OK, so about that interview with Ross the other day. Despite the fact that some of you seem to have found it amusing, we don’t do that sort of thing for shits and giggles. When we ask a man if he prefers sushi or tacos, we mean business. That, friends, was a Coilhouse job interview. And he’s hired. Ladies and gentlemen, put your tentacles together for our newest guest blogger, Ross Rosenberg!*
Few subjects are as tiresome to discuss in a public forum as politics. It is an arena which I make a concerted effort to avoid whenever possible. Indeed, should I have the urge to debate matters of a political bent I do it alone, in the privacy of my own cave. So devoted am I to the idea that I have cultivated a rather well-conceived alter ego; a personage of conservative persuasion who I merely call Dermot. This personality, combined with the hand-puppet I fashioned in secret just for these occasions, provides the perfect foil for my decidedly liberal views and many times I have debated, long into the night after everyone has retired for the evening, in a dual toned, hushed and angry whisper, subjects ranging from stem-cell research, to corn subsidies, to what I should have for breakfast.
The reason for disclosing this tedious and potentially embarrassing information is to assure you, dear readers, that I do not dwell wistfully on this area of our society; that I do not haunt the same vicious corners of the internet as the detestable and frail “political junkie”; and that I certainly do not watch C-Span.
C-Span. A mighty and terrible word to be sure, one that washes over all who hear it, assaulting them, a shadowy wave of ennui, boredom, and despair. Those who are aware of its true nature are swiftly gripped by the Fear, its icy talons tearing deep into the pit of their stomachs. I have only watched scant minutes of it, quickly averting my eyes unwilling to be drawn wholesale into the maddening and deadly morass.
C-Span is a cruel joke, a weapon to make sure that no sane person chooses to enter into public service. It destroys families and lives. I once had a dear friend, a roommate of mine, who fell under its sinister grasp. He was a kind, fragile soul and unable to mount a proper defense against such a powerful foe. It was not long after that he became subject to long bouts of melancholy. One day I came home to him sitting on the couch. He was disheveled and half-dressed, in a deep stupor, cradling a 40 ounce bottle of Malt Liquor and watching footage from the Ways & Means Committee as they discussed the “Marine Corps 230th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Act”. Two days later he was dead by his own hand.
It was with extreme caution then that I watched this clip of Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FLA.) apparently responding to Republican concerns about H.R. 1913: Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009 which proposes “To provide Federal assistance to States, local jurisdictions, and Indian tribes to prosecute hate crimes, and for other purposes.” The flap seemed to concerned Section 249 which proposed, in part, the following amendment to Chapter 13 of title 18, United States Code:
‘(2) OFFENSES INVOLVING ACTUAL OR PERCEIVED RELIGION, NATIONAL ORIGIN, GENDER, SEXUAL ORIENTATION, GENDER IDENTITY, OR DISABILITY-
Concerns were raised by opponents that the term “Sexual Orientation” could be construed as any number of sexual peccadilloes ranging from pedophilia to necrophilia to zoophilia, making it a crime to lynch the man who you found mounting your poor, departed grandmother’s underage, departed cat on the spot. So, in order that there be absolutely no confusion on the matter an ammendment was submitted, in an effort to nail down what exactly was not meant by “Sexual Orientation” and whom you can still harass without any mandatory punishment.
What follows is easily the longest and, perhaps, dirtiest list read on the floor of the House since David Stern Crockett’s infamous filibuster “Objects I Have Inserted Into My Anus”. For some among us, the mere titillation of hearing the word “coprophilia” uttered by an elected official may be enough, but that would merely be infantile and in all honesty, it is a sad statement on the depths of the depravity to be found in our modern Congress. We can only look fondly back now on the days when William Jennings Bryan openly discussed paying a prostitute to fellate a donkey on the Senate floor or when Harry S. Truman would address the White House Press Corps in a diaper.
William Jennings Bryan, well known donkey show connoisseur.
The real star of this show is Hastings. No one could have been better cast for the role of reading this list. His delivery is spot on, combining the evangelical style of a Baptist minister with the crisp, concise enunciation that such a plethora of alveolar consonants requires. Yes, there are some trip-ups here and there — see the aforementioned coprophilia pronounced incorrectly as corophilia — but these can be forgiven. Overshadowing these mistakes is the lyrical quality he lends the proceedings. Note the forceful alveolar trill in frotteurism. This is not merely a vocal flourish but serves to mirror the vibrations a Japanese businessman experiences as he rubs up against an unsuspecting school girl on a busy subway car. His repetition of “toucherism”, at first glance a statement of incredulity, on further examination is clearly meant to lend the word itself a compulsory air. Truly Hastings is no mere congressman. At heart he is a poet, a bard bringing an artist’s touch to the banal and perfunctory.
It may seem like a shame that a man with such a lyrical soul as Alcee Hastings should be consigned to such a detestable prison as Capitol Hill; that his words should only be available to those willing to risk their minds and lives at the upper end of the basic cable bracket, but it seems clear that he sees this only as an opportunity; an opportunity to be a beacon of light among those who wallow in darkness and filth. Concluding his list he makes a final declaration; a statement that encompasses his position, his heart, his entire being. Setting his sights upon us he raises his voice like a fist, he raises it to the sun and defiantly he speaks aloud the words that rest, burning and impatient, upon all our lips.
“This is serious business!”
* Worry not, Ectomo fans – Ross will still be spewing forth his writings there, too!