Random Shots: Kampfer’s Summer of Love

Against the Current, No. 70, September/October 1997

R.F. Kampfer

WE COULD FORESEE all the high points of the “Ellen” series: the first kiss, the first date, a week later the first roommate, the missing turkey baster, climaxing for sweeps week when Ellen & partner have their baby.

If the truth were known, the anti-Ellen forces are only slightly less hostile toward hetero-sex than they are towards the gay varieties (see: Dan Quayle on Murphy Brown).

Gay marriage, free from traditional patriarchal traditions, may provide a more egalitarian pattern for hetero couples. Probably that’s why the reactionaries oppose it.

Kampfer’s History Channel

SINCE THE CATHOLIC church was solidly pro-fascist during the Spanish Civil War (except for the Basque priests), the Republican militia destroyed most of the churches in its territory. This was not the message Stalin wanted to project while trying to build alliances with the “western democracies.” One Comintern spokesman went so far as to claim that the Republic’s troops weren’t desecrating the churches–they were stripping away all the tacky plaster kitsch that had accumulated over the centuries, so the true beauty of the architecture could shine through.

Homer’s Odyssey, lately seen on TV, is the prototype for that most enduring form of masculine literature, the husband’s “why I was late getting home from work” yarn.

Northwest Airlines has sent a team to study the slave-deck replica at the African American History Museum in Detroit. They are looking into options for increasing the passenger capacity of their planes.

Quote of the month: “Remember the…what was that name again?” — Richard C. McLaren

Humanitarian Musings

WE REGRET TO announce that Nina K. broke her ankle on the playground, another case of exercise being its own punishment. Sympathy cards and cigars may be sent c/o this column.

Michigan governor John “pothole” Engler is letting the roads deteriorate so he’ll have an excuse to set up chain gangs, or another workfare program, or maybe both.

Thanks to global warning, malarial mosquitoes are moving further north. Sounds like a good reason to have a gin and tonic: Make sure it’s Schweppes, with real quinine.

The cigarette companies are claiming free speech, but billboards are the equivalent of full-volume boom-boxes.

What was Cinemax thinking of when they screened “Mommy Dearest” on Mothers’ Day?

If you want to put a vegan friend on the spot, just give them a Venus Fly-Trap, or other carnivorous plant.

Frank Herbert’s “Dune” novels describe a desert world where the central issue in life is getting enough drinking water, and it is perfectly natural to kill for a full canteen. Makes you wonder how different our society might be if a good-paying job were as easy to get as a glass of water.

Parting Thoughts

SOME THINGS WE enjoy fantasizing about are better imagined than experienced. Like the all-you-can-eat ribs at Memphis Smoke.

Research is the art of collecting facts that support the conclusions you’ve already reached.

By age 30 if not sooner, most men have decided what they like in the way of shoes and clothing. “Shopping” consists of finding an exact replacement for whatever wears out. Advertising is totally wasted on this group.

Don’t feel sorry for those paratroopers who had their jump-wings pinned to their chests. Marines, like lobsters, have too rudimentary a nervous system to register pain.

ATC 70, September-October 1997