Friday, August 06, 2004


More Unpacking: Cocksuckers for Peace

--Some of you have already seen this at the DA journal, but I want it over here, and as I'm apparently in a political state of mind anyway, there's no time like the present. This is just a little routine I put together, and performed, at a local venue here in town in preparation for the latest Barbaric Yawp over at Triplopia. For those of you who haven't, if you've made it past the title, I assume you're not too easily offended--it's all light-hearted, make fun of myself then make fun of the president stuff.

Shouldn't have to disclaim it that way, so I'll stop.

Oh--and mucho thanks to namaste for the title, BTW.

Props: chair, at least one bottle of beer, a pack of smokes.

(Intro, wanders onto stage looking like the proverbial deer in the headlights...)

'Is this thing on?'

(Taps on it. Low hum. Begins singing)

'Ah, the moon’s too bright,
the chain’s too tight,
the beast won’t go to sleep—
I been runnin’ through
These promises to you
That I made but I could not keep.
Ah, but a man never got a woman back,
Not by beggin’ on his knees,
Or I’d crawl to ya baby
And I’d fall at your feet
And I’d howl at your beauty
Like a dog in heat,
And I’d claw at your heart
And I’d tear at your sheet
I’d say please—

I’m your man.’

(Mumbling) 'Sing-songey.' (acknowledges the audience...) 'You can always tell when there’s an amateur at the microphone, can’t you?

My name's Gene, and I'm an American. Been an American for about 35 years now, recovering American for 5. And I gotta give you guys fair warning—this isn’t what I usually do when I’m presented with a stage and a microphone. I usually read poetry. But, a friend of mine asked me if I’d like to give this a try and I thought, why not? (Shakes head) Now I’m wondering what the fuck I’ve gotten myself into this time. Anyway, I figured if everything just goes to utter shit I could always fall back on the poetry. (Long beat) Unfortunately, the only poem I’ve brought with me tonight is a 14 page psycho-sexual examination featuring the queen of the elves, a hermit, and an army of 1400 mutant dwarves. (beat) All of which is written in heroic couplets. So I hope you guys find something to laugh at..

So, yeah, this is all new to me, and I was thinking about what to say, and, as usually happens when I start thinking like that, my mind started coming up with everything I probably shouldn’t say. It’s not the most efficient writing process, but I usually manage it eventually. Yeah, so, I was thinking, at first, that I might talk about misogyny, but then, I said to myself, ‘Gene, you’re an American, and you’re planning on getting up in front of a bunch of people whose native language is German and trying to make them laugh about people who hate women? Don’t you think maybe you should start juggling with three balls, instead of seven?’ Cause there’s a lot of things that could go wrong, isn’t there? I mean, there’s the language thing, first of all, because I’ve been here in Munich for a year and a half now and I still can't sprachen Deutsche for scheisse. I’m not proud of that fact. I know I should crack down and learn the language. (pause) I’ve got a daughter, at home. She’s 6—going on 42, and she’s got the language nailed. She’s going to grundschule, and if the truth be told, that’s probably how I ought to learn the language myself—straight from the ABC’s. Thing is, every time I try to go to class with her, the teacher calls the police. So that’s not gonna happen. And when she first started going to school, I thought maybe I could just keep up with her homework, you know, and learn that way, but there’s always something else I need to be doing while she’s doing her homework. That, and she’s about the roughest teacher I know. Much worse than any German, man. She came home this winter with that ‘schnee flockchen weiss rockchen’ song—you know the one? So I tried to learn that, right, and I’m over there, singing, and I’m saying ‘Du bleibst in die wolke…’ and my daughter is all ‘NEIN! DEN! DEN WOLKEN!’ So that didn’t go too well…

Here’s what I think: I think every American citizen should be forced to live for at least two years in some place where English is not spoken. I think that might make them a little more humble, a little more sensitive to some of the problems a person in that situation encounters, you know? Because when I think of my daughter, and the thought that by the time she’s 14 she’s going to be bringing all her German friends home, and she won’t just have age and gender differences on her side when she claims I don’t understand her—we’ll be speaking different languages. I mean, I can just see myself, the stereotype of an immigrant dad—like those old Greek guys in America whose entire grasp of the English language is drawn from game shows. I’ll be walking down the street and see one of my friends, who says ‘Gruess Gott, Gene. Wie Geht’s?’ and I’m all ‘Hier kommt die frage...’

So yeah, I know, I should drag out the old worterbuch and learn the bloody language, but the fact is, it isn’t about the words, is it? Because there’s a lot of German words that connect pretty easily to English ones. No, it’s about how those words are put together—shit’s a whole different logic, man. And encountering that logic in everything you do every day…that’s when it gets rough. Going to the grocery store for baking powder, for Christ’s sake, not even knowing what it’s called, where the hell they keep it, and when you do find it, it isn’t in the same kind of container, and it isn’t even the same stuff, you know? (pause) But there’s not much I can do about the language now, can I? I mean, it’s not likely that I’m going to learn German in the next 20 minutes. (long pause)

It could be worse. I could read you my poetry.

So yeah, that makes it tough, but the fact is, it’s tough living anywhere abroad as an American right now, and it’d be tough right now even if everyone spoke the same language—especially after the news we’ve been getting this last couple of weeks. But that shit isn’t language, it’s politics, and in politics, I think we can get a couple of things cleared up real quick, and the first thing I’ve got to say about THAT, which should clear a whole lotta crap out of the way quick smart, is, I’m not from Texas. In fact, I'm from the state that Bush spent the Vietnam war defending Texas from--Oklahoma.

(Plant sings)

'O-O-O-O-OK! lahoma, where the wind comes sweeping down the plain...'

(rolls eyes)

'Yeah. It's EXACTLY like that back home. You know, everywhere I go, there’s always someone who sings that song when I tell them where I’m from. Bloody haunted by a movie I hate…for the rest of my life.'


'Anyway, just to clear all that up, I hate what's happening to my country. I hate it, I hate it. I left there--shit--5 years ago--Columbine hadn't even happened yet, and even then I was making noise about social toxicity to anyone who would listen—which was mostly friends I’d bought beer for—and it hasn't gotten any better since, has it? Because these days most Americans are taking themselves very seriously, aren’t they? And it’s hard to joke about. I mean, Americans are used to joking about our presidents...we do it all the time, but it’s kind of hard to joke about Bush, you know? And it isn’t for lack of material, because you don’t really have to write material around this guy, because he writes it for you. All you gotta do is listen to one of his speeches, cause he says the most ridiculous things. For example—and I shit you not—back in 2000, when W. was running for president, he came through Oklahoma doing what everyone has to do to run for president, which is to convince all the voters that he’s just like them (roll eyes)—and he doesn’t really have to try too hard in Oklahoma because it always votes republican anyway…anyway, the way you do this in Oklahoma is to make your appeal to the farmers, because that’s mostly what folks back home do, is farm. So he’s trying to do this, right, and I am not kidding, he says “We want to assure farmers that they are at the forethought of our thought thinking.” I mean, that’s barely even an English sentence. So, that’s funny. But every time you try to think of him that way, every time you open up your mouth to laugh, you get reminded of the fact that this guy has nuclear weapons at his disposal, and then the whole joke kind of goes sour, doesn’t it?


'What I think we really need—what I think would fix things up in a big hurry in America—is a good old fashioned sex scandal up there in Washington D.C.' (Drink/light cigarette) 'Cause it kind of seems like the good ole days, don’t it, when we think back to a time when our biggest worry was where the president’s penis might have been at a given time and day. And we never got any pictures of THAT. Which is a pity, because they’d be a whole lot more fun than the pictures we’re getting now, wouldn’t they? Because Clinton--well, Clinton wasn't exactly a good president, was he? He missed a lot of opportunities—a lot of BIG opportunities—but he didn't exactly strike terror into your heart every time he opened his mouth, did he? You didn’t get the sense that he was actively seeking out apocalypse. Clinton, Clinton was like a big old neutered tomcat, you know? Content. Sometimes too content.' (Drape yourself over something while you're saying this...) 'And then...then we found out why. Because he was getting blown by his secretary. And you know, I know a lot of Americans have a big problem with this, but I'm not so sure that was a bad thing. I know a lot of Americans get really freaked out when they have to deal with anything that looks like sex—I mean, show us a breast and we get pretty intense—but I’m not really with most Americans on this. I like what George Carlin had to say about it—does anyone here know George Carlin? (pause, respond to answer—if not many, say: “Good, then I can rip him off and you’ll never know it.”) George Carlin is an American comedian who came into prominence during the Vietnam war—yeah, another very divisive war for Americans—and he had a few things to say about the fact that Americans seem to be okay with violence, but not sex. Carlin once said that if he was given the choice between letting his kids watch two people making love or two people killing each other, he’d pick making love every time. And I’ve got a daughter and I’m all over that. Totally in agreement. Anyway, Carlin’s idea, for fixing what needed to be fixed, was to go back through all those old movies and every time we hear the word “kill,” we replace it with the word “fuck.” So you know, you’re watching one of those old westerns, right, and it’s “Okay, sheriff…we gonna fuck ya now”

(beat beat beat)

“…but we gonna fuck ya slooow.”

So yeah. I’m not sure the president getting a blow job from time to time is a bad thing—and now that I’ve been abroad for a few years, I know that there are nations where the scandal would be if the president WASN’T having an affair, right? But the way I’m thinking, maybe Clinton getting a blow job every once in a while actually kept him from being in a bombing sort of mood, you know? And to be perfectly honest, if I thought for one minute that a blow job would keep Bush from bombing things, I'd volunteer for the job myself if I had to...'


'Mind you, I’m not sure how that would go over with my wife. "Hi honey, I'm...WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING?"' (Lean over, insert two fingers in mouth, look up with an 'Oh-oh' expression, mumble over fingers...) "WHAT?" (Exasperated look, remove fingers from mouth) "I'm blowin' the president." "I KNOW THAT! WHY ARE YOU DOING IT?" "Aw hon—don’t take it like that, he don't mean anything to me--I'm doing this for America..."'

’Yeah. I’d be a whore for peace. And you know, this’d be a hu-uge sacrifice for me because I’m not into this shit—I mean, anyone who is, more power to ya, make yourself happy, but it ain’t my thing? And even if it was, W. isn’t exactly my idea of a good looker, in mind OR body—especially in mind, and the mind is very important to me on this front. And then there's the fallout to deal with. You girls know what I'm talking about, don't you? I’m talking about, what if he likes it? Cause if it’s a one time thing, one blow job, that's one thing--pop, and it's over--but what if he likes it? I know, I know, he’s got that whole gay marriage issue, but that's not about homosexual sex, is it? It’s about preserving the sanctity of the institute of marriage. (eye roll during this) At least, that's what he's telling us. But if we’re to judge from the pictures we've been getting from Iraq recently, some of these guys who are into war kind of get off on this shit, don't they? And the last thing I need, in regards to my sense of domestic bliss, is George W. hanging around my house all the time saying, "Come to daddy!" I mean, what happens if I don’t want to? You know, "Ah, W., my mouth still hurts from last time, and it ain’t exactly like that’s where my pleasure centers are…" Because guys, they can get pretty aggressive when they don't get what they want on that front, can't they? Can't they, girls?

You boys know what I'm talking about, too—you just might not want to admit it. But you know what I'm talking about. One of those nights, it’s a little past midnight, and you’re at a pub and you’ve been there a while, had about 4 beers already and you’ve had your eyes on this one girl all night and you’ve been making a play for her all that time…and about this time she stands up and says "Kids, it’s been fun, but I got work in the morning, and I need to get on home…” And of course, this is the moment you’ve been waiting for, and you’re all, “Ah…I’ll walk you home.” And then this girl smiles, and this smile is subject to interpretation, because what she means, when she smiles, is “Oh, I thought you were just being nice, but now I see what you were after,” but what you’re hearing, through all the beer and testosterone, is “Come on in, bubba!” So she says, “Nah, you don’t need to walk me home, I’ll be all right,” and you’re all "No, really, it isn’t a problem. In fact, it'd be a pleasure." (leering) Yeah, you stud you. So now she understands that she’d better do something quick or she’s going to be stuck with you, so she makes one last try by turning to the other people at the table, and she says “Oh, okay, if it’s really not a problem…but—Steve! You should come along, because I’ve got these…religious pamphlets…I’ve been meaning to give you.” Trouble is, Steve’s as daft as you, he’s had as much beer as you have, and he’s got his own girl he’s been working on, so he doesn’t pick up on her HINT, you know, and he just says, “Yeah, yeah—only why don’t you just bring them along to work tomorrow and I can look at them then.”

So she’s stuck with you, and you start toward her house, and you’re already imagining—not winning her over or any of that romantic shit, but just a quick shag and goodbye in the morning, right? Only if you’re honest you haven’t given just a whole lot of thought to how you’re gonna make the movement from where you are now to where you wanna be, and now you’re improvising, relying on your verbal charms—such as they are—to get you there. So you spend the whole time trying to be subtle--and failing...and she spends all of her time trying to deflect the conversation away from the ONLY bloody topic you have the ability to focus on at this point. And that’s pretty much how things stand when you get to her doorstep, so you’ve got one play left—the kiss. And this kiss, well, it’s going to be really good, isn’t it? Because everything else you’ve been doing has gotten you nowhere, but this kiss, it’s gonna melt ALL of her defenses, isn’t it? Because you’re such a good kisser when you’re drunk. But while you’ve been thinking about it, she’s quietly unlocked her front door. And when you close in for the kill, she gives you the cheek, opens the door, slips inside, closes and locks the door and there you are out in the cold—and MAN, is it cold. And boys, you’ve got about three options at this point. Option number one: you go back to the pub you were just at. This is appealing because all of your friends are there, but then, it’s not so appealing because, well, all of your friends are there, and even though you can play it all off like you were just being a nice guy, they’ve been watching you make your play all evening and they all know that you’re coming back is an admission that you were NOT successful. Okay. So, option number two: you go to a different pub. This one’s a bit more of a problem, because at this point, you’re a single male who’s drunk and on the prowl, and a lot of pubs aren’t going to let you in, and if one does let you in, you’re going to find out that everyone inside is already paired off, and so you’ll end up in some dark corner somewhere drinking more beer and getting more pissed off because your needs are being neglected. Which leaves option number three: you take your tail, which you were so keen to stick between someone else’s legs, and you stick it between your own and slink on home and jerk off. Now, a reasonable man goes for option number three, but let’s face it, most men aren’t reasonable when they’re in this position, are they?

You boys know what I'm talking about. You've all had to deal with a friend who was like this. Hell, if you're honest, you've all BEEN like this--and heaven help the girl who approaches you now. Because you are useless for anything but aggression. You know what I mean? I mean, a guy who is in this state is all attack, there's nothing nice about him, and he can't bloody well think, can he?"

(Stand up, chip-on-shoulder stance, start pacing and throwing glares. Eyes land on chair, wobble, point...)

"That fucking chair. I hate that fucking chair."

(Assault chair)

Ballistic. Real attractive, isn’t it? Now, give that guy a nuclear warhead, and maybe you’ll understand what I’m talking about when I say I’m worried about the fallout when it comes to blowing Bush.

(Pause. Drink.)

Thing is, a lot of women might suggest that this is all a good argument for not letting men be the president at all. That’s the way my wife argues. She’s always on me about voting for women. My wife would vote for ANY woman before she’d vote for a man—she’d vote for one of Charlie Manson’s girls before she’d vote for a man. And in a way, I can understand where she’s coming from, because girls, in the same situation, they don’t act like this. But I don’t think that’s because they’re not feeling the same shit a boy feels in that same situation. But they don’t act the same way, do they? They don’t. I mean, okay, girls aren’t as likely to find themselves in this situation, and even if they do, they’re likely to be MORE fun when they’re feeling aggressive. They’d still be approachable. But even if they strike out, they’re going to do the reasonable thing and go the hell home. And you won’t hear a thing about it (beat) tonight. You might hear about it 4 years from now, but you won’t hear about it tonight. No. You’ll be walking down the street, YEARS later, haven’t given this girl a thought in all that time, and suddenly there she is, in front of you, wearing the same smile she left you with:

"Umm...yes? Do I know you?"
"Don't you remember me?"
"No, should I?"
"March 17th, 1993, St. Patricks day in Chicago."
(Fuck) "Oh...yeaahhh..."
"At the Blarney Stone?"
"Yeah! Yeah, now I remember...Julie, isn't it?"
"Actually, it's Divinia, but it's been a while."
"Yeah--yeah now I remember you! You were the one who shinnied up the drainpipe to the roof of the pub and stripped to the waist shouting 'Erin go Bra!'--then later we went to my house and had hot monkey sex for three days straight. Always wondered where you'd gotten to."
"Actually, that was my roommate, Julie."
"Ah, sorry about's been a long time, and I was pretty drunk."
"I know. Julie told me."
"Well, anyway, what have you been up to?"
"Oh, not much. I went home, ate, oh, about 2 gallons of ice cream for the next three days, then Julie got home and passed out, so I snuck into her purse and got your address and phone number. Then I followed you for about 3 weeks, found out that you were working for Microsoft. So I moved to Seattle, right, where they have their headquarters? And I applied for a job as a secretary. Got it, then spent the next 4 years working my way up through the ranks. Now I'm on the board of chairpersons."
"Not bad--not bad at all."
"And you? What have you been up to?"
"Not a lot, pretty much still doing the same stuff I was back then. I'm still working in the mailroom..."
"Not any more, you're not. You're fired."

You know? Because women, when they feel like that, they understand that those feelings are ENERGY, and they use it. They don’t waste it. They re-channel it. Men, though, they can’t think when they’re like that. All they can think is "Fuck, get it out of me!" right? But women are still aggressive, they’re just aggressive in a different way. So I’m not sure the solution is to make a woman the president, because I think, I think it’s the political process that makes people aggressive, and it doesn’t matter how many X chromosomes you’re carrying around. I mean, Margaret Thatcher sure brought a more humanitarian vision to the British system, didn’t she? And that Condoleeza Rice—there’s a sweet girl. And she’s a woman, an African-American, and Hispanic, so she’s got all kinds of things going for her. You’d think she’d be all about smashing the patriarchy, wouldn’t you? But she isn’t. So I think, you know, if our presidents were women, they wouldn’t end war and shit, they’d just be a fuck of a lot better at it than us men are.

Anyway, I’ve got a theory about why all this is, why we go about it so differently, and if you don’t like my theory, you can shoot me later, right? That’d be thinking like an American. I think—what I think, is it’s all about the way we’re shaped, right? Because a woman saves that energy up. But for a man, it’s all about getting it out NOW, right? Because, look at us…(look down at crotch, frame with hands)…it’s all out there, isn’t it? And when we’re coming, it’s all OUT. So when we want to come, and we can’t, we have to find some other way to get it out. We’ve gotta change something in the world, even if it’s just reducing a chair to splinters. There’s no higher purpose than to just change something. But girls…girls…it’s not about sticking a part of yourself into something, is it? You take something in, and so success, on that front, is about bringing something into you, you know? So when the energy has to be re-channeled, it’s much more likely to take the form of internalising that change—of changing something inside yourself so that next time…next time, you’ll be in a better position to get what you want.

(Big pause. Drink.)

Anyway, I’m all about solutions, I’d like to find a way around all this stuff, but I know that a lot of times I feel pretty powerless to make any real change in the world, but yeah, I’ve got an idea. I think maybe what Americans need to do, to make the fixes they need to make, is they need to tackle some of the myths that ground who they think they are. You know, myths like Santa Claus, and the Tooth Fairy, and the belief that ANYONE can become president. Because we’re raised with that idea, and in theory, that idea is right. It’s not that hard to be a candidate for president. It’s a little harder to get your name on the ballot, and if you wanna win, a few million dollars sure come in handy, but in principle, yeah, okay, anyone can become president. So what I think is, everyone—everyone who is elegible to run for president SHOULD run for president. That’d shake things up, and I think we just might get a good president then, because the only way to win is to get someone to not vote for themselves. And that means all the votes that counted would be coming from people with some integrity, you know? And someone could get in with like, 50 votes.

So yeah, with that in mind, I’m running for president. I don’t agree with the democrats or the republicans, so I’m forming my own party. The Cocksuckers For Peace Party. And yes, we have a platform. And yeah, I know you guys can’t vote for me, but I think you SHOULD be able to vote for me, because I think if everyone in the world were able to vote for the office of president of the United States, we would never have been stuck with Bush. And I mean, it’s not like what the president decides to do has no effect on the rest of the world. So, on the off chance I do get elected, I’ll see what I can’t do to change that.

Anyway, the Cocksuckers For Peace platform is ten points long, but I’m only going to tell you five of them tonight, because you’ve all been real patient with me so far, and I don’t want to ruin that. So,

Number 1: The first thing I’m going to do, if elected, is to commission a new unit of currency—the 3 dollar bill—and the person whose picture is to appear on this unit of currency is the poet most associated with the United States of America, Walt Whitman. If the Australians are civilized enough to have a poet on their ten dollar bill, then Americans should be able to figure out why this is important.

Number 2: Upon assuming office, I will institute measures for the immediate and universal implementation of the metric system. Americans, it just makes more sense. Get over it.

Number 3: Upon assuming office, I will create a “speechwriter free zone,” to extend for a 200 KILOMETER radius around Washington D.C. It is the belief of the members of the Cocksuckers for Peace party that the American citizens are no longer interested in listening to lies that have been written for the president by other people. We’d rather hear the president’s own lies.

Number 4: I will take all measures necessary to divert 100% of the current military budget to the areas of Human Services, Education, and the Arts. These departments will in turn no longer be conceived of as extending only to the political boundaries of the United States, but will be restructured to take global concerns into account. Part of the overall mission of these departments will be to establish workable infrastructure in nations like Afghanistan, a measure that we believe will help to address problems with terrorism. The reason we say this is because we’re having a really hard time FINDING those terrorists, and we think that finding them will be made much easier if there are good roads leading to their homes.

Number 5: My inauguration party. (evil laugh, if you can muster it…) In an effort to extend our national borders to include the wider community of all humans, all Heads of State and Government will be invited to a big ole potluck party on the evening after I have been sworn into office. Each head of state is to bring something to eat—and no, you can’t stop by the Tenglemann and pick up a frozen pizza. Each person in attendance is to bring one dish of food that they loved as a child, and that they have cooked themselves. We think that if politicians got into the kitchen and fixed their own damn food on occasion, they might have a better sense of those issues faced by the common citizen.

Finally, number 6—a promise that I just now made up: Upon assuming office, I will create a new department of government, the Department of Cocksuckers. This department will be peopled by a wide variety of cocksuckers to appeal to the widest range possible of sexual taste. As president, I promise that if ever I get the urge to bomb someone, I will first make use of this department, because it is my belief that any politician who thinks bombing a real solution to the problems we face as humans should GO GET BLOWN.

Thank you—you’ve been a wonderful audience.

P.S. [mode=shameless plug]

Available for live delivery for any venue that feels like popping for a plane ticket there, a piece of floor to sleep on, and enough beer to get me through the evening.

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