The Witzelsucht Memorandum
Before there were blogs, there was Wit Memo . . . the un-blog.

Week of mid-May '04 


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.


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 wrong?

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 Saleh, whom our military briefly appointed to head a reconstituted Iraqi force in Fallujah, turned out to look like a Saddam clone, the more appropriate Trek 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!)


Wit Memo was waiting to see if anyone would get the GAY MARRIAGE issue right, but nobody has, so here goes. 

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 against atheists.

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 by insurance.

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!
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