By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
Photo by MikeThe people who used to live at my boyfriend's trailer down in Quatro Casas (about three hours south of Ensenada, 13 miles from the highway down a rutted dirt road, 50 yards from a cold, shitty ocean) had a rare kind of ambition for Baja. I know this because the her of the couple left behind a captain's log of her every visit. It was good reading: she'd be all, "This morning I went for a run up the mountain, then we surfed twice and had lobster for lunch. Then we poured cement for the new steps." And I would laugh and laugh!
Here's my captain's log, star date last weekend: "Day Three: today, I put on lip gloss. Mike said it looked very nice."
I really needed a vacation. I could tell because the thought of having to write sentences with words and nouns and adjectives and punctuation and interesting thoughts and some funny jokes too was starting to give me some kind of anxiety disorder that would require Paxil or pot, and I'm plumb out of Paxil.
Also, I was starting to have housewife fantasies. Being one or having one, didn't make me no nevermind.
And it was maybe the best vacation ever! Mike took me to a flea market to buy used sweat pants because I was cold, and he took pictures of me passed out in the fire, and he hit me with a stick, and he peed my name in the dirt. It was super-romantic!
And I didn't miss you fuckers even one little bit.
"But why did he hit you with a stick?" my editor wanted to know as I showed him pictures of my boyfriend in the shower, the qualms of personnel managers and my boyfriend's feelings be damned.
"Because he likes me!" I answered. "Duh!"
But apparently I can't take my eyes off you people for four fucking days without you storming in and wrecking the place. Four days! A personal day on either side of a weekend! That is not a lot to ask! And I come back to find out that in the exalted GOP tradition of naming David Duke to the Civil Rights Commissionand Christopher Coxto chair the SEC, El Prez waited for the Senate to recess, and then, over its moans and keens and bitches, named John Bolton—the man Republican Senator George Voinovich called "the poster child of what someone in the diplomatic corps should not be"—our new ambassador to the UN.The UN, of course, isthe august body nasty old Bolton's called for abolishing and at some of whose members he's probably thrown shoes.
That is not a euphemism.
And this is why we can't have nice things!
* * *
I'm still reeling from the Bolton news, and learning more about Supreme Court nominee John Roberts—a guy who seemed like the best we could hope for given Georgie's predilection for insane nominations—remember the OB-GYN who wouldn't prescribe birth control to sinners (I mean single girls) being named head of reproductive medicine at the FDA? (As Molly Ivins wrote that she'd been thinking, "Sounds like [Roberts]'s about as good as we can get. Quick, affirm him before they nominate Bork, Bolton or Pinochet.") Except . . . whoops! Roberts has argued that Griswold v. Connecticut was wrongly decided, and Griswold, as you no doubt already know, was the decision that said you couldn't prosecute married couples for using birth control,ushering in the very same constitutional right to privacy that gets Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum so very overheated and frothy and unleashing terms like "man-on-dog." (Santorum's new book also bemoans women not marrying and working outside the home. Find me a housewife, Rick Santorum! I'll keep her real nice!) Meanwhile, in Wisconsin, Republicans are passing bills forbidding state colleges from dispensing birth control to co-eds—but the boys can still get their love gloves. What's with the Right's hard-on for knocking me up? Now they're not gonna let me have the Pill? Try telling that to Loretta Lynn. Fuck me! Or, rather, don't.
So all that's going on, and your American president is spouting off about how, hey, why not have Intelligent Design taught alongside evolution, while his poor science adviser, John Marburger, has stated point-blank, "Evolution is the cornerstone of modern biology" and, "Intelligent Design is not a scientific theory." Christ, what a thankless job that must be.
And then there was a plane crash, and something was up with the Space Shuttle, and Nate's fucking dead—AGAIN!—and in four days, 19 guys from the same Ohio battalion ate it in Iraq in separate incidents and then All the President's Men changed the name of the Global War on Terror to the GlobalStruggle Against Violent Extremism, which, though unwieldy, is actually a better philosophy as far as I'm concerned, but I'm pretty sure it wouldn't change anything as far as the rights of "enemy combatants in wartime" go, not that it matters since I got to see with my own eyes BillO'Reilly loftily instructing John McCain on the effectiveness of torture. Torture? Like the films from Abu Ghraib that Republican Senator Lindsay Graham described with obvious pain as "video of rape and murder"? Hey, they get lemon chicken and rice pilaf! But then the president bitched that no one consulted him about the name change, and you kind of cringed because you figured, Of course, they didn't.
So I take two personal days—two—and people in the office had to pick up all kinds of slack. My sweet Theo had to write Eight Days, and Patty had to do who knows what all, and Sherry Wine had to go get drunk. But the president, his work here done, goes on a five-week vacation to his ranch at Crawford—the 49th of his presidency, for a total of just under 20 percent of his terms so far—and everybody tries to spin that he still works at his ranch (you know, like he was working in August and September 2001), so it's not like he's on vacation, and it's left to me to remind you that he doesn't even work at the White House: he takes two-hour breaks in the middle of each day, and as governor of Texas, hes was known for playing computer Solitaire while being briefed on clemency petitions from those about to be executed. Oh, well. It's not like they consulthim on shit.
What a fucking dick.
I need another vacation.