Random Shots: People and Other Animals

Against the Current, No. 88, September/ October 2000

R.F. Kampfer

PEOPLE FOR THE Ethical Treatment of Animals has taken out an ad urging college students to drink beer instead of milk, to avoid exploiting cows. Sounds like a good excuse to me.

What would those self-righteous Boy Scout leaders think of Troop 74’s version of the Scout Oath: “On my honor, I’ll do my best to help the Girl Scouts get undressed.”

When future historians refer to the Gay Nineties, they’ll have to specify the century.

The problem with Fair Trade is getting the cat and the mouse to agree on a definition of Fair.

We have achieved socialism in the field of disposable ballpoint pens. Nobody ever buys one, but there are always some available.


ONE POSSIBILITY FOR a reality-based TV show was suggested by a 1952 EC comic book story, “Wolf Bait” (Haunt of Fear #13). You have a horse-drawn sleigh chased across the Siberian steppe by a pack of hungry wolves. Every night the studio audience votes on who gets thrown off to save the others.

Woody Allan’s best line was when he said that Dissent and Commentary had merged to form a new magazine called Dysentery. [This is a ripoff. Radicals were using that line forty years ago –ed.]

In Balthus’ famous painting, “The Guitar Lesson,” the music teacher is clutching her pubescent student’s thigh with the same grip that she would use on the neck of a guitar. Can anyone tell what chord she is playing?

Multi-millionaire Walter Anderson has gone into partnership with Russia to privatize and expand the Mir space station. He also owns the Gold&Appel holding company in the British Virgin Islands. He is obviously modeling himself after Hagbard Celine, the anarcho-libertarian pirate of Robert Anton Wilson’s Illuminatus Trilogy. It’s getting harder to get beyond reality all the time.

Postmodern Culture

Mothers used to tell kids to wear clean underwear in case they got into an accident. Of course, by the time the car rolls over for the second time, you aren’t going to have clean underwear anyway. It would be more effective to say, “Wear clean underwear in case you get lucky.”

4711 kolnishwasser is still made according to a formula that was designed to repel the bubonic plague. It seems to have worked so far.

The fractious Reform Party convention bears an uncanny resemblance to the final SDS convention of 1969.

Hidden from History

DURING THE CIVIL War, the Confederate government had to pay $30 per month to rent a slave. A private in the Confederate Army got $11.

Sawney Beane and his family lived for decades in a cave near the Edinburgh road, killing and eating travellers. When they were finally captured and dismembered, his last muttered words were “What a waste of meat.”

ATC 88, September-October 2000