Wednesday, June 30, 2010

ADDSMD: A Breakthrough Discovery in Psychiatry

According to the American Psychiatric Association, a new mental disorder has been discovered that is proving to be the greatest breakthrough in psychiatry in decades. According to Dr. Ima Schrinquac, "ADDSMD is a recently discovered disorder, added in the latest update of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)" She went on to explain the ADDSMD stands for "Artificial Disorder Designed to Sell More Drugs".

Dr. Schrinquac tells us that "Recently a Toronto professor, Edward Shorter, claimed that in DMS-V, American psychiatry was 'defining ever-widening circles of the population as mentally ill with vague and undifferentiated diagnoses and treating them with powerful drugs'. We realized that he was pointing out the direction psychiatry needs to go, and so we decided to do an early revision of DSM. And in DSM-V1/2, we dropped several disorders and added the important discovery, ADDSMD."

The discovery of ADDSMD is itself an interesting story. As Dr. Schrinquac put it: "We had a plethora of disorders listed in DSM-V--ODD, ADD, ADHD, OCD, and on and on. As you can imagine, a long list like this can be very cumbersome to work with, so we began to examine whether some of these disorders might share a common trait of enough significance that we could combine them into a single disorder. And, in an example of one of the greatest recent victories in psychiatric and medical science, we discovered such a trait. Many of these disorders were invented when we discovered that there were drugs available from pharmaceutical companies that might be able to suppress a particular behavior, feeling or thought that could be considered undesirable. So there were three simple symptoms that most disorders shared: 1) the undesirability of the behavior, feeling or thought, whether to the individual experiencing them, to those surrounding her or him or to society as a whole; 2) the existence of a legal, prescription drug that could be used to treat the behavior, feeling or symptom, and 3) our decision to call it a disorder. We have thus been able to drop a number of listings from the manual, making DMS-V1/2 the most compact version of the manual ever. ADD, ADHD, ODD, OCD, and numerous other disorders are no longer listed, because we have realized that they are merely variations of ADDSMD. We hope to make DMS-VI even more compact as we examine whether perhaps some of those who have been diagnosed with mild depression and certain forms of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder might not also actually be suffering from ADDSMD."

Dr. Schrinquac also explained that ADDSMD has made it possible to recognize a number of symptoms that psychiatrists had not previously noticed. "If a pharmaceutical company has developed a drug that can affect a behavior, feeling or thought, then that behavior feeling or thought is most likely a mental disorder that needs to be treated. Why else would a legitimate drug developed by these fine corporations affect it?" But Schrinquac warns against assuming that every behavior, feeling or thought that can be affected by any drug is a mental disease. "For example," she says, "the acceptance of consensus reality can be changed through the use of such drugs as LSD, mescaline or psilocybin. But these are illegal drugs. I would say the use of these drugs is itself a mental disorder. A mental disorder is a behavior, feeling or thought that can be affected by a legitimate drug, manufactured by a pharmaceutical company and approved by the FDA."

Dr. Schrinquac then explained some of the other benefits of this discovery: "I think a lot of us have realized that we live in a deeply diseased nation and world, but we haven't known the nature of that disease. Now we know. Undrugged behavior, feelings and thoughts are most likely diseased. At present, we don't have drugs for dealing with every behavior, feeling or thought. But the discovery of ADDSMD has allowed us to recognize that there is not a single person who doesn't display some symptom that can be treated with drugs. With continued research and experimentation--for which we require government funding--we should be able to find a reason to put every single American on psychiatric drugs. And Obama's health plan should allow every one of these Americans to get the drugs they need. This is the road to mental health in this country. When every American is on psychiatric drugs, we will be free of all undesirable and nonconforming behavior, feelings and thoughts. And that is mental health. In addition, by keeping the pharmaceutical companies strong, this may also be a major step on the road back to economic health. By exposing the universal reality of mental illness, the discovery of ADDSMD has proven to be a blessing in disguise. We are in fact on the path to the full acceptance and enjoyment of mediocrity and conformity. And that is the path to a healthy society."

Fine, optimistic words from a fine example of her profession. Thank you, Dr. Schrinquac.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Menopause: A Patriarchal Invention?

The Patriarchy is HOTDuring the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology conference in Rome last week, Iranian scientists announced they have developed a way of using a simple blood test to accurately predict when women will reach menopause. "The results ... could enable us to make a more realistic assessment of women's reproductive status many years before they reach menopause," said Ramezani Tehrani of the Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences in Tehran, who led the study. "It will be important to let patients know that fertility will have declined greatly in the years preceding the final ovulation", Dagan Wells of the Nuffield Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Oxford University.

Today, in a vehement response, the World of the True Feminarchy (WTF) denounced the study and its findings. "The Worldwide Boys Club, what we prefer to call, 'The Patriarchy,' is merely continuing its long-standing ruse. Its real and heretofore elusive goal, is full control over women's sexuality. We know what men REALLY want, and this is certainly not just about determining how late in life Womyn can reproduce. We believe its more about fixing what THEY screwed up decades ago when they invented “MENoPAUSE”!

WTF spokesperson and Radically Elementary Feminist, Cherry Muntlee, said this new study is just the latest in a long "HIStory of men's MANipulation of Womyn's bodies for their own pleasure". When asked what evidence WTF had to support these controversial claims, Muntlee sneered, “Of course, we can never have 'definitive proof'. First, because men continue to keep so much hidden from us and second, because logICK and RATionality are MALe tools used to control us; we refuse to abide by them. Womyns Way of Knowing and Gyn/Ecology has served us so well over the eons, we are now applying these Natural sKILLs to understand the studies, drugs, and surgeries men use against us. Our findings indicate Western ScIeNtists – Grand Patriarchs all – have been intentionally altering Womyn's hormones for geneRATions in order to make us more accessible to the MALe. It's pure lust.”

When asked what "The Patriarchy" had "screwed up", Muntlee launched into a long (and barely comprehensible) explanation of the "Full-osophies" of the WTF regarding Be-ing In-Progress, Phallic Morality, and Sister Outsiders, before finally getting to the crux of the issue regarding menopause. “In the mid-19th century, men torn between the imperative to follow church rules regarding chasTITY and their own LUSTfull desire for the naked Femyle body, turned to ScIeNce for solutions. When a young lab assistant to biophysicist, Herr Doktor Himleer, discovered a way to alter Womyn's temperature, this DIChotomy seemed surMOUNTable. Young Master B. Attour found that changes in the estrogen/progesterone/testosterone balance could raise skin temperatures as much as six degrees Centigrade. This sudden and violent change caused Femyle lab rats to nearly claw away their skin trying to cool off. Thus was born the inspiration for the Patriarchal culture's so-called HOT FLASHES and the strip tease.”

Hot flashes affect the temperature of women's cheeks, forehead, upper arms, chest, abdomen, back, calves, and thighs. Each episode lasts from two to thirty minutes and can occur several times a week to many times a day. “Such a dramatic increase in temperature could not be sustained in the sort of clothing Womyn wore in 1858. Womyn simply had to take off all those layers.”

When asked about the fact that hot flashes occur primarily in women in their late 40's to mid-50's, not exactly the prime time for the typical man's desire for female nudity, Muntlee laughed. “Exactly our point! Men try and try to MANipulate Nature (don't forget that Nature IS Womyn) and every time he fails to reach his perfect goal. Over and over, he shows his ineptitude, proves the falsity of MALe superior intelliGENTS. But, he never stops trying. WTF is certain that this latest study is about fine tuning THEIR patHEtic first efforts. THEY want to make HOT FLASHES 'age appropriate'. To get the clothing off younger Womyn and back on the older ones.”

Cherry Muntlee and "hyr" WTF group have launched an all-out offensive against men's control of women's sexuality, dubbed MANipulate NO MORE. “We will put an end to all abhorrent practices of The Patriarchy. One way or the other”, declared WTF strategic director, Cass Straight.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Look for the Union Label

The United Box Workers Union (UBWU) last night reached an agreement with management at their primary manufacturing plant in San Francisco, California, to end the three month old strike that has crippled the boxing capacity of the modern world. Workers and management at satellite plants in Eugene, Oregon and New York City have agreed to abide by the terms of the new contract.

UBWU manufactures the many varieties of boxes that are used globally to place unique individuals into rigid, reliable structures that facilitate identification, categorization and control. The strike was initially declared in solidarity with the national strike called by their sister union, the Union of World Labelers (UWL), who hand-craft the labels that are placed on the boxes produced by UBWU. However, when the UWL ended their strike 23 days ago, they broke solidarity with UBWU. The reasoning for this split was articulated by a UWL spokeshuman who requested anonymity: "Our labels stand on their own. We don't need no stinkin' boxes!"

The impact of the UBWU strike is difficult to overestimate. A world-wide protest and demonstration was planned for this Wednesday, spearheaded by leaders from many of the user groups that were most affected; census workers, advertising executives, feminists, masculinists, people of color, people of palor, anarchists, queers, the differently-abled, policepersyns, vegans, leftists, rightists, anti-racists, anti-vegans, ditto-heads, Chomskyites, politicians, post-modern-post-structuralist-pro-situationist-academic-anti-state-communists, and Glenn Beck. Notably absent was the radical group American Students Studying Honorary Old Leftist Executive Strategies (ASSHOLES), who have not yet returned our calls.

Department managers for core UWL product groups were on the list of scheduled speakers, which was expected to attract crowds well into single digits. The manager for the Gender & Sexuality group, Ita Snatch, was pegged as the keynote speaker. There was much buzz surrounding the Q&A discussion panel, which included product managers Tim Robbins (Politics), Reverend Al Sharpton (Ethnicity), and Lierre Keith (Food).

The protest was called off immediately after the strike-ending agreement was announced. The 132 page statement of solidarity between UBWU and UWL was once again ratified, and the efficient process of constructing and labeling boxes was once again in place. "Knowing that there will be a sufficient supply of labeled boxes, into which individuals can once again be placed, is more than reward enough for the time and effort expended in reaching this set of agreements," said the UWL spokeshuman. "Labeled boxes are necessary for ourselves as well as others. This allows us all to get back to work, and continue our joint quest of realizing the Grand Unified Theory of Taxonomy."

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

SIX-STORY JESUS DESTROYED BY 'ACT OF GOD'

Late Monday night, in Monroe, Ohio, a 62 foot tall statue of Jesus was struck by lightning and destroyed in flames. The statue, known locally as the "touchdown Jesus" showed Jesus from the torso up with his hands raised in the air. Even though it looked to this reporter as if the fire had been a natural event, the insurance company seems to suspect vandalism. "It was an act of God," said Jonathan Rippov of State Harm Insurance.



Well, I am not the kind of reporter to leave an accusation of that sort uninvestigated, so I decided to seek out this God character, even though I knew it would be dangerous. God isn't an easy character to get a hold of, so I discovered. Contrary to what a lot of people claim, he doesn't hang around in churches, synagogues, mosques or even temples. I finally sought out one of those 1-888-Ask-god-a-question numbers. And believe it or not, I got an answer (at $2.99 a minute, I would hope so). "So, God," I said, "the insurance boys are saying that you torched that statue in Ohio." A slightly gurgly voice replied, "Yeah? What of it? The damn thing was UGLY!" "But it was your son!" I shot back. "That bastard wasn't any son of mine," the voice on the other end of the line replied with a tone of disgusted contempt. "Well, then, who exactly are you? Allah? Vishnu? Yahweh? Zeus?" "You ask too many questions." The voice no longer sounded like it was coming from the other end of the phone, and I looked up from my cell phone to see a tentacle reaching down from the clouds... You bet I ran... and jumped on the nearest bus out of Ohio.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Gay-Bashing Church Supports Gay Marriage As Punishment for Sin

Westboro Baptist Church, a group that has picketed funerals of known homosexuals with signs reading “God Hates Fags,” has announced a surprising reversal on its stance on gay marriage.

In a press conference explaining the shift, pastor Fred Phelps explained, “marriage is one more way for God to punish them for their sins.” In their battle against “special rights” for gays, the church feels that it is important that they not be spared from suffering due to legal protection from participation in marriage. The church accordingly supports changes to the law and US constitution to reflect that gays may become legally wedded.

“For centuries,” The leader of Westboro Baptist Church said in a special press conference, “Normal, heterosexual people have been forced to stay in loveless relationships, had their dreams crushed by institutionalized romance, and been forced into bizarre economic co-dependencies by the curse of marriage. It is time for the homosexuals to start suffering too.”

He added that marriage was a direct outgrowth of the curse God laid on Adam and Eve for transgressing God’s law in Eden. “Since these people also transgress God’s law and eat of forbidden fruit, so they should also be punished accordingly.”

The announcement has met with considerable controversy both within and outside the church, and has led to an unconfirmed schism among Westboro leadership. Bradley Toole, a highly placed Deacon in the church, was unavailable for comment, although his wife, who answered the phone, said, “Well, obviously he doesn’t feel that way about marriage. Not if he doesn’t want to be sleeping on the couch tonight, he doesn’t.”

Monday, June 14, 2010

ECONOMY ENTERS BETTY FORD CLINIC: Bernanke and Geithner Explain the Recovery

Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernanke, and Secretary of the Treasury, Timothy Geithner, held a press conference today to talk about the recovery of the economy.

Geithner explained the reason for the press conference: "One of my greatest victories since becoming treasury secretary seems to be unappreciated by the public. Instead I keep hearing complaints about unemployment, the continuing financial crisis, even predictions of a coming collapse of the economy.... Come on, fellow citizens, you aren't helping a bit with all that negative talk!"

Bernanke took over: "I think the problem is that a lot of people don't really understand what we mean by 'recovery'. Have any of you ever had a friend who had seemed pretty normal for awhile, but suddenly his behavior gets a bit erratic. The next thing you know you have to go and bail him out. This happens three or for times... You realize something is wrong. It's time for an intervention. Some stimulation to get him to look at himself, to realize he has a problem"

Geithner continued: "Well, that is what happened with the economy... We realized it had an addiction problem, and we took action. When we first begin to talk about the economic recovery last summer, it was because the economy finally admitted to us that it had a problem. We began to make arrangements to get it into treatment."

Bernanke: "We contacted the Betty Ford clinic, but they said it would be a few months before they had any room. It was a rough time for all of us during that period. The economy kept getting into more and more trouble."

Geithner: "Finally, this past March, there was an opening in the clinic. It was tricky. After all the economy includes all the bankers, all the corporate executives, and the government itself. So that opening had to be pretty big. But now the economy is undergoing regular, in-patient treatment. So it is, indeed, in recovery."

Bernanke: "Perhaps the most important part of the economy's treatment is the 12-step program. As you can imagine, this has not been easy for the economy. First, how can something as powerful as the economy admit to being powerless? And what power could be higher?"

Geithner: "Although the state certainly intervened for the economy, it certainly can't play the part of the higher power. Not only would that make us look bad in the eyes of the voters, but, more significantly in terms of the recovery process, the state is just as dependent on the economy as the economy is on the state. It is a codependent relationship, and there is reason to believe that the state has been acting for years as an enabler of the economy."

Bernanke: "And as to God? Well, the economy has used God far too long to justify its behavior. There is no way it could think of God as a higher power. So you can see the difficulties involved in this recovery process."

Geithner: "In addition, the economy is certainly not ready to admit its wrongs and make amends. 'If I started admitting all that, I would probably have to kill myself. And if I didn't, making amends for all I've done would kill me.' The therapists at the clinic say that this seems to be the biggest stumbling point for the economy."

Bernanke: "Anyway, we hope this has clarified what we mean by recovery. The economy is undergoing treatment. Its recovery is bound to be slow and painful."

Geithner: "You have to understand, once an addict, always an addict. You can go into recovery, but you will never fully recover. Treatment will always be necessary. That is the situation of the economy."

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Homelessness Is No More!

The US Senate today voted 99 to 1, in a record-setting session, to pass HS666, known as the Housing Reform bill. Modeled on the revolutionary Health Care Reform bill that was recently signed into law, Housing Reform will eliminate homelessness entirely, guaranteeing that every American has a home. The strategy for accomlishing this is similar to that used with Health Care Reform: the law makes it illegal to be homeless.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was literally trembling with joy in her press conference today announcing the bills passage. Ms. Speaker spoke eloquently once she regained her composure, which she said had disappeared when a smelly homeless woman approached her as she exited her limosine, asking the Congresswoman what the new law would mean for her and her three grimy children. "I will be so glad not to have to ignore so many people asking for free handouts, and it warms my heart to think that they will all be in nice, American homes as soon as President Obama signs this historic bill into law. Housing reform is my proudest achievement in Congress. But it would not have been possible without the leadership of President Obama, himself the product of a homeless childhood in the ghetto."

Liberals and conservatives alike have lauded the new legislation, which puts the homeless themselves in control of their housing situation, rather than property owners, bureaucrats or street sweepers. "Never before has such a monumental change been enacted with such striking speed and accuracy," said Senate majority leader Harry Reid. "It makes me proud to be an American, to know that this great nation will never again have a single homeless person."

Barbara Lee, Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, was likewise oozing with praise. "I know I speak for all Black Americans when I say that this historic bill almost compensates for the forty acres and a mule we were supposed to get," she said.

Speaker Pelosi highlighted several of the lesser known features of the new bill. "For young people, for the first time in history, you are allowed to stay in your parent's home until you are 26 years old. For children, and for all Americans, we ended the days where you can be denied housing because of a lack of money, credit history or rental references. For all Americans, housing reform gives you freedom: to change jobs, open a business, pursue your dreams and be creative and entrepreneurial." Pelosi's aide and the president of the Construction Teamsters, Guido Merkin, also noted that the law will create upwards of 10 million jobs (173 of which will be available to the public at large), as the construction market will be booming in order to build all the new housing needed. This is assumedly a result of the addendum to the law which states that no currently unoccupied homes may be used to house the homeless.

A Syrian-American reporter from the Homeless Hostel-Clarion asked the most taxing question of the press conference: "What about homeless people that cannot afford to rent or purchase a home?" Pelosi's answer was appropriately stylistic yet concise: "What?" She was immediately pulled from the dais by her lover Arnold Schwarzenegger, who claimed she had to take her medical marijuana dose immediately.

When President Obama was asked the same question, his response truly displayed the communication and leadership qualities that got him elected. "Clearly, the system we have today is broken," said the President. "If you don’t have a home, there’s no limit on how much landlords can charge you, and they can decide to refuse to rent or sell to you at their whim. Housing reform changes all of that."

Food Not Bombs provided vegan food for the press conference.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

WORLD CLASS SOCCER,
WORLD CLASS PROTECTION

Two of America's favorite oppressed groups kicked off the FIFA World Cup 2010 games in South Africa this week. Mexico's football team, ranked 17, beat off the 83rd ranked home team, Bafana Bafana (“the Boys”). Dubbed the world's biggest sports spectacle, hundreds of thousands of football fans are expected to be in country for the month-long event.

With the second highest murder rate in the world and an actively agitated poor population, SA is focused on every aspect of protection for the teams and fans. "We will ensure we protect all the people, from the ordinary people who will be at homes, fan parks, stadiums to the very, very important people," said Nathi Mthethwa, SA minister of police. While rumors of terror threats abounded in the weeks prior to the event, the Nadionale Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (Nadjoints) insisted there is no known terror threat.


Special "intervention units" have been developed to deal with hooligans should they make it through airport security. Andre Priapus, deputy commissioner of the South African police, calls this his “snatch team”. The hotshot team of African beauties, colloquially known as Brown Soogah, will be strategically positioned throughout the stadium to take all troublemakers down and out. Unfortunately, this has re-sensitized an already touchy issue, the HIV epidemic in the country. Over a million government condoms have been manufactured just for the Cup, many to be delivered to participating hotels. It's two condoms per hotel room, per night, said Cape Town Tourism chief executive Marionette du-Toit-Helmbold. Popular mascot Zakumi (derived from the two-letter country code plus the number 10 - thought by many to mean inches) has been drafted into the PR campaign. He will be demonstrating the proper technique for wearing the protection, using his extra long tail as a stand in.


Perhaps the most innovative protecting relations (PR) campaign was announced only three days ago, coincidentally coinciding with the news that Denmark's star player, Nicklas Bender, is not likely to play do to a recent groin injury. Injuries such as Bender's are all too common in competitive sports, said World Sports Safety Commissioner, John Holmes. So, PIPI (Penile International Protection Institute) is holding its first World Cup Cup competition as climax to the closing festivities. This is yet another first for the former apartheid country, as South Africa hosts the worlds top athletic cup manufacturers. Two of the main sponsors are Fitzer and Bringer Indehome. Fitzer makes the popular erectile enhancement (EE) drug, Guiwagger and has spent twenty-five million dollars to date. Not to be outdone, BI, manufacturer of the so-called “pink Guiwagger”, Filhersin, has put out at least twice that. Rumors of free samples have been flatly denied by both companies.


Athletic cups experienced a growth spurt for nearly a decade, grossing over ten billion dollars a year - though other sources insist it is actually only six. But, no matter how you measure it, they have been going down as the economy continues to gyrate. So, in this is first attempt by the industry trade organization to prop up limping sales, a fashion show competition will highlight the latest and greatest in groin protection.


Models and their supporters will be parading gaily down the runway in the Johannesburg Hilton ballroom. Representing the Dutch company Ballyhigh is CEO, Rikaard Waad. North Korea, in a surprising move given the current tension between them and neighbor down below, sent L'il Kim II to model a simple, but functional unit designed by state-run apparatus, CommiWang. Its all Asia this year, with Chinese entrant Huan Hong Lo, showing off an environmentally-friendly plastic shield made from a single recycled plastic aspirin bottle. The American contender, NuttyBuds, will show off the ever-popular ToolBox in this years favorite color: Yes, We Can Green. In another unexpected move, PIPI has opened the closet door to the GLBT community, permitting British entrant, Jonna Newboy, to strut his stuff, a little silicon number dubbed TucknGo. Although women are still confined to their own World Cup meeting, France chose to exhibit a feminine version of its famous L'aine R├ęcipient. To close out the show - and give SA yet one more first in the world of state-sponsored amusements - One World Government supporter, Moana Chompit, will appear in a Brazilian-influenced model called NoSocForem.


Will South Africa emerge as the prime contender in comprehensive state protection? Can they succeed where all others have failed? Only time will tell if they're up for it.


Friday, June 11, 2010

Recessions May Actually Be Good For Your Health, Say Economists

"It's always important to look for the silver lining in every dark cloud," economist Gerald Yabber says. Yabber is the head of an economic think tank recently set up by the federal government to find just such silver linings. Now that it has become obvious to all but the most stupid and the richest (not necessarily mutually exclusive groups) that the recovery the president and his cohorts began proclaiming months ago has certainly not brought the recession to an end for most Americans (or others around the world), the administration decided to bring economic experts together to to look for a silver lining in the recession (other than the silver lining the pockets of bankers and other corporate executives thanks to government bailouts and stimulation packages). The Positive Economic Thinking (PET) Foundation, as the think tank calls itself has announced its first findings today in a report entitled "Health through Poverty".

According to the 5,798 page paper, "Recessions may be good for your health". I wasn't willing to weed through the plethora of mostly ridiculous economistic and bureaucratic lingo of this oversized pile of toilet paper, so I asked Yabber if he could highlight some of the main points. He was glad to do so. "It should be obvious", he said. "In a recession, fewer people are working, so you have fewer workplace accidents... That means better health. And since there are fewer people driving to and from work, there are fewer traffic accidents. And the lack of money for shopping further reduces the number of people on the road, and thus the number of accidents. But these are the less significant factors. More significantly, everyone around the world knows that Americans have a problem with obesity. Well, let's face it, the unemployed and the under-employed simply aren't going to have the bucks to super-size everything anymore. In the long run that will make them lose weight causing reduction in obesity in the U.S. In addition, if things get worse economically, unemployment benefits will run out for more and more people. They won't have the money to go out at all, and think what that will do for their weight... I mean, you've seen those pictures from the Great Depression, not a fat person in the lot! In addition, since those forced into poverty by the recession won't want to waste whatever money they may have on gas, they'll do a lot more walking or bicycling to get to the employment office, the day labor service, the food stamps office and the soup kitchen. And we all know the importance of exercise to good health. Some will complain that all this walking will wear out their shoes precisely when they can least afford new ones. But that can be avoided simply be going barefoot. I was just reading an article on the Internet a few days ago about how much healthier it is to run barefoot. And if the poor and unemployed would run to the soup kitchen or the day labor service, think of the benefits to their health! So you see, a recession is not such a bad thing. We could use it to defeat obesity in America and to improve the overall health of the poor and unemployed in this country. A healthy reserve labor force is always a benefit to the economy."

So there you have it, straight from Yabber's mouth: the first silver lining not in the pockets of the rich that the recession has to offer is better health for the poor and unemployed. And really, weight loss and running could be a real benefit for them. When bread riots and mass food looting begin, they'll have a better chance of getting away from the cops.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

CALOR DE LA FRONTERA

Its gonna be a hot one, mis camaradas! And I'm not just talking about the weather--already a roasting 107 degrees down here. Down here being 'round about sixty miles - como el cuervo vuela – from the sand-drawn line between Mexico and America. A lot of the nearly unbearable heat emanates from the orifices of Arizona's SB (SomeBitch) 1070 PRO/CONs. Governor Jan Brewer, SomeBitch extraordinaria, recently signed off on what has to be one of the most unsurprising new laws of the post 9/11 era. Unsurprising given that between 2005 and 2009, legislators introduced over 5000 bills aimed to stop the “unlawful entry and presence of aliens”. In 2009, 1500 were considered and 15 percent enacted. Another thousand have been introduced so far this year. At the federal level, legislation has been side-railed in favor of the good old boy (joined more and more by the good old girl) “special interests” parties.


But, no matter how caliente things get, migrants keep coming in. Some are obviously headed for cooler climes up north, others are content to just hang around these parts. And what is the Border Patrol doing while this is going on? From my point of view (which is all too close these days), they are jaw-jacking at the side of the road, hanging around in droves at local diners, running escort duty for bicyclists, or chilling in their air-conditioned carros. Though lately, some are having a killer party of their own sort.


Yeah, I know its not easy to keep determined migrants on their own side. The border isn't some tidy little thruway vulnerable to the eagle eyes of soldiers, vigilantes, and cameras. Deserts, canyons, and mountain highlands straddle both sides of the fence-under-construction, with each zone offering up lots of hiding places. One might easily understand how difficult it would be to flush aliens out the deep, remote canyons and rugged, forested mountains. But the desert? Isn't it just a flat bunch of sand, clay, and cactus? Oh no, bro'! Even the low-lying mesquite or needle-sharp yucca can shelter a determined indocumentado. Plus, we've got our own species of do-gooders armed with binoculars, water, and food offering up their "protection". No doubt, some have genuine concern for those seeking life's necessities in greater abundance than is available at home. But, just as certain are the Good Samaritans out to feather their own nest, more concerned with their prestige and the tale they'll tell their friends. They hunt for “UDAs” almost as closely as the BPers do (and NO, that is NOT “Beaner People”, yo – its Border Patrolers, they also hunt the waters of the Gulf of Mexico!).


So, how big a problem is this alien business, really? I've read the reports, viewed scores of images, and listened to the rhetoric of the PRO/CONs. Seems to me, most people are oversimplifying the situation (see also, Grindaderas). Usually its Criminality vs Racism 101, an updated version of Eagles versus Doves. Thus, a lasting and acceptable solution remains elusive. I don't have an easy solution either, but I do have a strong interest. As long as I am living in these border badlands, I want to grok as much of the whole as possible before going off half-cocked like most folks. So I am doing my own research.


First off, not all migrants are alike by any stretch – in looks, intentions, or impacts. Second, movement is variable, some use this area as a short-term stopover on their way north while others stay for an entire season. Further, north-south movements are a long-standing, multi-generational practice. Borders are relatively recent constructs, part of the futile attempt to control the comings and goings of a diverse, unwieldy, and freedom-seeking population. And many have kin they want to see now and then. Finally, there are innumerable routes for flight, not a single course characterized by specific geographic or ecological boundaries.


Given this absence of easily identifiable routes and the harshness of the environment, I am amazed, even awed, at the tenacity and focus required to complete this long – perhaps many hundreds of miles – and arduous journey. Some never make it, succumbing to the intense conditions, as skeletons in the desert reveal. But so important (dare I say, natural?) is this movement, that it is and always will be attempted. Those that do make it rely on the sun, moon, and stars for navigation. Perhaps an internal compass. Knowledge of the terrain, water sources, and wild foods is also key to reaching the final destination. These days, figuring how to stay out of sight (and hand) is just as important.


I've been taking trips into the mountains lately to see what I can learn first hand. I always chuckle when I see BP at the side of the road as I head up. Its the same chuckle as when I'm driving the highways eighty miles north of the border. These well-traveled roads seem an unlikely spot to trap their prey. But then again, I've seen some shifty-looking characters flit by while the cop focused on me with suspicion. (Sometimes, I think this “border problem” is just one more excuse to increase surveillance - which now includes road blocks, high-tech AV equipment, and low tech dogs – and state control of our lives. Sort of an expansion of the cages holding an easily frightened population. But, I suppose I'm just a being cynical.) Once in the forest, a large sign by the side of the road greets me: Travel Caution. Smuggling and illegal immigrants may be encountered in this area." A little farther on, a much smaller and less accessible sign warns me about the possibility of “Africanized bees”. Interesting, no? I continue onward and upward “at my own risk” after taking note of my total lack of a fear response.



One of the complaints PRO/CONs make is about environmental damage caused by inmigrantes ilegales. Now, I have spent a lot of time in US forests and deserts and its hard to imagine anything worse than the devastation caused by clear-cutters, strip-miners, and overgrazing ranchers. Not to mention the loads of crap left behind by hunters and gun enthusiasts of a certain caliber. Nonetheless, I keep a lookout for any sign of negative impact. So far, all I have found is a canvas day pack with a plastic water bottle tucked in a pocket. I wonder where the person is now...


What I really needed to complete my research was contact with a genuine, certifiable alien life form. Since I often go up into the forest to get out of the worst of the daytime heat, I figured others might do the same; so recently, I positioned myself strategically near a running creek. After a couple hours of thinking, daydreaming, and dozing – la siesta is an awesome thing – I heard a rustling. Then another. And another. Subtle but distinctive calls of one to another ensued. Would I soon be face-face with one of my southern neighbors heading for places unknown, but obviously oh so, inviting? What would they do if they saw me? Quietly, patiently I waited.


The first one to come out in the open was known by the name (as I found out later), E. Trogon. She was followed by one, “Crissal Thrasher”. A few minutes later, Roufous Selasphorus and Ruby came out of the trees, though they were just barely visible. All drank, played, poked around in the dirt and brush, then just moved quietly along their way. This rare glimpse into the lives of those who do their own thing, no matter what, moved me. Shed a new light on the dangerous illusions of “American intelligence, bravery, and freedom”. If they did any damage to this sky island forest, I wasn't able to find it. One thing they did leave behind was a smile, if a sad one at that. As an old song flew unbidden into my head - accompanied by just as old a feeling, that of being squeezed too often between alienation and assimilation - I thought, “hey, music nazis, besa mi culo!” And I sang it and laughed and cried 'til there was nothing left but that also ancient, familiar and fierce longing, still to be fully realized. 'Cause I'm as free as a bird now, and this bird you'll never change. Fly free bird, fly!

NO PAPERS, NO FENCES, NO BORDERS!