). The gal walked away to serve some folks right when this raven-haired hotty came up to the bar with her pal. She was turned to the left, and immediately started resting her shapely bum against my thigh. Figuring she needed more room, I moved away a mite. A few seconds later she bore right in again. I moved a second time, pulling my stool over half a foot, but she came back and upped the ante by repeatedly grinding her ass into me, still laughing with her friend and never looking over.
This went on for over two minutes, during which time I ran some numbers in my head. Here are the results in ascending order:
I was simmering with a tad more rage than usual that night, and so went for the second-best odds. I stopped creeping away, slapped a full-bore Popeye on my face, and made with some glare. She looked around, noticed the grimace, and said "What?!?"
I replied, "Bad doggy! Get the fuck offa my goddamned leg!"
There was a half-second flash of anger so I really thought she was going to hit me. I wish she had, because then I would've liked her one whole hell of a lot better. On the other hand, if she'da laughed, I would have backed off, maybe even smiled.
Ehh. Could be.
She just narrowed her empty eyes, flopped her hair over, and flounced away. Weak.
My mother spent time as a librarian during my early teen years. This meant that I had access to the "redlined" books. My town was very Catholic, so most of the kids had to put up with lingering Legion of Decency-style stupidity that managed to make some sort of an impact before the advent of cable TV and the Internet. If my pencil-necked classmates who still bothered to read wanted to get ahold of some Henry Miller or harder-core Judy Blume, they had to pester someone into driving them the twelve miles over to the Oberlin College campus, where smut fell from the trees.
Not me, Baby. I was at Ground Zero for such racy filth.
My Mom'd been proud of my reading abilities ever since this altercation with my second grade teacher, Mrs. Richmond. The lady dared to send me home with a note which detailed her alarm at the fact that "Mark's Flower" had no petals (we were promised the colorful flaps of construction paper in exchange for every book report we managed to wring out of the contents of our "library," which was in fact a crappy collection of brain-dead slop that had evidently been scavenged from some local church's trash after a failed rummage sale).
She That Brung Me immediately grabbed-up a handful of the tomes I'd been gnawing on and headed over to Powers Elementary. Mrs. Richmond quizzed me on them, and I responded with what little I'd gained. Turned out I knew what the term "dreadnought" referred to, the difference between the House of Lords and the House of Commons, why a coral snake could kick holy hell out of a pit viper, etc. The next day, I had the most flippin' danged petals in the class. And Mom was sold on the book thing.
Did I pay her back by reading The Classics? Uhhh, no. Sure, I looked at Blake (off the top of my head: "If the babe is born a boy/He's given to a woman old/Nails him down upon a rock/Catches his shrieks in cups of gold"), Spenser's The Faerie Queen ("Her face so fair as flesh it seemed not/But heavenly portrait of bright angel's hue /Clear as the sky, without blame or blot/Through goodly mixtures of complexions due"), etc., but most of my time was spent chasing after the naughty stuff that my geek friends kept buzzing about.
So I was reading William S. Burroughs and the rest of the Beat gang way ahead of my time. I mention Bill specifically because after I caught Naked Lunch at the tender age of fourteen, any chance I'd ever had of ever being considered "normal" went swirling down the drain. With his straight-laced junky faggot help, I caught onto something that never really took hold until a few years later, when I started seriously scrambling after women. Put simply:
Does that make sense? It sure as shit does to me. Cocaine or alcohol you have to find. Sex is wired-in. I know it sounds funny to consider it an addiction -- in the traditional medical, non-Oprah/Jerry/Ricki sense -- because you don't roll around retching if you don't get it on a regular basis. But it's an easy bet that most young men spend at least as much time thinking about achieving a dip as any hophead looking to score that next spikeload.
What I really like about Burroughs is his careful balancing of lust and disgust, as in way too much of both. Sex is an incredibly ornate conspiracy concocted by our DNA so that IT might be perpetuated. I don't doubt that Bill took no small measure of pleasure from cheating the blind machinations of Nature over his mostly-queer existence.
It doesn't bug me that any single part of the reproductive act is grotesque nearly so much as the fact that it could take on about any imaginable form, and men would probably feel the same about getting a piece. Even if all women were just pulsating six-hundred pound sacks of coarse green hair and suet, guys would still be passing around nudie mags featuring the most ideally tight or flaccid representations of "femininity". Shit, just thinking about it gets me horny (no, seriously, as I was typing the previous sentence what popped into my head was: "six-hundred pounds of quivering snatch, woo!"). That's the fucking problem. We can't turn it off.
Ages ago I worked at a College of Medicine, cranking-out instructional videotapes. I got to shoot a live birth -- the full slate -- tight-tight close under hot lights. After that I found myself unable to go down on my girlfriend. I recovered after some time, but by then we'd split up. I feel bad about it now because she was one of the two women to date I SHOULD have married. But the visceral reaction to seeing, hearing, and smelling what goes on at the tail-end of the reproductive process was mighty persuasive for many unfortunate months. A similar experience was provoked by a film named, if I recall correctly, The Act of Seeing With One's Own Eyes, which used all sorts of swoopy cinematic techniques to lovingly record a detailed autopsy. Not too long afterwards I got to work at a Gross Anatomy Lab, and the smell of formaldehyde still makes me a bit sick. And please don't ask about my days at the slaughterhouse.
In the introduction to my copy of Naked Lunch, Burroughs defines the title phrase as that moment of clarity when you suddenly become AWARE of that jiggling bit of egg on the end of your fork which you are about to shovel into your mouth. Not that you can rebel against all the nasty shit that we have to do to live, but it can definitely change the way you view things! Whether it's for better or worse will be up to you, so you may not wish to investigate further.
Back around '79 I was in downtown Cleveland when this lady driving a large black Ford truck yanked off to the side of the road to help me after I'd hung-up the left front wheel of my cruddy-yellow Gran Torino over a curb while slaloming through some heavy slush. She offered a chain, I crawled down into the guck to hook it up, and she dropped me back down onto the on-ramp in less than five minutes. All I had to give her in exchange were a few doughnuts. But at least they were really good doughnuts.
I was sixteen at the time, and thought she was pretty old. She maybe might have been thirty-four.
After that, I made it a point to stop for stranded motorists. The only time it did not go well was on one occasion outside of Chapel Hill, when this chip-shouldered douchebag took care to bust on my NRA bumper sticker. I'm serious. I pull over in heavy traffic, in front of his smoking car, and he asked if I was going to shoot him! He had a couple of little girls with him, so I did not give in to the temptation of leaving his lame ass high and dry. But I did get $5 for the three quarts of oil.
There's another event that sticks out in my head. I lent a hand to a couple of Christian fellas with a white van who were ferrying a batch of kids back from some shindig. They'd run out of gas, so I headed up to the next exit to get them fuel in my can. It was a hot day, so I also snagged a gallon of sweet tea, some cups, and a six-pack of suds.
You know what? The guys refused to accept the beer. They were Seventh-Day Adventists or some shit like that. (I'm actually glad they turned me down because I'd forgotten to grab another six for myself, and my apartment was still at least another ten minutes away.)
The only reason I thought to bring this up is because I just finished watching Waco: The Rules of Engagement again. The Branch Davidians who got torched were an offshoot of the Seventh-Day Adventist church. I've gone over my background at length elsewhere, so to make this quick: An alternate me conceived under slightly different rolls of the lineage dice and a short hop in locale could very well have ended up amidst a band of snake-handlers or similar loons. The kind Washington now considers far enough out the religious mainstream to persecute at will.
This subject comes up a lot because I force it to. I consider it a basic measure of Political IQ. If all I get from the person I'm talking to (female or male) is a blank stare, I consider them pretty hopeless. If I get the Clinton Administration line:
then I just stop talking to them, which is why I don't bring the subject up at work. But anyone I'm getting friendly with catches a couple of questions eventually. I'm satisfied if the respondent has any reservations at all about the assault, its aftermath, or at the very least the excuses given for it. That shows some basic level of alertness.
If I say that 90 percent of men are total dolts, at most I'll get a chuckle. But if I say that I find it hard to take 90-some percent of women, I'll get accused of being a feee-aggg. What's the difference? Actually, I put the number of decent women (politically- and philosophically-speaking, of course) a lot lower than that of men. To pick a nice round figure, let's say that one man in ten would be perfectly happy just to be left alone by the State, and would never think to ask his "representatives" to steal for him. With women I'd put that number at well under one in fifty, maybe below one in a hundred. That's why the last single female I met who identified herself as a libertarian caught a marriage proposal within an hour (oh, and I was soused). There just aren't many around.
That bugs me, because I actually know a lot of good women with whom I can talk for hours on end about economics or what constitutes liberty, junk like that. But guess what? Almost all of them are over forty years of age. I had a tough time figuring that one out until my friend Rich Hammer of the Free Nation Foundation wrote a great piece called "Men and Women Differ in Political Values", which presented his argument that the differences in reproductive abilities probably play a major role in determining political attitudes. Face it, men have much broader time horizons since with a lot of luck they might well still be able to raise their flagpoles when they're eighty years old. So they are more likely to push for less governmental intrusion because that would give them a much greater chance to store up the bucks that would permit them to secure a fertile aerobics-instructor trophy wife. (Gents, if you think about it, pulling this off while still a vigorous sixty years of age might be the best of all worlds, because you'll most likely be dead before your kids are old enough to park their asses in rehab or a jail cell, you won't see the fresh mate dry up like a raisin, and since your stamina will be way down you probably won't get too terribly bored with boinking her before the aneurysm strikes.)
Women, on the other hand, are faced with about a 20-year Baby Window and a vastly greater investment of personal capital in reproduction and are thus much more likely to place an extremely high premium on a secure nest, so they're attracted to social welfare programs that will protect them against any real or imaginary threats that crowd their hormone-soaked minds. And that explains as well as anything else I've run across why the older women I know are more likely to be able to stand me, and to stand with me. After their own kids have been squirted-out, licked clean, and booted-out, they've had time to calmly reassess their tax returns only to realize that THEY are getting taken for a ride, being forced to provide a safety-net for complete strangers! And suddenly the reduced-government argument seems much more appealing.
I've long contended that men usually become socialists of whatever stripe because they seek direct power over others, or wish to see those they envy crushed, or because they want to get laid (much of seduction consists of telling your quarry what they want to hear). Women, I assumed, did so simply because they are stupid enough to believe the ridiculous egalitarian platitudes. Now I comprehend that girls are just as greedy and selfish as boys, and are in fact acting fairly rationally considering the elastic rules of a society that embraces parasitism as an ideal. It's just too damn bad that they get to vote.
Whenever I get asked why I'm an atheist, my response is "How can you not be?" I've never had the slightest religious twinge, nary a jot nor tittle, ever. I could make up some big story about an "unconversion," but it would be a bunch of bunk. Again, the initial thought never occurred to me. I did time as a little kid splashing water on my head and bowing to approved graven images (being raised half-assed Catholic), but bailed on even those schtick-level activities around the age of thirteen.
Again, predictably, I was shoving myself off into another corner.
Right-wing blowhards love to pretend that we live in an Atheistic Culture, but as usual, they are full of shit. Our society may be pretty secular in that it deals overwhelmingly with worldly things, but that is verrrry different from being atheistic. I'll bet if Falwell, Robertson, and pals confront the individual NOW- and ACLU-types that torment them so much, they'd probably find that the vast majority adhere to dull Christian denominations, and the rest are a motley collection of New Age feebs attracted to sundry gurus, Wiccan rituals, Native American paraphernalia, and the rest of that '70s dreck. No matter how you slice it, none of those clowns can be termed atheists. (Hell, even Satanists are "religious".)
There are only a handful of us, so please be kind enough to hate us for what we are.
Oh, and don't mix up the terms "atheist" and "agnostic". The latter do not reject anything out of hand, so show them what you claim is an angel and they might tentatively accept it as such as long as you permit them to feel around for hidden wires first.
Atheists will not. No matter what you put on display, they will never accept even the possibility of a supernatural explanation for anything. Period.
See, what supernatural means is that there are things that Man will NEVER EVER be able to comprehend, no matter how long those subjects are studied or how many scholars study them. It is by definition that which is beyond the capabilities of our physical and mental faculties. Of course, this permits the religious (and the followers of the pseudo-religions of Marx, Freud, etc., who despite their endless claims about "science" are in fact similarly disdainful of logic and hard facts) to "win" any argument by relying on the revealed wisdom of their deity. In other words, things are or should be a certain way because God sez so!
As with the libertarian thing, there are many times more atheist males than females (Ms. Rand and Ms. O'Hare were famous, not representative), probably because proclaiming yourself one means taking a firm stance on an issue that a lot of folks consider to be troubling. Women are not into trouble. They want to get along with as many others as possible, which is why you are much more likely to hear them say "I feel" than "I know," which I find endlessly infuriating.
Even on silly subjects like movies or sports, rib a guy and he will defend his position (maybe not well, but he'll feel compelled to try -- or at least take a poke at you). Most women will consider any persistent questioning an attack, and are generally intimidated by folks with hard opinions on divisive stuff. So if they have any strong allegiances at all, especially at an earlier age, it will be to fuzzy-headed groups like PETA or Greenpeace, because who could not love cute baby seals? There they'll find it easier to go on and on about infantile swill like "Animal Rights," because they have no notion that a right is something that you get to exercise even if other people don't think it is very nice at all. That concept is completely alien to most broads.
There is no way in hell that I can see actually living with a woman who immediately flips the daily paper open to view her horoscope, prays to a crucifx, or fantasizes about cosmic energies released after our bodies die. Like it or not, all are equally nutty. Unfortunately, that stance really cuts into the available dating pool. And I boned myself when I moved down to the Bible Belt. Up in Ohio I knew half-a-dozen or so female atheists about my age. Here I have met none.
In my book, the most annoying female trait is that they almost all think that they should be considered to be of some worth simply because they are drawing breath.
Why is that? Well . . . because so many men can always be counted on to treat them that way, including otherwise sensible, down-to-business dudes who turn to brainless goo whenever there's moistness about. And while the ladies might hate a stranger who shoves a nose up their crotch uninvited, they definitely appreciate a fella who acts like he wants to do it.
One of the nicest things about getting older is that the hormone train starts pulling out of the station, allowing some sense of calm compared to the constant boner-popping randiness that causes a lot of guys to drive like maniacs, drink like fish, crawl up railroad trestles, get into fights in a McDonald's parking lot, commit random acts of vandalism, join the military, and other dangerous shit.
It's an easy guess that I've aged into a pretty low-testosterone slob. I still go gaga over some broad maybe once or twice a year now (as opposed to five or six times a month), but I won't hit on a woman until she says something reasonably provocative or intelligent.
Which means that I can afford lots of top-notch booze these days.
To add it all up, I'm probably going to die bitter and alone. With any luck, I'll die bitter, alone, and drunk.