Monday, October 10, 2011

(MRR 341) Mykel Refuses To Keep His Shirt On

 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

Column for MRR 341
October 2011

by Mykel Board
aka  Mykel refuses to keep his shirt on.

If people vote themselves into slavery and give up their liberty, is this freedom? --Isaiah Berlin
It's 1995... the same Toronto anarchist festival I wrote about last week. That was the Vegan Reich story. This one's about Alekz Vermont... and some other girl... I can't remember her name.

It's like a dream. I'm in an open field. Two girls are chasing me. Two attractive girls... the kind I usually wouldn't run from... but would turn to... nuzzling my muzzle between their legs... savoring the clitoral sea breeze.. lapping languidly between the labia. 

But now they haven an agenda. They want to hurt me, I think. So I run. 

BLAM!!! Something hits the back of my legs. I'm down... tackled... like a football player. The other girl... the one who's not Alekz... grabs my KLANARCHY t-shirt... SCRRRRRT... tears it... tears it off... Then Alex is on my shirtless self... her knees on my shoulders... She does not lower herself, pressing her luscious mons veneris into my face. Instead, out comes a magic marker... a thick one... indelible... She draws two arrows on my chest... one pointing to each nipple. Under the arrows... equally indelible... she prints THESE ARE TITS TOO.

Then they skedaddle... both of them... waving my shirt like a captured flag... off... to wherever girl anarchists go when they strip a boy... gone... leaving me to walk around half naked... for the rest of the day... smiling at cops who have better things to do... Some anarchists asks me what it means. I shrug.
1999: I'm happier than a Christian at a book-burning. At ABC NO Rio... one of my top 20 live bands of all time. Mmmm boy.

They were on the cover of Flipside. I heard the record, saw them at CBGBs. Now I can get even closer. 

As usual, Esneider is at the door. I hand him my $5. He stamps the NO VALUE rubber stamp into the pad and then on the inside of my wrist.  

“Be careful today, Mykel,” he says. “Stay out of the pit. They've got the most vicious pit I've ever seen.”

“I'm five foot three inches tall,” I remind him. “I weigh 130 pounds. I NEVER go into the pit.”

“But Mykel,” he says, “sometimes the pit goes into you.”

Inside, the tiny club is packed. Back in those days, the shows were in the basement. There was no ventilation. It was always hot. 

A packed house and a tough pit means SUPERHOT. Maybe people will take off their shirts. Yeah!

I stand on the side... in back of a short attractive girl. She'll be a buffer in case the going gets tight. I've got a great view of the band. Shirts have already come off because of the heat.

Then the music starts. Wowee! Slam-away. Fuck, right in the ribs... in the shoulder... OUCH! the balls... I back off more... a little more peace... 

Then the lead singer, Lynn, takes her shirt off. Yeah, it's TRIBE 8, the best Lesbo band in herstory. And Lynn, the greatest of the great, has the balls to take her shirt off at a punkrock show. Just like everyone else. Tits like everybody else has. Yeah!

The academic part:  Kurt Vonnegut once wrote a story about equality. In that story, the society required everyone to be equal. So if somebody lost the sight in one eye, everybody had to wear blinders on one eye to make them equal.

In the quest for equality, people walk around with weights on their legs or an arm tied behind their backs. That makes them equal to the cripples among them. They are braced, their backs forced into a curve, to make them equal to those with scoliosis. They have earplugs to make them equal to deaf people. You get the idea. Equality is the first value.

Vonnegut is dead. (Sometime soon, I'll be HIS equal.) But he was not against equality. He was against a narrow view of equality-- a NEGATIVE equality that makes people equal at the bottom rather than at the top. 

I'll explain further: Imagine I have a gold pen. There are ten people sitting with me. We can make everyone equal in two ways. One is to give everyone else a gold pen. The other is to take away my pen. The former is a POSITIVE equality. The latter a NEGATIVE one.

The marriage equality act-- homo marriage-- is an example of NEGATIVE equality.

Right now, you can only get “free” health insurance if you're married to someone with paid insurance. You can only get hospital visitation rights, or child adoption rights if you're married. You can only file a joint tax return or get easy citizenship if you're married. You can only pass on your apartment to a spouse. Share veterans' discounts on medical care, education, and home loans with someone you're married to. You can only receive crime victims' recovery benefits if you're married to the victim (or if you are the victim.)

There are two ways of dealing with the inequality of laws related to marriage. NEGATIVE equality is to force more people into marriage and thereby strengthen the institution. The other is to get the government out of the marriage business completely and make no special privileges based on what should be a religious institution. 

POSITIVE equality is to eliminate all marriage laws. Make all people-- married or not, homo, het or neither-- equal. Instead, homos decided to put blinders on the rest of us. Weigh down one leg to make us equal. So now New York has gay marriage. And insurance companies that used to insure “domestic partners,” now require marriage! The freedom to marry becomes the DUTY to marry, and with gay-marriage it's harder than ever to escape.

2011: I'm reading Razorcake, home to former MRR columnists and those who'd like to be. Amy Adoyzie is one of my favorites... a girl that doesn't act like one... until now.

Jeezus fuckin' Christ. She's writing about how punk rock boys make girls uncomfortable... You know how? By taking their shirts off. That's how.

When you take off your shirt in a hot, muggy basement show, you're not just trying to cool yourself off. You're saying something with your body and who you are. You're saying “I'm a dude and as a dude, I can take my shirt off in a room full of other people...” You're unknowingly asserting your dude-ness for all to see. You're saying, “Check me out. I'm a fucking dude.”

And you know what? That makes some people feel unsafe. Just because you think it's innocuous doesn't mean it is. Just because you don't agree that it makes people feel unsafe doesn't mean it doesn't. Put your fucking shirt on.

Fifteen years after Tribe 8 opens the door to a POSITIVE equality, we've got a girl here saying NOT that girls should be able to take their shirts off... but that boys shouldn't! 

Just like the right to marry is actually the duty to marry... and increases inequality for those who choose not to. The right to comfort is the way to limit the freedom of others who choose to... to... show their tits.

In Europe, toplessness is the order of they day... for men and women. Alas, even in the punkrock world, this is not Europe.

Hey Amy, these are tits too! Instead of saying I shouldn't be free to take my shirt off-- you should be saying you should be free to take off yours. Instead of saying Cover up boys, you should be saying Take it off girls. Your freedom doesn't come from my repression. It comes from your own liberation.

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

-->That gives me an idea dept: The Texas Office of the Comptroller granted tax-exempt status to THE CURCH OF FREETHOUGHT, an "atheist church" in Texas. After an initial denial and run in with Americans United for Separation of Church and State, government officials backed down.
   The Comptroller's original objection said if they granted the status it would lead to applications from "any wannabe cult who dresses up and parades down Sixth Street on Halloween."
    Hmmm, dress-up anyone?

--> Where? dept: We all know that the locations of most phones can be tracked, either via their built in GPS devices or by triangulating the signals they bounce off the cellular towers. And not only is it possible to figure out where a phone has been, you can also get software or online services that will let you track the location of a phone in real time. You can keep tabs on your teenagers, other family members, employees, or someone you want to stalk. In addition to the location (as it moves), you can also find out how fast it's going.
      One such service, which works with certain Blackberry, Windows Mobile and Android phones, is AccuTracking. Since it's probably illegal for me to say some hackers should get on 'em ASAP... I won't. But I can imagine posting some way you can attach a fake tracking chip to a stray cat or a street crazy. Attach a fake device to a hamster, and let it loose in the subway. Watch a panicky parent call the cops as their “child” runs down a subway tunnel in front of a raging train.
    Not that I'd propose such a thing. Who me? Such a proposition is likely to be illegal.

-->Speaking of where dept: reports that Google has a bunch of places that Google Maps won't show you. According to the site, most of the censored places look like imaging anomalies, rather than some big black bar with "CENSORED" written in large text.
    You can see 18 of them at: You can also ask Google
what's up widdat?

-->Corporate humans vs Union humans: The Supreme Court ruled that corporations and unions are "humans" with the ability to fund candidates with no limits. The corporations go to the conservatives. The unions go to the liberals.
     NOW do you get why so many Republican state governors are trying to break the unions? And there's a new law now in the House of Representatives. Republicans introduced bill HR 1135 that denies foodstamps to any family if a member is out on strike. How low can they go? Maybe I shouldn't ask.

-->For the good of the kids dept: THE UK Government says it's fighting “the early sexualization of children” by blocking internet pornography unless parents request it. The move is intended to ensure that children are not exposed to sex as a routine by-product of the internet.
    Instead of using parental controls to stop access to pornography - so-called "opting out" - the tap will be turned off at the source. Adults will then have to "opt in."
   More info at:

-->It shudda been my parents dept: Landon & Anette Parris of Nashville pleaded guilty to hiring a stripper for their son's 16th birthday. They were sentenced to two years' probation and ordered to take “parenting classes.”
     I say they should be TEACHING those classes.


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