Random Shots: A Festival of Bad Taste

Against the Current, No. 71, November/December 1997

R.F. Kampfer

“TASTES JUST LIKE chicken.” –Mike Tyson

When the bubonic plague was ravaging Europe, one of the few places it didn’t strike was in the prisons. There were no rats to serve as a vector for the disease-bearing fleas–the prisoners having eaten them all.

Detroiters will be relieved to learn that secret FBI files about the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa (found by the Sunday Journal in a surplus filing cabinet–the files, that is, not Hoffa) do not confirm that rumor about the Kowalski Sausage factory.

Kentucky has warned people against eating squirrel brains, which may be infected with a variety of mad-cow disease. Fortunately Kampfer never encountered this local delicacy at the Fort Knox Armor School.

Death Styles of the Rich and Famous

PRINCESS DIANA SEEMS to have been much loved by everybody who didn’t know her.

The residents of Calcutta, where Mother Teresa lectured against birth control, would have been a lot better off with Margaret Sanger. (And hats off to Christopher Hitchens for his book, whose title all by itself makes it the finest work on the subject of Mother T.: The Missionary Position.)

If Mobutu had taken refuge in the Vatican embassy, they could have driven him out by playing Bob Dylan’s “Leopardskin Pillbox Hat.”

William Burroughs lived to be 83, which is better than most macro-biotic joggers will do.

The Moving Finger Writes

MADONNA WILL BE starring in a Broadway musical adaptation of “I,Claudius,” the 12-hour dysfunctional family epic by Masterpiece Theater. It will be retitled “Don’t Cry for Me, Messalina.”

In the appeals of the two Detroit cops who murdered Malice Green, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that Walter Budzyn deserves a new trial but Larry Nevers does not. If you can’t please everyone you might as well displease everyone.

Those who endorse spanking point out that corporal punishment is an effective way of disciplining dogs. This is true, but children are much more like cats.

Putting casinos on riverboats is a great convenience for despondent losers.

A Socialist Party of Norway brochure for the upcoming elections features a nude photo of eight of the candidates. It’s a rare politician that has nothing to hide.

The labor movement is much like the Army: Some unions break through enemy lines and seize new ground, while others set up comfortable bureaucracies in the rear and sell our ammunition on the black market.

Kultural Kommentary

ONE WOULD THINK that even Hollywood would know better than to refer to a Navy officer as “G.I. Jane.”

Alexandra Kollontai (a pioneering feminist and a leader of the Russian Revolution) was well known as an advocate of sexual freedom; but if she were as lecherous as portrayed in “A Chef in Love,” she would never have had time to go to Party meetings.

Q.E.D. has come out with a new board game called STASH. The goal is to smuggle 28 different kinds of drugs into Manhattan, and deal them in over 100 different neighborhoods, without being hit by addiction, the mob or Judge Maximus. 28?? Is someone dealing toad-skins?

ATC 71, November-December 1997