I was going to write something really glib and flippant about the topic I am about to introduce, but the more I looked into it, the more all the glib and flip got knocked out of me. What's left of me when those things are knocked out is mostly sadness and Bridge Mixture.

I recently started getting odd emails. Here's one of them:


You are receiving this email from J.T who has signed up for X3watch, a personal accountability service from Triple X Church.

J.T. has identified you as their accountability partner. If you've received this email in error or you don't want to be J.T.'s accountability partner, please ask them to remove your email address from the X3watch application.

What Happens Now?

You will receive an email every week containing all possible questionable sites they may have visited on their [list devices the user runs X3watch on] devices.

This information is meant to encourage an open and honest conversation between friends and help us all be more accountable. You should also add the address to your email address book to ensure it's not marked as spam email.

I naturally assumed Triple X Church was a made-up place that existed in order to somehow acquire my banking details. Or a real-life place that existed in order to provide people who are not me with High Anglican pornography. Either way, it was suspicious, and I CLICKED ON NOTHING. But the emails kept coming, so I finally, STILL CLICKING NOTHING, googled "XXX Church" and discovered that it's a website for religious people grappling with porn addictions.

The name of the man who suggested I might like to regularly monitor his use of pornography was included in the email (I obviously redacted it here, because I am not an animal), and as far as I can tell, he's a prominent gastroenterologist somewhere in Kansas. He's also a devout Christian and a married man, and his pornography addiction has jeopardized his relationship (he has posted comments on blogs about porn addiction and religion). The only other thing I know about him is that he probably has a trusted friend or relative with an email address remarkably similar to mine.

If I can figure out a way to no longer be a stranger's online porn accountability partner without having to correspond with someone from a Christian website or with that stranger who is right now totally unaware that some girl in Toronto is his porn accountability partner, I'll do so.  And I haven't looked at a single one of those reports, because if I wouldn't want some gastroenterologist from Kansas knowing incredibly personal things about me, I'm not going to give into the temptation to know incredibly personal things about a gastroenterologist from Kansas.

Thankfully, I found some statements on the website that allowed me to drown out my reluctant pathos attack:

"Each year, we distribute 25,000 bibles within the porn industry."

"We take the light of the gospel to the darkest of places around the world: porn shows, strip clubs, and brothels."

You can, naturally, donate money to fund their bible- and gospel-distributing endeavours. And why send your money to the world's less-dark places when you could use it to send a Christian to a strip club?

I am heartened to find myself glibbant once more.


This post was supposed to end after that last paragraph, but I just discovered that Triple X Church runs something called "Operation: Save the Kittens" and I think you should know about it:

"'Every time you masturbate, God kills a kitten!' This notion came to us in an email by an anonymous person, and we took it to a whole new level."


The Triple X Church thinks that masturbating (even if one distracts oneself throughout with THOUGHTS OF FRUIT) is wrong, and suggests that people make anti-masturbation pacts and remind each other not to masturbate by sending weekly emails with catchy subject headings to one another. Because the world is not all bad, they provide examples of such headings:

    * OSTK
    * Please, think of the kittens
    * Killed any kitties this week?
    * The kittens thank you for your support
    * Long Live the Kittens!

Pure awesome.
Many years ago, I watched an episode of Oprah that featured conjoined twin girls—I believe they were joined at the head. I insisted on sharing various responses to and insights about it with a friend (both the responses and insights went something like "I mean, imagine what it would be like. IMAGINE WHAT IT WOULD BE LIKE."). The friend with whom I was speaking, after agreeing that imagining what it would be like was indeed a rich and worthwhile undertaking, then said, "And, I mean, let's be honest: when they grow up, every man's fantasy."

There was a rather awkward silence, and then I said to him, "I think you mean identical twins. Just regular identical twins. Not conjoined twins - those ones aren't the stereotypical male fantasy ones."

He would certainly have agreed that he didn't have his finger on the pulse of mainstream culture (he once explained quite seriously to classmates that his presentation on Blake might be somewhat convoluted because he had, after all, written it while listening to both Rachmaninoff and Beethoven [I'm pretty sure it was those two—I'm not really an authority, and it's all too possible I wrote my own presentation while listening to radio stations playing a combination of Sisqo and Shaggy]) at the same time.

But how had I learned that identical twins were something the average man was supposed to want to have the sex with? Had I ever actually heard a man discuss wanting to have the sex with identical twins? No. I realized then that everything I knew about the Male Libido I learned from Dan Fielding.

Dan Fielding was a character played by John Larroquette on the sitcom Night Court. He was a prosecutor and also a devoted, unashamed pervy perv. From Dan Fielding, I learned that it was not unheard of for men to want to sleep with twins; I learned that stewardesses were the prostitutes of the skies, and that Swedish ones were especially awesome; I learned  that successful prosecutors might well also visit with the prostitutes of the ground, known simply as prostitutes.

Dan Fielding was greedy, lecherous, thoughtless, craven, dishonest, and kind of vulnerably pathetic. In the opposite corner of Night Court manhood was Judge Harold T. Stone, a wistful, selfless child-man who would not think twice about leaving a plane full of Norwegian swimsuit models for the chance to eat an ice-cream cone with Mel Torme.

So it's because of Night Court that I developed a sense of there being two very clear types of men: those who get a woman alone in order to force unwanted sexual attentions upon her, and those who get a woman alone in order to force unwanted and unsuccessful magic tricks upon her.

I don't know why I didn't pay more attention to Mac. He was a pretty good husband to Quon Le. 

POLITE DISCLAIMER: This site is intended for entertainment purposes only. If you are not entertained, fair enough.
This is a very exciting day for me. And also a startling one. It's exciting because I had not realized I had branched out into porn, and startling because I had not realized I had branched out into porn.

Despite the fact that this website is obviously titillating, salacious, and (if you look at it from just the right angle) full of boobies, I had not intended it to be a straightforwardly blue endeavour.

But blue it is, says the DANGEROUS SUPER-PORN PORNY PORN WEBSITE warning that has begun popping up on the computers of the people I know who work for the provincial government (and who only visit explicit pornographic sites while on their breaks, or by accident while not on their breaks when trying to search for explicit pornographic sites).

What's truly amazing is that I have managed to become pornographic in the way least calculated to make me more successful. The porn-iness of my website does not reveal itself on the larger internet, so that people searching, say, for "naked Kristen Stewart" (I absolutely put that in just so this website might pop up when people google "naked Kristen Stewart") or "co-ed lesbians" will not be led to my carefully considered meditations on fully-clothed people not having sex with one another. But at the same time, meditative and fully-clothed people not having sex at the Ontario government will now not be able to read me from work, and I will lose out on all those people  frustrated because they can't use Facebook or youtube.

My only hope is that I will be able to tap into an entirely new demographic: civil servants, who, searching for considered, no-sex meditations about things, stumble across the warning message, are intrigued by the notion of porn, remember the website, come home to check out that porn they almost saw, and then find themselves delighted to not find porn.

I also wonder why, despite the fact that my site has been active and gone largely unnoticed for a very long time, they have chosen this moment to block it. I can only imagine they read the last few posts while clutching an imaginary set of dirty-making quotation marks.

From last week's post about the Bloodhound Gang (with added quotation marks):

They are for some reason allowed to moonlight as "private investigators" and regularly able to "foil" villains and their villainous plots by way of things like "pinhole cameras."

The post about the Phantom of the Muppet Show:

Also, it used to make me cry because no one would ever believe that Snuffleupagus existed, even though he'd just "been" RIGHT THERE.

The one about Vader living in my closet:

And before Jedi came out and Vader was revealed to have a boiled-fish, soft-unripened-cheese, triangular, vulnerable under-helmet head, I was more scared of him than of just about anything else, which was unfortunate, because he lived in my "closet."

POLITE DISCLAIMER: This site is intended for entertainment purposes only. If you are not entertained, fair enough.
I owe my father an apology. Not because I forced him to listen to Aerosmith's Pump when I was thirteen, or because I never managed to become a sullen teenager and so talked incessantly about things like Aerosmith's Pump (although I am desperately sorry for both of those things), but because I thought he just had to be wrong about Arizona. Arizona couldn't be that crazy. He had to have misunderstood. 

What a fool I was to doubt both my father and the unlimited batshit craziness of Arizona!

Perhaps ashamed of having a doctors-can-mislead-pregnant-women law slightly less batshit crazy than Oklahoma's, one proud Arizonan politician has decided to give all liberals an early Christmas present by telling a constituent that women who want to have abortions should first be forced to watch other women have abortions.

When he told me this, I of course concluded my father must have been watching Keith Olberman while sleep-deprived and high on something that makes people think totally outrageous things about conservatives. But no. Rep. Terri Proud (R! - Tuscon) responded to a concerned citizen's email about an anti-abortion bill with the following:

"Personally I'd like to make a law that mandates a woman watch an abortion being performed prior to having a 'surgical procedure'. If it's not a life it shouldn't matter, if it doesn't harm a woman then she shouldn't care, and don't we want more transparency and education in the medical profession anyway? We demand it everywhere else. Until the dead child can tell me that she/he does not feel any pain - I have no intentions of clearing the conscience of the living - I will be voting YES."

This concerned citizen was not the only one to receive this response, as Proud told her staff to send it out to anyone who suggested she oppose the bill.

When the concerned citizen became even more concerned as a result and sent a follow-up email indicating she was both embarrassed and frightened by Proud, Proud responded with: "You're kidding right?" I can only assume this was also a blanket response sent out to all those who'd emailed back to suggest her last blanket response had been embarrassing and frightening. 

So once again, Dad, I'm sorry. I should never for a second have questioned your claims. If you tell me next that a state rep (R!!!) from Oklahoma has suggested women should not be allowed to have an abortion until they have have actually performed an abortion on another woman, I will not doubt you for a second.

POLITE DISCLAIMER: This site is intended for entertainment purposes only. If you are not entertained, fair enough.

Unfortunately, circumstances have obliged me to revisit my conclusions of last week. I am often obliged to revisit my conclusions, as they are frequently wrong. Perhaps thinking about things more thoroughly or researching would help, but I avoid such activities on point of principle as they are hallmarks of Socialism.

At any rate, last week I concluded that gender equality would eventually be achieved at least in part through offensive bibs.  But recently, a news item reminded me that we still have a long way to go when it comes to degrading boys as much as girls.

Most episodes of Toddlers and Tiaras are remarkable for their awfulness and for helping you realize that, whatever you might think, your parents were classy and your youthful fashion sense sophisticated (and - full disclosure, I occasionally watch Toddlers and Tiaras. And Hoarders: Buried Alive. There's probably a German word for how they make me feel and why I keep watching them.). The show, though, has now lowered the bar of good taste to unprecedentedly low levels. 

Wendy Dickey, pageant mom and self-professed Good Christian Woman, dressed her 3-year-old up as Julia Robert's Pretty Woman prostitute character, clearly in a misguided attempt to illustrate some of the more obscure teachings of Christ. 

I immediately tried to figure out what the boy-child equivalent would be. A pint-sized Joe Buck would probably go unrecognized by a pageant audience; My Own Private Idaho is most likely too private for the public Idaho and a reference to it would also perplex. And I don't remember The Basketball Diaries being a heart-warming crowd-pleaser or involving snooty retail salespeople getting their comeuppance. 

Really, a caring Christian mother looking for the male equivalent of Roberts' beloved movie prostitute would find herself at a loss. I guess she could always stick to the Pretty Woman theme instead, and dress her beloved Bentley or Ethan or Jayden up as a knee-high Richard Gere. My utopic vision of a future in which both and girls are equally objectified and in much the same way might never be realized, but I'm somewhat comforted by the prospect of toddler hookers and toddler johns.

Send the Catastrophizer your requests for advice and/or rationalizations using the form conveniently provided HERE. I will publish my responses on the THE CATASTROPHIZER page.

POLITE DISCLAIMER: This site is intended for entertainment purposes only. If you are not entertained, fair enough. Also, I'm not very good at copy-editing, so if something looks wrong, it was put there by accident.

"What a coincidence! I, too, am a lesbian blogger."
I was shocked and saddened when it came out that Eliot Spitzer had been keeping condom-less company with a young prostitute. Not so much because I find it difficult to believe that people who are politically like-minded pay young women for sex, but because I have always liked to believe that awkward, nerdy people don't pay women for sex. It's one thing when overgrown frat boys or smooth-haired reverends turn out to be secret perverts, but when vaguely unfortunate, intelligent men who look like ungainly flightless birds turn out to be secret perverts, I find it disappointing.

Then the Weiner dropped, and I found myself nostalgic for the wholesomeness of the Spitzer scandal. Spitzer had sex. With a professional. And at least tried to do so discreetly. An old-timey, old-fashioned kind of scandal. Weiner, another funny-looking, articulate Democrat, was pathologically and self-destructively devoted to showing strange women his penis via The Twitter, and The Facebook. The whole thing was disconcerting and unpleasant.

And then the Gay Girl from Damascus was both un-gayed and un-girled, and I found myself nostalgic for Weiner. Amina Arraf, who claimed to be Syrian-American, lesbian, and real, turned out to be a Medieval Studies grad student from Georgia named Tom MacMaster. When it was reported that Amina had been kidnapped by the government, people started to look into her and to not be able to find her and MacMaster was unmasked. Even more bizarrely, one of MacMaster's "victims", Paula Brooks, founding editor of lesbian news site Lez Get Real, then turned out to be a male construction worker from Ohio. NPR's headline summarizes the situation admirably: "Another Supposedly Lesbian Blogger Turns Out to Be a Man."

It's the sympathetic teen girls trying to convince other teen girls they meet online to meet for real in deserted parking lots who are supposed to turn out to be older men in disguise, not the lesbian bloggers.

When Weiner weinered, I missed the innocent, straightforward salaciousness of the Spitzer scandal. But when Amina and Paula turned out to be Tom and Bill, I found myself missing the innocent, straightforwardly compulsive, exhibitionist perviness of Weiner. He's dishonest, manipulative, messed-up and free with his privates, but sexual misbehaviour is reassuringly familiar. I am apparently more confounded by men wanting to represent and speak for communities of women who love other women by pretending to be women who love other women than by men who want to show strangers what's inside their pants.

I'm sure something will now happen that will make me yearn for the days when straight men just pretended to be lesbians. Maybe Spitzer and Weiner will turn out to be lesbian bloggers in disguise. 

Send the Catastrophizer your requests for advice and/or rationalizations using the form conveniently provided HERE. I will publish my responses on the THE CATASTROPHIZER page.

POLITE DISCLAIMER: This site is intended for entertainment purposes only. If you are not entertained, fair enough. Also, I'm not very good at copy-editing, so if something looks wrong, it was put there by accident.

Christine O'Donnell (Repubican candidate for Senate in Delaware) is an inspiration. To me, and, if you are right-minded and/or a Satan-worshipper, perhaps to you too.

First she admitted on Bill Maher some time in the 90s that she dabbled in black magic when she was in high school. Her defenders defended this revelation in the following manner: "Who DIDN'T do something wacky in high school?" I know I regularly attempted to induce malign forces to manifest themselves in my friend's wood-paneled basement.

Then she made the claim that a married masturbator is adulterous because he or she can't do it without lusting after someone to whom he or she is not married. Or something. She didn't believe this when she was worshipping the Evil One on altars and such, which means that while she was maybe a bit sketchy then, she was at least more fun. I suppose that's what's often said about Satan. Which is why I totally revile her early fun-ness and embrace her self-abnegating grown-up self. 

But I don't just like her because she's a once-devil-loving masturbator-hater. She's also living proof that it's way easier to be an expert than you might have thought.

In a recent debate with her Democratic opponent, Chris Coons, O'Donnell indicated she couldn't remember what the Fourteenth and Sixteenth Amendments to the Constitution were all about and MAY have revealed she wasn't all the sure what's in the First. 

Ignorance is never worrisome, but it's especially un-worrisome in this context because O'Donnell has already proved she's a constitutional scholar. She's mentioned on a number of occasions that she received a "graduate fellowship" in Constitutional Government from the Claremont Institute. 

Would you like one also? Not as difficult as you might think! Turns out the Claremont Institute is a right-wing think-tank, the graduate fellowship is not, strictly speaking, a graduate fellowship, and the whole thing lasted exactly one week.

This has filled me with hope. I've always wanted to be a cardiac surgeon. Now, thanks to the folks at the Cavy Institute, I have a fellowship in Cardiac Surgery Preparedness. The fact that the Cavy Institute was founded by Benson and Stabler, my guinea pigs, does not in any way call this honour into question, as they are completely dedicated to the Life of the Mind.
Send the Catastrophizer your requests for advice and/or rationalizations using the form conveniently provided HEREI will publish my responses on the THE CATASTROPHIZER page.

POLITE DISCLAIMER: This site is intended for entertainment purposes only. If you are not entertained, fair enough. Also, I'm not very good at copy-editing, so if something looks wrong, it was put there by accident.

Hurray for Jim DeMint! The courageously outspoken senator from South Carolina has enriched the national discourse yet again by reminding us of his courageous outspokenness of six years ago

What kind of statement does not grow stale with age? Why, the one that expresses the sentiment that gays should not be allowed to be teachers, of course.

A number of years ago, DeMint said just that, and he was viciously criticized by homemade-seitan-loving, Islamic-extremist-supporting Democrats (we all know that Republicans hate gays, Democrats love them, and libertarians don't mind them as long as they're not taking up room in their underground bunkers). 

Now he's revealed that while most people, cowed by the prospect of retaliation from vicious hippie types, remained silent after he was taken to task for his unabashed truth-telling, hordes of the secretly brave-minded came to him privately to let him know that he was not alone. As a result, his marvelous axioms are once again before the public eye.

Only one thing interferes with my enjoyment of the first of DeMint's unassailable claims: it's become a bit...old. Passe. Familiar. What conservative radio host DOESN'T think that all homosexuals should be kept away from all children?

Jim DeMint, though, is not one to rest on the homophobic laurels of other boosters of straight male Boy Scout leaders. No, he's far more daring. Free-thinking. He hunts moral conclusions to the murky swamps in which they tend to hide. He doesn't just think gays should be kept out of America's flourishing educational system; he believes children should also be protected from the damaging math and English lessons of "single", straight, pregnant women who are living with common-law spouses. 

Bravo, Mr. DeMint! The morality of the young is under attack not simply from teaching-obsessed homosexuals; it's also besieged by the free-loving lifestyles of teaching-fixated women who fail to use contraception.

My only quibble with DeMint is that his argument doesn't go far enough. What about the men who've impregnated the pregnant women and insist on living with them without making them honest? What about the people who are ill-advisedly friends with either gay teachers or pregnant, unmarried teachers? 

The more I think about it, the more I think no one is sinless enough to teach our children. And this has a bright side: with no teachers and no schools, there'll be far less of a chance that kids will be forced to learn about evolution.

Send the Catastrophizer your requests for advice and/or rationalizations using the form conveniently provided HEREI will publish my responses on the THE CATASTROPHIZER page.

POLITE DISCLAIMER: This site is intended for entertainment purposes only. If you are not entertained, fair enough. Also, I'm not very good at copy-editing, so if something looks wrong, it was put there by accident.
Everyone knows what senior civil servants are like. They're all grey in colour; they read summaries of books that discuss how to team-build effectively through inspirational PowerPoint presentations; if they once dreamt of anything else, those sweet dreams of youth are now long dead.

Now an exciting new item out of the States knocks those assumptions into a cocked hat. It seems it is possible to hold on to the passions that define you extracurricularly even while haunting the corridors of power (who knew they had those in Michigan?).

CNN reports that, "For nearly six months, Andrew Shirvell, an assistant attorney general for the state of Michigan, has waged an internet campaign against college student Chris Armstrong, the openly gay student assembly president at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor." And not just an internet campaign, really, when you consider that Shirvell has also picketed Armstrong's family home. Primarily, though, Shirvell has conducted what he calls his "Chris Armstong Watch" through his blog.

Shirvell has decided to spend his time targeting Armstrong rather than, say, dragon-boat racing or playing competitive Scrabble, because he feels that Armstrong is "Satan's representative on the student assembly." He claims it's within his rights to identify Satan's local representative because he is acting as a private citizen. Wouldn't you start a blog if a minion of Satan were agitating for extended cafeteria hours at your local post-secondary institution?

And anyone who thinks that politics and loyalty are incompatible is in for a pleasant surprise. Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox has made no move to remove Shirvell, although CNN's legal correspondent assures me that it is entirely within his rights to do so, regardless of the First Amendment. It's possible this lack of action has something to do with the fact that Shirvell and Cox share many strong Conservative values and that Cox is interested in retaining the support of the evangelical Christian voting bloc. 

So all in all, a lovely and heart-warming tale with a couple of important lessons:
1) Civil servants don't have to choose between personal interests and taxpayers' money; and,
2) Even in politics, you can still count on your friends, as long as you all hate Satan.

Send the Catastrophizer your requests for advice and/or rationalizations using the form conveniently provided HEREI will publish my responses on the THE CATASTROPHIZER page.

POLITE DISCLAIMER: This site is intended for entertainment purposes only. If you are not entertained, fair enough. Also, I'm not very good at copy-editing, so if something looks wrong, it was put there by accident.