Archive for the ‘Guest Author’ Category

Ask a Man

Friday, September 2nd, 2011

ASK A MAN #104: ABOUT HOMOPHOBIA

“Why are so many men homophobes? Why do they feel so threatened by gay men?”
-Andra

“It can only be seen as funny that demagogues give speeches denouncing men who insert their penises into other men’s anuses – and then go home to insert their own penises into their wives’ vaginas!”
-Wallace Shawn

I hail from the Bible Belt where we don’t cotton much to sexual education. Everything I know about sex I learned from Japanese cartoons and Sunday school.   Penis monsters don’t want to ravish schoolgirls but they just can’t help themselves and Baby Jesus comes down and sends them all to Heck for doing it. Then the schoolgirls will summon the penis monsters back out from Heck on the night of the full moon. This is because the girls are actually werewolves and won’t be able to do their homework on account of they have to be running around on all fours in their sexy schoolgirl outfits all night. At first the demon ghosts of the penis monsters will try to help out with the advanced trigonometry but invariably end up in an accidental orgy of hyperbolic werewolf schoolgirl rape. The next day the headmaster becomes enraged because none of the girls have done their homework and he has to tie them up for discipline and the rope makes him break out in hives so he gets even madder and he takes out his whip but he must be allergic to that as well because his hives get worse and worse and worse until he turns into a penis monster. Then Baby Jesus comes down and sends everybody to Heck, even those of us who were just watching the cartoons for educational purposes.

So really the marital act in all its many iterations and permutations is just a bunch of horrifying hairy gooey swollen abominations that make Baby Jesus cry unless it takes place in the sanctity of the marriage bed. There, in the marriage bed, the same miracle of transubstantiation that turns saltines and grape juice into the body and blood of Jesus Christ also transforms the smelly gruntings, the swellings, the humid orifices, and ungainly herky-jerks of animalistic copulation into the soft-focus roseate sunsets, the burgeoning orchids, the smooth jazz, and delightful conversation over brunch at one of the better hotel restaraunts that’s known as lovemaking. This is why there have been so many crazy weather disasters lately: God is pissed because we haven’t married up enough gays. Having all the gays and lesbos running around and living in sin distracts God from the important work of inventing new guns for us to shoot the French with.

But none of this answers your question about the homophobia. Here’s the deal: we’re not really afraid of the gays. We’re afraid of being gay or, worse, being mistaken for gay. Because for many straight people gayness is the grown-up version of cooties or herpes. There aren’t necessarily any symptoms but once you have it you can never un-have it and if people find out you have it or just think you have it you’re subjected to fear, revulsion, and humiliation. As every kindergartner knows tolerance of people with herpes is the fastest way to get herpes yourself so whatever you do don’t be nice to the gay kid with cooties and herpes.

Also because when you’re chilling with your bros, drinking beers, farting, and cracking dick jokes while watching a bunch of animated penis monsters running amok in the all-girl werewolf high school, having a gay dude there would just make things weird and uncomfortable.

Question answered.

 © 2011 Anthony Robert Russo

Ask a Man

Friday, August 26th, 2011

ASK A MAN #103: ABOUT GETTING A MAN TO CLEAN

“How do I get my boyfriend to clean a little? I’m a realist and I know he’s never going to seriously clean something but he works half the hours I do and I’m sick of being a bitch around the house.”

-MG

“Do it very slowly and don’t confuse him.”

-Charles Mingus Cat Toilet Training Program

Never underestimate the power of pride of ownership. Every man has some thing, some totemic object of power that’s super super important to him and yet isn’t part of his anatomy. Unless a man is fully prepared to protect his Holy Grail with violent force his spirit, sensing its vulnerability, will curdle up to half its normal size and retract into his ab-domen (this may not be the proper way to pronounce “abdomen” but if you try it out for yourself I’m sure you’ll  agree  it’s better). I’m guessing your man has suffered a loss of his Holy Grail or is not fully prepared to defend it, so why should he care if those dirty dishes have been sitting in the bathroom since Labor Day?

Now if it’s the latter case, if he still has his Grail but is not fully prepared to defend it, just go out and buy him a firearm already. I personally never bed down without my 9mm Uzi Pistol (fully loaded, safety off, and home-tooled bayonet attached) but production of this bad boy was discontinued in 1993 so even if you can find one you’ll be ponying up a big bag of pretty pennies. You’ll probably need two ponies to heft all those pennies around, but one sturdy mule could handle the load so you should just use the mule. If you don’t have the pennies or the livestock, you can’t go wrong with the Colt M1911 or the Glock 22, both of which are the single most popular gun. Since you can’t purchase bayonets for handguns, I had to make one myself using the forge and anvil I keep in my kitchen where the oven used to be and would be happy to provide you with helpful tips in bayonet forging techniques.

So anyway, once he has the means to defend himself your man will realize that life is indeed worth living and that although vermin make for great target practice around the house they tend to attract the French. As we all know, the French are not only an inferior species but their very inferiority endows them with an animal sexuality and techniques that enchant and corrupt the fairer sex, so unless your man is the kind of subhuman dude who actually wants his woman to be ravished by some beret-wearing mime then he’ll start tidying up toot sweet.

If your man is that kind of subhuman or, just as bad, if he has been deprived of his Grail, then you’re better off getting a new man or living in separate apartments like Woody Allen and Mia Farrow did. That whole deal seems to have worked out well for them.

Question answered.

 © 2011 Anthony Robert Russo

Ask a Man

Friday, August 19th, 2011

ASK A MAN #102: ABOUT NAGGING

“How do I make it sound less like nagging and more like reminding?”
-Sam

“It is of Hebrew origin, and the meaning of Samuel is ‘God heard’. Also possibly as ‘requested of God…’”

-thinkbabynames.com

While I’m no expert in regards to dude-on-dude relationships, I’m going to assume that your domestic partnership is just like the traditional male-female relationship only with 100% more man parts involved. Actually since monogomy is as mythical and rare as the female orgasm, most relationships have more knobs involved than your typical mosh pit but fewer than a Congressional session.

Since you’re asking the question instead of giving out answers I’m guessing you take on the female role in your partnership so my advice to you is to use your supernatural ability to imagine ways to improve interior decoration schemes, but use this skill to imagine yourself as the dominant partner. Imagine yourself running around and doing things, making decisions, dealing with immediate situations like bear attacks or “bear” attacks, driving well, and staving off the advancement of the French by recreating log traps you saw in that Swiss Robinson movie. I think there were net traps as well, but few things are as satisfying as felling trees and trimming them down to their trunks, then arranging them using your Y chromosome-endowed engineering skills in a precariously balanced heap in order to crush your enemies like so much foie gras! I don’t know for sure what foie gras is, but it sounds as if it’s mushy and French, so that’s what I meant by that last simile.

So anyway, imagine yourself out there doing things like stacking up gigantic logs and suddenly this person who knows everything but can’t stack logs and doesn’t even uderstand why you’re out there stacking logs in the first place, this person comes out to remind you that… Look, it’s like I can’t even imagine what would need to be reminded about because everything that’s important is being dealt with.

So what you should do is bring out a beer or, in your case, a wine cooler, because stacking logs is sweaty work, then praise the progress on the log trap, hand over the wine cooler, and then as your “husband” takes a swig, look with love and longing at the bulge in his plum-smuggler shorts, and then remind him of whatever it is you happen to think is so important that you have to interrupt the all-important task of shoring up domestic defense against the incursion of foreign threats.

And even though this is the best possible way to “make it sound less like nagging,” it’s still nagging and you shouldn’t do it. He heard your request the first time.

Question answered.

 © 2011 Anthony Robert Russo

Ask a Man

Friday, August 12th, 2011

ASK A MAN #101: ABOUT HANDSHAKES

“When they met one another, there was an uneasy moment as each watched the other’s right hand. If it went to his sword or gun, there was a battle, but if it went to his hat it was a salute of friendship or respect.”

-The Boy Scout Handbook

Doubt and uncertainty will get you killed. An indecisive driver is more likely to cause a collision than that jerkhole who just deliberately cut you off (if you’re reading this while driving, your GPS told me to tell you to unfasten your seatbelt, accelerate, and make an immediate hard left turn exactly… now). If the month-old milk in your fridge smells like it might have gone bad, don’t drink it until you’ve tricked someone else into drinking it. If you’re not sure that the firearm you wear to bed is loaded and the safety is off then the Chinese have already invaded your home, devoured your pets, and you and your family have become slave labor in one of those sweatshops where the little letters that appear on computer screens are assembled one pixel at a time. In a social situation, the handshake provides a shorthand determination of who’s who and how steady or shaky their character is.

But the question at hand is how do guys know which handshake to use and, when it’s your standard fist bump pas de bourrée, whose fist is on top? It turns out that the top fist is determined by an extremely complex equation developed by the heretical 14th century Portuguese mathematician Aperto de Mão. Fortunately the equation with all its arcane symbols can be summed up as “who hast initiated ye fist bump is on top, unless ye initiator is a dwarfe or ye totally precocious baby.”

As for how we determine exactly which handshake to use, the magic of the Y chromosome has endowed men with a specialized gland that emits and detects identifying pheromones.

This gland  coupled with our ability to recognize types of headgear allows us to know in advance of physical contact whether the other fellow is a Lakers fan, a Freemason, a gang banger, or French, and we adjust our handshake/aim accordingly. Scoffers: this is science, dammit, and cannot be disproven by any method known to Man.

So the next time you see a couple of bro’s or homeys engaging in complicated modes of manual hierarchical determination, remember that you are witnessing just one beautiful thread in the grand tapestry of snips, puppy dog tails, farts, and dick jokes that makes being a dude so totally totally awesome. Question answered.

 ©  2011 Anthony Robert Russo

Bulletin From the Gulf Coast

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

From Heidi:

Thank you, Sister Wolf, for inviting me to blog about the Gulf Oil Catastrophe. None of the words I use seem powerful enough to convey the complete and utter horror of the situation. Catastrophe will have to suffice. It is certainly not a “spill.” PLEASE stop referring to it as a spill. It is a hemorrhage.

I live in Metairie, which is a suburb of New Orleans, and about 80 miles north of the Gulf Coast. That’s close enough to smell the oil when the wind is blowing in from the south. Some days it’s worse than others. I was pretty freaked out the first time I smelled it; I can’t even imagine how intense it is down there in all of the coastal communities.

A couple of weeks ago, I started reading about the controversial chemical dispersant BP is using to break up the oil. It’s been banned in the UK, but BP already had stockpiles of it and couldn’t use it at home, so they’re using it here. The EPA has ordered them to stop, but they refuse. I saw a local news interview with a fisherman who has been helping spread boom, and he said he felt like he was going to die. He went to a doctor, who upon examination said the man’s lungs looked like he’d had 3-pack-a-day smoking habit, but the man had never smoked in his life. Corexit 9500 can cause central nervous system depression, nausea, and unconsciousness. It can cause liver, kidney damage, and red blood cell hemolysis with repeated or prolonged exposure through inhalation or ingestion. A friend’s parents live in Grand Isle, and she said they’ve all had sore throats for weeks. And suspiciously, many people that I know in the New Orleans area have been complaining of increased headaches and respiratory problems. Here’s a link to a Daily Kos piece about the horrors of Corexit: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/5/13/866201/-Its-basically-a-giant-Experiment:-Corexit-9500,-Oil,-just-Add-Water-Column

Then there are the repeated failures on BP’s part to stop the oil. Containment Dome, Top Hat, Junk Shot, Top Kill — all of it, about as cleverly planned as if a 5th Grade Science class were in charge. Why oh why was there not a tried and true emergency protocol in place before the drilling even started? How is it even possible that anyone allowed the first deep water oil well to be tapped without a reliable disaster plan? The plan they did have was irrelevant boilerplate that mentioned seals and walruses!!! This isn’t the sort of situation where “winging it” is acceptable! The amount of corruption involved here is staggering. So now, they’re going to try to cap the blowout preventer (we get lovely technical drawings on the front page of the paper every day), which will be another failure, no doubt. And BP regrets to inform us that in the process of undertaking that measure, more oil will flow than usual for a few days. Oh joy! Meanwhile, they are drilling two lines down on either side of the busted pipe so they can intercept the oil at the base of the well, effectively cutting off the leak before it starts. And then they claim they’re going to pour cement down the pipelines, sealing the well forever. While I find that about as believably as the Tooth Fairy, we’ll have to wait until AUGUST to even see if they can drill to the right location.

And guess what yesterday was? The start of Hurricane Season! Hooray! This year was already predicted to be more active than usual, but now there are serious concerns about the effects that the oil will have on any storms that develop. For one thing, the oil is keeping the water warmer than it would be, and the warmer the water, the stronger the storm. Then, there’s the bonus question: what will happen if any hurricanes hit land while carrying all the oil and dispersant toxins? Here’s what Russian scientists thinks about that: http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=128113&sectionid=3510203. For those of you who didn’t click the link, here’s the opening line to the article: “The British Petroleum oil spill is threatening the entire eastern half of the North American continent with ‘total destruction,’ reports say.”

So we have the disaster, the failure to fix it, and the ominous predictions for future effects, and to compound that, we have the esteemed Tony Hayward, CEO of BP, and his insulting lies. The endless stream of toxicity that comes out of his mouth mirrors what’s happening in the Gulf. Sometimes he sounds like a spoiled brat, “I want my life back!” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTdKa9eWNFw. And other times, he sounds like a doddering buffoon from a Monty Python sketch: http://www.nola.com/news/gulf-oil-spill/index.ssf/2010/05/post_6.html. In response to allegations that the toxic dispersants and oil were making people sick, he had this to say:

“I’m sure they were genuinely ill, but whether it was anything to do with dispersants and oil, whether it was food poisoning or some other reason for them being ill,” Hayward said. “You know, food poisoning is clearly a big issue when you have a concentration of this number of people in temporary camps, temporary accommodation. It’s something we have to be very, very mindful of. It’s one of the big issues of keeping the army operating. You know, armies march on their stomachs.”

Finally, people keep asking why Obama hasn’t taken charge yet. While I do agree that the government does need to take a heavier hand, they don’t have the expertise or the resources to solve the problem. Apparently, BP doesn’t either, but they are supposed to! I’ve read a few articles and heard on NPR that Saudi Arabia had a situation in the early 90s a lot worse than this. It was kept secret from the rest of the world until recently, but their solution was to get supertankers out there to suck up all the oil on the surface. They were even able to salvage 85% of it. I can’t for the life of me understand what in the hell BP is waiting for. That seems like the easiest, most obvious solution ever. While we’re waiting until August (or later, which is more likely), why can’t they at least dispense with the dispersants and suck out that oil as fast as it’s bleeding out???

Thousands of people have lost permanently their livelihoods, many are damaging their health every day, and countless animals have died. When will BP stop wasting time and fix this???

Netflix Imbroglio

Friday, March 2nd, 2007

The following  email exchange between Netflix and my nephew Duncan  makes me glad to be alive!    

Problem With Your Recent Return  
Dear Duncan,

We received an empty white sleeve in your recent return. If you haven’t already sent back the DVD you intended to return, please include it with your next return along with a note including your name and email address so we can match the movie to your account.

If you returned the DVD and white sleeve in its envelope, please visit the Shipping Problems page ( http://www.netflix.com/ShippingProblems <http://www.netflix.com/ShippingProblems> ) and select “I returned a DVD but Netflix has not received it.” We apologize for any inconvenience.

-The Netflix Team

—————————————————————————————-

To: Netflix <info@netflix.com   <mailto:info@netflix.com> >
Subject: Re: Problem with your recent return

To the brave patriots of The Netflix Team:

Your email is intriguing, particularly in the light of your recent service history.   Please indulge a brief review of my interaction with Netflix over the past few weeks.  

About a month ago, having returned an environment-themed documentary called An Inconvenient Truth, I was anticipating the next title in my queue: an old comedy called The Party.   The next Netflix package I received, however, was just another copy of An Inconvenient Truth.   Well, the Netflix shipping center must be a busy place, I thought– no biggie.   I sent back the second copy of An Inconvenient Truth and didn’t notify your Customer Service department, the apparent depth of my own inconvenience perhaps tempered by the looming menace of climate change.

The appearance of the next Netflix package restored my enthusiasm, the text on the sleeve promising my eagerly awaited copy of The Party.   Without looking at the disc I put it in the player and it turned out to be– you guessed it– porn.   Now, I’m not some puritan or something, but this was creepy.   I ejected the disc, which turned out to be called Up In Your Brown.   (I don’t specify that title to endorse or, as it were, “plug” it; I thought I’d include that rather distasteful detail to give texture to my recounting.)

The next day, with maximum trepidation, I mailed Up In Your Brown       back to Netflix from a mailbox at my place of employment.   I had also enclosed a letter expressing disappointment that (a) I had unwittingly subjected myself to untold seconds of Up In Your Brown, and (b) that I still had not received The Party.   With all deference to “Wild Life Productions” (the creative force behind Up In Your Brown, as one learns from the text on the disc itself), I would have preferred to have viewed The Party.  

And now the icing (let’s hope that’s what it is) is your ill-written and grossly unjustified email below.   Perhaps at this point my expectations are a bit lofty, and I should simply congratulate The Netflix Team on identifying a “problem with [my] recent return,” though the problem isn’t the one that the Team describes.   I don’t know what happened to Up In Your Brown     after it reached the Netflix shipping center.  

And I don’t care.   Here is how we’re going to resolve this situation.   I’d like:
-a retraction of your email below, and an apology (nothing fancy, a form letter will manage nicely)
-a promise to ship me a copy of The Party post-haste
-fulfillment of the above promise

I think those are reasonable requests.   Please contact me if any of them prove more than The Netflix Team can shoulder.   I would much prefer ten minutes strategic planning over the phone than to once again be confronted with the ghastly specter of Up In Your Brown.

Respectfully,

Duncan XXXXXX
(310) XXX-XXXX

Trip to the Vatican by Riesa Reznor*

Sunday, April 9th, 2006

ceilingandcrowdinvatican-copy.jpg

i have been to the vatican. I have to say, the tour was quite hard to enjoy. it was not a tour. it was a line down the street to get in, and athen once you get in there is a line to pay and then there is a line to get up stairs and then all the sudden you are packed like sardines with about 30K people and you can’t move unless they do and everyone smells like some different kind of ethnic underarm odor and they are all talking another language in your face in back of your face next to your face on your face and kids are crying and parents are yelling in who knows what language. and you move through each room of the vatican following all these people and the signs that keep reminding you the sistine chapel is in this building, somewhere.

and then you are spewed into the sistine chapel wehre all of the sudden it is prohibited to talk. and you look up and its like, FUCK THIS IS AMAZING BUT THERE ARE TOO MANY PEOPLE HERE FUCKING UP MY EXPERIENCE.

i’m glad of course that i saw it and managed to take one blurry picture (and got caught and reprimanded) but it would take the promise of a private tour to get me back in there. my friend, who didn’t care to go in the first place, was mighty pissed off. we both hate people to begin with…that is like the worst place for someone who hates people to go. glad you asked?

we also went to the colleseum, which was A FUCKING MAZING. words can’t describe that structure and pictures don’t do it either. we went to a bunch of museums and this great place where monks are buried and displayed and they take all teh dead monks bones and make artwork out of it. it was like nothing i have ever seen before. you can see it if you click the link

   lineoutsidevatican-copy.jpg

* uncorrected email from Riesa, who graciously allowed me to share it. Her pix, too.