Category Archives: Essembly


So I was walking down the street today. I came across a dog. The dog was ugly, and it smelled a bit. I decided that I wanted to kick that motherfucking dog. I was going to kick the shit out of it. It hadn’t done anything to me, but I still wanted to see it cry.

So I drew back my foot and kicked that damn dog. It yelped, and then made to run away. Someone else had already had my bright idea, because the dog’s leg was broken, and by the festering look of it, had been for some time. So I shifted by weight and prepared for another kick, pleased that my prey could not escape.

Before my Converse could connect with the matted side of the mongrel, a police officer came out of nowhere. He whipped out his pad of ticket paper and prepared to levy me a heavy fine for animal abuse. As he asked my name and other vital statistics such as the middle name of the brother of the person I lost my virginity to, I could see the hate in his eyes. He shook his head every so often, as if my mere existence necessitated a random negation when his questioning would pause.

“Wait, officer!” I exclaimed.

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Americanism and Thought-Crime

Stop saying bad things about the world! Seriously. I mean, nothing’s more American than being happy and loving everyone. Which means that me and the CEO of the company dumping toxic waste into the town lake are totally on the same page, man. We love each other, we’re good neighbors. We both want some good old harmony.

Let’s play the analogy game! Force is to Authoritarianism as what is to Democracy? If you guessed Propaganda you win the grand prize! It’s called thinking. Sometimes it sucks. May cause feelings of intense hopelessness and pessimism. Use with caution.

Unhappiness, dude, that’s not American. If the state of the world sucks, then don’t think about it! In fact, ignore and alienate agitators. Like the government told you to. Or your boss, he’s pro-American just like you. You ever hear of the Mohawk Valley Formula? No? That’s good. Ignorance and bliss is the American way.

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Don’t Call it War

Stop calling the Iraqi Conflict “war”. If you have to call it anything, it’s a Military Occupation. The war was over when the Iraqi military surrendered years ago. It might sound like I’m harping on a stupid and pointless question of semantics that does nothing to alter the framework of the debate. However, the use of the word “war” is very important if you happen to be a Republican.

“War” implies a grave threat. When the American public thinks of the usual war, we think of a conflict between two nations, or many nations, in which the losing party’s surrender will result in the massive loss of human life and the potential shifting of borders. Even as recent as the Cold War, the consequences of war have moved borders and made the inhabitants of one nation suddenly citizens of another. The term “war” as it applies to Iraq is therefore, inappropriate. “Failure” would result in the rise of a new dictator–a powerless dictator, given that the infrastructure of Iraq is still in shambles and its population is impoverished and unlikely to support continued warfare. The price of “failure” in Iraq, for the Western world, is nothing compared to the price that Iraqis have paid, and will continue to pay for generations. Between a dismantled infrastructure, the leveling and loss of historic monuments, massive loss of life, and the poison of depleted uranium missiles, the occupation of Iraq has taken a very hefty toll from the innocent civilians of an already poor country. No such horrible fate would befall Americans if the occupation “failed”. The use of the word war implies a somewhat equitable consequence resulting from the struggle of two or more equally powerful entities. Thus, the use of “war” is inappropriate to describe a situation in which a wealthy Western nation occupies a Middle Eastern country suffering from poverty and persistent civil violence.

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Anonymity and Sexism on the Internet

Cross-posted at Female Impersonator

Anonymity gives people the gall to do and say what they would never think of doing if it had their real face and name attached to it. I suppose I am as guilty as many; I usually avoid frontal head shots in profile pictures or using my very distinctive surname. I like to use this anonymity to say things that I do not have the courage to say, or to say the things that I feel I have no real audience for. After all, no one in my Jewish family really wants to hear any negative thoughts about Palestine, do they? More importantly, anonymity allows me to act the way I wish, instead of how I think that others expect me to act. I am free to share my same-sex relationships here, away from people that know me, because of the judgment that I fear will follow me in my professional pursuits.

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Abortion as art to protest society’s definition of the female body

All over the news is general outrage that Aliza Shvarts, a senior Yale art student, inseminated herself and then induced miscarriages with herbs to harvest the fluids for her art. Now it comes to light that the piece is an elaborate hoax:

“The entire project is an art piece, a creative fiction designed to draw attention to the ambiguity surrounding form and function of a woman’s body,” said Yale spokeswoman Helaine Klasky.

If indeed, it is a hoax, then I am glad that the poor girl did not have to suffer to make her point. Although, she did make a brilliant and controversial point.

A woman’s body is meant to titillate or to bear life. A woman’s womb falls under the eminent domain of the state, evidenced by the outrageous controversy over abortion and prostitution. In short, a woman’s agency does not extend over her own reproductive organs, or so the popular sentiment continues to claim with insipid discussion of abortion and birth control.

However, Shvart’s project directly opposes that notion in the most shocking and contentious way possible. It takes this illogical view of a woman’s womb as scared and brilliantly defiles it with the bloody taboo of a self-induced pregnancy termination. There seems to be the general sentiment that a miscarriage is something ordained by God, and that what happens in the magical and mystical uterus is the domain of the Cloud-Father and the all-seeing state, not the woman herself. A miscarriage chosen by a woman, and not for practical purposes? Well, that’s just not done.

Furthermore, it may blur the lines. What separates menstrual fluid, an abortion, and a miscarriage? Our morally upright God-crusaders would like us to believe that life begins at conception or some other such nonsense based on superstition, misinterpretations of a really old book, and “ewww gross” reactions that they really should have grown out of at seven. If the story was true, the viewers of Shvart’s piece would be unable to tell. The hip and savvy art student could even ask the horrified viewers to pinpoint which blood clot contains the soul for maximum humor.

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