Re: I Miss Labs

1

Best quote ever:

"I arrived back early from that and opened the door and -- not to put quite a light on it -- but the other gentleman was busy remembering his spouse. And I'll let your imaginations run wild," Massa said.

"I walked in and instead of embarrassing him I smacked him on the leg and said, 'you need any help with that, let me know.' And I went to bed. And he was so hideously embarrassed, he moved out of the state room, because he couldn't take it. Ladies and gentleman, we had been at sea for four months."

I like the instead of embarrassing him.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 6:22 AM
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"Sure, the Village People were right. But it's all context. When you and your buddies are at sea for that long, well, you know, on a ship, everything goes somewhere. There's not a lot of extra room for things to just be wavin' around free. You find a hole and you stick it in it."


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 6:48 AM
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"Ladies and gentleman, we had been at sea for four months."

This is such a Victorian novel narrator aside. "Dear Reader, how do you think sailors keep company after months at sea?"


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 6:48 AM
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Can you imagine transporting back to this today?

I cannot parse this sentence. This what? Tickle fight?

On the other hand this: "But you can't show up at a Tea Party rally and claim that the entire budget deficit happened this year." Is exactly what Beck's audience needs to have pounded into their thick skulls.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 7:04 AM
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Is exactly what Beck's audience needs to have pounded into their thick skulls.

Wait, into their skulls? Shoot! We sent the wrong guy over!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 7:08 AM
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(The childish jokes will continue until morale improves.)


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 7:10 AM
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||
No more masturbating to Corey Haim.
|>


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 7:10 AM
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5: Where do you think their skulls are?


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 7:12 AM
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Heyoh!

(Uh, to 8, not 7.)


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 7:20 AM
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7: Whoa! The cute Corey!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 7:42 AM
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4.last And which is part of why Beck said, "America, I've got to shoot straight with you, I think I've wasted your time. I think this is the first time I have wasted an hour of your time. And I apologize for that." (Mainly it was because Massa primarily came across with the personally crazy, rather than "mean Chicago-style political bullies torpedoed me to help HCR get passed.")


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 7:47 AM
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"Democratic leaders, he ranted over the weekend on WKPQ, in Hornell, N.Y., "are going to ram this down the throats of the American people, and anyone who stands in the way of doing that is going to be smeared ..."


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 7:49 AM
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4.last And which is part of why Beck said, "America, I've got to shoot straight with you, I think I've wasted your time. I think this is the first time I have wasted an hour of your time. And I apologize for that." (Mainly it was because Massa primarily came across with the personally crazy, rather than "mean Chicago-style political bullies torpedoed me to help HCR get passed.")


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 7:50 AM
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He apparently backed away from that on Beck.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 7:51 AM
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I Miss Labs

Between the Massa thing and the Ashburn story, this week has felt awfully Gay Chicken.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 8:20 AM
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15 Ashburn

I'm clearly 12, but that name couldn't have been improved upon, could it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 8:27 AM
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His first name could have been Dick.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 8:34 AM
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that name couldn't have been improved upon, could it.

So far, my favorite joke about the Representative was by a Wonkette commenter who snarked "Rahm won't be happy until Massa's in de cole cole ground."


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 8:45 AM
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It's almost enough to make you feel sorry for Beck. Think of it: you're live, broadcasting to millions of Americans, and about five minutes in you realise that your guest is completely out of his gourd. And there's nothing you can do! You've got to talk to him for the next fifty-five minutes! Worse than being stuck next to him on a plane, because you can't even ignore him; you've got to keep the conversation going and help him unveil all his oddness all over the place.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 8:46 AM
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And there's nothing you can do!

Challenge him to a chalkboard paranoid draw-off?


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 8:50 AM
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Massa's a good case for being able to use the term "codes." Someone should have pulled him aside to say, "Honey, the way you talk about the Navy codes as gay. I know you're not gay. But you code as gay. Which would be fine. If you were gay."

I enjoyed the video here a few days ago. It's the one in which Emanuel tells Massa he needs to ease up a bit to win and Massa gets pissed off. It's also in the article in which Massa accused Emanuel of surprising him naked in the shower at the gym, which was really inappropriate and made him feel uncomfortable. I hate to say this but... isn't that... exactly where Massa might feel most comfortable? Horsing around? With the guys?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 8:54 AM
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To get Massa's vote on a key issue, the Majority Whip might use an ostrich plume instead.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 8:57 AM
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20: yeah, right, because if you give Massa a chalkboard and tell him to illustrate what he's talking about, there's no possible way for that to go wrong.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 9:01 AM
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Someone should have pulled him aside to say, "Honey Mary, the way you talk about the Navy codes as gay.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 9:02 AM
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I can't think that this Massa thing is good for the Navy's recruitment. Sure, everyone likes the orgies and group masturbation when they're already there, but it's not something many sign up for.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 9:03 AM
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24 is lolz.

To 25: I saw a PBS documentary about life on a nuclear submarine when I was about 16 that had me seriously thinking about joining up. And now it turns out they didn't even show the good parts of Navy life.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 9:09 AM
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Think of it: you're live, broadcasting to millions of Americans, and about five minutes in you realise that your guest is completely out of his gourd.

I'd have thought it would be quite refreshing for Beck having someone ostensibly crazier than him on. He can ease up for a bit and let Massa take the strain.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 9:27 AM
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Essentially everything he says has that "just stop! Stop! Before you make it any worse!" quality to it. How did he get into Congress in the first place?


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 9:35 AM
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28: I'd vote for him.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 9:44 AM
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28: That's why I love the vid linked in 21. There's part of me thinking, oh fuck I wouldn't want Rahm up my ass either, and then, by the end of the video, I'm thinking, no, Rahm knows exactly what he's talking about.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 9:47 AM
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How did he get into Congress in the first place?

Left the GOP over the Iraq War, ran against the far-right Republican incumbent in 2006, losing by about 5000 votes. Ran again in 2008, won by about the same amount.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 9:51 AM
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To put it another way - just because you're right doesn't mean you're good.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 10:02 AM
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I haven't been following the Massa story, but reading this thread makes me miss Tobias Fünke. And Fontana Labs.

Whatever happened to Labs anyway? I think I remember something about him getting a new job, did he retire from blogging about the same time?


Posted by: Todd | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 10:08 AM
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Where do any unfogged frontpagers go? I figure he's somewhere off with Unf and Bob, playing golf and eating Vietnamese sandwiches.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 10:11 AM
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33: Jesus, just thinking about Analrapist makes me laugh. That's one of those jokes that seems like it should have been made a million times before and somehow wasn't.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 10:11 AM
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35: Archive link?


Posted by: Awl | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 11:14 AM
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36: From Arrested Development.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 11:16 AM
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37: I don't know what to make of the fact that ass rape has become an acceptable subject for jokes on broadcast television. This isn't something I would have predicted 20 years ago.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 12:13 PM
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There's even movies whose entire marketing campaign consists of anal rape jokes.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 12:20 PM
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To be clear, I find anal rape to be profoundly un-funny, especially the tasteless prison-joke bullshit. But come on. He likes to think of himself as an analyst and a therapist.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 12:24 PM
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The prison ass rape jokes have (sadly) been acceptable conversational humor for a very long time. (The worst is hearing that assistant district attorneys make these jokes.) So I guess I'm not surprised that that sub-genre made it into the media.

Still, in my day sitcoms didn't use analrapist as a punchline to a joke. Not even Three's Company.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 12:36 PM
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The analrapist bit was funny, to be sure, but my favorite will always be the Bob Loblaw Law Blog.


Posted by: Bonsaisue | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 12:55 PM
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34: Does anyone know where the frontpagers go?
When the blog turns the minutes to hours

I may have mentioned how stupidly pleased I was this past fall to get to talk to a crusty old guy who was on the bridge of the ship following the Edmund F. He fielded my newbish questions with admirable contempt and then he pinned me against an anchor on display and raped me.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 1:03 PM
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I am utterly inconsistent on the anal rape humor front; I found myself rather offended at NPH's "Why do prisoner's drop the soap? Because no one wants to do it alone."* song at the Oscars, yet found analrapist inspired (and probably have dozens of self-incriminating examples in the archives). For instance "We're going to federal POUND ME IN THE ASS prison" from Office Space was quite offputting although it was part of an otherwise funny bit.

I appreciate them with proper irony.
You go for the cheap laughs.
They are homophobic bigots.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 1:16 PM
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42: I've been missing out on something by not watching that show haven't I?

I've spent the last half hour walking around saying "Bob Loblaw's Law Blog"


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 1:22 PM
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Really, it's his delivery that makes the "analrapist" so funny. He's just so cheery.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 2:11 PM
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yet found analrapist inspired

Because that joke doesn't actually have anything to do with anal rape; it's just wordplay.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 2:15 PM
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46: Plus the hair.

47: Just wordplay to *you*.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 2:18 PM
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49

Well, the Massa story just got a lot more salacious.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 2:20 PM
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47: Well, wordplay plus the fact that every time Tobias tries to prove to Lindsay that he's masculine and professional, he does or says something that screams "angry repressed homosexual." [/standpipesblog] I'd be surprised if we don't see more comparisons of Massa to Fünke in the future. That Beck interview is right out of Arrested Development.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 2:25 PM
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"He wakes up to Massa undoing his pants trying to snorkel him."

Navy specific slang?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 2:26 PM
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trying to snorkel him

Nice.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 2:28 PM
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Dammit, Stormcrow.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 2:28 PM
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49: Oh wow. Makes me wonder if Massa made up the Rahm in the shower incident as some kind of fantasy or if Rahm's just really really observant about how to unnerve people.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 2:29 PM
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49: "Massa Massages" cannot possibly be true.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 2:32 PM
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Given Massa's current credibility, I think Rahm has room to declare anything he wants on that front.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 2:32 PM
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Maybe I'm being oversensitive, but does it seem weird to anyone else that they're giving the name of Massa's roommate, the snorkelee? I'm never sure how the media's going to deal with victims of sexual assault but if the dude's not willing to talk about it, I'd have left his name out of it until he was willing to speak.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 2:38 PM
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Presumably the next step after snorkel is man the torpedoes, and finally emergency blow.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 2:41 PM
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58: You left out empty the bilge.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 2:45 PM
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And drop anchor.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 2:48 PM
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59: Pervert.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 2:49 PM
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Or sump on the rump.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 2:51 PM
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Periscoscopy.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 2:53 PM
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Then you shit on a shingle.

No, wait.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 2:54 PM
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Raise the mainsail, cap'n! Full speed ahead as we scuttle the nuclear submarine in the abyssal trench! Ahwooo-gah! T'the glory hole fer yer rum rations!

Really, seafaring is one big innuendo.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 2:58 PM
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"Massa ges" is probably a misspelling of "Massa jizz".


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 2:58 PM
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I'm pleased that it's taken until now for someone to mention swabbing the poop.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 2:59 PM
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Got to have seamen swab the poop lest the cox slip.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 3:06 PM
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Navigate carefully, lest you become dismasted.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 3:16 PM
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Once, an officer in the Royal Navy asked me if he could touch me for a fiver to buy some fags.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 3:18 PM
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And were you a soft touch?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 3:21 PM
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Really, seafaring is one big innuendo.

There's a Veronica Mars quote that goes here, but I'll restrain myself for once.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 3:47 PM
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72: I'm disappointed in you, essear.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 3:59 PM
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Anthony Weiner is kind of cute here.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-10-10 6:03 PM
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57: The snorkelee confirmed it on the record.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 12:40 AM
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On the bright side, both rum and the lash have been prohibited on US Navy ships for a long time now. Two out of three ain't bad.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 2:03 AM
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All this story has done for me is confirm that I should never, ever, ever run for public office. I've never snorkeled the unwilling or anything like that, but lord, I was nobody's angel.

How terribly pedestrian to have yet another closet case flail around about how it wasn't like that. I look forward to that day of true equality when a member of Congress gets asked about their skeezy sex life and in response they just shrug and say, "Yeah, but it was all in consensual good fun and fuck yeah I'd do it again."


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 6:58 AM
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I've never snorkeled the unwilling
or anything like that,
but lord, I was nobody's angel

This sounds like a line from a Lyle Lovett song.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 7:13 AM
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Urbandictionary.com has a remarkable variety of definitions for "snorkel".


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 7:18 AM
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77: How terribly pedestrian to have yet another closet case flail around about how it wasn't like that.

You know, Massa made me wonder if he was the exception among political closet cases: not so much a sadly closeted gay man who probably would have been fine in the absence of social pressure to be straight, but just an incredible abusive asshole. None of the stories seem to be so much about his getting sex, as his pressuring and fucking with men who really aren't into it -- he seems like someone getting off on non-consent, rather than on men.

I mean, gay in the sense that he's getting off on non-consenting men rather than non-consenting women, but much nastier than someone like Larry Craig, who wasn't trying to do anything to anyone who didn't want it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 7:23 AM
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80: is that an exception? It seems like turning it into semi-consensual bullying is often as not the powerful closet case's way of dealing with it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 7:35 AM
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80: That's similar to what I've been thinking. Simply Gay/Bi/Straight is the crudest delineation of sexual orientations, but within each category there are a lot of people with weird little semi-sexual quirks. Especially among men there is a disturbing subset who really dig non-consent and violation. Upskirting is one manifestation and I wonder if Massa's behavior might be another.

Also I suspect his bizarre behavior on Beck's show is due in part to the fact that he's probably had very little sleep since this thing started to come unraveled.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 7:41 AM
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Well, I'm thinking of Larry Craig, who was widestancing himself in a restroom in the hopes of attracting an interested partner, not hassling the unwilling. Mark Foley was behaving badly and culpably by making passes at very young people in a subordinate position, which was wrong and condemnable, but the tone of the interaction was pathetic flirting rather than bullying -- you get the sense that non-consent wasn't the kick for him.

I dunno, who are you thinking of?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 7:43 AM
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he seems like someone getting off on non-consent

He's just a rub-your-belly, grab-your-balls, give-you-a-hug, slap-your-back, pull-your-dick, squeeze-your-hand, cheek-your-face, and pat-your-thigh kind of guy.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 7:45 AM
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Oops, 84 was me.


Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 7:46 AM
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83: Haggard, sorta. All those gym teachers. I dunno. Maybe I'm working off a vague stereotype.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 7:46 AM
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Or just see 84.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 7:47 AM
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Yeah, 84 sounds like the same thing. I just wanted to split out the pure closet cases, who may be bad people for other reasons (Foley making passes at teenagers, all the closet cases supporting anti-gay policies), but who aren't this type of nasty.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 7:52 AM
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Yeah, it definitely seems like a particularly curdled version of the self-loathing involved. On the other hand, maybe they should share a shower.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 8:34 AM
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My point isn't that they're equivalent, it's that I'm ready for someone to get "caught" in perfectly grown-up behavior that the self-appointed morality police find objectionable and respond to it by saying, "Yeah, and?" Assuming Massa's behavior is being accurately described, yes, he's way worse than Larry Craig and Sifu is absolutely right that this sort of bullying is present in the antics of closeted cockhounds who need to turn it into something other than sex with another man in order to sherpa their own delicate and twisted self-identity through the experience intact. I just wish, at best tangentially, we could have a sex-positive sex scandal sometime, that's all. I don't even know what that would look like, no.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 8:44 AM
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Assuming Massa's behavior is being accurately described, yes, he's way worse than Larry Craig and Sifu

Glad to evade this garden path as we continue with...

is absolutely right that this sort of bullying is present in the antics of closeted cockhounds who need to turn it into something other than sex with another man in order to sherpa their own delicate and twisted self-identity through the experience intact.

I like it when RMMP says what I meant, but better.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 9:06 AM
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I just wish, at best tangentially, we could have a sex-positive sex scandal sometime, that's all. I don't even know what that would look like, no.

There was that recent one in California, where the guy seemed to mostly feel bad about the fact that he couldn't admit he was gay.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 9:07 AM
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... this sort of bullying is present in the antics of closeted cockhounds who need to turn it into something other than sex with another man in order to sherpa their own delicate and twisted self-identity through the experience intact.

I love this sentence. I agree with the content, but it's also got great texture.

As far as sex-positive sex scandal - I'd just like to see a privacy-positive sex scandal. Just a politician standing up and saying "it's none of your goddamn business who I fuck."


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 9:12 AM
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And sifu pwned. Dammit.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 9:13 AM
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For that to happen the first time, you'd probably need an unmarried notable politician, which narrows the field.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 9:18 AM
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To 90, not 93.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 9:19 AM
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I don't remember the details exactly, but didn't Barney Frank have a live in boyfriend back in the day who was hooking, and handle it by saying, essentially "The prostitution was news to me too, but other than that what's your problem?"

Or to put it another way, it's not a scandal unless you're a hypocrite. "Caught in a car with a man coming from a gay club," like the recent CA state senator, isn't a scandal at all if you're out, and if straightness isn't part of what you're running on, why wouldn't you be out. I can't think of what would get started as a scandal unless there was really wrong behavior -- harassment, marital cheating -- or hypocrisy. So there's not all that much occasion for handling it maturely with a "publish and be damned" attitude.

Oh, come to think of it, I bet an open marriage would hit the scandal radar even under circumstances where I wouldn't think anyone had done anything wrong. And the sort of fetishes that come off luridly. But not much else.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 9:21 AM
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And the sort of fetishes that come off luridly.

True in Britain too, unfortunately. The wretched Tory MP who accidentally killed himself from autoerotic asphyxiation (sp?) practically had to resign from the grave by the time the papers had finished with him. On the other hand these days straight adultery seems to be just one of those things, even among cabinet ministers.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 9:28 AM
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Seems like a well-negotiated non-monogamous couple getting caught with an outside partner would be a sex-positive sex scandal. "Yes. We are fine with it and are taking no further questions. Out marriage is strong." Maybe with the other spouse standing by and not looking completely miserable.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 9:37 AM
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Straightforward non-open-marriage adultery I'm a little torn about. I suppose I'd like the politician in question to handle it with "none of your business", but I don't want to think of that way of handling it as sex-positive, exactly, because to the extent that I know about it I disapprove of that sort of thing.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 9:38 AM
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Also, from the link in 84, Righteous Bubba (16) cracked me up. That was great.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 9:39 AM
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A very good friend of mine is friends with the Massa family and I am dying to ask him about it, but, you know, too soon!


Posted by: Catherine Nimitz | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 9:45 AM
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I've begun to believe that being a "serious" US politician (particularly a Republican, but extends to both parties) these days requires the ability to maintain "plausibility" in the face of laughably transparent internal contradictions. This is precisely what people with deeply-buried psycho-sexual issues are good at, and I hypothesize that folks with these "skills" are increasingly differentially advantaged in internal party politics (as well as the winning nominations and elections part). I don't know what Karl Rove's (or Ken Starr's for that matter) issues are, but I bet they are doozies.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 9:46 AM
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I hate to say it, but Giuliani is a possible example of a "positive" (narrowly-defined) sex/marital scandal. (It probably would have become more of a factor if he had become a serious candidate for the Republican nomination.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 9:50 AM
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104: It certainly didn't get overblown. There was some real bad behavior in that one, and he didn't take much damage from it at all.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 9:55 AM
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106

What about George Michael? He didn't intend to get caught cruising in the beach bathrooms, but I don't remember him apologizing for it, per se. He didn't even apologize for making all those women fall in love with him!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 9:55 AM
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106: He's never going to dance again the way he danced with you. What more do you want?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 10:00 AM
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108

Didn't Patterson and his wife both announce that they'd cheated on each other right when he became governor? From what I remember the public response was 'whatever'. In general, whether or not politicians are faithful to their spouses is not something I care about per se - I'm voting for (or against) them as politician, not good husband/wife. But given political realities, things are a bit more complicated than just that. Also, some forms of sexual conduct range into the disturbingly exploitative/sleazy range (see Foley, Mark or the N. Ireland politician who seduced a barely legal kid right after his father, the close family friend and occasional secret lover, had died. Also, hypocrisy and the Spitzer/Vitter double standard.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 10:02 AM
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Paterson's story was particularly harmless - I think they were separated and considering divorce at the time, and got back together later. So hardly cheating in any sense. And of course mutual.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 10:05 AM
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110

On the other hand, in 1997 we suddenly started having openly gay cabinet ministers and nobody gives a shit any more. Did the same thing with black cabinet ministers a couple of years later when Paul Boateng became Treasury Chief Sec.

The Iris Robinson story had extra punch because there was all sorts of financial dirt involved - the money she fronted him to start a business came from a property developer who she had also promised to put a word in for with hubby about a major planning application, and she behaved as if the debt was owed to her personally (and also stuck to some of the money directly).


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 10:29 AM
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I thought that there was cheating going on before the separation as well. My quite possibly wrong memories of that stuff were that that apparently the relationship was on the rocks, they both began cheating, separated, saw other people for a while, then got back together.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 10:46 AM
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True in Britain too, unfortunately. The wretched Tory MP who accidentally killed himself from autoerotic asphyxiation (sp?) practically had to resign from the grave by the time the papers had finished with him.

See also David Mellor, where the foot fetishism was more prominent in the press coverage than the adultery.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 10:49 AM
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Actually, thinking back, calling it foot fetishism may be a gross exaggeration. But that's certainly what the press ran with.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 10:50 AM
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114

The "happily open marriage that someone mistakes for cheating" or "single and living it up consensually amongst other adults" are the no-scandal scandals I had in mind, but I wasn't quite able to give them shape. Someone who's wronged no one, only done things they found to be both fun and consensual and is being picked on by morality police whose response is, "Sure I did, I'll do it again and no you're not invited to the next party," basically, is what I'd love to see just once.

In terms of Massa, though, given his willingness to bring out the photo album for Beck I am forced to assume it's only a matter of time before these wind up on the Internet.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 10:52 AM
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115

On the other hand, maybe that's just Charlie Wilson, so we've long since been there, done that.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 10:54 AM
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Heck, John Kerry, dull though he was, had quite the playboy reputation between marriages, and I don't think anyone gave a damn.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 10:58 AM
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Charlie Wilson is a good example. He's completely open about the fact that he first heard about the Mujaheddin while drinking in a hot tub with some strippers.

Of course that's a single heterosexual dominant male, with women of the disposable/utility caste, so it's not quite the same. I'm looking forward to the day when a female politician openly admits to cavorting with a boy toy, preferably two.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 11:00 AM
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Kerry was a step up from Wilson, in that he was (IIRC) dating peers, rather than, um, employees. For a woman politician catting around in a non-adulterous manner? That's going to be rarer -- while there aren't a lot of single politicians at all, I think there are probably fewer single women than single men, and gender differences are going to come into play. A forty-something reasonable looking single male Senator like Kerry is going to have an easy time finding dates, but I don't think the situation would be quite parallel for a female Senator.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 11:10 AM
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119

LB, you're squashing my political aspirations.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 11:14 AM
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120

Helen Chenoweth didn't suffer much for her promiscuity.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 11:14 AM
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121

Thank you, Cryptic ned.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 11:16 AM
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Further to 120, I think non-married politicians are able to convince the media that it is no big deal, before it ever gets to the point where they have to convince the public that it is no big deal. Absent some great story hook like homosexuality or bondage in wetsuits or Nazi iconography.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 11:16 AM
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I remember Helen Chenoweth and that Salon story which contains the awesome quote:

As one GOP political operative in northern Idaho once told a reporter in an unguarded moment: "Helen is living proof that you can fuck your brains out." (Chenoweth is widely considered, in Idaho parlance, dumb as a mud fence.)


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 11:25 AM
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120: Oh, funny, I vaguely remembered her, but also that the scandal, such as it was, was adultery, and figured she must have been the married one.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 11:28 AM
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See, Megan, just watch out about making term-limit promises. What kind of lobbyist support do you think you can rely on from your various lovers' industries?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 11:28 AM
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124 was me. Off to court.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 11:29 AM
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127

126: Try not to screw the judge pooch.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 11:32 AM
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128

A college friend whose parents were big in the Texas liberal Dem cirlcles claimed that Ann Richards was widely known to be into the guys, preferably younger ones. He also said he saw once her walk into a fundraiser with good looking twenty somethings on each arm.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 11:47 AM
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"single and living it up consensually amongst other adults"

The recent double Orszagsm kind of fits the bill. The gist was the WaPo saying, more or less, "Whoa! A hot nerd! Weird!"


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 11:48 AM
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WaPo s/b WaPo Style Section


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 11:50 AM
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I've begun to believe that being a "serious" US politician ... these days requires the ability to maintain "plausibility" in the face of laughably transparent internal contradictions.

" ... the test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function." -- F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Of course, Scott was no slouch himself in the deeply-buried psycho-sexual issues department, so maybe you have something there.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 11:53 AM
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129: Gosh, though, what is annoying about that is the dogged insistence on "the relationship was long over before he met the 2d woman" -- I don't personally care when his relationship was over! Shit's complicated!-- but it's just dumb to say that he broke up with woman #1 when she was 3 months pregnant and that he was engaged to woman #2 before the child of the first relationship was born *and* say things were long over with 1 before he began dating 2. There is not much time there!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 12:05 PM
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133

Time is an illusion, oudemia.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 12:16 PM
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The Massa story reminds me of an early nineteenth-century politician, James Hammond (a notable pro-slavery senator from South Carolina).* A historian uncovered two letters to him from an old friend that seem to reveal both an element of non-consent and homosexual sex. A sample:

"I feel some inclination to learn whether you yet sleep in your Shirt-tail, and whether you yet have the extravagant delight of poking and punching a writhing Bedfellow with your long fleshen pole - the exquisite touches of which I have often had the honor of feeling? Let me say unto thee that unless thou changest former habits in this particular, thou wilt be represented by every future Chum as a nuisance. And, I pronounce it, with good reason too. Sir, you roughen the downy Slumbers of your Bedfellow - by such hostile - furious lunges as you are in the habit of making at home - when he is least prepared for defence against the crushing force of a Battering Ram."

The letter writer, Jeff Withers, signed it: "With Great Respect I am the old Stud." (I think this should go into the playbook of great sign-offs from history.)

This pattern of making advances, sometimes unwanted but certainly not always!, to bedfellows - since you had far more men sharing beds with strangers or friends during the 19th century - seems fairly common as best as historians can make out, but this particular story really stands out. If you want to read more there is an article on it called "Writhing Bedfellows."

*James Hammond later became well-known for his flirtation and more with his four teenage nieces, which hamstrung his political career, although he still served.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 12:25 PM
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since you had far more men sharing beds with strangers or friends during the 19th century

Isn't there a story like that about Lincoln during his time as a state legislator in Springfield? I vaguely recall that he lived in a single-bed apartment with a friend, and there was all sorts of unclear language between them in letters regarding their mutual "fondness" or something.

Of course, requisite hand-waving about viewing past behavior through lens of current sexuality.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 12:37 PM
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And people want to cut the humanities budget. Thanks, (), made me laugh.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 12:39 PM
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135: Yes, with his friend Joshua Speed. It does seem to have been one of his most important relationships, whatever it was.

136: No problem. I stole all the material from a friend who gave a lecture in my class.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 12:48 PM
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135: It was his friend's apparent extreme fondness for, and familiarity with, his thighs that leads to the notion that Honest Abe was a Friend of Dorothy.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 12:48 PM
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Hey, (), did you read the DH Donald bio of Lincoln? What did you think of it? Any serious lacunae or biases?


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 12:53 PM
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139: I haven't. Ari would be the person to ask that of - my period is much earlier in general! (As though that excuses my laziness.)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 12:55 PM
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#134. The best part of your story, (), is that today, Hammond has a school named after him.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 2:19 PM
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134 is delightful.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-11-10 3:48 PM
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