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February 28, 2003

teenage sex

The following week-old Reuters article...

"LONDON (Reuters Health) - School children under 16 are being encouraged to experiment with oral sex as part of a Government-backed drive to cut Britain's sky-high teenage pregnancy rate, newspapers reported on Friday.

The Times said the scheme, pioneered by Exeter University and backed by the Departments of Health and Education, trains teachers to discuss pre-sex "stopping points."

The idea is to reduce promiscuity by encouraging pupils to discover "levels of intimacy," including oral sex, instead of full sexual intercourse.

Robert Whelan, director of the Family Education Trust, told the newspaper: "If teenage boys are being satisfied orally on a regular basis, believe me, it won't even occur to them to ask for intercourse."

This change in approach has also raised the issue of whether teens should be encouraged to practice anal sex, another effective method of avoiding pregnancy.

Whelen admits the university's plan is less clear here: "Anal sex, yes, I suppose it is an effective way of reducing pregnancies. But it carries with it a host of other risks. However, if a young couple is careful and practices anal sex very hygienically, I suppose that would work too. And who knows, they might enjoy it more than traditional intercourse."

With nearly 39,000 girls under 18 conceiving each year, Britain has the highest teenage pregnancy rate in Western Europe. The government has set a target of halving levels by 2010.

To help achieve this, in recent years students have been offered condoms, oral contraceptives and easier access to counselors in schools."

... was at least partially doctored by tv.

I re-print it here without tv's permission, as he's away in Cuba, but I'm sure he wouldn't mind. Apparently he's going to start (within the coming month) publishing these re-writes on a bi-weekly/weekly basis - on his own public web site no less - which should be much fun.

Outside of this there's little to report.

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February 25, 2003

Dr. Deveaux

If you're one of those people who read "Fit For Life" when you were twelve, you won't learn anything here. But I didn't, and I did, so here:

Drink half your body weight in fluid ounces every day. Everyone knows this? Drink it at room temperature - I never knew why. If you drink it icy cold, your liver mass produces cellulite, which is more than just aesthetically problematic: "And they want to go to war with a country of people who are so famished their children are starving when they themselves drop like flies from malnourishment and obesity? When it's at epidemic proportions?"

Never drink water during a meal. Stop 20 minutes before and don't start until 40 minutes after. Water washes out enzymes, which means you waste your dinner.

Don't eat wheat - it isn't wheat. The FDA started looking into the way wheat was being processed and learned that everything nutritious was being systematically removed in the name of being "more expeditious". This is the kind of thing I don't know if I believe, but apparently it's all well documented: the FDA cancelled their inquiry when three or four of the guys leading the investigation got top jobs in the wheat industry. "You didn't hear any of this from me" is the best thing a conspiracy theorist can say after they impart their wisdom.

Flour - ditto.

At the end of my session, I asked Dr. Deveaux, Carribean iridologist and naturopath, and probably one of the healthiest looking people I've ever met, about his cure for Muscular Distrophy. I said, "If you figured out how to cure it, you should probably publish it," and added, "and the same thing goes for prostate cancer". He said, "Well, writing and all that has never been an interest of mine. I have kept all the notes - it's just translating them into something publishable - writing, that's not something I know anything about."

"You know, with the internet, you could probably find a med student who would be willing to do it for you," but he said his son had looked into it - both his children had - and getting a ghost writer was too expensive.

"Yeah, but then so's human life," to which he said "Quite True."

So, if anyone knows a med-student looking for (what seems) a worthwhile thesis - Deveaux can be found at "Wind Jammers" resort on the Island of Saint Lucia - and yes - I was the only person who thought the resort's name was goofy.

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February 20, 2003

3 Acquaintances

Our Paths Crossed...

On Two Occasions

I met her for the second time a month ago, in a bar. She worked in a cemetery when she went to art school, I have no idea what she does now - it never came up.

She hated The Beatles. She said "I don't even want to talk about it - they're just the worst. It's bubblegum - I wish people would just see that it's all bubble gum, it's like tv commercials, jingles - the original tv commercial jingles - I just wish people would get a grip and move on!"

When I asked her if she really "hates" John Lennon I saw the rage his name provoked in her: "I - I - I just, I feel like raping him everytime I see him, I really want something to happen to him, just something to give him a little depth."

*

On Three Occasions

A handy-man who worked in my apartment building, the last apartment building I would live in in Vancouver. He had been in his last semester of law school when the bombs started falling in Yugoslavia. He got out at night, swore never to go back, found a job in BC where he developed a bad back working seven days a week for his two children. He said "all you need to know about why they're always over there starting wars is that 18 of the 50 states have as their number one industry the manufacturing of arms - that's all you need to know."

He adored Howard Stern. He found his book when he was cleaning out someone's apartment and read it in a single night. He told me he couldn't put it down. He said, "You know, you might think less of me, but I really love this guy." He went to the library the next day and read his second book. He lamented not being able to listen to his radio show, and resented that Vancouver prided itself on being Howard-free. A Christian, who felt very passionately about taking his kids to church on Sundays, it didn't seem incongruous when he said he wanted Vancouver to know Howard's wrath, "so they would know what it was like to be around someone with an edge."

*

On One Occasion

Dog-sitting on an island off the coast of Washington. A retriever named Rex, all the way from the Windy city, brought west by his owner who passed away a few days after their arrival. Rex loved me for the walks I provided.

Our second walk (the first time he took the beach) he led me up the mountain to what appeared to be an abandoned bus, and started scrapping with a Labrador. The Lab's owner put an end to the fight with a single shout.

He was my age. He had black hair and white skin, a sizable bald spot above his right ear, light grey eyes. One of them had just a touch of green in it.

He told me he'd been looking for work and finally found it, a job on the mainland slaughtering pigs from nine to five, at seven bucks an hour. He said it was hard to find work because he had seizures all the time. Being unemployed, he had become a suspect on the island. "Every time something goes missing everyone's over here raiding my fucking bus."

The bus came from California in the early 70s. There was a wood stove, a kitchen area, a raised bed - a record player and a sizable record collection. From the outside it looked run-down - you'd have no idea anyone lived in it. It was the kind of thing I used to fantasize about as a kid, only way lonelier.

He told me about the time he found a $400 wad of cash at a Phish show. It was, he said, the best day of his life. Then he offered to sell me "Alaskan Thunderfuck Weed" grown on the property, and I had to say "No way Dude". It was hard for him to understand: I was on a cop free Island, but I was still in America - I had to keep away from that stuff.

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February 18, 2003

Jesus Inspirational Sport Statues

"A wonderful way to reinforce Jesus 'as friend' in everyday activities."

Poor kids.

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February 17, 2003

The Human Stain

Philip Roth's The Human Stain is the story of one Coleman Silk, a world-class Classics professor who has profited immensely from keeping a profound secret from his youth. On page one he is done in for good when he asks his class about some students who have yet to make it to roll call. He asks "Does anyone know these kids? Do they exist or are they spooks?"

The students he is asking after are black, and one of them goes straight to the Dean with accusations of racism. Ridiculous as the accusations seem, because it unfolds during the summer of 98, when no one can stop talking about the impeachment hearings, and because Coleman simply refuses to see that he has done anything wrong, the novel finds a logic all its own. Roth gets right into his country's psyche, comprised principally, as he sees it, of shameless know-it-alls with answers for everything:

"If Clinton had fucked her in the ass, she might have shut her mouth. Bill Clinton is not the man they say he is. Had he turned her over in the Oval Office and fucked her in the ass, none of this would have happened."

Coleman's story is sad and funny in the way that Clinton's is, in that it says so much about indignation and righteousness on both sides of an issue and in so doing speaks legions about envy and the role it plays in the will to taint a human being. I hate to say it, but aside from a couple-two-three James Baldwin protagonists, Coleman Silk has my vote for finest fictional American of all time. I'm the first to admit I'm not well read enough to make such a pronouncement and have it mean anything - Coleman himself would surely flunk me out of Athena for thinking in such terms - but I don't care - I give The Human Stain a perfect score.

And your vote for The Greatest Character in Contemporary American Literature is?

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February 14, 2003

Celebrity Birthing

Beaners told me about this. Premature pregnancies via c-section for Elizabeth Hurley, Madonna, Elle Macpherson, Victoria Beckham, Claudia Schiffer (the list goes on) - and all for what? I mean, I know their abs mean a lot to us and everything, but... Beaners asked: "Isn't there a reason pregnancies take 9 months?"

Fair question if you ask me.

Um, Happy Valentine's Day!

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February 12, 2003

Strange Tails

There's something going on at this site that sheds some light on the Halifax enigma. The bitch is that its sudden popularity has rendered it difficult to access. In my opinion it's worth while to keep trying, though you should know - if your computer is anything like mine - your system might crash once you do finally get in. So save all open files, kick back, relax, and... enjoy?

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February 11, 2003

The Razzies

They made some sound decisions: Guy Ritchie for re-writer/director, the J-Lo double bill. But their decision to nominate Hayden Christensen is inane, and I'm not just saying that as a Canadian. There isn't a border-line unknown in the world who would have turned down that part, and given the crap dialogue he had to work with, he did just fine.

If they had any balls they would have put Affleck in there. Affleck and J-Lo waking up one morning to learn they'd swept the Razzies... I smile just thinking about it.

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If you're feeling skeptical...

You're probably just not squinting hard enough!

I try to imagine eavesdropping on this scene and all I hear is "Look over there - it's the Virgin Mary! Why she's here to protest the war in Iraq, of course. It must be that Mother Teresa's doing. It's a complete miracle! Now, let's gather round & pray."

Fortunately, for those of us with a few marbles left, there is a God.

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February 10, 2003

Free Online Haruki!

Freshly translated Murakami. (via Kafkaesque)

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February 09, 2003

Astrology Sucks

I'm through with astrology.

I never believed it, yet I always read it anyway. I don't know why I've decided not to even read it anymore, but I'm pretty sure it doesn't have anything to do with my "Sun Sign". Turns out if you figure a little science into the magic, Aries aren't Aries - they're Pisces, which means I wasn't actually destined to marry a Leo after all. The question now becomes: how to do I break this news to the wife?

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February 07, 2003

Sky Car

To the skeptical cool guys I had beer with last night: I am not crazy! Cars can fly!

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February 06, 2003

cia cat

Kind'a makes you wonder what they're up to now, doesn't it?

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February 05, 2003

St. Lucian Bathroom Graffiti

Printed neatly in block letters with the blue ink of a ball-point pen: "MORE FIRE!"

Succinct, eloquent, to the point. Unusually pure. And compared to the level of discourse you find in your average College Street Watering hole, it begs the question: Why did I leave that place? Why did I board my return flight? What was I thinking?

Indeed.

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