Once again we could not understand the letters we received, so we again had editor J. Dan Whacho write a couple, and they were no better again.
Who am I, anyway? Who the hell am I?
A question, strangely disturbing, that can just sort of materialize at the oddest of times. There I am, strolling the streets of Belltown in the wee hours ... or lying in the park under a summer sun, slumber just setting in ... or absently observing the revels at the Green Lake wading pool. And suddenly I am asked to present my identification.
And on those occasions when I am handed back my driver's license and allowed to return to the challenging business of living my life, I sometimes look down at that license and think: crazy, man. This thing doesn't "identify" me. Not at all. It says nothing about the life-lessons and wisdom I have acquired in my years; nothing about my ideas and accomplishments. For example: a driver's license cannot tell the story of my tattoo. What is that design? When was it done? My license says nothing. Was it somebody's idea of a practical joke? Was I even sober? Still nothing. I don't even know why I carry the fucking thing.
Eventually it dawned on me that if you don't know who you are, help might be had from whatever oppressed group you belong to. You can just go to their symposiums and workshops and town meetings and really learn more.
You know, there was a time in this country that some people were denied the right to belong to an oppressed group. Not entitled, they were told. Not their place. We've come so far since then.
Racial groups are oppressed, as we all know too well. So that's an obvious choice. But I am too light-skinned to be racial. I was born that way. No, I am not "proud" of it ... but neither will I apologize.
During the Middle Ages, European society was deeply divided along religious lines, resulting in discrimination. The Middle Ages lasted over a thousand years, of course, so I figured it would be a freakin' breeze for today's society to spend at the most two days discriminating against me because of my religious views.
But wouldn't you know? I HATE religious views and those who have them, and I even HATE them with muttered comments and stares when opportunity allows. (Oh, so you think maybe I belong to a HATE group? WRONG. I am usually alone when I do it.) So try though they might, society will be unable to discriminate against me because of my religious views.
At this point I decided that whatever oppressed group I belonged to, I wasn't going to tell anyone. It's not that I'm against oppressedness. Not at all. It's just the consequences. Oh, of course I would be offended by comments and stares when appropriate, and feel rage. But that's the good stuff. Actually being denied job opportunities because of oppression? That makes no sense in today's economy. I can do better.
A modern innovation in discrimination is what you want to put your penis in. I know it sounds complicated, but it works. Homosexuals would like to put their penises in male holes. Heterosexuals in the holes of women, against their will. Bisexuals don't care as long as it is a pleasurable hole.
That's just for starters. I bought a Random House Guide to Paraphilias and found a freakin' mother lode of opportunities for penis-placement discrimination. Everything from A (absurdophilia) to Z (Zulumania) and in between, including several spelled using Indo-Asian alphabets because they cannot be described in English. If you are one of the recognized types, you can put your penis in a Carmelite nun, mom's glove, or meat; a horse, a corpse, a yard of garden hose. Boy! That's called pedophilia. Even says here that some men have their penises surgically removed ... so they end up with nothing to put in the hole of their choosing. Jeez. I mean, good luck with that, guys.
I paid a visit to celebrated local authority Dr. Hiram Flesch. I patiently recounted all the places I had put my penis over the years. After an hour or so he finally interrupted me with a chuckle. "I could see it in your eyes when we first met. J. Dan, you are a masturbator."
Oh! Anyway, the point of all this is that the first ever Masturbator-American Symposium meets this coming Saturday evening in the main ballroom of the Seattle Athletic Club. See you there.
J. Dan Whacho
Quick, which is more important: sound fiscal policy and the stabilization of the domestic monetary supply, or pleasure? Well, with the fall of Communism and the breakdown of international trade barriers, it has never been so clear that the question interferes with my pleasure.
This relates to the kerfuffle over the the latest hijinks of Seattle's homeless. You've read about it: they gain entry into a viable but unused building and establish an abode there until such time (and it's only a matter of time) as it becomes uninhabitable, at which point they move on. This advances homeless interests because, you know, one less home.
And you've also probably noticed that certain self-styled sages and scribes have held forth on the matter in fits of high dander. For example: isn't it more appropriate for the homeless to ply their craft in urban play parks, instead of homes? Is this the most cost-effective use for the homeless? What if the owner of the property is himself homeless? Can he live there too?
Sheesh. And two weeks ago I thought that it was time for cooler heads to prevail. Totally cooler. So I wrote in this space that of course the homeless have every right to seize and enjoy unused property that they happen to find in Seattle's open, urban spaces ... if that is what gives them pleasure.
Because isn't that what America is all about? From the Pilgrim fathers to the immigrants of the 20's, people have come here at great cost and hardship seeking a more pleasurable land. A place to pursue your dreams and improve your lot in life, if you like that. We welcome many lifestyles into the community. It is a founding principle of our nation. In fact, if you look I believe you will find it in the Constitution someday.
Well, the homeless have always been an important part of our readership, and they gave a lot of consideration to my editorial -- you could even say they seized and enjoyed it -- and then oh fuck. We came in Friday to find that a tribe of homeless had seized the Whimper offices ... which had been unoccupied the night before.
Raised a lot of philosophical questions. Do they have the right to do this? Was my seized Gameboy in fact "property"? It wasn't mine, after all. And there was the very serious question of whether or not we had the right to publish a local adult-content weekly for teens in someone's home.
Seattle's homeless have their headquarters on the 40th floor of the Bothwell Building in downtown Seattle, in a well-appointed suite of offices they've been seizing and occupying since 1974. I went down there Saturday last, to see if it wasn't too late to change my mind about the idea of property, perhaps in a forthcoming editorial should they allow it.
I knocked and knocked. Hmm. No one home.
Oh yeah. Duh.
I took the rest of the day off (something we working people do from time to time). And bright and early the next morning I "seized" that old #10 bus and rode it to the Whimper offices and occupied an office chair as soon as one became uninhabited.
And I realized something: I had never actually looked at the homeless before ... wow. Really made me think. The homeless, man. They deserve more. Maybe someday when we are no longer so busy building BOMBS then we can come up with the money to pay for the psychiatric help that these people need.
And then I looked at them. Interesting. Half-naked, cooking on the floor, using pretty much anything for toilet paper: no wonder this is popular.
And then, looking away, glancing at the layout table, I noticed that homeless man Carlos had completely proofread and edited the upcoming issue, tightening up the text and making extensive corrections.
Hmm, I said to myself as I corrected them, fixed some of my corrections, and eventually lost track. These homeless people are really industrious. Bet I'd get a lot done, too, if I didn't have an apartment to keep immaculate. I think I'm gonna try this homeless gig. Get something accomplished for a change. Start slow, maybe a couple hours a day.
And that's the story of how I managed to write this letter!
J. Dna hccaow
You are so stuppid you can'nt even spell youre name! Ha ha ha!