Bill's Blither

Location: Cheshire, Connecticut, United States

devilishly handsome, screamingly funny, overly modest

Monday, July 31, 2006

Porn and Politics

Many of you will think it's a stretch to make the allegory that's upcoming, but that's because you obviously don't take your porn seriously enough, or your politics, or both. I know I do.

As I was surfing movie channels at around 11:00, I happened to alight upon a very peculiar bit of tape on TMC. It was clearly an attempt at pornography (you could tell by the way the two people were squishing away at each other), but then a startling thing happened: the MAN was faking an orgasm. Now, every male has spent a lifetime trying to figure out whether his female partner is genuinely throbbing in abject delight or, whether for love or money, merely pretending to do so. Come on, ladies, you've all done it at one time or other. Maybe your motive was charitable ("his ego would be soooo hurt"). Or maybe venal ("I REALLY want those shoes and the store closes in an hour"). Or maybe just exhaustion ("If HE had the kids all day he wouldn't have all this f--king energy"). Whatever, but with a female there is no physical evidence of the apparent eruption, only he said she said and a modicum of heaving and (occasionally) screaming.

On the other hand, a man in the same circumstance has no option but to be, as it were, genuine. All the moaning and groaning in the world cannot substitute for performance. We porn cognoscenti know that the REAL stuff (found behind the green curtain in any video place except Blockbuster) contains lengthy visual evidence of this fact. All men know that faking as they do on TMC is clearly impossible in real life and couldn't possibly induce the phony female reactions we are witnessing. It's a porn rip-off.

All this brings me to the current administration and Iraq. What?! you say. Patience, please.The analogy is actually almost perfect. First we went in with a heavy barrage of rocketry (remember "shock and awe"). This was clearly the loud moaning of foreplay. Then came the insertion of troops, very obviously penetration. Finally, the climax- Bush's declaration of victory. But wait a minute, the act has not ended in fulminating joy and triumph, but has continued unabated. Iraq is not impregnated with the seeds of Democracy, she is still heaving with unsatiated conflict. She cannot be fooled with a false climactic declaration of victory any more than viewers of TMC can be with a fake orgasm. Bad porn is very analogous to bad politics, neither leads to a satisfactory conclusion.

The real failure in Iraq , then, is the duplicitous nature of the Bush administration. When it came time for the climactic moment , he just didn't have the juice, so he faked it, and although it's taken some time, most of us have now figured him out. Where's Johnny Wadd when we really need him?


Monday, July 17, 2006

Whitebread Wedding

Last Saturday I went to my daughter-in law's sister's wedding. This is actually a lie because my son is not married to his wonderful, beautiful partner of 11 years even though he and she are raising 3 kids and have been faithful to each other for longer than I ever managed. Why I care about this marriage thing is puzzling to my friends, but apparently I do.

Speaking of "I do", the wedding in the main went off well. The bride, Erica, looked properly gorgeous and radiant, the groom, Matt, looked substantial and responsible, and my daughter-in-law Nicole outshone everyone there except Kyly, my 6-year-old granddaughter, a regal and sparkling flower girl. However, because I cannot, like George, tell a lie on my blog (something about slamming into a cherry tree, I think), I must fess up to a few somewhat disturbing observations.

First, although the main event was held in a picturesque (meaning VERY old) Congregational Church, apparently the 18th century architect didn't include air-conditioning in his blueprint and nobody in the 220 years since thought that this improvement might be a good idea. God expressed his opinion of Congregationalists by sending down to us the hottest day of the summer. And I, like an idiot, was in a suit. Since almost everyone there was White and Anglo-Saxon, all the men were in suits, and sweltering. I'd love to find the man who came up with the concept of "suit", I have a hot poker I'd like him to meet.

My next problem was with the minister, or rather with her choice of wedding text. She seemed to believe that the ceremony was her chance to spew out her weekly allotment of fire and brimstone. She went into some graphic detail on what level of perdition the couple would find themselves if they broke the rules of behavior that she quoted from Paul in some letter or other. By the time they said their vows I think they were actually cowering at the altar. This whole mishigoss (that's Congregationalist slang) took forever as the minister rambled on for 45 minutes. Yeah, I timed it, you would too if your suit were soaking up several gallons of moisture.

On to the reception. On the way my wife found an enclosure in the invitation detailing the particulars of the romance between the bride and groom. Since it had taken over a decade for true romance to bloom, it took 20 minutes to read this novella. By the time we arrived at the reception I had way more information than I will ever need about those two. Worse yet, I know I'll hear it several times more at future family gatherings. It's enough to make me re-evaluate the whole romantic process. (Never, not me).

One more thing, you will remember that everyone there was WASP. This made the dancefloor a pathetic scene. It's been pointed out before, but it is a solid truth that White people CAN'T DANCE. And what's the deal that Caucasians are compelled to play YMCA at their weddings. Jews carry the couple around in the air in a chair, Russians kick out their feet squatting down doing the Kazatska (sp?), Germans kick up their legs while wearing lederhosen, but I'll never understand the mystique of jumping around while your body spells out the letters of an evangelical religious organization. YMCA-- I think I prefer the Chicken Dance.

I think I'll skip further commentary, although I should mention that the food was delicious and plentiful (the caterers were probably Jewish). I'm probably relegated to family outlaw status for what I've already written, anyway. It's a position with which I'm very familiar, having occupied it ever since I've had a family.

Here's to the bride and groom, may they muddle through their lives successfully, and end up smiling through it all.


Friday, July 14, 2006

Write On, McDuff

Here I am again. For those of you who've missed me, thank you for your patience. For the rest of you, as I've told you before, you have no taste anyway.

I've been taking a graduate course in Rhetoric, required on the writing track for English Master's candidates at Trinity. The problem is that you have to read about 500 hours a week of involved explanatory and historical text on rhetorical subject matter, then write the equivalent of a James Joyce novel in an attempt to unravel the damn stuff. This is why no blogging (I haven't even been able to finish LAST term's paper).

I came away with two things from the course: (1) an apparent "Distinction" for a mark, and (2) once more a tremendous increase in respect for Trinity graduate students and faculty. As a Yale grad, I've spent most of my life feeling superior intellectually to all and sundry in my walk through life. If you've ever met an obnoxious Yalie (I qualify as such) you know what I'm talking about. Since I've been at Trinity I've discovered that there are some extremely brilliant people who have never attended an Ivy school and all of them are packed into my graduate program. I've also learned that creative talent can be found in amazing quantities in people who might have no intellectual aptitude elsewhere. One might ask why it has taken me this long to figure out these relatively obvious facts, to which I say that maybe MY perceptive aptitude lies elsewhere.

I have a ton of stuff bottled up from my month-and-a-half hiatus from my blog. Writing posts is such a cathartic experience for me that I've felt like a word-junkie without it. All this means is that you will hear from me soon and often.

See you----later.