Posts Tagged ‘Vietnam’

What can I say? It’s been no fun at all. And yet all horrible things must come to an end.

It was a messy relationship; maybe we shouldn’t have gotten involved at all. You were violent and volatile, ruled by a tyrannical father. We were idealistic and naive and had been hurt before. But still, we were impulsive; we took the plunge quickly. We were addicted to drama. And you had no choice. You just fell for us.

But oh how quickly things change. You became much too hot to handle. You spurned us almost as soon as you welcomed us. First you threw roses at us, and we thought it meant you loved us. But maybe you just meant, “Please don’t kill me.” As soon as our honeymoon ended, you turned schizophrenic. You acted like you didn’t know from one minute to the next what you wanted or who you were or which mosque you should attend. Sometimes you wanted your mean father back; sometimes you just wanted to blow us up. You turned to outsiders who poured poison in your ear and said lots of nasty untrue things about us and offered to help you get rid of us in horrible ways. You craved our stability and guiding hand and mentoring one moment but hated us for it at the same time. A typical Pygmalion relationship. We should have known, you can’t carve the perfect lovers out of stone. You have to let them just be who they are. Even if that means letting them hate you. Or letting them go.

The Flag of Iraq

We acted like the boss, but we weren’t. We couldn’t even get you to take out the garbage. You were so passive aggressive you put roadside IEDs in it.

You were insecure. And by that I mean your internal security forces were politicized and mercenary and graft-ridden. You were unstable. And by that I mean you had a nasty case of pyromania. It’s never as sexy as Def Leppard makes it out to be. You were proud and had to fight for every inch of property. You wouldn’t get organized. When somebody tried to help you get organized, boom! They were dead to you.

You crumbled into many mental and physical states. We binged (on oil) and you purged (each other of heretics). We were very curious to see your dad’s guns. Turned out he didn’t have any. Later, you did away with your dad entirely, and it wasn’t the victory either one of us thought it was going to be. In fact, it just made our relationship that much more sour.

Sometime in the second year, we knew, both of us that, that our relationship was a mistake. Yet we were too proud and embarrassed to end it. We insisted foolishly that we could make it work. Sometimes we went at each other without having enough protection. Isn’t that America all over–giddy and never properly sheathed.

But it’s silly to ask now what might have happened if we hadn’t gotten involved. That was a long time ago, and the choices can’t be unmade. We’re different people now, and can’t live in the past. Our mistakes are ours, and they make us who we are. Hopefully they help us become better. And hopefully we can end this bad blood on good terms, with no mutual recrimination, without debts and without too much rotting infrastructure. You seem to have gotten your shit together a bit. We went into debt trying to make you happy, of course, but we’ll be OK, because we work hard and have good government jobs to tide us over.

But we’re finally pulling the plug. This is it, Iraq. We’re leaving you. We’ve fallen in love with somebody else and her name is Snooki. She’s a mess, too, but we think we can help her. In the meantime, don’t cry. We hold no grudges toward you. After all, we have to thank you for not lasting anywhere near as long as our horrible engagement with Vietnam. That was probably the worst relationship ever. So wipe the tears from your eyes, Iraq. In the words of Luther Vandross:

We’re so in love but wrong for each other
Each hurt that heals brings on another
Both of us abusing
Both of us using
It’s time to stop pretending
There’s just no way to rewrite our ending
We’re caught in this game
And we both know we’re losing, but

How many times can we say good-bye?

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(Originally posted Monday, February 02, 2009)

Adelaide, Vermont (API) — Everybody at Hutter Farms, a free-love hippie commune in upstate Vermont, wants to sleep with the new blonde 23-year-old arrival Bethany Woodruff, the commune’s leaders reported today. Though all comers are welcome to the community, which its elders describe as a village of peace, labor and brotherhood, the elder members are a bit nonplussed by the presence of the almost-six-foot-tall blonde, whose milk-white skin and highly erotic facial structure, they worry, could upset the order of the community.

“This is just a nightmare,” said Marion “Mother Hen” Dubrowski. “The other night at the tribal meeting we asked who’d like to work with Bethany on the grist mill and about 95% of the tribe raised their hands. I mean, how could we get anything done if all we ever did was separate chaff? Am I going crazy?”

Hutter Farms, a “back-to-the-land” commune built in 1975 to espouse the values of labor, eco-friendly energy and anarcho-primitivism, has also had a free-love belief system since inception. This has led its members to tear up old social conventions, and so members ask each other for sex in weekly group meetings in which everyone is involved. As part of the mating dance, everyone weighs in with their feelings, and if the sex is to be consummated, the whole group chimes in with a mating dance with horns and songs and goat’s urine.

“I’m all about free love, but I just threw down the clipboard when I saw Bethany coming,” said tribal elder Peter “Gray Wulf” Jones. “Every once in a while this happens. Some little hottie comes along and shreds the revolutionary social fabric. I’m really depressed.”

Woodruff, a B.A. graduate in botany from Syracuse University, is five feet 11 inches with fluent limbs, a good chest, and a smattering of freckles. She came to the colony with her husband Jim Woodruff so that they could “get away from the depredations of modern industrial culture,” they said.

“Honestly, though, it was really Jimmy’s idea,” said Bethany. “Now I’m in this pit every night and each time I get here some old hippie wants to have a go at me. I’m a little frightened.”

The nightly gatherings were arranged in 1976 as a way for members to be able to ask for sex in ways that were not socially awkward.

“The old system of marriage is just so backward,” said Milton “Antler Warrior” Schonstein. “Here, it’s just laid back. You’ve got the whole camp behind you helping you tell the girl you’re attracted to that you’d love to share sex with her. It’s a beautiful thing. It’s just so much better than regular society.”

“I’m not going anywhere near that guy,” said Bethany Woodruff when asked if she would like to sleep with Schonstein. “He’s got shit in his hair.”

Hutter Farms was formed as many urbanites fled the Vietnam War and decided to recreate American society in a new pastoral idiom that eschewed war, meat, unsustainable energy and, most important, sexual inhibition.

“If we were all having sex more, there would be no more war,” said 90-year-old “Pa Hutter” who founded the society after leaving a job at Dow Chemical in 1968 over a stock options argument. “Everyone rise tonight and say who it is you’d like to express your love to!”

“Bethany!” yelled everybody.

Among the other values embodied by the community are radical self-expression, respect for mother nature, respect of spirituality in all forms that are not patriarchal or demeaning, and the enlightenment that comes with cleansing the doorways of perception.

“Bethany is a great soul,” said Schonstein. “She’s come here because she’s curious and looking for answers and the deteriorating industrial ideal just held nothing for her anymore. She’s like Eve in the Garden of Eden. Naked. So naked. I really get her.”

“They want me to go to the tribal meeting tonight and talk me into having sex with somebody who’s got crab lice,” Bethany said. “Wait! Did you hear that? They’re talking about me. Somebody’s in the bushes!”

According to the tribal log, those who have expressed a desire to have sex with Woodruff are 21-year-old Denny “God Breeze” McClaine; 25-year-old Johnny “Banjo” Gansevoort; 53-year-old Michael “Dizzy Hawk” Hochstein; 28-year-old Richie “Eglantine” Prichard; 22-year-old Lyle “Rabbit Foot” Babbit; 52-year-old Sheila “Moonchild” Daniels; 62-year-old Marion “Mother Hen” Dubrowski; 72-year-old Mavis “Ghost Dog” Searling; 19-year-old Dennis “Hiawatha” Ostin; 90-year-old Lenny “Pa” Hutter; 13-year-old Starshine Mathers; 7-year-old Jake “Doolittle” Smalls; 14-year-old Charlotte “Moonbeam” Pasternak; and 42-year-old Dolores “Squeaky” Procnow.

A notable exception was Woodruff’s husband Jim.

“I’m just so over attachments and strings,” said Jim Woodruff. “I was really an unevolved person before, and I think it was holding Bethany back. It just wasn’t fair for me to be so possessive. Now she’s free and I think our love is stronger for that.”

“They’re out there!” Woodruff whispered in horror. “All of them are outside my tent waiting for me. I’m doomed. I’m a hunted animal. I think I’m losing my mind.”

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