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Friday, August 08, 2003  

Land Of A Thousand Divorces (updated)

I've taken the extraneous e's out of Derbeyshite in my posts of recent days, so they now read Derbyshite. The misspelling of the Duke's name in older posts (if indeed I did misspell it back then) will stand. Seems to me the Duke could use an extra E. Or ten.

Of course it's a metaphysical point whether the extra e in my remodeled version of the Duke's name amounts to a misspelling at all. I must say I like the look of my original version more.

I noticed my misspelling because of an email from Tim Wilson. He didn't point out my mistake, but the correct spelling of Derb's name in his letter was rebuke enough. Tim posted on the Duke as well and made a point worth quoting (I guess Lileks was hard on the gay bishop for leaving his wife, too):

I strongly believe in the value of vows, in responsibility towards created children, etc., but I also understand -- and I think I understand this in a way that Derbyshire or Lileks likely never will -- that a gay man leaving a relationship with a woman, formal marriage or not, children existent or not, because he recognizes that he is a gay man is substantially different than a man leaving his wife for another woman.

Here's a straight fairy tale for Lileks and the Duke: Imagine a Kingdom, Derbyshite let's call it, in which it was illegal to marry (heterosexually, of course) outside your caste (or religion, or race, or area code etc. etc.) And imagine that a young boy and girl of interdicted castes fell in love as children, a love that grew stronger in adolescence, but a love that could not end in marriage in adulthood. Thus forbidden to wed, the young man was forced into a marriage within his caste. The girl remained unwed and faithful to her true love. As the years past the law that prevented their marriage gradually lost its force. The forbidden lovers could now be reunited and legally wed. Should the now older man be forever a slave to the original injustice that denied him his own choice in love? And what of the girl's claim on happiness? Is it forever void becase she was born in a benighted place and time. She was abandoned once upon a time too, remember. But the divorce of a married couple must necessarily count for more?

I think I know the Duke's answer. Behead them both. But I'd be curious how Lileks would right the wrong.

Update: Reading Lileks' comments I see my fairy tale must be revised. Mr. Lileks thinks it's all about the kids. Or pretends to:

This story has irritated me from the start, and it has nothing to do with Rev. Robinson’s sexual orientation. The guy left his wife and kids to go do the hokey-pokey with someone else: that’s what it’s all about, at least for me. Marriages founder for a variety of reasons, and ofttimes they’re valid reasons, sad and inescapable. But “I want to have sex with other people” is not a valid reason for depriving two little girls of a daddy who lives with them, gets up at night when they're sick, kisses them in the morning when they wake. There's a word for people who leave their children because they don't want to have sex with Mommy anymore: selfish. I'm not a praying man, but I cannot possibly imagine asking God if that would be okay.

Hmmmm, from what I've read the bishop has been with his companion for many years now. That's quite a hokey pokey marathon. So unless Lileks is quoting the Bishop when he says his reason for leaving was, "I want to have sex with other people", Lileks is dancing the hokey pokey with his own true feelings, and the truth in general. He excludes the hidden or repressed (or possibly unrealized) homosexuality of one partner in the marriage from his "variety of reasons, and ofttimes they’re valid reasons, sad and inescapable" that a marriage might founder. Perhaps Mr. Lileks could favor us with a selection from his list of valid reasons, the ones sadder and more inescapable than sexuality denied through shame, proscribed by law.

So it's all about the kids. And Mr. Lileks takes care of HIS kid. (Here's your cookie, James.--Chris Rock baked it.) But, of course he is right in the respect that whatever the reason for the Bishop's decision to leave his wife, he and his wife had young children and the kids' interests had to weigh heavily in the Bishop's choices. Lileks would say decisively, or rather Lileks would deal from the bottom by defining their best interests in only one way--that they have a "daddy who lives with them." Any other arrangement fails the Lilek's test, apparently. Maybe JL needs a little more understanding of the everyday realities of couples comprised of anything less than an opinionista and a lawyer. You know, James, even couples that stay together are often not available as mommy and daddy to their kids day in and day out. My own dad spent much of the year living a thousand milers away from his family because he was on the road and because we very much didn't want to leave our friends and schools to move to a city that would have lessened somewhat his need to be on the road. Interesting the number of ways you can make sacrifices for your children. Interesting as well that some of them might include NOT being there for them every day of the week.

So back to the fairy tale. Yes, the man and his wife had children. Seven of them. Ages 3,7,9,12,14, 16, and 20. Though he was returning to his true love he promised to provide and care for his children, live close by, visit them and have them stay with him as much as they wanted. But yes, he would now be living in a new home with his new wife. Mutatis mutandi, it is up to King Lileks to decide the justice of the man's decision.

5:51 PM


Pastoral with Smoke

I never saw this photo from the morning of 9/11 before. AOL had it in one of its welcome screen news boxes this morning, with no credit, and of course unlinkable. Google Images found me a better copy.

It was taken by an amateur, but it conveys more than any professional picture of the site that I have seen.

Memo to news photographers: sometimes (make that many times) the image you want is the reflected or refracted one, not the direct view. Like the guy who spent the day on 9/11 with his camera turned around, away from the towers, and towards the faces of the people watching the towers.

Or did I make that up?

7:49 AM


Long Day's Journey (Into Derbyshite)

As previously noted , The Duchess Of Derbyshite's Wednesday thoughts on freedom and criminalization:

I have always thought that the criminalization of homosexual acts was both foolish, and inhumane, and un-Christian. I am no longer so sure. Perhaps our grandfathers were wiser than us. Perhaps there are some things that we, the normal majority, SHOULD, deliberately and consciously, disapprove and marginalize.

And now the D. of D.'s Thursday thoughts:

Make no mistake about it: there is a serious, strong current of thought out there that believes ANY objection to homosexuality is "hate speech" and ought to be criminalized--or, if it cannot be criminalized, shut down by any means that come to hand. I say again: there are many exceptions, and I thank those readers who, after identifying themselves as homosexual, went on to argue with me in a thoughtful and civilized way. But I now know something I did not know 48 hours ago, or knew only vaguely and imperfectly: gay fascism is real, and strong, and determined. If this Political Correctness cannot be stopped, we are going to lose our freedoms.

You'd think Derb and the gay fascists could find some middle ground here. I mean if they'd just soft-pedal the gay part.

(Hmmm, soft-pedal... upright organ reference. All apologies to Corner readers.)

3:04 AM

Thursday, August 07, 2003

"Did I Mention He Is Often Drunk And Disoriented?"

You want a Powerball press conference to remember, then give me the money sometime. The weeping, the shout-outs, the scores-settled and the charitable promises will all be torrential.

Jack Whittaker did ok with his powerball moment. Seemed like a modest, hard-working guy. Pledged millions to a couple backwoods preachers. Well, it was his money.

Early Tuesday morning somebody stole over half a million dollars in cash and bank checks from Jack's idling SUV which was parked outside the stripping establishment that Jack was idling within. The club was called the Pink Pony. It is located in Cross Lanes, West Virginia, a state whose name is comprised of two highly relative words. I have a feeling that the Lane in Cross Lanes is a bit of a stretch as well.

I don't find the story interesting because it reveals Jack is sharing his money with both backwoods preachers and crosslanes strippers. That seems entirely reasonable and expected. Equally Christian even. No, there are three really noteworthy things in the story.

1. The money wasn't so much stolen as moved. The briefcase, with its fortune intact, was found a short distance away. Crackheads (or probably the same learning-curved crackhead) have broken into my historical wreck and taken the spare change I leave in the car's dash twice in as many weeks. Jack's half a mill gets nicked and dumped.

2. Jack was in the Pink Pony for two and a half hours with his car engine running. Is that what you do when you have more money than time to spend it. Use machines to spend some of it for you?

3. Finally, ponder the sleuthing firepower and sherriffing savvy of Mr. Dave Tucker, without any further comment from myself, which self undoubtedly doesn't understand the deep game that Dave is playing here. One of those hillbilly sly cats, fools ya with his open manner and studied naiveté, then springs the trap:

"It's a known fact that Mr. Whittaker does carry a lot of money around with him, because he does frequent not only that club, but several other establishments ... and he does gamble," said Kanawha County Sheriff Dave Tucker.

(Link via blogdex)

8:08 AM

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

Derbyshite Submerged or Six Degrees of Penetration

Among the tricks they tried to use to keep the gay Bish (uh, me, I mean) from his bishopric, none was dirtier than the one that dirty dog Fred Barnes was carrying around in his mouth all proud of himself, like a mongrel puppy showing off some human remains he dug up out back of the Murdoch place.

Fred was telling everyone that you could get to a porn site from a link on the webpage of a group for gay youth that the Bishop had helped found. The actual steps to the porn: ---> Outright Concord--->>Three Pillows---> Adult Warning Enter--->some bisex smut with the pollination equipment covered up. Would have been easier to draw the dirty pics yourself. And you can't retrace the steps now anyway since the link has now been snipped. So the road to Three Pillows is forever lost. If you're starting in Concord, New Hampshire. (The farmer looked at me and said "Yah cahnt get thah from heah.")

(Ha. Three pillows--his, his and hers or hers, hers, and his--Polly Amory will not be amused.)

An Eschaton reader pointed out that it was a quicker trip to the good stuff from Fred Barnes' doghouse, The Weekly Standard.

I must in turn mention that The Corner might more truthfully be called the Porner, or maybe the Hard Corner.

A Jonah Glodberg post---->Links this comment----> Which links the comment page's front page----> Which links Agenda Bender--->Which includes porn sites sprinkled among its favorites links and porn links within its very posts and which is somewhat pornographic its own damn self when it feels like it.

Back at that slag heap of sexual provocation the Duke of Derbyshite had two tremendous ejaculations this morning. Half of Derbeyshite is awash in the Duke's sticky essence as a result. Oh the posterity! Put on your waders and slog through it for yourself.

A couple spoonfuls of the Duke:

...I have never liked homosexuality, nor tried to hide that fact; but all my life I have supported tolerance towards homosexuals as a harmless minority who are just as entitled to pursue their private inclinations as the rest of us. I have always thought that the criminalization of homosexual acts was both foolish, and inhumane, and un-Christian. I am no longer so sure. Perhaps our grandfathers were wiser than us. Perhaps there are some things that we, the normal majority, SHOULD, deliberately and consciously, disapprove and marginalize. But what hope of that now? The toothpaste is out of the tube. To the catacombs!

...That he could become a bishop in my church sickens and disgusts me. We can show tolerance and Christian obligation towards deviant minorities without handing them the keys to the house, can't we? Apparently not, not today, not in America. For shame! For shame!

The Duke reminds me here of two things. Catacombs was the name of a great black gay club in Philly which has for many years been closed now. Oh how I wish me and the Duke could go back to the Catacombs!

Secondly, I realized that I have yet to give the Duke a drag name. I think he does my work for me here. Dee Viant it shall be. Saucy French lass. Don't cross her, she'll yell "TOOTHPASTE!" and have you locked up.

12:15 PM


Gay Bishop Is Cleared, Confirmed

I'm in. Thanks for the prayers. And the zipped lips. Blessings all around.

5:47 AM


Hear That Wheel Turning?

Hot debate topic among nano-nerds circa 2053: Was Todd Rundgren the greatest of the hippie nerds?

I'm listening to a Rhino best of Rundgren CD. The Very Best of, it's mistakenly titled.

You're much better off just buying a copy of Something/Anything, only three tracks from which make this sparse collection. Still there were several headphone epiphanies.

I never got the joke in We Gotta Get You a Woman till tonight. Take a seat/ It's my treat. Oh. That kind of woman. And I'd forgotten the line that wouldn't make it onto the radio today. They may be stupid but they sure are fun.

Hello, It's Me, perfection as a title and the first line of a song. The p.o.v. breaks down pretty quickly, unfortunately, but there is one line of startling psychological insight, Sometimes I can't help seeing all the way through. This is a restatement of the foundational esoteric concept, it takes effort not to see. And then effort to learn how to stop not seeing, to remember how to forget to forget what you know, what you see.

The trumpet parts were innovative for their day. As was the all-things-fall-apart denouement. I'm guessing they edited the purposeful shambles out before they shipped the single.

Couldn't I Just Tell You plots the nexus between nerd longing and gay desire:

Couldn't I just tell you the way I feel
I can't keep it bottled up inside
Couldn't we pretend that it's no big deal
And there's really nothing left to hide

A Dream Goes on Forever lifts a hook from one of the Something/Anything gems but I can't remember which. All is silent within my dream...the time is stopped within my dream...I guess I believe that I'll see you one day, for without it there is no dream...and how much I loved you, you'll never know, till you join me within my dream. Pop medievalism at its best.

Real Man. Lovely body/mind/gender pile-up. Forget about my body and be a real man, Todd sings. The ectomorph's lament. The androids will probably take it up in time.

I see with my heart, hear with my heart, feel with my heart he sings, and it lingers.

I'd like to add a little sparkle while I'm here (light it up). The real men have the inner sparkle. And the pot.

Love is the Answer
: I've been from shore to shore to shore, If there's a short cut I'd have found it. The shift to the call and response gospel section (with real synth hand-claps) is a holy moment in pop.

And when you feel afraid (love one another)
When you've lost your way (love one another)
When you're all alone (love one another)
When you're far from home (love one another)
When you're down and out (love one another)
when all your hopes run out (love one another)
When you need a friend (love one another)
When you're near the end (love one another)

It would probably work as a holy moment in church, too.

(Bet you never realized there was a too closely miked acoustic guitar plinking away at the chords all the way through the song, either. Sounds like a demo track that never got erased.)

Can We Still Be Friends: We had something to learn, now it's time for the wheel to turn. The essential break-up line. It doesn't hurt that I actually believe it when I hear it. And say it

4:49 AM

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

Add Third Name For Good Aim

I know the Lee Harvey Oswald backyard rifle pose has its fans. Must be its Old Reliable Studio feel. If deadpan Oswald doesn't do it for you, perhaps grinning Oswald will. Shows another side of the dude.

I suppose Guiteau and Booth have their admirers too. Sullivan claims hairy is the new smooth, afterall.

But if you're looking for assassin beefcake, Othniel Boaz Askew just leapt to the head of watch-out-for-the-guys-with-three-names class. And landed frog-style in the teacher's chair.

I would have volunteered for detention.

Othniel is also an example of the phony resume gays we were reminded of by the death of David Hampton a few weeks back. The fabulous backstory that melts like a cake left out in the rain. Recipe lost, sweet green puddle all that's left. He was made for the New York City Council, and he knew it.

Othniel gets his RIP, too.

And one for his victim while we're at it.

1:52 PM

Monday, August 04, 2003

Hyundai Exec Jumps From Window

Not easy to do. From a Huyndai.

First he tried to hang himself. In the glove compartment.

The lightbulb couldn't hold his weight.

I'm working on some David Kelly material too.

Someone's gotta pick up Bob's torch. Before Hitchens stomps on it again.

10:51 AM

Sunday, August 03, 2003

Fair Isaac, Divided

Have I revealed before my deep attraction to tales of true crime, well told? Murder and mayhem grab me hardest (all hail the mighty Jack Olsen) but con-games, simple and elaborate, hold second place in my vicarious blackheart.

From an excellent NYT's piece on ATM fraud:

...His name is Iljmija Frljuckic

...After buying these machines the kind commonly found in convenience stores, delicatessens and other retail outlets he and his associates installed devices that captured, or "skimmed," personal bank account information from at least 21,000 people, prosecutors say. They used that information in 2001 and early 2002 to make fake A.T.M. cards, then stole at least $3.5 million, mostly from A.T.M.'s in New York City, according to the latest federal charges filed about two months ago in Manhattan.

...This growth, in turn, has spawned criminal activity that goes beyond just the skimming of bank account numbers. Embezzlements in recent years have involved companies that supply cash to the expanded A.T.M. market, including a New Jersey company, Tri-State Armored Services, where $50 million turned up missing. By contrast, the biggest bank robbery in the last 25 years, according to federal statistics, involved $11 million.

...The system, if not properly supervised, can be used to launder money. An owner can stock a machine with the proceeds from crime and then, after withdrawals, be reimbursed from customers' banks with "clean" currency.

The American Bankers Association says its members do not see money laundering as a problem. "That's not something that's come to my attention," said John Byrne, a lawyer with the association.

....In an escalating game of cat and mouse, the thieves began making withdrawals during lunch hour, when sidewalk and street congestion was at its worst. And they stopped feeding large numbers of cards into a single machine, instead slipping from one location to another

...Within weeks, Hamdija Frljuckic was arrested after visiting the machine at Nasser Alomari's store.

He is awaiting trial on charges relating to the A.T.M. thefts. But Iljmija Frljuckic remains at large.

"The main older brother flees with several million in a suitcase," an investigator said. "We have intelligence that he put A.T.M.'s in other places in the world."

Reached overseas by telephone, Mr. Frljuckic told The New York Times that he was willing to be interviewed where he was living, in Montenegro. But after several conversations to arrange the interview, he stopped returning calls.

...Banks are reluctant to discuss the case. "Our hard and fast policy is we just don't discuss these sorts of things," a Citibank spokeswoman said.

My favorite detail, though, is contained in this otherwise prosaic sentence:

They covered their tracks throughout the process," said Michael Urban, who works for a division of Fair Isaac, a company that helps financial institutions detect electronic fraud.

A division of Fair Isaac, amidst the chicanery a moment of enchantment. Or necromancy.

8:53 AM