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October 16, 2011

Talent Is Optional: Shimmering Polished Turds from This Very Site





A Free Collection of Stuff You've Already Read Here for Free!
Is this a great country? Or what?


As you can see, we have launched a free ebook collection of some of the more diverting posts from this blog during its infamous Blue Period, 2008 to 2010. Actually, it’s currently available on Amazon for $0.99 American, but I’m assured it will drop to $0 once Amazon figures out that people are getting it free elsewhere.

One of the perks of surviving into late middle age after decades of intensive non-social drinking is that one forgets all sorts of things that one once enjoyed, allowing one to enjoy those things all over again. (In fact, I wouldn't bet money against the possibility that I've made that very same observation on this site at least once before.) It's really a blessing, this loss of...um, er...ah, yes: memory. Frankly, I don’t know what that fellow in Memento was so pucker-butted about. Just relax, go with the flow, and marvel at the surprise ending to The Crying Game every day for the rest of your life.

Anyway, re-reading those old posts was a joyful experience. There’s nothing quite like having your own past self drop by to crack you up. Here are some context-free lines that made me say to myself, “Hoh, hoh! Well said! Well said!”*

* I masturbated with uncommon tranquility that night, suddenly unburdened of the twin fears of leading a purposeless life and then ending up old and useless.

* These days, while I remain as indifferent as ever to the finer points of toejam, I’m less inclined to cast stones.

* When I finally got to the sentence, “His living room contained nothing but an enormous nest made of human hair,” I sadly closed the book and began scanning the pool area for someone of legal age to mentally undress.

* Even a fairly dry tome will inevitably draw a good-sized crowd to a B&N book signing, and before you know it, you’re ass-deep in strange, nubile flesh. At least that’s what Al Greenspan told me.

* I’m still haunted by memories of the actor who played the title character in “Pigfucker,” for, although he interpreted a challenging role with admirable zeal, it was clear from looking at him that his motivation was the fix that he could purchase as soon as he got paid.

* I’m tempted to write something like “Way to go! Way to reduce your odds of getting sold into prostitution!” until realizing that that would probably raise a red flag to whoever screens the children’s mail.

* And let's face it: There's no such thing as a gradual and warranted closeup of Ernest Borgnine.

* In short, the imbalance of tit-related pleasure between those of us who do the having and those of us who do the appreciating begins to become clear, and to trouble me.

* With monogamy in place, Early Man could haul a bawling infant into his fields and say with confidence for the first time, “Thou art Grog, fruit of my loins, my only begotten son,” or some such hackneyed claptrap.

* One likes to believe that in her post-porn life, such a caring young woman has reaped just rewards for all the joy she gave us, that she now sucks the marrow out of life with the same gusto that she once sucked the jism out of Ty Endicott.

* [The vagina] simply failed to adapt to changing tastes and needs. It is the Chrysler of orifices.

* “But…it’s Christmas Eve, Mr. Muggins!”


I used to say the darnedest things!

I was also struck by how the topics that I chose to blog about have continued to bubble up to the top crust of the blogosphere. If I didn’t know any better, I’d think that those smarty-pants folks at Salon and Slate and HuffPo were trawling my site for ideas. Perpend:


Topic: The Nature of Heterosexual Male Friendships

My take
As I cogently argued in “Manly Men and the L Word,” straight male friends should never openly discuss their affection for each other. I cited the effervescently fruity correspondence between future Secretary of State William Seward and a New York state senate colleague as reported in Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Team of Rivals as a case study. Based on that example and others, I noted then that “such friendships can only end in hissy fits and recriminations and ostentatious mutual snubbery that would make the cast of The Hills blush with shame.”

The update
Our friend at Salon**, Tracy Clark-Flory, recently submitted this piece on the increasingly cuddly nature of American youth. While maintaining her usual neutral tone, Tracy seems to imply that she’s fine with this trend toward hugging and pillow-fighting and “I-love-you-man”-ing.

I’m here to tell you, youths of America: Don’t go down that road! That way, madness lies! Just ask the sad, wounded ghost of Albert H. Tracy, Seward’s erstwhile snub-ee. If you heed no other chunk of advice from me, heed this one. Well, this one and the one about making your likely-to-get-divorced friend pay for the tuxedo rental before you agree to be one of his groomsmen.


Topic: Sex Partner Counting

My take
In “It Lives! (By Which, I Mean Monogamy),” I was nonplussed by an Esquire Survey of the American Man in which a sizable chunk of respondents in the fifty-year-old cohort claimed to have had sex with upwards of fifteen females while simultaneously averring that monogamy was a perfectly tenable system. As I mentioned:

These wizened chaps appear to be asking us to believe the following:

Yes, I sowed wild oats all through my teens and twenties, tearing through upwards of fourteen hot chicks like the proverbial tornado through a trailer park and loving every minute of the freedom and variety before finding and promptly wedding the One, True Soulmate of my life, since which time I have never looked sideways at a flight attendant or server or college girl. When perky-bosomed vice presidential candidates wink at me, I blush and turn aside. I am content to stick with the same-old same-old, week in and week out, year in and year out, as long as we both shall live.


The update
Jessica Gross at Slate, in a denunciation of the recent Anna Faris vehicle What’s Your Number?, quotes Entertainment Weekly’s Lisa Schwarzbaum as saying, in part, “Whore is the kind of descriptor the creators of What's Your Number? think is hilarious for a woman to apply to herself, one whose only ‘scandal' involves a head count of her sex partners. And by the way, who in this day and age is counting?”

We like Lisa Schwarzbaum around here, and she had us on board until she got to that last sentence. Look, I’m pretty sure that if you chloroformed a dozen male and female college students, strapped them in metal chairs, injected them with truth serum, and repeatedly shocked the arches of their bare feet while asking HOW MANY SEX PARTNERS HAVE YOU HAD? HOW MANY??, well, the numbers would come out fast and furious and utterly precise: Five! None! One! Eleven! Heck, somebody just might say, Six! And the briefcase bomb is in a bus station locker in Chevy Chase! Allahu Akbar! thereby vindicating Dick Cheny. But one thing you would most likely not hear is, “Hey, man, I don’t know! Somewhere between one and a dozen, I guess.”

Further down, Jessica herself supplies this tidbit, which we found quite adorable:

Young women seem to want to keep their numbers lower, while men want their numbers to be higher. A 2001 study of college students in the U.K. published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior titled “Which Behaviors Constitute Having Sex?” showed that, compared with women, a greater percentage of men count oral sex and manual sex as “sex” when they’re tallying their partners—presumably because they want to boost their number.

In my piece, I posited the “Monica Doesn’t Count” Theory--i.e., the tendency of young American men to no longer add providers of the two –jobs (hand- and blow-) to their numbers, which seemed likely to remain the crowning legacy of former President Clinton. Well, I stand corrected—and relieved! You young devils are tallying blowjobs, and even handjobs--as well you ought! Let’s stop hating on the handjob, everyone—the most delightful and efficient sexual act on humanity’s menu, and probably the only thing that we can do that our dogs can't.


Topic: Monogamy, Suckiness Thereof

My take
In my first anti-monogamy screed, “Enough, Already: Let’s Kill Monogamy,” I cited this tidbit from a Newsweek article:

Anthropologist Helen Fisher, who studies the nature of love…believes humans aren’t meant to be together forever, but in short-term, monogamous relationships of three or four years.

My hearty endorsement was:

Yes, that sounds about right. It also sounds like a number that Helen Fisher yanked straight out of her anthropological ass, but its provenance notwithstanding, the figure will serve.

The update
Now comes word that those most progressive of peoples, the Mexicansha! You thought I’d say the French, or the Na'vi, or maybe even LibertyPAC, but no, I blindsided you with “the Mexicans”!—are going to limit marriage licenses to two years. The thinking here is that ditching “till death do us part” in favor of “till the next Olympics, be they summer or winter” will reduce the divorce rate, not to mention the spousal-murder-by-machete rate.

Way to go Mexicans! It’s a step.


Topic: Sexbots

My take
In my first foray into this subject, “The Sexbot as Stocking Stuffer,” I lamented the reality that within my lifetime, sexbots for the lonely gentleman were fated to remain prohibitively expensive, physically unappealing, and “likely prone to annoying glitches, such as occasionally tearing a user’s penis off like a corn tassel or char-broiling him whole.”

The update
Well, this happened to a lady, not to a gentleman, and the device in question hardly seems worthy of the lofty title “sexbot” but…

Well, I simply quail and blanch at the thought of describing this incident, so check it out for yourself.


Topic: Porn Addiction

My take
Through the exhaustive research documented in “My Addiction? I Report, You Decide,” I determined that (a) “porn addiction” is a real disease, and (b) I don’t have it, but (c) you might. My generation lucked out by being too old by the time easily clickable online porn evolved. But…

…to the young and impressionable mind, porn can be highly addictive and destructive, and it’s a darn good thing that the strongest thing any of us could get our scaly little paws on in those days was Penthouse. Let us pray for today’s spoiled youth, and especially for today’s spoiled youth’s innocently bystanding roommates.

The update
I’m pleased to report that porn addiction is no longer a young man’s cross to bear. No, today’s young men now have today’s young women along to share the load, according to this recent piece by Tracy.

The bad news--at least, bad for that progressive young man who yearns to visit Asian Porn Movies with his equally progressive girlfriend--is that the type of porn she likely favors features only men. Maybe your occasional Asian, but no women.

Still, one wants to find something encouraging in the fact that women are finally coming around to an appreciation of some species of porn, at least. But then a story like this one breaks, revealing that—just as we long suspected—excessive porn consumption does lead to horrific acne.





* During my Quarter Abroad in London, I made a funny at the neighborhood pub one evening—something at the expense of Richard Nixon, who had recently resigned in disgrace—which prompted a ruddy middle-aged patron to give me a hearty, “Hoh, hoh! Well said! Well said!” with a tip of his mug. Ever since, I’ve longed for a chance to say that to someone, or to induce someone to again say it to me. And now I’ve said it to myself, killing two birds with one stone.



** It is with a bitter irony that I call Tracy “friend.” After all the love we’ve shown her at this site, she’s still all, like, totally not even knowing that we’re alive. Yes, I said “love.” What’s wrong with that?