Saturday, September 08, 2001


Friends and foes, I�m back.

Mexico was � well, you can begin a sentence like that, but how are you going to end it? I�m probably going to refer to my Mexico trip here and there in the next couple weeks. Summing it up briefly, I crawled around on the floor with Baby C., trailed behind Miruna as she made her rounds in Polanco and at UNAM � other people have personal trainers, Miruna has me as her personal anthropologist -, listened to Rodrigo�s friends talk about Mexican politics (straining for the cognate words and the smattering of Spanish I have memorized), spent a very nice day in Cuernavaca with Andrea, who will be reading this post, I hope, and so on and etc and und so weiter.

Then I get back, transiting from the endless traffic of Mexico City (the ecology of walkers, taxi cabs, luxury cars and compact cars on the streets (and sidewalks, a favorite avenue for impatient or simply homocidal motorcycle riders) of Mexico City is always a study in dangers averted at the last second) to the hopeless dump of the San Antonio airport, with its listless cafeteria style restaurant, closed at 10 pm, and its general air of Poky-town nastiness. It is not an airport so much as a glorified bus terminal. I mean, American bus terminal � that dumping ground of the nomadic poor. Speaking of which, I went directly, via cab, from airport to Greyhound station, and got a little taste of the the national bus system in all its inglory and wretchedness. Want to see a case study in the pitfalls of monopoly power? Want to see what happens when the State outrageously neglects its duty to guard the common good? Want to meet the huddled masses on uncomfortable chairs trying to get a little sleep before some bad tempered bus driver yells at them for attempting to simply get on a bus with a ticket they bought from the man at the ticket counter before they were supposed to get on the bus, which is not, of course, announced? Want to breath the air of a vehicle that hasn't been thoroughly washed in thirty years? Then by all means, go on down to your local bus terminal.

Finally, after the hustle, I�m home. Time to go through my calls and check my e-mails. Numbers on the e-mails: percent of correspondence from friends: 5; percent of correspondence from news services: 25. percent of sheer junk: 70. Among the junk, prizes go to life insurance scams (40%), cheap viagra scams (20%) and penis enlargement scams (15%).

The penis enlargement scams puzzle me. Okay, mass e-mailing is a very cheap form of advertisement. But what return could there be in mailing out random offers to augment your member? I mean, are there men out there just waiting for a chance to extend the lengths of their organs? And even if this desire exists, do these men entrust their penises to just any stranger? Oh, yeah � men. We are talking about men. Scratch the last question.

A friend of mine, Don, told me that there�s more cosmetic surgery done on the humble male organ than is done on women�s breasts. Well, that sounds like a factoid to me, unless cosmetic surgery includes circumcision. Circumcisors, by the way, feel no need to advertise via mass e-mailings. Cut off your foreskin, cheap! Has not yet arrived in my box. Perhaps my skepticism says more about my unzeitgemaessige inner austerity than about social reality. I don�t understand certain luxury products, like first class airplane seats, limo rides and such. Having had to pass through the first class cabin to reach my seats about five times in the last two weeks, I�ve thought about this. Three hundred dollars more, and you get a roomier seat for an hour, plus some undistinguished alcoholic beverage. It seems to me that the pleasure is more about reveling in the symbol of luxury, rather than experiencing a greater degree of happiness. Although I�m always being assured, by people who do take first class seats, that it is worth it.
Is it really? Well, maybe this is at the heart of penis enlargement too � out of your expenditure, you budget yourself a veritable limo dick, and it doesn't matter that it doesn't give you more specific pleasure - it gives you more total pleasure, not analyzable into individual components. Once again, the mystery of emergent properties.

The ethics of integrity or the Baker at Dachau

    Throughout the 19th and 20th century, one stumbles upon the lefthand heirs of Burke – Red Tories, as Orwell called them. Orwell’s inst...