Random Shots: Politics, Religion and Mad Cows

Against the Current, No. 62, May/June 1996

R.F. Kampfer

C.S. FORESTER once wrote a line that seems to anticipate British Prime Minister John Major’s current dilemma: “Fancy being sunk by a cow!”

If you’re thinking of switching to a vegetarian diet, it really does make you feel much younger: It brings vivid flashbacks of when you were first living on your own and couldn’t afford to buy meat.

Our own correspondent Jane Slaughter recently wrote a mildly critical review of a local vegetarian restaurant for the Detroit Metro Times, which prompted one offended reader to denounce here as a “flesh-obsessed carnivore.” Evidently the reader has never been to one of Kampfer’s barbecues.

In Detroit the snow hasn’t melted yet but spring is really here. The radio is already running ads about the danger of skin cancer from sunburn.


THE PEOPLE’S GOSPEL claims that the biggest threats to Christianity are abortion, liquor and disco. Right, and John Travolta is the Antichrist.

The Democratic Party is urging its activists to use the term “religious extremists: in place of “Christian Coalition,” for a more negative spin. What was the matter with “goyim”?

Words of Wisdom

“CONSCIENCE IS THE little voice that says you might get caught.” –Robert Heinlein

In “Fiddler on the Roof,” when Lazar Wolf tells Tevye, “When I marry your daughter I’ll put something in your purse too,” he’s making an incredibly gross pun in Yiddish.

Ancient History

REMEMBER ALL THOSE posters you threw away last time you moved? A 1925 Lenin poster was recently auctioned off for $4400. Lest we far leftists get cocky, Mickey Mouse brought $20,000.

The war paint worn in “Braveheart” is an anachronism. While the Romans described the Scots’ Pictish ancestors as painting (actually tattooing) themselves blue, the custom had died out before the Norman invasion.

That barn-full-of-bodies scene in “Braveheart” was lifted directly from the church full of bodies sequence in Alejandro Jodorowsky’s cult classic “El Topo.”

Speaking of ancient history, remember George Bush? Curious that none of the Republican candidates seemed interested in getting his blessing.

Really Extreme

DR. JACK KEVORKIAN knew he had won his latest assisted-suicide trial when the jury marched in singing: “It’s my body and I’ll die if I want to.”

Les Miserables has been running for ten years now, inspiring rich people (as Forbidden Broadway observes) to spend $20 for a T-shirt with a starving orphan on it.

The Maoist International Movement (MIM) has charged the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) with using fake lick-and-stick Mao tattoos. (This would imply that they, or rather RCP leader-in-exile Bob Avakian, were capable of changing of their minds someday.) What would those Roman-era Pictish body tattooers say?

ATC 62, May-June 1996