Ya know, for some reason, when a strange old fucker tells me how much he likes tea-bagging, it always reminds me of similar conversations in The Castro...
I'd made the mistake of opening my mouth in an airport bar. I am, at times, a dumbass.
But, well, in all fairness, it's not often a "freedom-loving American businessman" gets a chance to discuss politics with a younger dude who thinks massive public debt designed to help select elite maintain a chokehold on a monstrously large government is a bad idea.
It was the piece I was reading at the time at the airport bar, a selection from Samuel (Dolgoff) Weiner's Ethics and American Unionism, that started it. Apparently lonely and looking for conversation, the guy'd asked me what I was reading. As soon as I said "...well, it's this essay written by this libertarian housepainter from New York...," the guy slithered up beside me, slurred a drink order to the server, a round on him.
For the record, there's no such thing as a free drink in this world...
He'd been at the so-called Tea Party protests in Chicago earlier in the year, a protest of what many on the Economic Far-Right associate with something akin to Socialism and financial nationalization...
... And yes, he even defined, for a young fella like myself, what he meant when he said libertarian: a libertarian, in this Age of Regression, refers to a fundamentalist born-again Christian, gay-hating, anti-reproductive-rights, flag-waving Patriot, the owner of a four-bedroom, three-bath home in the Columbus suburbs, owner of a chain of stores that sold Chinese-manufactured goods and provided minimal employee benefits, a downsizer of the Masses who was proud - PROUD - of the fact that he'd saved the economy (i.e. his own ass) by laying off about a dozen people...
Oh sure, buddy. And when the economy was lining your capitalist pockets, you jerked off to Reaganomics and Ayn Rand novels...
And, lord, the guy just wouldn't shut up about how much he loved tea-bagging, being a tea-bagger.
I didn't have the heart to explain that Samuel Dolgoff was actually a proud member of the Industrial Workers of the World, the man who coined one of my favorite phrases to describe the Bush/Obama bailouts (i.e. "State Corporate Welfarism"), a bona fide Wobbly revolutionary who loved freedom and his fellow workingman, an anarcho-syndicalist Jew from the Lower East Side of Manhattan.
And that guy, trust me, wouldn't have taken a free drink from a such a libertarian without an argument about how how Rush Limbaugh is supposedly right.
- MORE -
CINCINNATI (ZP) -- It was a clear case of mistaken identity. The woman thought I was someone else.
But, well, it's not often a middle-aged woman walks up behind me just outside of Paul Brown Stadium, grabs my ass, and bites my neck.
Well, not while sober, with nary a bar in sight, in the middle of a beautiful sunny day. I couldn't smell any booze on her breath but, well, hot chick in a low-cut blouse and whole lack-of-a-bra/ tid bit nipply there thing was sorta interfering with my perception.
"Oh, you're not Tommy's son, are you?"
"You're sure? You're not _______?"
"Do you play football at [a smaller Ohio university]? I'll bet you play football...?"
I guess the question-and-answer session was her way of coping with embarrassment. Went on for about five minutes before I rather awkwardly excused myself from the discussion.
Okay, so maybe the woman was on something other than booze. But, well, from the looks of her, and given her rather obvious fondness for small college football players, well...
Whoever Tommy's son is, he's one lucky bastard if that Desperate Housewife has her way.
- MORE -
RANDOM COLLEGE TOWN, Ind. (ZP) -- I'm a lousy educator. I'm usually the first to admit it.
But I guess I'm fairly decent at bluffing my way through situations where a real presenter or lecturer would feel more at ease.
It's a gift. Or a curse. Not sure which.
The free wine and pizza helped.
The gathering's hostwwwess stood up in front of her coffee table, tapped her glass, and introduced me as "one of Ohio's most controversial bloggers, a librarian and cultural critic..."
Jesus, everybody hates a critic, I thought, trying not to smirk.
I was invited, this time, not to talk about librarianship, or blogging, or, well, being critical.
Nope, I was here to talk about life, about social networking and privacy, about how nobody, in the 21st Century, really buys that ...And the Meek shall inherit the Earth shit of sermons and puritanical patriotism.
But yep, sometimes that all overlaps with the information sciences, blogging, and critical examination of the world's systems of power.
C'est la motherfucking vie.
"Well, thanks...um...that was a wonderful introduction. Let me start by thanking _____ for hosting this great party...
"...And I'll try not to bore you with, heh, batshit and rambling stories...
"...And who owns the content of our World Wide Web? This fucking company owns that site, owns that server... but who owns the Internet? The answer is simple - humanity... The Web is bigger than any company, andy government, any one group..."
I tried my damnedest not to ramble. Honest-to-God. But, well, wine... room full of college kids...
And yes, for some reason, there's a bunch of undergrads (mostly female) in the U.S. and Canada who think I'm some younger version of Noam Chomsky because of my political rantings as of late...
Though having the chance to say I'd rather not be compared to anybody but myself, in person during casual conversation over glasses of box wine, does wonders for the ol' ego...
The Literate, the Life Scholar, and the Free of Thought have no patience for inheritance, a relic of an increasingly transparent capitalistic world filled with product-driven media, church dogma, greed, systems of oppression and coercion, and political partisanship...
That was, well, the point I hope I conveyed in what ended up being a somewhat batshit, rambling discussion, full of questions and comments, head nods and darting eyes.
Lecturing's a lot tougher than blogging.
Especially when there's box wine involved.
- MORE -
OXFORD, Ohio (ZP) -- The Whammo Kid had me backed into a corner, two six-shooters aimed squarely at my chest.
I was a goner. I didn't even know my offense or crime. He made no demands whatsoever. His guns glistened in the sunlight.
And no one in Martin Luther King, Jr., Park offered any help. Nobody even gave my assault a second glance, in fact.
What a way to go...
The Kid's cowboy hat sat cocked to one side, his jeans dirty and shirt stained. A wicked grin cut a tight-lipped canyon in his otherwise smooth face.
"Gimme your money!" The Whammo Kid finally demanded.
"But... Kid... I don't have any money...that's why I'm going to the bank..."
Sweat was beginning to fill my own Stetson, the moisture soaking down into the brim beneath the summer sun.
"Why?" The gunslinger asked. "Gimme FIVE DOLLARS FOR ICE CREAM!"
I felt my assailant's eyes cutting through me like a thousand daggers.
"Kid, I don't have any," I said. "Is...is...eh...your mom or dad... somewhere?"
"NO! I AM A ROBBER!"
I was ready for the end. Having no money to give my preteen thief, nothing of value, I watched in horror as The Kid aimed his plastic water pistols, fired.
Squirt. Squirt Squirt.
It was all over in less than a second. Being nowhere near tall enough to get off a body shot, his two-foot frame had to settle for a crotch shot.
My pants were soaked.
And with his first victim a mere notch on his summertime belt, the Whammo Kid took off running, ran all the way to a blanket in the park. A young woman looked up from her book as the kid pointed my way, blushed, and mouthed a silent apology.
I laughed, waved as if it didn't matter, and kept walking towards the ATM.
Kid, be glad I don't have a Supersoaker handy.
Where I come from, we don't bushwhack another cowboy in front of the bank...
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