Week of mid-May '04
The Witzelsucht Memorandum
Before there were blogs, there was Wit
Memo . . . the un-blog.
I. THE AMERICAN MALE:
RETURNED FOR INSUFFICIENT POSTAGE
FROM the sheer number and variety of advertisements for Viagra,
generic Viagra, Levitra, Cialis, Enzyte and
other "male enhancement" drugs and supplements clogging the airwaves
and our e-mail in boxes, one thing is clear:
We are a nation of sorry excuses for men.
II. SHODDEN FREUD
ASIDE FROM finding a twenty dollar bill in an old coat pocket,
is anything more sweet than seeing an arrogant know-it-all come up flat
Not if you're like Wit Memo. Not
if you're one of those of us who's never completely sure about anything.
You wonder how you can wax wise on weighty issues when your keys might
be missing, the stove could still be on, and you can never remember the
right way to use the subjunctive tense. (I wish I was able to get that
right once in a while). And when you do stake out a position on politics
or world affairs, you're still not sure and you hedge and qualify it into
convictionless, inconclusive mush. The road not taken is always the
one you fear you should be on.
Most of all, you're deeply suspicious of the other folks,
the ones who are never troubled by any doubts whatsoever, the strutting,
cocksure, know-it-alls, who always know, and know with such
certainty that there's no point trying to tell them otherwise, thank you
very much. It's gratifying when one of that ilk finally gets a taste
of the humble crow pie you've dined on so often that it's become almost
comfort food, like those disco hits you hated so much in the 70s that now
sound pretty good.
And thus the greatest satisfaction that Wit
Memo can glean from the depressing situation in Iraq - aside
from knowing that the Iraqi people can finally express themselves and that
Saddam Hussein won't be crashing planes into skyscrapers any time soon
- is the perverse, palm-rubbing glee of seeing such a comeuppance bestowed
upon the Smart Boys who got us into this fix. Regardless of whether
you were for or against this war, it's apparent that things haven't worked
out quite like they said.
You know who they are: They're the best and the rightest, the
high-IQ morons with the think-tank theories and no combat experience, who
were so confident in their ability to manipulate history, and so genuinely
sure of their beliefs, that they could brush aside any contrary evidence
as erroneous. Home on the range is where never is heard a discouraging
word. They're the ones who just knew that this elective war - were
it surgery, it would not be covered by insurance - would not only topple Saddam
Hussein (we can at least give 'em credit for that), but would radically
revolutionize the Middle East like the Genesis Device from "Star
Trek II, The Wrath of Khan," which when detonated quickly transformed
a barren, forbidding planet into a lush, self-sustaining paradise. An easy
blitzkrieg, and then sit back and watch peace, prosperity and democracy
spread throughout the Arab world . . . and the whole shebang will pay for
itself! (Last week, when veteran Iraqi Maj. Gen. Jassim Mohammed
our military briefly appointed to head a reconstituted Iraqi force in Fallujah,
turned out to look like a Saddam clone, the more appropriate
analogy seemed to be "The Trouble With Tribbles.") You know
who they are, there's no point naming names. If we were the kind
of un-blog that named names we would but we're not so we won't.
Twenty-five years ago Wit Memo sat
in silence at a dinner table in Palo Alto, California listening to a verbose
devotee of international hatreds assure all present that the Russians
would very soon deploy "particle beam weapons" in space, upon which they'd
pretty much rule the world. That never happened, we never had the chance
to point that out to him, and we're not about to let the current opportunity
pass without making the most of it.
So let's leave aside the right and the wrong, and the political argle-bargle,
and hoist a waterglass of Virginia Gentleman to the sweet sight
of an unparalleled collection of swell-heads finally getting a lesson that
the rest of us have long endured: ya ain't nearly so smart
as ya thought ya was.
Next time: why we REALLY went to war in Iraq (hint: it
wasn't for oil!)
III. YOU HAVE THE RIGHT
TO REMAIN SILENT
Wit Memo was waiting to see if anyone
would get the GAY MARRIAGE issue right, but nobody has, so here
We mean that nobody's yet noted the real point of marriage,
or grasped the true effect of the ban on same-sex marriage, namely, discrimination
First, let's knock off pretending that marriage is some kind of "institution"
that will surely be "destroyed" if couples with the same kind of Family
Apparatus are permitted to jump the broomstick . . . and while we're at
it, let's quickly acknowledge and just as quickly forget the well-worn
humorous rejoinders about mental institutions and the ample proof
furnished by sky-high divorce rates and Brittany that straight people
are doing a wonderful job of destroying the institution of marriage all
by themselves without any help from gay people, thank you. Fact is,
gay people couldn't possibly destroy the institution of marriage even if
it was on their agenda, given that they constitute something like
only three or four percent of the population. In this regard, those
sounding alarm bells come off a bit like South Park's ERIC CARTMAN,
for whom the pleasure of owning the latest cool toy (like a Dawson's Creek
Trapper Keeper) is utterly ruined if any of his friends have one also.
The opponents of gay marriage are just as silly as some gay wedding ceremonies
and receptions promise to be.
Next up, why marriage? Folks against hitched homos claim the purpose
of marriage is procreation, period. It's all about propagation of
the species, and if some marrieds are infertile or don't want children,
that's just an unintended side effect worth tolerating.
Proponents of single-sex weddings argue that marriage means the recognition
of loving relationships and the benefits bestowed thereon, like the ability
to inherit property and visit spouses in the hospital. That's almost
right, but ultimately, both sides have missed the mark about the REAL
point of marriage:
Marriage means having someone to talk to who can't be forced to testify
against you in court.
It means have someone - friend, lover, life partner - with whom you
can safely share your humiliations, dark past, dashed hopes, crazy ideas,
possibly illegal schemes, dangerous obsessions and cockamamie conspiracy
theories. Marriage means having a sanctum for your innermost
thoughts and despicable deeds that not even JOHN ASHCROFT can penetrate.
But if you're not married, you're just shackjobs who can't confide in
each other. Then who else can you turn to?
Doctors? Forget it. They're only protected with respect
to communications made during the course of treatment, and, anyway, in
this day of rationed care and HMOs, just try getting to see a sawbones
when you need to discuss a thorny dilemma pronto. And
even if you do, don't be surprised when your dirty laundry ends up aired
in court anyway. Remember the Menendez trial? "They had the shrink
up there on the stand!" -J. Soprano.
Lawyers? Are you Bill Gates? Good luck, pal . . . their
fees make docs look like migrant grape pickers, and aren't even covered
That leaves clergymen. The Ministers, Reverends, Rabbis, Imans
and Priests who are protected under law, usually don't charge, and, when
they're not busy entering a bar together, or sharing a doomed airplane
that's short one parachute, seem to take the privilege somewhat seriously,
like the old tale of the Priest who hears the confession of a man who's
just poisoned the communion wine. Does he tell? No, but he
finds a way to knock over the ceremonial carafe.
So unless you're a sheep in some Pastor's flock - or until the courts
recognize a bartender/drinker privilege - there's no alternative to a trip
down the aisle if you don't wanna keep your secrets bottled up. And
for now, that leaves out in the silent cold any gay people not willing
to pretend they believe that the universe is run by an old man with a long
white beard sitting on a throne in the sky.
The ineluctable conclusion? Barring gays from tying the knot is
discrimination, discrimination on the basis of religious belief, or on
the lack of religious belief, and that's just plain un-American.
If you were looking for a reason to support gay marriage, by all means,
let this be it.
Nothing would make Wit Memo happier.
Coming soon: a local beer tragedy . . . the scary
side of the cicada invasion that no one's talking about . . . why we really
went to war in Iraq (hint: it wasn't about the oil) . . . the REALLY frightening
thing about Justice Scalia, and, tax the Internet now!