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Friday, October 20, 2006

Some Random Thoughts From the First Class Cabin

posted by on October 20 at 13:44 PM

Class Traitor: Okay, so I occasionally fly first class. I don’t pay for first class—does anyone?—but use the mountains of frequent flyer miles I’ve “earned,ā€¯ and earned the hard way (i.e. by flying coach). I hate flying, and didn’t use to join frequent flyer programs. Frequent-flyer come-ons sounded about as appealing as, “Buy ten root canals and get your eleventh free!ā€¯ I don’t like root canals—why would I want to “earnā€¯ a free one?

So there I was in first class this morning, on the first leg of my trip today, when I suddenly realized that my cell phone, which had been on my lap, is missing. The flight attendant notices me looking around, and asks me if I needed help. We looked, couldn’t find it. I mentioned that I had been to the bathroom and another flight attendant tore the fucking can apart. She reached into the trash—half-way up her forearm—and rooted around in the Kleenex and god-alone-knows-what. The first gets on her hands and knees and crawls up the first class cabin, checking under every seat. When we land, I hang out—and two flight attendants rip my row apart. And they find the phone, wedged into this weird crevice that only flight attendants know about.

I felt like an asshole, of course, and I can’t help but wonder if they would have torn the plane apart for me if I had been in coach. Kinda, sorta doubt it.

Arm’s Length: The future of Brad Steinbacher’s forearms is sitting next to me. Brad has hairy forearms, as his friends can attest, but the man next to me has forearms so hairy that Brad could hide in their dense foliage.

Pity Party: Andrew Sullivan writes of straight men

Every now and again, the plight of the heterosexual male deserves some sympathy. Wired for sex, yet programmed for marriage, and forced to deal with an opposite sex they can neither fully understand nor easily resist, straight men do not have an easy time of it.

When I speak at colleges—I was at Kent State to give a talk yesterday—I’m often asked if I’ve learned anything that surprised me doing my goofy job. (Savage Love = my goofy job; editing The Stranger = my real job.) I always respond that I’m surprised by how sorry I’ve come to feel for straight men. I ache for them, the poor darlings. They are, as Andrew writes, “wired for sex,ā€¯ and yet they are told, over and over again, by church, mainstream media, and their partners, that being in love doesn’t just mean sleeping only sleeping with just one woman, but only wanting to sleep with just one woman. Despite the fact that straight men are in charge, we’ve built a sex-and-love culture that is hostile to male sexuality. Openly disrespectful, even—I mean, watch Dr. Phil lay into some poor asshole that cheated on his wife sometime. You would think he was cross-examining Joseph. Mengele. Straight men, like Andrew says, don’t have an easy time of it.

Gay men, on the other hand, have too easy a time of it—that’s our biggest perk and biggest problem. We’re wired for sex, and gay male sex culture—by dint of its maleness, not its gayness—is wired for sex. A straight man can spin out of control sexually, but he has to work at it. Gay men can spin out of control all too easily, and we have to work at preventing ourselves from doing just that.

Wiping Up Santorum: Rightwingnutjob Maggie Gallagher doesn’t like me.

The undying hatred of people with Dan Savage’s views is a badge of honor for Santorum personally, whatever happens in this election, but it is also the real reason for the millions of dollars flowing into Bob Casey’s campaign war chest: If Rick Santorum loses, nobody in Washington will ever want to lead on the gay marriage issue again.

God, let’s hope. And I have a badge here for you too, Maggie.

Best New Bar: A bar named “Retoxā€¯ will soon be opening in New York City, according to the New York Magazine I bought on my short layover in Minneapolis this morning. It’s a name so good, so clever, and yet so seemingly obvious that you wanna smack yourself for not thinking of it first. It’s right up there with The Onion reporting that Francis Bean Cobain had entered “pre-hab.ā€¯

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you know what? lesbians have it rough, too, maybe even more so.

while we are women, it doesn't make us necessarily more likely to understand other women. not only that, but we have two (count them, TWO) PMS cycles to contend with. also, when you're a dyke, likely your friends are also dykes, so there is no pool of less-complicated folk in which you submerge yourself when your love life gets confusing.

not only that, but we're socially programmed to desire monagamy from years of hetero-upbringing but our partners are as well, resulting in the all-too-familiar lesbian bed death: things are hot and heavy, social rearing kicks in, you nest, you're happy, then you stop having sex.


Posted by socialarsonist | October 20, 2006 2:25 PM

on the other hand, lesbians do have the advantage of understanding how a woman's body works, which is something that my straight female counterparts have often lamented in their male partners. :)

Posted by dykes rule | October 20, 2006 2:29 PM

"Retox" is from an episode of The Simpsons. I believe it's the one where Bleeding Gums Murphy died. They're in the Hospital and Barney walks out of "Detox" and into "Retox", which is a bar in the hospital. Moe gives Barney a beer for his 1 hour clean AA coin.

Somehow I feel like I'm being a know-it-all today. I'll stop right...NOW!

Posted by gillsans | October 20, 2006 2:51 PM

First class: I had a cousin who was a stewardess way long ago (like when people dressed up to go flying). She had a story about a woman whose diamond wedding ring fell into the toilet. Well, let's just say I remove my ring when entering the airline commode now.

Pity: yep. Not good to live in a closet or bottle the emotions. Those people often end up imploding. Finding a good porn-lovin' wife helps.

Santorum: I'd like a badge too, please.

Retox: *slap* Of course, it's no Upscale Restaurant and Bar with zebra porn.

Posted by him | October 20, 2006 2:51 PM

What a shrill column from Gallagher.

I'm certain that in the "big tent" GOP, you'll find plenty of pro-choice politicians that are not quite willing to state their positions in big letters on their campaign websites. That's proof of *nothing* except political strategy.

It also *pains* me to think about what kind of "fundraising" event could cost $15,752 but only raise $8,312. And for a former editor for the National Review, she sure does a crappy job of editing her own material.

But I'm glad that someone is stepping up to the plate about all of this third-party crap. Until we magically get instant-runoff voting or proportional representation by party, voting for Greens is a dangerous game in competitive races.

Not to mention that Libertarians are a far greater threat to this country than Republicans could ever *hope* to be.

Posted by bma | October 21, 2006 3:16 AM

I'm SO glad to see someone who isn't a straight male acknowledge that it really sucks to crave nothing more than constant fucking with people who aren't even close to as interested in it as you are.

Posted by Noink | October 21, 2006 1:00 PM

"Retox" is also a Fatboy Slim song from a few years back, named by one of the girlfriends of the Chemical Brothers after a Glastonbury comedown.

Posted by Fawkes | October 23, 2006 11:51 PM

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