Sunday, June 06, 2010

Mykel's MRR Column for #325 (June 2010)

If you want to read more about Mykel's adventures in Albania, The US South-- or life in General-- check out Mykel's Diary For a look at the weird, the scary and the funny in real life, check out Mykel's Article's and Propositions.     
  You're Wrong
An Irregular Column
by Mykel Board

"The purpose of having boundaries is to protect and take care of ourselves. We need to be able to tell other people when they are acting in ways that are not acceptable to us. A first step is starting to know that we have a right to protect and defend ourselves. That we have not only the right, but the duty to take responsibility for how we allow others to treat us."   --Robert Burney

“I never met a fence I didn't want to climb over, nor a border I didn't want to sneak across.” --Mykel Board

I've told this anecdote before. The year is 1970. I'm at Big Sur in California. It's the College-Summer-Across-America trip. Everybody does it. I'm traveling with my Beloit pals. The car. The acid. The air. Ah, the air. 

Big Sur freedom. Like a Keroac novel. It smells like grass, growing grass, not mowed lawn grass. Each blade sings as the air whips by. Open spaces. I run here and there... Absolutely free. A Zen slap to my acid-addled consciousness. 

I walk away from the others. A straight line. Knee-high shrubbery. Looking out for miles over the Pacific. It's a view you can jerk off to. I do. Then, I walk some more. Something catches my pantleg. I reach down.   

Jeezuz fuck! It's barbed wire. About 7 foot by 7 foot. A fenced-in patch of land. Here! In the freest place in America... a fence! About 3 feet high, rusted, it's not much of a fence, but still, it's a fence.  

The Great Wall of China didn't stop Genghis Kahn. He couldn't go over it, so he went around it. Ptuuuiii, Great wall, my ass!

So three feet of barbed wire? Hah! I can almost step over it. Climb it. I do, wondering what it could be protecting. I search. Figuring it's a potpatch or buried loot. I can't find a thing. I don't get it.

Fuck it. Anyone who fences-in freedom deserves to be shat upon. That's what I do. Take a shit. A fierce beer shit. A stinking pile in the midst of the barbed-wire corral. Grabbing a few leaves from the ground, I wipe my ass and climb back over to the other side.

Soon, I'm back with my friends. We finish the LSD picnic. Have more beer, then head back to San Francisco.

In a few hours, I learn why the fenced in area is fenced-in. It's filled with poison oak. Poison oak?? My ass!

Flash ahead: It's 2010. I'm in the teacher's lounge at work. As is often the case, one of the teachers is laying into me.

“Mykel,” she says, “What is it with you? I go to teach this new student. I introduce myself to her and she says, Oh you're Sara. You're the one who lived in Bali. I never met her and she already knows about my life.”

“And?” I ask, “Is there something embarrassing about living in Bali?”

“Of course not,” she says, “but my life is MINE. It's not yours. You just don't respect boundaries! You've got to learn. I am here. You are there. If I want to tell a student about my life, I can. But it's got to be my choice. You don't know where you end and other people begin.”

I check to see if I have a Siamese twin.

“I mean it, Mykel,” she says. “You're not like most people, I know. Still, would you like me telling everyone about your life?”

“Sure,” I say. 

“Well, most people wouldn't,” she says. “You've got to respect boundaries.” 

Before I can answer, she stalks out of the lounge in a huff. 
“Boundaries,” I think. “I don't really get this boundary stuff. A few fences are there for a good purpose, like keeping your ass out of the poison oak. But most fences keep your ass in, more than out. It's like Mexican immigration. Fences pretty much suck.”

As I leave the lounge, I pass one of my favorite teachers. One with a perfect ass. Exactly right curvature, the smooth roundness... bulging behind, not to the side. So beautiful she could be Dominican. (How many perfect asses has U.S. Immigration law kept out of America? I hate to think about it.) 

Passing her, I rest my hands... just briefly... on that gluteal masterpiece. 

Whooosh! Pain. An elbow to the chest. I fold, like a Democrat supporting the public option.

“Keep your hands to yourself, Mykel,” says the callipygious queen.
“Don't you go touching my body without my permission.”

I'd like to say I come back with a witty answer, but I can't come back at all. I think she's crushed my sternum.

I don't get it. If I had an ass like that, I'd be running the gauntlet. Touch me you fools. Look what I got! Yeah! Pretty hot, huh?

Maybe it's an extension of what I wrote about a few columns ago. The iPods, and the iPhones. The plugged ears and turned-off senses. Barbed wire fences, pulled so tight they scratch the skin. I'll build a little wall around myself. Don't touch me. I'm poison oak!

Flash to the Silent Club, a Hispanic/anarchist punk club near the border of Queens and Brooklyn: R-Tronika has played, as well as another Latino band, and a whiteboy band that I can't remember the name of... but was fuckin' good. 

Right now, Taina, one of the R-Tronika singers, is signing my ass. Marking pen, sure to leave a good impression on the guys at the gym. Yeah! 

“There it is Mykel,” says Taina. “You sure like to push the envelope, huh?”

Flash to Annie Moore's, a local Irish bar: My weekly Drink Club has been flagging lately. The weather? The economy? This week it's only me and Eiji, a Japanese student. We're discussing how hard it is to meet people in New York and why Drink Club-- established to help relieve that isolation-- seems like a flop. 

“Why don't teachers come to Drink Club?” asks Eiji.

“Last time I asked,” I tell him, “they said they spent all day with students and got paid for it. It's a job. They don't want to carry their job outside of working hours.”

“Why is that?” he asks. “If they like their job and the students, they should enjoy it anytime. If they don't like it, they should quit. I don't understand.”

“Boundaries,” I tell him. It doesn't help.

Boundaries. Boundaries. Boundaries. It's the current word. Parents are supposed to teach their kids boundaries. Conservatives want them around countries. Liberals want them around (especially women's) bodies. Workers want them around their jobs. This is my job. This isn't. Now I'm at work. Now I'm not.

Me? I will not respect boundaries. If I get elbowed in the chest, I'm going to have to observe them... but I will not respect them.

If you're sitting in the corner with your friends, talking about your latest herpes outbreak. I'll be there. Offering you my Lysine. 

If you're blithely walking down the street, minding your own business. I'll be there minding your business with you. You cannot talk on your cellphone about your boyfriend, without me asking how big his dick is. Your business is MY business. 

If you build a fence, I'll climb over it. I might get an assful of poison oak, but I'm still gonna climb. Make it a wall, and I'll break through. If I can't break through, I'll go around. 

I don't want to push the envelope. I want to puncture it. Tear it apart. I want that envelope to disintegrate into a hundred scraps. I want to see the paper turned into confetti... shredded around me. 

Boundaries? Fuck boundaries. You can sign my ass. 
A Note on Bruce Roehrs: I don't cry very easily. Those few times I do, it's either legit... like when my mother died, or manipulative... like when I saw They Once Were Warriors. 

For me, a good cry is not cathartic... not at all like a good 
shit. The last MRR cry I had was when Timmy Y died. If you believe in the afterlife (he didn't), I'm sure he's having a good laugh at that one. But crying did not make me feel any better.

I didn't cry when I heard Bruce died. But I felt like shit. We are (were?) about the same age. Both MRR vets. We'd only met a few times over the years. The first was when Timmy introduced us sometime last century. On my rare visits to the left coast, we saw each other at the MRR house. 

Bruce was jolly. Always in good spirits. Always talking about this band or this show or this music. He didn't care if the MRR orthodoxy was to hate Agnostic Front... He didn't care about orthodoxy at all. His life was ruled by music, not politics. Obama? Rush Limbaugh? Dominican ass? What excited Bruce?

Fuck! A blistering slab of hardcore appeared at MRR the other day! This fucking record devastates everything in its path. 

So much energy. So much enthusiasm. So much life. He was the kind of guy that NOBODY hates. He was a spark. A breath of punk air. I didn't cry, but I will fuckin' miss him. 

ENDNOTES: [email subscribers ( or website viewers ( will get live links and a chance to post comments on the column]

-->Politically Correct dept: Bambi adviser, Rahm Emanuel apologized to the Special Olympics Committee for using the word "retarded" when he criticized activists who were pushing for true healthcare reform, not the lame law that actually passed. Of course, without real healthcare, the retards will probably have no chance to improve their lives... But it's the apology that counts, right?

-->Small Victories dept: At first, YouTube censored the videos of Amy Greenfield. The National Coalition Against Censorship and the Electronic Frontier Foundation protested. 

The videos are rather tame. A naked girl rolling in the mud, mostly. But in today's atmosphere, you need to wear a raincoat in the shower. 

After the protest, YouTube undid the censorship... sort of. If you want to watch to the videos, you'll be met with the following warning:

“CTS_Element by artist Amy Greenfield” This video or group may contain content that is inappropriate for some users, as flagged by YouTube's user community.
To view this video or group, please verify you are 18 or older by signing in or signing up.

So is it a victory? Yeah, it's a small one. Like the healthcare bill.

--->Fee this baby! dept: As if airlines, phone and cable companies didn't have enough fees and surcharges, CONTINENTAL AIRLINES is charging extra to be tall! Yep, those “premium seats” in the exit rows. You know, the ones with legroom. They now cost up to $59 extra. Ah, the joys of being short!

-->Obama at the pulpit dept: A presidential advisory council, filled with priests and rabbis, is scheduled to offer recommendations on the “faith-based” initiative and other issues.
Americans United for Separation of Church and State said, however, that the Obama administration needs to take action, not spend time studying reports. 

“I am deeply disappointed at President Obama’s handling of the faith-based initiative,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, Americans United executive director. “He has kept the harmful Bush-era policies in place and added a constitutionally inappropriate council of religious leaders to offer policy advice. This is not separation of church and state.”

My feelings are summed up in this quote from THE NATION:

AUDACITY fits nothing on the list of (Obama's) last year's activity save the suggestion that this is the administration the candidate had promised.

-->I've been saying it's a disease for years dept: Now the American Medical Association is considering a resolution in support of BANNING NECKTIES in hospitals. According to, studies show that neckties harbor bacteria that creep down and spread from doctor to patient and back again.
 I say, why only doctors? Neckties are a hazard to all humans. Ban 'em everywhere... Okay, I guess they're all right among consenting adults... in private!

-->Private cop for fun and prizes dept: The Calgary Herald reports that is setting up a system where stores pay $32 a month to be members. Once paid, the stores' surveillance monitors are broadcast on the website. Netsurfers watch the cameras and turn in shoplifters. The viewer who turns in the most shoplifters in one month wins more than $1000. 
It's probably illegal to suggest some hacker switch the video feed to sweatshops in India... so I won't do that.

-->My new heroine dept: My jailbird pal Kyle sent me a link ( to a great article by Barbara Kay. I don't have space to go into detail, but you can guess the content from the title: OCTOBER IS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AWARENESS MONTH. HOW ABOUT MAKING NOVEMBER FALSE ALLEGATIONS AWARENESS MONTH?
Men are screaming and no one is listening. Why do women assault men? Because they can! (Thanks, Jim Goad)

-->Free Speech on the other side dept: Sid Yiddish, sent me a link to an article about a Dallas County jail guard fired over supporting slavery (“It's in The Bible”) and saying gay people should be put to death.

Where are the liberal free speech defenders in this case? Yeah right, that's what I thought.

-->Holy (beer) shit dept: Yow! Nothing like a birthday party to put you on to a new beer. I discovered HOP STOOPID, a gift from a guy who usually drinks wine. It is the best beer I've tasted this century. It comes in big 22 ounce bottles, but I was drinking it with some Mexican pals, so I didn't get most of it. Ah well, I could savor my third... quarter... fifth. I wonder if it comes in 6-packs.

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