I Do The Hard Work So You Can Have The Funny

1. If you decide that you’re going to grab the man of the house’s shaving gel to shave your legs with, and that is “New Edge Advanced Gel,” let me just warn you that there will be a little added surprise as you lather it on higher up. Whether you find this pleasurable or alarming will depend a great deal on your tolerance for weird vulvic sensations and how quickly you have to be on your way to work.

2. Speaking of vulvas, Twisty reminds us of the importance of distinguishing between the vulva and the vagina. One of which you may want to shave in decorative ways and the other of which you should keep away from sharp objects.

3. Keeping on the topic of sex, Jo(e) finds herself once again sneaking around to have it.

4. Flea is blogsitting for Frog and has a hilarious post about her cousins’ adventures in “unlicensed traveling pharmaceutical sales.” I don’t quite know how to tie this into the sex theme of this post. Oh, oh, except that Flea sells sex toys!

Woo-hoo! A coherent post full of funny, sexy goodness!


Salon.com is reporting that the government is looking to cut the costs of war by investigating people claiming post-traumatic stress disorder for fraud.

America, I know I said I wasn’t going to read Salon.com again, but I have and, as a result, I think I’m going to throw up.

Here’s the deal. Regardless of whether you are for the war or against it, we have a responsibility to these soldiers. This obligation is not easily met through slapping a yellow ribbon sticker on your SUV or accusing liberals of being anti-American. Sorry. The cost is a little greater than that.

I keep feeling like this should be obvious, but apparently it’s not, so I’m going to spell it out for you.

These men and women are volunteering their time, energy, skills, and potentially their lives.

Regardless of what you think of the war, we need a strong and healthy military, and we need to support the men and women in it.

One way to support the men and women in the military is to continually examine and reflect upon the goals for the campaigns in which we have them engaged. Yes, this means that we have an obligation to fight about whether we are doing the right thing. This does not make the arguers unpatriotic. It makes them careful with our most valuable resources–our citizens.

Another way to support them is to insist that they have the equipment and resources they need to do their jobs. It is UNACCEPTABLE that men and women are in harm’s way because they don’t have the things they need to do their jobs while we are sitting here in relative comfort.

Wars have costs. And even though I think this war is a crock of stinking shit piled so high it blots out the sun I would gladly do without whatever the hell you needed me to do without so that soldiers can have Kevlar or whatever else they need.

Of course, because asking real sacrifice and not just rhetorical loyalty would make the war very real for people in a way it’s not, we can’t have that.

Instead, we’re going to continue to screw over the very people who are making real sacrifices.

And now, now that we’ve stuck them in that stinking pit of a place and fucked some of them up good, we’re going to try to cut costs by refusing them mental healthcare because a few of them might be frauds?

Okay, seriously, I don’t know how many of you folks know people who were in Vietnam or who had fathers or friends of fathers who served in Vietnam, but let’s just talk frankly here about the shit we normally don’t talk about. If people go through traumatic events that they then find themselves unable to deal with once they get back here and if they cannot get the help they need, they are not the only ones who suffer. You know what I mean? This is not just a military problem. This is a problem that affects all of us and one that we all need to work to address.

Look at this bullshit from the VA: “Right now, the number of homeless male and female Vietnam era veterans is greater than the number of service persons who died during that war.” Please, read that again. The number of homeless Vietnam vets right now, as they are in their late 50s and early 60s, is greater than the number of service personnel that died in that war. If there is any clearer statistic on the way we have and continue to let our service people down, I don’t know what it is.

So, here’s what really pisses me off about this witch-hunt. 1.) Even if there is some fraud, the overall benefits of widely available mental health resources is so great as to, in my mind, negate what little fraud there might be. If you go through some terrible shit on my behalf, I don’t mind my tax money being used to help you deal with it. If some dumbfucks steal some of it, it’s still worth it to me for you to have the help you need. 2.) The people in the armed services are not our enemies. But the implication of investigating 72,000 veterans of the war on terror/global struggle against violent extremists is that, indeed, they are all potentially liars and con artists.

This is the thanks they get?

These true patriots come home from a war they volunteered for only to be accused by this administration, which has so closely linked support for the administration with support for the military and with “true patriotism,” of being criminals?

Truly unacceptable.

Waiting for Godot–The Review

As we recall, the Beckett defender himself left Waiting for Godot at my house. I then read it. And, because there’s a certain heady hubris to reviewing a classic piece of literature, you know I’ve got an opinion or two.

I didn’t like it. I thought it was boring and slow and too in love with its own cleverness (yes, yes, I know, stones, glass houses, pots, kettles, fine).

That being said, I can’t stop thinking about it. All yesterday afternoon, I tried to engage Taketoshi in meaningful conversation about what Gertrude Stein could have told us about the French after World War II if she hadn’t died and whether and what we can make of France and Spain’s shared Algerian nightmares. I especially wanted to mull over what having a character named Vladimir in a play first spoken in French meant.

But the Beckett defender was busy riding his bicycle and moving stones from one pocket to another, which tends to be the problem with talking to anyone who loves Beckett about Beckett; they tend to begin to resemble Beckett’s characters. I guess I should have been thankful he wasn’t impersonating a brain in a jar. That would have made conversing even more impossible.

Still, I want to get back to what it means to have an obviously educated but now downtrodden man with a Russian name speaking French.

I guess one of the things that assures me that Godot is indeed great literature is the way that things resonate–you begin to wonder. Here we are knee-deep in the Cold War with Russia sitting there at the edge of Europe but with its reach extending uncomfortably far into the West. And not ten years earlier, it was Russia pouring its people into the meat grinder of war against the Nazis (an estimated 9 million military dead from a population of 194 million) that was crucial to their defeat.

So, on the one hand, it seems like Vladimir is a figure in the play around which an uneasy association of fear and appreciation might play out–the representative of a great loss coupled with a great and voracious power–but the thing I keep wondering about is just how much we might hang on Vladimir, what other associations are fair to let coalesce around him.

What if we go back 150 years before that? What if we think of our friend Sasha Pushkin and his most revolutionary literary invention? No, not just Russian literature, Pushkin invented Russian literature in Russian. It really blows my mind to think about that, that speaking your country’s own language revealed you as a peasant, that until Pushkin made it cool, Russian was the language children spoke to their nannies, but French was the language educated Russians spoke to each other.

Now, you see why Beckett’s Vladimir tugs at me, standing there in his good clothes gone ragged, speaking a language that used to mark him as an aristocrat, but now seems to mark him as one more of history’s losers. Brilliant, really. In the end I think that’s brilliant.