Random Shots: The Sexual Is the Political

Against the Current, No. 67, March/April 1997

R.F. Kampfer

EVERY SAME-SEX COUPLE who get married in Hawaii should send Jesse Helms a wedding invitation, and hope for apoplexy.

Serious collectors will want the customized Barbies produced by In-jean-ious of Castro Street. Included are Trailer Trash Barbie (black roots, cigarette, baby), Hooker Barbie and Big Dyke Barbie. Drag Queen Ken is also available. Order yours now, before Mattel jumps on them.

Pope John Paul II has reaffirmed his advocacy of the rhythm method of birth control. The problem with Vatican Roulette isn’t that the odds are so bad, but that the stakes are horrendous.

Looking through anti-fascist propaganda of the Popular Front period, one is struck by how homophobic much of it is.

One new computer is so friendly, they had to discontinue the lap-top model.

Kampfer’s Konsumer Guide

WHEN SHOPPING FOR wine look for Laurel Glen Red, 1993 only, which has a picture of Lenin on the cork. Also, keep an eye out for Eugene Victor Debs ale.

The Chinese are having trouble with their locally made chewing gum, which is practically indestructible, won’t dissolve in acid or ammonia, and gives off toxic fumes when burned. Sounds like they ought to repackage it as plumber’s putty.

Snack-Time Cabbage Patch dolls have been swallowing their owners’ hair and fingers. That’s what happens when you let them watch “Child’s Play.”

Money-saving hint: If family members complain that the house is too cold, let them stand outside for a while. It will feel much warmer when they come back in.

Michael Collins’ Corner

SOME PEOPLE HAVE credited Michael Collins with inventing urban guerilla warfare, but James Connolly had already written a pamphlet on the subject that is still useful today.

Actually, Michael Collins was always willing to negotiate with the British — he just had to get their attention first.

Journeys Through History

LEADING BRITISH MEDICAL authorities are advocating a return to the traditional ancient practice of using maggots to treat infected wounds. They prevent gangrene by selectively consuming dead tissue. When the Chinese followed this practice with American POWs during the Korean War, it was denounced as an atrocity. Kampfer can remember when the drug stores in some neighborhoods sold leeches.

Even serious students of North African campaign (World War II) may not realize that Egypt was theoretically both independent and neutral…nobody paid attention at the time, either.

Russian-Chechen relations haven’t changed much Leo Tolstoy wrote about — and participated in — them.

Pre-Fordism: Even before the Civil War, Southern industrialists were complaining that it was counter-productive to have a work force that couldn’t but their products.

Parting Shots

THE LATEST FAD in Japan is buying worn-out American sneakers, the funkier the better. With prices ranging from $150 to $4000, our beloved editor over the years has thrown away a fortune.

From Exodus II: “And some of the Teamsters were sore afraid and cried, ‘Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt.'”

ATC 67, March-April 1997