An Irregular Column
by Mykel Board
(Note: It's shorter than usual this month. (TWSS) I have not been censored... just timed. I'll be in Mexico for the column deadline, so I have to get it in early.(TWHS))
"These self-anointed Protectors of the Overprotected endlessly yammer about breaking the "cycle of abuse," oblivious to the concept that imprisoning someone is a particularly vicious perpetuation of that cycle.” --Jim Goad
“Death begins in the colon.” --Sir Jason Winters
I'm fetally curled into a human comma. My arms are thrust between my legs. Those legs are pulled up toward my chest. A bubbling perks in my intestines. Bullump. Bullump. Bullump. I feel it along my right side... the side pressed against the naked mattress beneath my naked self. The bubbling moves. Up my right side, across my abdomen, down my left side. Bullump... Bullump... Bullump... the gaseous track of my large intestine. It presses rectally downwards... gurgling through the netherworld. Building pressure.
I cup my hands over my struggling sphincter... contract my stomach muscles...push... hard. BLAAAAATTTTT. Just a few milometers north of a liquid explosion... whew! I blow pure hot gas into my hands. Now I raise those hands to my nose... inhaling my own smell. I turn the inside out. How is it that it smells so good? How is it that other people's farts stink to holy hell and mine out-roses any rose ever risen?
The fragrant gas enters my body. From my nose and mouth, down deep into my lungs. It's a physical, spiritual, metaphysical cycle. That beautiful smell... leaving my body... entering my body, traveling through my body.
I drift back to sleep.
BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! What the fuck?
The alarm clock. As beautiful a smell as my own fart... that's how horrible is the sound of the alarm clock. In the 1400s clocks had no minute hands, just an hour hand that lazily circled a Roman-numeraled face. Then came the minute hand, and 8AM became 8:09AM or 7:59AM. It wasn't long before a someone added a SECOND HAND. In Union Square, you can get the time to five decimal places. Who the fuck needs five decimal places? My boss?
How can I lay in bed and enjoy my farts? There's work to be done. Time to get up.
I try to sit up. Pain shoots through my pelvis, down my leg. Excruciating. Aaaaaaah! My leg, my balls, my prostate. On fire. A burning mass of pain.
“AAAAAAAAH!” I cry out
BAUM! BAUM! BAUM!
My neighbor bangs on her side of the wall. The universal signal for SHUT THE FUCK UP!
I lower my cry to a whimper.
From the waist down, is pain. Everything hurts. Last night's beer bulges in my stomach. The sciatica presses against my back and legs.
Unable to stand, I roll like a log until one arm reaches over the side of the bed. Then, pressing down, I slowly... painfully... drop my body on to the floor... knees first. Using the arm already touching the floor, I push myself up... stagger forward, grabbing a lamp for support... hobbling as fast as biology will let me... I enter the bathroom... fall ass-first onto the toilet.
PLOW! I explode... just missing spurting brown down the back of my legs. But the usual bliss that follows a massive beer shit is lost.... buried in the pain in my back and legs... Is there a reason to keep living if you can't enjoy a beer shit?
NEWS FLASH: A court in Mexico has just found an American teenager, who goes by the nickname "El Ponchis," guilty of torture, murder and kidnappings.
Edgar Jimenez, 14 years old, was convicted of torturing and beheading at least four people and kidnapping three others. The bodies were found hanging from a bridge near Mexico City last year. The judge sentenced El Ponchis to three years in a correctional facility, the maximum permissible for a minor. He was also ordered to pay a fine of 4.5 million pesos, the equivalent of about $400,000.
Flash Ahead: My Mexican pals have invited me back. It's OLD PUNK FEST, in Agua Prieta, one of those border towns where 14 year old Americans cut the heads off who-knows-who. I was there last year. Maybe you read about it. It's one of my favorite towns in the world. Home of Walmarcito and Burger Queen.
My Mexican pals have put together a cover band again. Sin Arte.. I'll be “singing” and hosting an OLD PUNKS night. La Merma, Grito, Pop Gestapo... Except for BEEF, I may be the only non-Mexican in the show. I hope so. That's the way I like it.
When I started this column, I planned to write about circles. My fart leaving and entering my body. My return to Mexico. Old punk rockers rejoining and playing again. This column continuing the theme of the last, and one before.
I've changed my mind.
Going to Mexico will complete a circle. Like sniffing a fart. Last year, this year... but the circle is not round. Just as my beer shit lost its ecstasy in the pain of my sciatica, these circles too become less perfect, more jagged, over time.
My circle metaphor for life may be a spiral. Or something else. When Jim Goad talked about “the cycle of abuse” (check out the opening quotes), jail did something. It knocked that circle a bit. Stretched it. Made it even nastier than it already was.
The circle is such a nice metaphor. But it's wrong. The zen circle is not a circle. Maybe it's shapeless... or shape-shifting like a vampire in a bad TV show... or an amoeba with no shape at all. Maybe it's a spiral... an ever smaller circle that ends in nothing. The neat package of this column has come unraveled.
With my metaphor gone and visions of headless bodies in the street... 14 year old Americans caught and those not caught... I board the plane to Mexico.
ENDNOTES: [email subscribers (firstname.lastname@example.org) or website viewers (www.mykelboard.com) will get live links and a chance to post comments on the column]
-->One step forward two steps back department: In October last year, the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian featured it's first exhibition "to focus on sexual difference in the making of modern American portraiture." Pretty bold for a government gallery, huh?
Not so fast, the Catholic League attacked one of the images in a video displayed in the collection: 11 seconds of ants crawling on a crucifix. Rep. John A. Boehner led the congressional threat to stop funding if the video was not removed. Within an hour, it was gone.
-->Sometimes bad news isn't dept: Gay City News reports that a recent court ruling "may place nearly insurmountable obstacles” to porn producers suing illegal downloaders. The lawsuits worked in the past, because they'd embarrass the downloader as much as hurt financially.
The way the porn companies worked in the past was to collect IP addresses (your unique computer id number) of "violators" and then sue them as a group. Unless another court overturns the ruling, they can no longer do that.
Awww too bad, right?
-->Cause and effect dept: I've often written about how the US has the world's second highest NON-smoking rate, and the world's highest cancer rate... showing that NOT smoking causes cancer.
Now, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that the number of children killed in car crashes in 2009 was 9.6% less than the previous year. They also report that the number use of professionally fitted child booster seats also went down.
So what are we to conclude? NOT using a car seat saves kids lives. Seems reasonable to me.
--> If there were more profs like that, I wudda got my Phd dept: A former assistant professor of psychology at John F. Kennedy University in Pleasant Hill, California, has sued the institution for sex discrimination. She says that she was fired for performing in an off-campus burlesque act.
Sheila Addison was hired in Sept. 2007 to teach graduate students under a one-year contract as an assistant professor of psychology. The following July she was awarded a two-year contract which stated that she could be fired only for “just cause.”
At about the same time that she started working at JFK, she started performing under a pseudonym, Professor Shimmy, at the Hubba Hubba Revue, a burlesque show in San Francisco.
She belonged to a group of performers who sought to bring social commentary to their acts. Some of her performances tell stories, including one in which she performs with a classically trained male ballet dancer. He dresses as a snow fairy and she as the abominable snowman. When they remove their clothes, the audience sees that the fairy and the snowman are not the genders they're supposed to be. Yeah!
The university declines to comment on the case.
-->Completing the Circle Dept: The mercenary company Xe Services, which pre-scandal was called Blackwater, has brought shamed former Attorney Gneral John Ashcroft on board in a new position. And what exactly is that position? Why, ethics chief of course.
(I shit you not.)
-->Humane torture dept: Senator James Inhofe, told Fox News that torture victims in Guantanamo have it easy: "These detainees, they have things they've never had before. You know what the biggest problem in Gitmo is right now? It's obesity. They're eating better than they've ever eaten before.”
-->Reality theme park dept: Parque EcoAlberta in the Mexican state of Hidalgo allows tourists to sign up for a three-hour trek that simulates a refugees passage into the U.S. According to THE PROGRESSIVE magazine "Tourists must navigate craggy ravines and rolling rivers with only a flashlight-- no food or water.... The trek ends with gunshots as the would-be migrants are thrown into the back of mock U.S. border patrol trucks." The cost for the trek is $20 a person.
-->Buy a liberal today dept: AT&T is plugging to buy competitor T-Mobile in a bid to out-monopoly Verizon. So how do they get support... especially from liberals who usually oppose corporatocracy? They give money!
In 2009 alone, the NAACP received a million dollars from AT&T. GLAAD, the pro-Gay-censor-the-opposition group got $50,000 from the Apple-Loving Giant.
I say (with palm out, facing upwards) Go AT&T! Buy that sucker! I support you! Is the check in the mail?
-->Cut! Print! It's a take dept: The Rumanian Doctors Union has criticized a decision to make a surgeon pay almost $200,000 after he lost his temper and hacked off a patient's penis during surgery.
Surgeon Naum Ciomu had been operating on the patient to correct a testicular malformation when he suddenly lost his temper.
According to the BNI Newsletter “Grabbing a scalpel he sliced off the penis in front of shocked nursing staff, and then placed it on the operating table where he chopped it into small pieces before storming out of the operating theater.”
The doctors union objected to the court decision, saying “Doctors in Rumania earn too little to be able to pay amounts like this.”
I say that if the doctor would only support the ATT T-Mobile takeover, he wouldn't have any trouble paying the fine.