[Read "Perverse Pleasure Is the Best Revenge" by Rebecca Traister.]
Having successfully alienated my born-again Christian cousin and a devout Lutheran, right-thinking retired teacher-friend during the course of the Shrub's unifying spirit campaign, I needed a good laugh. Rebecca Traister's "Perverse Pleasure Is the Best Revenge" was indeed chicken soup for the soul. Oh, wait! I don't have one. I'm a commie, pinko, lefty, bleeding-heart liberal, and they don't have souls -- or so my cousin and friend tell me.
-- Thomas Rosich
Oh, you nailed it with this one. May I also recommend downloading some gangsta rap, throwing it on your iPod and listening to it in a French cafe while eating some brie? This has helped me a lot with my election recovery. Nothing screams "annoying liberal" more than an upper-middle-class white dude quoting Snoop Dogg in public while enjoying a nice shiraz. If only there was gay gangsta rap!
-- Eric Keller
Traister's article advises us to piss off the most extreme of the extreme conservative religious right, but what's the point? They're a minority in the Republican Party. A larger majority of people voted for Bush because of national security concerns. Democrats still have not overcome the concern that they are the party of Neville Chamberlains.
Most people who voted for Bush couldn't care less if we all get our sex up the ass, live together without marrying, read books that talk about puberty, or watch vulgar movies. Many are in support of abortion rights too, especially if late-term, elective abortions are prohibited except in cases where the mother's life is at risk. But this sort of nuance deflates Traister's article and the consolation that a bunch of dumb creationists elected Bush to office, doesn't it?
-- Michael Franklin
Loved it, except for Point 8 ("Forget your big plans to boycott red states"). The red states already are sucking about $100 billion a year out of the pockets of those of us who they consider out-of-touch, immoral elitists. Why add to their take? They are like petulant little children, talking smack about their mommies and daddies yet expecting their allowance to be unaffected.
Well, I can't do anything about the taxes. But I sure as hell can do something about where I spend my money. If they don't like me, and they think I am an elitist snob, then they don't like my money. And they're not getting any.
So no more skiing in Utah, it's time to head to California or Vermont. No vacations in Florida, time to head to Hawaii. I'm supporting people like me, and the red state people who call me an immoral elitist can, in the words of the man they choose as V.P., go fuck themselves.
-- Tony Wang
Look, I realize I've lost all sense of humor about this election. But Traister's tongue-in-cheek recommendations to cope with the loss leave me cold. This is exactly why we lost the election: People perceived us as outside the mainstream and too into our own little worlds. I don't want to have deviant sex with anyone. I want my two little kids to have an environment left when they grow up. I want all of the parents with kids in Iraq to get them back. I want to take back the economy and stop the train wreck we all see coming. And my despair comes from knowing that we pulled out every stop and it still didn't work.
-- Hope Lombardo
Rebecca Traister's article on taking perverse pleasures to annoy the Bible thumpers is pretty on target, but one of the recommendations is sadly inappropriate as a way to annoy the states that went for George Bush.
Which one? The advice to get a divorce, of course. Red states have a much higher incidence of divorce than blue states, with the grand champion of marital fidelity being that Mecca of gay marriage, Massachusetts.
So, if we really want to differentiate ourselves from our more Neanderthal brethren, one very good way seems to be to work to preserve happy, healthy marriages, gay or otherwise. Of course, nothing spices up matrimony like a little kinky sex or a good dirty movie. Perhaps a joint reading of "Lady Chatterley's Lover," which could then be donated to the local library?
-- Ken Erfourth
Hear, hear! Ms. Traister's hilarious, sly essay warmed up an otherwise cold November. Only problem was, the laughter that repeatedly overcame me kept making my gin and tonic slosh onto the keyboard. Such is the price of freedom, I guess.
-- Ryan Boyd
I'm over the election and think articles about having kinky sex and getting divorced to get back at "red America" are just plain dumb. If you're looking to change the political map for 2006, getting divorced for the heck of it is obviously stupid advice even when masquerading as humor.
Just so you know, red states don't need us to show them how to break up families. The lowest divorce rates in the nation are mostly in blue states. The lowest being that pesky, liberal, gay-marriage-lovin' state of Massachusetts.
I know Salon had a lot invested in a Kerry win but please do get over it. Facts remain the greatest enemy to the Bush administration so please keep your focus there.
-- David Wechsler
I'd like to make two additions to Rebecca Traister's list.
In books, I recommend Kurt Vonnegut's "Breakfast of Champions." It's funny, weird, thought-provoking and a bit dirty.
In movies, it's hard to find a better choice for pissing off evangelicals than my all-time favorite: Monty Python's "Life of Brian." It's sacrilegious, has brief nudity, is funny as hell, and has thought-provoking lines like these:
"You are all individuals"; "we are all individuals"; "I'm not."
-- Mike Gollub
Oh yes. Yes, YES, YESSS, oh fucking YES!!!!! Back to abnormal!
-- "Maura LeCorupt"
I voted blue, live in a blue state (hell, I even subscribe to Salon), but that moronic "article" made me embarrassed to be any of them.
Men are dying in the latest siege in Iraq, and Mr. Talbot, who promised to keep fighting the good fight, has a lead story -- on Veteran's Day no less -- encouraging one to go fuck someone in the ass and touting her friends' "profiles in courage" who can cry in "swanky" clubs. In my best red state impression, you should be ashamed of yourselves.
-- John Fetterman
Thank you, Rebecca Traister, for helping me laugh again. They may have taken our country away from us, but at least we can avoid being as boring as they are!
-- Holly Dolezalek
Like Rebecca Traister, I have been making a list of perverse (and not-so-perverse) pleasures that are likely to be eliminated during the coming Bush administration. Here are a few things she missed:
11. Stock up on birth control. If Roe vs. Wade is going, Griswold vs. Connecticut (the decision that made contraception legal nationwide) won't be far behind.
12. Rent, make or buy porn! Another perverse pleasure that's squarely in the cross hairs of the Christian Taliban -- although porn is so popular that more than a few of the religious right have got to be watching Jenna Jameson get it every which way she can. Happily, these hypocrites will lose their secret video stashes and be just as miserable and sexually frustrated as the rest of us will soon be.
13. Travel the world! Hitherto, American travelers got a pass because most of us didn't vote for Bush the first time around. (Europeans in particular have been perceptive enough to distinguish individual Americans from their government.) The election has changed this. So go now, while you still can!
14. Peacefully assemble. This right was under siege even before the election. (Remember what happened to protesters in Miami, New York and Philadelphia?) It will be gone before we can organize a teach-in to support it.
15. Breathe. The Clean Air Act is being gutted and enforcement of air pollution laws is a joke. Think your strict blue state anti-pollution laws will protect you? Think again: The wind will waft acid rain from all those dirty coal-burning power plants in the red states right into your backyard.
16. Work. What's that great sucking sound? It's your job evaporating.
17. Retire. Do it now, before Social Security is turned over to Wall Street, and you may get grandfathered in. Investment firms are salivating over the chance to collect fees on the government retirement savings accounts Bush will replace it with (not to mention the chance to churn your retirement investments for their profit).
18. Become disabled or lose your spouse or parent. Right now, you can collect Social Security benefits if these terrible things occur. With Social Security on the chopping block, who knows what will happen? You may soon have to grovel before a faith-based charity -- which might condescend to help you if you come to Jesus.
19. Drink water. The Bush administration says it's fine for raw sewage to be released into the source of your drinking water. Let them drink Perrier!
-- Nancy Ott