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Fashion makes the news again this week as Tim Gunn, whose contribution to Western civilization consists of mentoring contestants on the reality show "Project Runway," took Hilary Clinton to task for her habit of wearing pantsuits, accusing the Secretary of State of  "gender confusion on "Lopez Tonight."

Gunn, a smarmy gay man and self-appointed arbiter of fashion, pictured in this link wearing stripes with checks (which must be fine now because he's doing it) also mentioned Clinton's "cankles." Anybody who's ever had brunch at a gay bar, as this writer has, knows that male homosexuals know gender confusion inside and out, so it would be pointless to argue that with Mr. Gunn. However, it's apparent that he's holding Clinton to a far higher standard than most male politicians, whose dress habits are never mentioned at all. Gunn could at least make a few devastatingly snotty remarks about them, in the interest of gender equality. He could tell Eric Cantor to drop the seminarian glasses for example, or remind Joe Biden that he looks like everybody's horny old uncle every time he takes off his tie.

And those are only the American politicians. Clinton deals on a regular basis with world leaders who usually wear man-dresses and pillbox hats. These are clear markers for gender confusion, and the fact that most of them like to hold automatic weapons while wearing their caftans is plainly a mask for their insecurities, but neither their hemlines nor their headgear are ever mentioned by Mr. Gunn.

The Dalai Lama, whose cell phone number Ms. Clinton must surely possess, wears an orange bathrobe at most public functions. Gunn has never been heard to criticize His Holiness for wearing a bathrobe out of the house, let alone one in so questionable a fashion hue.

We're not even going to start in on the Pope. Point made. What is even more newsworthy is Gunn's mention of the Secretary's"cankles." Does this mean that, in the Gunn worldview, international leaders should only be selected from among the physically flawless? Should Megan Fox immediately be called upon to replace Hilary?

Hell, yeah! Allah be praised! I can hear those leaders in the guy-gowns saying that now, but shouldn't we consider letting Clinton get cankle surgery before she's let go? Maybe not, because once we start in on her, there's bound to be a rush to America's plastic surgery centers by politicians of every stripe. John Boehner? Those bags under his eyes look like they ought to have "Samsonite" stamped on them. Mitch McConnell? Is there a surgical solution for a man whose boneless face looks more like that of the Michelin Tire Man than any non-cartoon person?

Is it time for Obama to get the ear reduction that Bush so strenuously resisted? What about those who want his job? Can surgery help Michelle Bachmann, the Stepford Wife of the Republican Right, look human? Wouldn't Sarah Palin look even more Presidential with extravagantly augmented breasts? Once he gets gastric bypass surgery, there's nothing to prevent Newt Gingrich from getting elected President except his past, his ideas and his personality.

But why bother? This writer doesn't see the point in patching up any of these tired old hacks once this logical leap is made: Tim Gunn for President! He's got the wardrobe, the presence, the reality show background, the fantastically disciplined hair and at least one Hispanic vote (George Lopez) in his pocket.

He's the gay Mitt Romney. Get the buttons printed up now, in a tasteful color.


 
 
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The condo where this writer has lived for the past few years is right on the beach in sunny Southern California. Most of the owners here don't live in their units. They keep them as vacation rentals, and July is high tourist season. As a consequence the author is currently surrounded by a lot of hard-vacationing strangers. There seems to be more of them this year than the last two. This uptick in the SBG (Sunburned Beer Gut) index probably bodes well for the economy, and living in the middle of a horde of people determined to have a good time every waking minute can be enlightening, when it's not gnawing at your last good nerve.

The day after Labor Day they'll all be gone, and the locals will have the sands to themselves again. The owners here try to rent their condos out all year, naturally, but the only time the place gets even a little bit full besides summer is Christmas and the dead of winter. Then it's mostly Midwesterners and Canadians, with the odd Eastern European here and there.

California is not really warm in the winter for the most part; it just doesn't snow here at the beach. If you want snow, you just have to drive to the mountains. You've seen pictures of the snow-capped mountains of Southern Cal. Have you ever seen pictures of snowcaps in Florida? Think about it. If you want really warm weather and have any sense, you go there.

The snowbirds never admit they've made a mistake, though. They just slather on SPF 50 and go lay at the pool when it's cloudy and 58 degrees. All they ever want to tell you is how cold it is where they're from. "Twenty below back home, eh?" Then they wait to for you to ask where back home is.

"Some godawful windswept frozen hellhole on the North American tundra like Calgary or Detroit?" this writer usually says politely.

"Oh, yeah, Calgary, yeah," they reply.

"Moosehead or Labatt's?" the author asks. He's lived here long enough to know what Canadians find controversial.

"Oh, Moosehead. Labatt's is for the Frenchies."

Then they go back to being quietly and politely drunk, as Canadians and Midwesterners so often do.

The Russians, the locals assume, all belong to the Russian mob, or else they couldn't afford to leave their own country, so they get left alone. But the winter crowd seldom overwhelms. These summer people are different animals. A great many of them are from Arizona, coming here to escape heat in the low 120's. The swelling of the Sun Belt population is not due to the great weather in any part of the Southwest except for coastal California. Arizona weather is not great. It's hot and windy in the summer, with occasional haboobs, and cold and windy in the winter. It just doesn't snow (much). The same for Vegas.

Utah has both miserably hot summers and snot-freezing winters, so we have Utahans? Utahbers? Utahbeings? here summer and winter. When the author was younger, the Catholics had big families. You saw a family with five kids, you asked what parish they belonged to. Now the Mormons have taken over the task of overpopulating the country. You see the five kids, ask them where they're from in Utah.

The kids all swamp the monstrous kidney-shaped pool in the center of the complex, (Why are pools always kidney-shaped? What's the matter with the other organs? You never see a prostate-shaped swimming pool) playing a game of Marco Polo that starts in June and ends on Labor Day. The author's unit overlooks the pool, so he occasionally joins in, shouting a random "Polo!" at the top of his lungs, or occasionally "You cheated! You looked!" (the second most-oft-repeated phrase of Marco Polo players). A game of Marco Polo has never been completed in the history of the sport. Many games seem endless, like golf or searching for extraterrestrials, but Marco Polo is deliberately designed to be infinite. Games usually break up over bitter charges and counter-charges of cheating after just a few minutes, only to begin again almost immediately.

The condos have a community grill, which is where the author usually runs into the parents. It's Dad that cooks outdoors. Mom has carefully prepared a variety of tasty, eye-pleasing side dishes, which she spreads on the community picnic tables. Meanwhile Dad swigs down a beer while incinerating the meat, sharing his political opinions and sports views (but not his beer) with anyone that cares to listen. If there are other tourists present, they promptly start giving each other advice about where to go and what to do here, with the ones that arrived on Saturday lording it over the greenhorns that showed up Sunday.

Strangers sharing misinformation. If there's a finer metaphor for human existence, the author wants to know it.

Arizonans can't grill. They have no practice at it. It's over a hundred every day from May to November—would you stand in front of hot coals or flaming propane? Still, they resist this writer's instructions. "You probably wouldn't put a chicken leg directly on the burner and turn  the gas up full in your kitchen," he tells his tourist companions. "What makes you think that's going to work out well here?"

In The Big Book of Male Rules, which, like many other books of rules, the author failed to completely finish, there must be one against criticizing another guy's skill at the grill, because the tourists always look somewhat angry as they ignore him. Admittedly, it might be this writer's instructional style. "Couldn't find a brush fire to throw that tri-tip in is what I figure," the author has been known to say heartily as he observes a roast being turned into an animal sacrifice. The more he criticizes them, the worse they grill, and eventually Dad serves up bits of meat that you could photograph and pass off as autopsy pictures from an airplane crash, and he and the kids gorge on Mom's salads.

This writer then removes his perfectly cooked meats to a plate, smirking at the tourist food. He's annoyed them, too. Mission accomplished.


 
 
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That headline in the Huffington Post caught my eye the other day. It concerned protests by topless women in Ukraine, leading me to think that this last oppressed minority group was finally going to gear up for its struggle for equality, that topless women everywhere were beginning to stir against the shackles of inequality, that they were ready to seize their day and march out of the shadows of repression and into the pellucid light of freedom.

Anyone who has bothered to try to understand topless women knows that they are different. Any topless woman will tell you that from earliest youth, they realized they were not like the girls who wanted to wear shirts. While other girls were dressing up their dolls, topless women were discarding the clothing of their playthings and looking for poles to twist their Barbies around. While other little girls played house, topless women played bar.

In school, there was bullying. And pinching and cupping, and sniggering, too. Name-calling became a daily feature of their existence. They heard their precious breasts derided as "melons," "knobs," and even "bazorkas" in phrases dropped from the mouths of thoughtless boys, males that yearned for them privately while scorning them publicly. Only at home, when their parents weren't looking, could they be themselves, borrowing mother's heels and perhaps a string of her pearls to hang tastefully in their décolletage as they modeled for the mirror.

As soon as they could escape, they headed for the cities, only to find themselves caged in the "topless ghetto" of clubs, bars and peep shows. Sure, they lashed out, but most turned their self-loathing inwards. Insanely high heels. Aggressive tattoos. Areolas stabbed by multiple piercings. They had their admirers, but it was a love that dared not speak its name, especially if their fans were talking to their wives, mothers, girlfriends or employers regarding questionable charges on their credit cards.

All along, their sense of injustice had been building. Had not all of female humanity once been topless? Doesn't toplessness still command respect in some places, most notably European beaches and occasional issues of National Geographic Magazine? Hadn't famous women of history, CleopatraNefertitiVenus de Milo, made valuable contributions to humanity's progress while topless? 

Once the dam of oppression had been breached, I foresaw a breathtaking expansion of rights for topless women. The right to marry topless, to be paid equally for doing the same work as the non-topless. We will have openly topless politicians, news announcers, celebrities. We will be startled by the famous women who "come out of the closet," by leaving their upper body coverings in there.

The military will accommodate itself to the new order, establishing a new policy of tolerance, perhaps summed up in the phrase "Don't ask, don' tell and don't stare." 

And now I read the actual Huff Po article and realize that the topless women are not fighting for the right to be topless. They are protesting perfectly ordinary injustices, such as the Ukrainian national legislature being entirely composed of yapping male blowhards, instead of being mostly composed of them as we have here in the US, and an influx of prostitutes expected for a major sports event in 2012. They do it topless because people pay attention to women without shirts.

Protesting sex workers by getting naked may make more sense in Ukraine than it does here, but who am I to talk about making sense? I've apparently misunderstood the whole issue.

I feel like a boob.


 
 
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Rick Perry, currently the governor of Texas, has heard a call for him to run for President of the United States.  Perry was only quoted as saying he was "getting more comfortable" with the idea of entering the Republican sweepstakes, but a spokesman for Perry was more than happy to elaborate.

"It's been a long two-and-a-half years since we had a President who was a governor of Texas, a global warming and evolution denier, a born-again evangelical Christian, anti-abortion and anti-gay, and we think it's obvious that the American people are crying out for a return to those days. Governor Perry, like our beloved former President George W. Bush, is a fanatical believer in the sanctity of human life who fervently supports the death penalty. He has shown the courage to execute a mentally handicapped man and a guy whose execution imperiled the rights of American citizens abroad. This is in accordance with the Governor's eyes-only memo on the death penalty, titled KILL THEM BEFORE THAT DAMN DNA SH*T EXONERATES THEM."

How would a Perry administration operate?

"We absolutely would be looking to the Dubya years to guide us. A war entered into on the murkiest of evidence, which we would drag out so that we could appeal to the American people not to change course in the middle of the conflict. Cutting taxes so that we have to borrow more money from the Chinese to pay for the war, naturally. Loosening regulation of the markets, so we could have an illusory boom economy based largely on fraud, then a devastating economic collapse. Then blaming the war, the economy and the deficit on the Governor's inevitable Democratic successor, dooming the hapless Dem to be a one-term President. Republicans everywhere have to realize that nominating Governor Perry is the only way to guarantee a return to the glory years of the second Bush Administration."

Obviously, Bush and Perry aren't exactly alike. How would the Perry campaign exploit and/or paper over their differences?

"Well, Governor Perry doesn't have a father who had a reasonably fruitful Presidency whose phone calls he can ignore when he's in the White House, but on the other hand George W. was never bold enough to suggest Texas secede from the Union or clear-sighted enough to call Social Security a disease, so we think it's about a wash. We in the Perry camp are excited about the opportunity to guide America back to the years of the zeroes."

Do you think Governor Perry will get another call, telling him to wait until 2016?

"Absolutely not. That's about as likely as Dick Cheney making an aerobics video."


 
 
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A man had owned a seaside bar in a harbor town for many years. Most of those years had been prosperous; his bar's deck was the widest and his beer was the coldest and his waitresses the most nubile of any bar in the town. Tourists and locals alike flocked to his club to drink and dance.

But just as the man was getting older and contemplating selling the seaside bar for his retirement, a national chain opened another seaside bar in the harbor town. Its deck was wide and its beer was cold and its waitresses just as nubile, plus they wore skimpier outfits and sold calendars that featured themselves in even skimpier bikinis. Soon all the tourists and locals were going to the new place to drink and dance, and the man found his cash register barren and the value of his joint dropping precipitously.

Faced with ruin, the man, for the first time in many years, prayed. He felt diffident and self-conscious even as he did so, knowing that he had spent his life selling liquor and eyeballing his nubile waitresses lustfully, and he was not sure any prayer he lofted heavenwards had any hope of being answered.

But moments after he had finished praying,  as he sat contemplating the glow of his strobe lights on the ice cubes in his drink, a smooth young black man appeared. "I'm a disc jockey," he said. "I heard your prayer."

"What?" exclaimed the man, thinking that whomever he thought he had been praying to, it had not been a disc jockey.

"Disc jockeys have great ears," the disc jockey said. "I will answer your prayer, but there are four things you must know about me. The first is I must be praised."

"Praised?" the man said.

"Everything I do must be praised. When I walk in, I must be complemented. My stylishness must be noted by all, at all times, especially by the nubile waitresses. No request may be made of me without being accompanied by an admiration."

The man thought this extremely odd, but the disc jockey had been an answer to prayer and besides, he hadn't even mentioned money, so he agreed to give the disc jockey a job. "What are the other three things?" he asked.

"That you'll find out in time," the disc jockey answered.

So the man gathered the nubile waitresses for a meeting. They were a bit taken aback by the new requirement. Some of them complained that the men they were dating were not going to like them being exceptionally effusive towards the disc jockey, but they had little choice. They were stuck working at the seaside bar, since any of them who had men who would let them wear the skimpier outfit and put themselves in the bikini calendar had already left for work at the chain place.

That very night, two frigates from the Australian Navy paid a port call to the harbor. The seaside place became very busy, as Australian sailors require many drinks the minute they set foot on land. And then, miraculously, one of the ships broke down. Top secret spare parts had to be shipped in from Australia, and that took ten days. Both ships stayed in harbor and gave their sailors generous liberty. The man was astounded and very, very busy. He barely had time to pay attention to the new disc jockey. Just once he commented on the fortuitousness of the ships appearing to his new employee.

"That is the second thing you must know about me," the disc jockey replied. "There was nothing lucky about those ships coming here. All good things occur because of me, so when something good happens, I get all the credit."

The man was not at first inclined to argue, but after a few days, the sailors started to run out of money and the place became slightly less busy. He noticed that the disc jockey was not working very hard. He had trained a monkey to play tracks for him, and only occasionally went up to scratch vinyl himself. The monkey's music choices were very erratic, ranging from Dr. Dre to Celine Dion to Nickelback. The customers did not know whether to dance, cry or start a mosh pit.

"That monkey is lousy at mixing," the man complained to the disc jockey, careful to direct his criticism not at the dj, but at the monkey. "He might as well try to type Shakespeare."

The disc jockey stubbed out his menthol cigarette on the NO SMOKING sign in the dj booth and dropped the butt into a half-empty champagne glass. The man noticed the bitter end of a joint in the glass as well. On a piece of mirror that he had obviously pried loose from the club's entranceway (the man had noticed one of his mirrors was missing from there) the disc jockey had laid out some serious rails of cocaine next to a tight-rolled Franklin. He flicked a few grains of the illegal stimulant away from one nostril with scientific precision before he replied.

"That is the third thing you must know about me," he said. "I work in mysterious ways."

The man was about to make a sarcastic reply, but he bit his lip, since things had gone so well for him since the appearance of the disc jockey. He decided to take a vacation, since he was flush with money, and deal with the situation when he got back. He left the disc jockey in charge of the club. When he returned, he discovered that the disc jockey had canceled all of his club's supplier's contracts and given them to his friends. One friend had a lettuce farm and had sold the seaside bar lettuce contaminated with salmonella. Hundreds of the bar's customers had been sickened and a dozen still lingered in the hospital. His liability far outstripped his insurance coverage, according to his lawyer, and the man was facing certain bankruptcy. Furious, he called for the disc jockey.

When confronted, the disc jockey remained calm. "That is the fourth thing you must know about me," he said. "When bad things happen, I cannot be held responsible. It is your fault, for not praising me sufficiently, or more likely not directing the nubile waitresses to praise me sufficiently, for I have detected a certain superficiality and possibly even sarcasm in their admirations. You have only yourself to blame."

Beside himself with rage, the man threw the disc jockey out onto the street, where several of the nubile waitresses' boyfriends, who were sick of their women being ordered to kiss his ass, were waiting for him. They beat him with their fists until he lay huddled on the pavement. When he recovered himself sufficiently he crawled away, never to be seen in the harbor town again.

The moral of the story is that there is only one individual who always gets praised, works in mysterious ways, gets credit for everything good that happens and never takes the blame for anything bad, and He's not about to give up His job to some damn disc jockey.


 
 
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I bought a handgun in 1980. It seemed like a cool thing to own at the time. I had just moved toCalifornia, and handguns were easy to buy there; you just had to pass the FBI check, wait fifteen days and pick up the gun. It was a Ruger .357 Magnum. 

Despite being a gun owner, I turned out not to be much of a gun enthusiast. I shot targets with it a few times, and watermelons a few more. The hollow point bullets the Ruger was capable of firing exploded the melons into many widely scattered juicy bits. I was told at the time that shooting melons replicated the effect of shooting a human head with the same type of bullet.  Shooting melons meant I could at least simulate the awesomeness of shooting a human head in case I was never lucky enough to shoot one in person.

My target-shooting buddy, the imparter of the above information, moved away a few months later. I never took the gun out of the suede bag I kept it in after that, except for a few occasions when I went fishing. Sometimes shooting a large hooked fish is recommended before bringing it on board, so the thrashing of the big fish as it asphyxiates doesn't injure the fisherman. I never shot a hooked fish, but I did put a bullet into a shark that was circling the boat once. It moved away, barely bleeding and certainly not seriously injured.

The lesson I learned is that sharks are made out of tougher stuff than watermelons.

The gun stayed in its bag in a few different closets through several changes of residence. It ended up in a closet in a condo I shared with my then-wife and our months-old son near San Diego.

My future ex was from Arizona. She was unfamiliar with earthquakes and her imagination had been inflamed by viewing crime dramas, so when a small quake shook my household in 1992 while I was away, she interpreted the shaking of the building not as a minor temblor, but as the vibrations caused by a gang of violent minority criminals stomping up the condo steps in unison with an eye to savaging her, our child and our home. She grabbed the gun and after opening the front door and closing her eyes, fired a single shot in the direction of the steps before realizing no one was there.

The lesson she learned is that earthquakes are even more bullet-resistant than sharks.

I decided that eventually my son would be able to walk, and to get into the closet where I kept the gun when my wife was not brandishing it to defend herself from seismic phenomena, and possibly could badly injure himself or somebody with it. My wife and I were also starting to experience the marital difficulties which eventually led us to becoming each other's exes, and she had already proven in my mind to be a tad trigger-happy under duress.

I got rid of the gun. I'm not saying that I would never own one again. I am happy, as a peaceful, if not always utterly law-abiding citizen, to be able to legally purchase a gun. If I wanted to take up hunting, lived in a rural area, or felt my personal safety required it, I would get another one. If I thought the world was heading for some cinematic, blood-drenched apocalypse and I would have to survive in a burnt barren landscape ruled by sadistic mutants wearing extensive makeup I would certainly stock up on guns and ammo. I would turn into Mel Gibson, not the Mel Gibson who drives drunk and accuses the cops who arrest him of being Jewish, but Mad Max, shredding mutant flesh with my newly-acquired arsenal.

Likewise if I walked streets so mean carrying a concealed gat was the only way I could protect the safety of myself, my loved ones or any attractive female strangers I ran across, I would be happy to carry that heater.

Even under those extreme circumstances, I would not feel the need to make bulk purchases of automatic rifles. Some people have been doing that in states where gun regulation is loosest and then running the guns into Mexico on behalf of its drug cartels. Uncle Sam would like to put a stop to that, especially since one of its agents was killed by such a gun. The feds just want to keep tabs on who may be up to that kind of mischief.

The National Rifle Association is opposed, naturally. If a person cannot purchase as many automatic rifles as he or she wishes at any time without being tracked by the feds, the NRA feels that the black helicopters and the socialist foot soldiers of the United Nations Army will immediately be emboldened to strike at the heart of American liberty. Only individual NRA members, heavily armed and hunkered-down in their cellars with their oversize ammunition clips and armor-penetrating bullets keep this nation free.

This is a fantasy, but fantasy plays a large part in gun ownership, notably on the part of gun owners that don't have an immediate use for guns, as opposed to gun owners who hunt or are security guards or in law enforcement. They fantasize that one day they will be able to draw their guns and strike down criminals with them, that their being armed will one day make them unstoppable soldiers of good in the fight against evil.

I used to think the same thing, but eventually I realized that if evil ever showed up, it would have to excuse me so I could go to the closet, zip open that suede bag and grab that Ruger before I could combat it. It wasn't likely to happen that way. You can wait a long time, possibly your whole life, before you get in a situation where you can legally protect yourself by shooting someone, no matter how fervently you may dream of doing it.

Even the fact that the vast majority of people who buy guns for protection aren't ever going to need to protect themselves with them doesn't account for the NRA's fanatical opposition to any form of gun regulation. Those people may support the NRA, but they already have their guns. The guns aren't going to wear out. They don't need to buy more guns. Guns are what are termed durable goods. If I hadn't sold my Ruger, it would still be in one of my closets, as mechanically perfect as it was in 1980. I wouldn't need to get a newer model. I'd just grab it and start pulling the trigger.

If I decided that selling it had been a mistake and I needed a gun tomorrow, I would buy one. That means I'd be buying guns at the rate of one every thirty-one years. That's not enough to support the gun industry, and that's who the NRA really exists to serve. But people who use their guns on other people need to replace their guns frequently, for reasons of legal prudence. If people who made and sold guns couldn't sell them indirectly to criminals, the market for guns would take a big hit.

The NRA knows that people who make bulk purchases of weapons are reselling them to American and Mexican criminals, people who can't legally buy guns themselves. The people who manufacture and distribute guns and ammo know the same thing. Drug wars in Mexico and drug dealers in the US keep their industry prosperous. They provide boom times, in more ways than one.

Maybe, you say. But these are American companies. They're part of our economy. People depend on them to live. But people also depend on not getting shot to live.  I wouldn't call that a toss-up. So, as a once and future gun-owner, I'm willing to let the government keep track of people who buy enough weapons in one purchase to outfit an infantry brigade. The NRA may try to convince me that the protection of the Second Amendment would be rendered as flimsy as a taco shop napkin if Uncle Sam has his way, but I'm not buying it.

We peaceful citizens would still be able to shoot as many earthquakes as we liked.


 
 
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Recently, a spokesman for Tim Pawlenty, a GOP presidential hopeful said of one of his competitors for the Republican presidential nod, Michelle Bachmann, "She has sex appeal."

Pawlenty's not getting this writer's vote for that reason if no other. We can't trust the governance of this nation to a man who wouldn't know sex appeal from a handful of dryer lint. Bachmann is not sexy, unless you like your women to be bony-faced, saucer-eyed loonies. If you question the loony part, here's a bag of Bachmann quotes. This writer's favorite is the one in which she suggests that since the singer Melissa Etheridge has been diagnosed with cancer, she should reconsider being a lesbian. Apparently the Congresswoman feels that homosexuality is like smoking cigarettes; a bad habit, tough to break for sure, but when you finally get cancer, it's only common sense to quit.

The rest of the Republican field is similarly unstimulating. Pawlenty's unsexy by default; Romney's a Mormon, a religion that requires its adherents to wear constricting, ugly and distinctly anti-libidinous underwear and Newt Gingrich wouldn't owe $500,000 for jewelry if he could seduce women by merely smoldering at them. This reporter can't even remember the names of the rest of the Republican wannabe Presidents offhand, except for Thaddeus McCotter. Nobody named Thaddeus who insists on using his full first name knows anything about oozing carnality and the too-numerous-to-be-named others don't strike anyone as very hunkalicious, either.

The only sexy Republicans are the ones who aren't running, namely Arnold Schwarzenegger, who can't run for President because he was born in Austria and just in case they changed that rule, decided to start a second secret family with his maid, and Sarah Palin, who has that looks-great-until-she-opens-her-mouth quality that many professional topless dancers possess, and is just as qualified to be Commander in Chief as any stripper in this country.

It's obvious Republicans have sex, and possibly they enjoy it, but they don't want anyone else to enjoy it, especially gays, unmarried mothers and atheists, and they certainly don't want their Presidential candidates to have even the faintest bedroom musk about them. No Republican that has become President in the memory of this writer has had any hint of blatant sexuality imbedded in his persona. This includes both Bushes, who have that preppie, neutered quality about them that characterizes Anglo bluebloods everywhere and Reagan, who despite being a former actor, always came off as more avuncular than irresistible.

Gerald Ford? Too clumsy. Nixon? It is to laugh. In the meantime, the Democrats were giving us Kennedy, who achieved the ultimate aim of every male of his generation not by merely being President but by having sex with Joe DiMaggio's ex, Lyndon Johnson, who made sure everyone knew about the monster in his BVD's, just like any other ugly man with a big penis who ever lived, and the serial philandering of Bill Clinton.

Obama may be a faithful husband, but at least he peels off his shirt to play hoops. Even Jimmy Carter admitted to lusting after women in his heart.

Going back to the Republicans of the history books doesn't add much boom-chicka-boom to the legend of the GOP, either. If Eisenhower was a bedroom marauder, he kept it secret. He kept D-Day secret too, so it's a possibility. Coolidge's sexual indifference provided the grist for the only funny thing he ever said. Teddy Roosevelt boxed and hunted big game. Can you say sublimation?

You have to go back to Lincoln. Saved the Union, freed the slaves, was one of the few men in history who actually looked good in a top hat and still has his face on the money and his own place in DC. The guy had it going on. There are some researchers who think he may have been gay or bisexual. Lincoln was known to have shared a bed with another man, but whether it was for sex or because neither one of them wanted to sleep on the floor, no one knows. If it was for sex, it's clear Michele Bachmann wouldn't want the Great Emancipator in the party.

Especially if he smoked a cigarette afterwards.


 
 
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Whether or not you believe in God, you have to admit that Darwin had a big couple weeks, what with Ryan Dunn cementing his claim to be the ultimate Jackass by killing himself off-roading at 130 miles an hour and a New York mandying of a head injury when he crashed his motorcycle while deliberately not wearing a helmet in order to protest compulsory helmet laws in New York.

Both of these events represent natural selection at its most vigorous, but if your faith in the Almighty remains unshaken by them, no doubt you've often wondered about the sex of God. Traditionally, at least in the tradition that most of us were raised in, God is depicted as male. Lately some revisionists, such as Ellen DeGeneres and the writer of this awful pop song have argued that God is a woman. It has become fashionable to think of the Almighty as female. It's de rigueur among feminists.

It is also nonsense. It's pretty obvious, from the haphazard nature of existence, that God is male. Whether you conceive of Him as bearded blaster, ever on the lookout for stuff to smite, or just a sweet lump of eternal cookie dough, radiating sugary love throughout the cosmos, there's no doubt He's a dude.

The evidence is all around us. The Universe began with a Big Bang. If God was a woman, She would not have begun creation with a process so easily satirized. She would have started with a glass of wine and some nice appetizers. Other astronomical features provide ample evidence that God is one of the guys. If God were a woman, the universe would be neater. Cosmic dust would be replaced by cosmic dusting. It would be smaller. It's tough to keep infinity clean.

Supernovae would not exist. Stars would not just explode in Her place, though it's easy to see a male Almighty setting off a few stellar explosions  just to impress His friends, especially if they were having a kegger in the garage. Likewise black holes. If She wanted matter to be sucked out of the Universe and disappear forever, She would just forbid you to talk about it. Ever. Did you hear Her when she said ever?

Geology provides further examples. If God were a woman, there would be no continental drift. The continents would stay exactly where She put them, or else there would be big trouble. The author remembers his own mother uttering these baleful words to his ten-year old self, every time she left the house: "Everything had better be right where I left it when I get back!" Would a lady Supreme Deity expect any less out of her Creation?

Tsunamis, earthquakes, mudslides, volcanoes—these are all further evidence of God's eternal masculinity. The place gets messed up because God is a guy. Natural disasters are just proof that He eats over the sink.

A female Deity would also keep a different kind of company. Abraham, Moses, Joseph Smith—the guys that God picks for his posse are obvious bros, men who wiped their hands on their robes and never cooked anything indoors in their lives. If God were a woman, She wouldn't have anything to do with a bunch of unkempt wanderers. She would have a gay best friend, someone with a sense of style and a kitchen to die for, someone a lot more like Neil Patrick Harris than Mohammed, and the GBF would be the one passing out the commandments.

And you'd better believe there'd be some editing there, girlfriend.