"I take orders from the Octoboss."

Gay marriage, Ralph Nader running again, Duck hunting with Dick and Anton, Janet Jackson’s booby, THE SURREAL LIFE season 2

I will be covering a number of topics this week, so if you don’t like one just skip to the next one. thanks.


Okay, I thought my last column would be the definitive word on the gay marriage debate, but for some reason they keep talking about this. Especially since Bush announced he wanted a constitutional amendment to put some limits on that pesky “equal protection” crap our forefathers accidentally left in there. This was treated as big, historic news, even though the asshole said the same thing in his state of the union address. which in my opinion is supposed to be a pretty major speech. But anyway let’s go over this again in more detail.

Let’s say you’ve been an unelected president for 3 years, and you’ve used lies, propaganda and false premises to start two losing wars that you admit will last for many years or even for generations. You’ve desecrated parts of the constitution and opened an internment camp in Cuba that is sure to come back to haunt you. You’ve gone from a surplus to the biggest deficit ever. You’ve lost a record number of jobs. And let’s say your poll numbers are plummeting and people are starting to notice that this “recovery” you keep talking about still hasn’t happened, and that you never found the weapons you claimed you knew for sure were in Iraq, and that your vice president and his war profiteering buddies are involved in a new scandal every fucking week and that the stories about you, like, showing up for your National Guard service may have been a little bit, uh, exaggerated, and that even republicans ridicule your inept attempts at a state of the union address and tv interview.

On a bad day like this, who do you call? Willie Horton, of course.

For my young readers and overseas types who don’t know the story about Willie Horton, he was a black convicted murderer in Massachusetts who was released on a furlough when he raped a white woman and stabbed her fiancee. In one of the most notorious cases of negative political advertising, the Bush Senior campaign used Willie Horton’s image to smear his democrat opponent Michael Dukakis as soft on crime, even though it was a republican before him who had started the furlough program. The basic gyst of the commercials was “Look at this scary black dude! Michael Dukakis wants him to rape your family and destroy the virgin innnocence and purity of the white race!”

People were of course offended by these sleazy and racist tactics. The Bush campaign distanced itself because none of the ads they made under their name actually mentioned Willie Horton, they just mentioned the soft on crime shit. The ones that did mention him were made by independent groups like “Americans For Bush” and “National Security Political Action Committee” and I mean, how are they supposed to control all these other groups? According to J.H. Hatfield’s biography Fortunate Son, “In a successful effort to provide his father with plausible denial, Junior had raised the necessary funds and assisted in establishing the various ‘sponsors’ and political action committees that financed the controversial ads.”

Well whether it was the scary black dude or something else, Bush won that election. And now Junior needs to do the same thing. Unfortunately, Willie was not available this time around. Nobody believes in the “super predator” anymore, and if they did they’d probaly put him on tour with 50 Cent. So what boogie man do they have to keep us cowering under the covers? Loving gay and lesbian couples. SPPOOOOOOOOKKKY.

That’s right, 18 year old voters. Bush = hates equal rights for gays, democrat = is against equal rights for gays, but does not openly hate equal rights. In other words, if you don’t vote for Bush, your friends might think you’re gay. Granted, a vote for Bush might be a vote to draft your bitch ass and send you off to one of his wars. But in the plus column, it also puts you on the non-fruity side of the more important metaphorical war, the Culture War. You know, that war that seems to flare up again every time a republican president is doing bad or a democrat president is not doing bad. Because the democrats may be against gay marriage and civil rights, but not nearly as much as Bush is. He’s willing to fuck with the actual Constitution! That’s crazy! He’s a crazy motherfucker! That’s why you love him! When you come back we might not be able to afford a real flag to cover your coffin, but at least it will be very clear that you enjoy sticking it in the pussy and not in the ass, unless it is a girl ass. There will be no question, if you enjoyed anal sex before the mortar attack, it was ONLY heterosexual anal sex, sometimes both loving and consensual, one would imagine. Because that’s what america and freedom are all about. The idea of a dick going in a non-female ass is troubling. Very troubling. It is an issue that needs clarity.

Okay, I’m calling bullshit on this. This is the year 2004, isn’t it? Let me… yeah, I just checked, it is 2004. Listen to me people. I’m not gay either. And I can understand your “trouble” and “confusion” I guess. For example I don’t agree with some of the hair dos that the lesbians have. I can admit that. But that doesn’t mean we need to go back into the Constitution and put an asterisk next to the part about equal rights. Are you really telling me with a straight face that if our forefathers had known equal rights for everyone meant everyone everyone, that they wouldn’t have put it in there?

Let me put it this way. I do not like Queer Eye For the Straight Guy. I think it’s a gay minstrel show. I don’t like Will and Grace. That wacky gay spaz drives me up a fuckin wall. I never read Rosie O’Donnell’s magazine. I don’t get Showtime or live in England so I’ve never seen Queer as Folk. I hate Joel Schumacher just as much as the next guy. I’ve never heard a Melissa Etheridge or Indigo Girl album. I don’t think that “YMCA” song is as cute and hilarious as everyone else does at their heterosexual weddings. And I doubt I’d want to hang out with Dick Cheney or Newt Gingrich’s daughters. Is Nathan Lane gay? I hate that fucker too.

But I think every one of these people deserves the right to be with the person they love. And if they spend their lives together, why the fuck should they not be given equal treatment in their taxes, in their hospital visitation, etc.? Go watch IF THESE WALLS COULD TALK PART 2, where an old lady has to watch sadly as an oblivious relative gives away the belongings she shared with her lifelong love. And tell me that isn’t the saddest shit you’ve ever seen. You can think it’s icky when two guys kiss, that’s fine, but to go out of your way to remove equality from the Constitution – that means you are definitely, without a doubt, a total fucking asswipe. (Scientifically. Sorry.)

There are alot of people out there these days, especially women, who try to be open minded about the gay guys. They LOVE to watch them decorate apartments on tv and make obviously scripted “gay” cracks like “I see straight people.” They like to see them give makeovers on talk shows. They love their gay hairdressers. And the drag queens! Oh, they’re so much fun. And so are the lesbians up there strumming guitars and hosting talk shows and wearing nice dresses on HBO shows and shit.

If you enjoy any of those things and you’re against the right to gay marriage, then you are also an asswipe. You are the guy from the A-Team in that movie “The Long Walk Home,” who loves having Whoopi Goldberg as a maid but thinks those coloreds have crossed the line with their bus boycott. You’re John Ashcroft making racist comments in front of his governor’s mansion staff of black convict servants. You want them to tap dance for you and play basketball and sing “A Wonderful World” but you don’t want them to get uppity and start wanting the same legal rights – er, I mean “special treatment” – that you have always had. Yeah, tell me the best way to shave and help me spruce up my apartment and speak armenian so I can propose to my girlfriend, that’s great. But you wanna propose to YOUR boyfriend? I don’t think so. This is America, faggot.

Come on, people. Think about what you’re doing. You’re trying to “defend marriage” by not allowing it. You think that gay people are promiscuous, so you won’t let them be in legally recognized monogamous relationships. You say the parts don’t fit, ignoring the fact that they seem to be doing a pretty good job making them fit. You say that marriage is about having children, but you’re not changing the constitution to say that people who are infertile or don’t want to have kids can’t get married. You say that nature doesn’t want them together, but you take medicine when nature wants you to die or pluck weeds when nature wants them to replace your chemically produced lawn. You say that the Bible is against it, but you still wear poly-cotton blends and cheat on your wife and send your son off to kill for his country even though thou shalt not.

How exactly are these people going to hurt YOUR marriage? When you see two women in love sharing equal protection under the law, does the twinkle go out of your wife’s eye? The magic just isn’t there anymore, is it, now that men are holding hands? Do you feel like, shit man, that ruins the whole point of why I got married, now that other loving couples share the same constitutionally guaranteed protection under the law.

What makes you think they are going to “ruin the institution of marriage”? You really think they won’t do at least as good a job as straight people at that shit? Maybe if you didn’t threaten to shut down their weddings they wouldn’t have to rush into it, like you did. Maybe they won’t cheat and divorce, like many of the people who signed the “Defense of Marriage Act” did. (Larry Flynt, where are you?) At the very least we know lesbians who hate each other won’t get married just because of a pregnancy.

(And by the way, before you use that “marriage is only about making babies” bullshit again, could I get you to swear on a Bible that you never want to get another blowjob?)

Now days many homophobes are willing to use the old “some of my best friends are gay” line. But for more people than they realize it is actually true. Like many americans, I have gay friends and relatives. So this shit is personal to me. I have managed to stay untouched by his wars so far. I don’t know alot of arabs so I don’t know anybody that’s disappeared. I still have income so far even if my insurance is fucked. If I was like alot of people, I might not have cared what he was doing to my community and my country and my world. But then he stood there at that podium and looked into my living room and said, “YOU! I’m going after YOUR family. I’m taking them out of the constitution. Also I’m against steroids. See ya.”

And the absurdity of the gay republicans was finally revealed even to themselves, forcing the Log Cabin Republicans to finally denounce Bush. Welcome to the club, guys. Wish you would’ve thought of that before you became republicans, though. Hey, stick around maybe you’ll get your own TV show like all the black republicans do when they find them.

If you are still against gay marriage though, no problem. Just find a church that doesn’t offer it. There are many available. Meanwhile, the rest of us non-asswipes won’t care who is allowed to have legal partnerships by our fair and constitutional government.




Okay, so Nader is running again and I understand why it makes people nervous. They think it might take votes away from the democratic nominee, and obviously we, as citizens of the world, need to do whatever it takes to have ANY FUCKING BODY who is not Bush in office as soon as possible. If you look at all the madness these fucks have accomplished in 3 years, you can only imagine the nightmare of 4 more years where they’re not worrying about re-election.

And honestly, one of the big reasons people voted for Nader in 2000 was to show symbolically that they didn’t see that much difference between the autobots and the decepticons. It seemed very legitimate at the time and it obviously has a basis in reality, but Bush has worked very hard over these last 3 years to show that in fact there is a BIG fucking difference.

So if I was allowed to vote I too would be swallowing my pride, cowering in the corner and voting for the lesser of two evils like a pussy.

BUT, that said, I am not against my man Ralph running. So here are a couple messages for the democrats, presented to you in a convenient numbered type format.

  1. People like me (but who are allowed to vote) are not democrats. If most democrats were like Jim McDermott or Dennis Kucinich, we would be proud to be democrats. Unfortunately there are alot more democrats like Tom Daschle, who was sent fucking anthrax in the mail and still won’t make sure the government, like, arrests the guy they think did it. Or like Joseph Lieberman and Zel Miller, republicans trapped in democrat’s ties who are still taken seriously as democrats even as they argue that democrats need to turn into republicans. We are not in the same party as those fucknuts. We just usually vote democrat by default, because obviously we’re not gonna vote for a fucking republican (are you insane?). But we’d rather have a viable third, fifth or seventh party in there that actually stands for what we believe in. And we’re not going to let Bush or anybody else scare us into giving up on that goal.
  2. Don’t worry, we’re gonna vote for the democrat. But we don’t have to fucking like it. John Kerry and John Edwards both have good things about them. I like that Kerry co-founded Vietnam Veterans Against the War, a very good group. I like a speech I read that he made back then. I like that he voted against the defense of marriage act (although now he seems to be going the other direction). But he, like Edwards, still sold us up the fucking river in these last couple years, voting for the Patriot Act and the Kill Everybody In Iraq resolution just because the political mood of the moment was COMPLETE AND UTTER INSANITY and it would be politically unpopular to, like, do what was obviously the right thing. How are we supposed to trust the democratic party when they don’t consider those to be important issues? I hope either one would do a pretty good job in office, but as senators they were not there for us when it counted. They fell for that line of bullshit that you had to agree with any horrible fucked up idiotic shit that Bush did otherwise you were being unpatriotic. War on terra, america, freedom, there is a crying eagle, never forget, boot up your ass, etc. None of us here in reality fell for that bullshit and we deserve leaders that don’t either.
  3. STOP FUCKING BLAMING NADER FOR 2000. The statistics don’t hold that up and neither does common sense. If I see one more person trying to use percentages to make a point about this I’m going to whack him on the head with the book that explains that we have an electoral type system here. If it was about percentage then there would be no question, Bush would be working at the country club where he belongs and not be president. Anyway if Gore had cared about doing the right thing for democracy in Florida, he would’ve said to recount all the counties, and coincidentally he would’ve won. Instead, he tried to play the ol’ partisan bullshit, he strategically chose the counties he wanted them to recount, and it was only by that failed strategy that he lost. So he fuckin blew it by getting greedy and then by stepping aside when they cheated. It was Gore, not Nader, who decided that “the best thing to do for the country” was to give up on democracy and let the republicans have it. Nader had nothing to do with that.
  4. Stop taking things so literally. Just because he has the right message doesn’t mean anybody’s gonna vote for him. His votes were insignificant last time. This time he’s running a less serious campaign, without the Green Party so he won’t be on as many ballots, with a much larger turnout of people wanting Bush out of office, with people taking their votes more seriously after 2000, and with an onslaught of the media, democrats and even genuine liberals attacking him constantly as a spoiler, an egomaniac and a loon.

If you democrats really traded in your values for “the most electable candidate” and the guy STILL has a problem against George Fucking Bush, by far the worst president in the memory of any living human being, then you’ve got a fuckin problem there pal and maybe it’s time to go Green anyway. Or at least curl up in the corner and cry like a baby.


Even if I wrote this column every day I’d never be able to keep up with all the madness of the Bush regime. But here’s one that I keep thinking about. Dick Cheney, whose refusal to release the documents about how his friends in the energy industry wrote his whole fucking energy policy is about to go to the Supreme Court, still thought it was okay to go shoot some ducks with supreme court justice Antonin Scalia.

Scalia’s defense of course is, “Dude, nobody ever told me I wasn’t supposed to hang out with people whose cases I’m about to oversee. When did they start this rule?”

I’m sure they will claim that it’s all real professional duck hunting business and they really aren’t very good friends at all and even if they were this Antonin is a real good judge and he would never let his friendship with the guy or the fact that he installed the fucking bastard into office affect the outcome of the case.

But still, I would think that Mr. Cheney, the consummate gentleman, would know better than that. He would know that even if it is not technically illegal, it is a good idea as a leader of our country to NOT CREATE THE IMPRESSION OF A BLATANT LACK OF FAIRNESS AND JUSTICE and of course MAKE SOME TINY LITTLE GESTURE TO RESTORE OUR NATION’S FAITH IN THE CREDIBILITY OF THE SUPREME COURT THAT HE HIMSELF DESTROYED IN 2000.

I mean come on people. We’re talking about Dick Cheney. A real class act.


Some people have asked me what I think about all this Janet Jackson business. Well, number one, Janet Jackson NEVER held a candle to her brother michael. Sure it was cool when she did that thing where she tipped over the chair, but I am not a fan of Janet or Ms. Jackson in the case that you are perhaps nasty. I am not a citizen of the rhythm nation. I was not impressed when she arranged a special about herself to declare herself an “icon.” (Michael’s special he made for himself was way better. He had Marlon Brando on a couch on the side of the stage. Awesome.)

So as a former pop icon struggling for attention, it was a brilliant move. Suddenly people are talking about Janet Jackson for some reason.

I didn’t see the thing because I don’t watch football. But what is the big fucking deal? Even babies suck on titties. This is nothing new. If people were offended by the symbolism of a kid who has made millions ripping off Michael Jackson turning around and ripping off Michael’s sister’s shirt, that would be one thing. But if all it is is a nipple they are scared of, I don’t get it. I’m not saying this was planned, but I think this is just another Willie Horton issue like gay marriage. The republicants want you to think HOLY GOD, THE TITTIES ARE COMING FOR ME. They don’t want you thinking about issues like “Oh shit, I have no job and my insurance money is so high that I can’t afford a flack jacket for my son in Iraq, and as far as I can tell my $270 tax refund check doesn’t really balance it out.” They want you to think about gay men throwing titties at your children.

We’re not retards, we’re starting to catch on that every fucking election season they start talking about THE CHILDREN, OH LORD THINK OF THE CHILDREN, how are we going to stop them from the evil men with the dirty, dirty movies and video games and prefabricated pop music with the pepsi tie-in? But bringing up a transparently phoney non–issue like this in THIS election season, with THIS war going on, is the biggest fucking baby maneuver imaginable. Attention all pundits and politicians: go to your room, you don’t get dessert. We’re enrolling you in special classes in the morning.


The season is already over so there’s almost no point in bringing it up, but I just want to say that that show THE SURREAL LIFE was even better in its second season than it was the first time. You might remember my fascination with the one last year where they were on the beach and Emmanuel Lewis heard a coyote and he ran to the tent and pulled out a huge machete. This year didn’t have anything quite that spectacular but what it had instead was alot more heart.

If you’re not familiar with it, what this is is a reality type program but instead of just getting some random assholes to live together and stab each other in the back, they get a weird combination of celebrities past their prime. They only stay in the house for about a week and they don’t really compete against each other, so there’s less sleaze, but it’s always entertaining because how often do you get to see the gal from 90210 chewing out Corey Feldman, or MC Hammer sharing a bunkbed with Webster?

The master stroke for this season was casting both Ron Jeremy and Tammy Faye Messner (formerly Baker). I’m sure it was supposed to cause tension, but the great thing is that the two of them became really good friends. I’m gonna have to finally rent that Eyes of Tammy Faye movie, because this show really made her out to be pretty cool. She’s like the nice old grandma you wish you had who accepts you for whoever you are. There was one episode where she had a book signing, and 2/3 of the people who showed up were drag queens or butch lesbians. And she loved them.

I’ve seen Ron Jeremy make fun of religion before, even getting impaled by a crucifix in his cameo as a sleazy priest in Toxic Avenger 4. But Tammy Faye was so nice you could tell he just loved her. Even in the last episode, where that crazy old witch lady Sally Jesse Raphael made a guest appearance and tried to shame Tammy Faye into turning on Ron, they stayed tight. Tammy said Ron was “the neatest man I’ve ever met” and Ron said, “If someone tried to take a Bible away from Tammy, I’d kill ’em.”

The rest of the cast was good too. Erik Estrada seemed like a really cool guy. I’d hang out with that dude. Last season Corey Feldman was the jackass, this year that role was split off into Vanilla Ice, Trishelle from the Real World and Brandi somebody from Baywatch. Vanilla would always blow up and he’d call Estrada “Hasselhoff” as an insult. I think that’s unfair because there is no other name to call a rapper that is worse than “Vanilla Ice.” You can’t go, “Shut up, Marky Mark” because even that is considered a step up, isn’t it? And the Baywatch gal was ridiculous – she refused to bathe at first because she didn’t like the color of the tub. But all of these people end up doing something nice or apologizing or something so they seem somewhat sympathetic by the end.

But the highlight was definitely Ron and Tammy Faye. It’s enough to make an old man kind of sort of mist up, in a way. It was like an Israeli and a Palestinian holding hands. I love that show. I don’t know how they can top it next year.

anyway that’s all, more on movies soon, I promise.


This entry was posted on Saturday, February 28th, 2004 at 6:58 am and is filed under Vern Tells It Like It Is. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

7 Responses to “Gay marriage, Ralph Nader running again, Duck hunting with Dick and Anton, Janet Jackson’s booby, THE SURREAL LIFE season 2”

  1. Seriously, finding some of these old political articles is really fucking brilliant. I hope your following has grown so people these days actually see this. If gotten into fights with anti-gay republicans and can’t make as much sense as this. They are so desperately scared that their marriages will end once other different people get married. But man, the blow job point is te end all.

    I find these when I’m clicking on old reviews and the previous or next one is a political one so I read that too.

  2. Crikey, what I wouldn’t give to have a President Kucinich right about now.

    I can’t even recount the amount of points of agreement our author of record shares with myself, but I see yet again that it is right to count him among my political allies.

    Odd, the separate career trajectories that have led to this intersection here on the interwebs.

  3. That was a good read. It did my heart good, and I legit lost it at “to show symbolically that they didn’t see that much difference between the Autobots and the Decepticons.” That is some writing. I’m envious of that level of sharpness. :-)

    And now it’s nearly 20 years later, and the right wing knows it’s lost the War on Gays, so they’re coming for the trans people. These are scary times. It must have been like that for gays 40 years ago, and it took a lot of activism and representation to turn it around. But it worked, and it’s OK to be gay now. Maybe in another 20 years the social climate will be even more tolerant and it’ll be safe to be trans. But it doesn’t feel like it right now, with half the world taking a hard turn to the right and the Culture War getting worse than ever.

  4. So glad you read that piece! I’d encourage you to go through more of his Tells It like it is pieces.

  5. I hope you’re right about people thinking Trans is acceptable. Just know we here already do.

  6. Oh man, I’m embarrassed and afraid to look at it, but thank you for reading my 20 year old rant. I’m glad if it aged well.

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