No Comment — June 12, 2007, 10:43 am

The Gay Bomb

I recently spoke with one of the Pentagon’s most senior medical officers. Official DOD attitudes towards homosexuality, he said, had followed a strange trajectory over the last decade. From a grudging recognition of the inevitable–an acceptance that policies such as those of our ally Britain, where homosexuality is accepted as a fact, will eventually be the rule for the U.S. armed forces–they have shifted towards an “essentially sociopathic and anti-scientific bigotry strongly tinged with fundamentalist Christianity.” The medical officer said this was one of the principal manifestations of the Bush Administration’s conscious decisions to empower fundamentalist Christians in the uniformed services. He cited General Peter Pace as a symbol of the phenomenon and welcomed his departure. “This will be a good thing for the uniformed services, because aside from ‘Perfect Peter’s’ notoriously loose grip on the truth in his Congressional testimony, he bordered on the clinical in his attitude towards gays.”

More evidence of the “sociopathic” attitudes towards gays that are commonplace in the U.S. military can be found in a current report by a CBS affiliate in California.

Pentagon officials on Friday confirmed to CBS 5 that military leaders had considered, and then subsquently rejected, building the so-called “Gay Bomb” . . . As part of a military effort to develop non-lethal weapons, the proposal suggested, “One distasteful but completely non-lethal example would be strong aphrodisiacs, especially if the chemical also caused homosexual behavior.” The documents show the Air Force lab asked for $7.5 million to develop such a chemical weapon.

“The Ohio Air Force lab proposed that a bomb be developed that contained a chemical that would cause enemy soliders to become gay, and to have their units break down because all their soldiers became irresistably attractive to one another,” Hammond said after reviwing the documents.

Sometimes facts are stranger than fiction.

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Many comedians consider stand-up the purest form of comedy; Doug Stanhope considers it the freest. “Once you do stand-up, it spoils you for everything else,” he says. “You’re the director, performer, and producer.” Unlike most of his peers, however, Stanhope has designed his career around exploring that freedom, which means choosing a life on the road. Perhaps this is why, although he is extremely ambitious, prolific, and one of the best stand-ups performing, so many Americans haven’t heard of him. Many comedians approach the road as a means to an end: a way to develop their skills, start booking bigger venues, and, if they’re lucky, get themselves airlifted to Hollywood. But life isn’t happening on a sit-com set or a sketch show — at least not the life that has interested Stanhope. He isn’t waiting to be invited to the party; indeed, he’s been hosting his own party for years.

Because of the present comedy boom, civilians are starting to hear about Doug Stanhope from other comedians like Ricky Gervais, Sarah Silverman, and Louis CK. But Stanhope has been building a devoted fan base for the past two decades, largely by word of mouth. On tour, he prefers the unencumbered arrival and the quick exit: cheap motels where you can pull the van up to the door of the room and park. He’s especially pleased if there’s an on-site bar, which increases the odds of hearing a good story from the sort of person who tends to drink away the afternoon in the depressed cities where he performs. Stanhope’s America isn’t the one still yammering on about its potential or struggling with losing hope. For the most part, hope is gone. On Word of Mouth, his 2002 album, he says, “America may be the best country, but that’s like being the prettiest Denny’s waitress. Just because you’re the best doesn’t make you good.”

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