Wednesday, February 22, 2012

THE BEATEN GENERATION: The Dick Principle (Chapter 8)

by Dick & Poli Tico

NOTE: Gays are just minor characters in the novel but in about ten chapters, they figure prominently. This is one of them, where we "unpeel" the psyche of Herman Schonberg. Another character study so don't expect half-bakes, that's not the style here.

Starting this chapter, the Paris segments featuring Hsu will disappear in some chapters but don't wonder if he suddenly would appear later on. I withheld the segments because they discuss French financial politics & they have an ongoing Presidential campaign.

Chapter 8: Over The Hill Blues

"Merkel hat kaum Spielraum"
Claudia Kade, German journalist

"Stacking supermarket shelves is better than dreaming of stardom."
Iain Duncan Smith, British Minister, Conservative

"Gli americani torneranno a investire"
Mario Monti, Prime Minister, Italy

"On ne peut pas dire “C'est juste un film”..."
Selon Kamea, French filmmaker

January 21, 2012 11 AM, Hongkong-Beijing Time, South China Sea

In 2011, the military budget of the United States was 768 billion dollars, the biggest in the world. Despite the economic crisis & all the talks of austerity, no politician tried to touch it. That amount was seen as an insurance that the most modern military on earth would always be American.

As a Chinese warship lurked over an American destroyer near the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea that morning, nobody was thinking of military budget, military high technology or even military theory for that matter. On one side, a row of Chinese soldiers were retching by the railing of their aging warship, a former hand-me-down from the Soviets, apparently discomfitted by something they saw on the enemy side.

On the American side, the soldiers were not really conscious of the Chinese anymore. They were more intent in controlling themselves so they won't launch into runaway guffaws as their commander shouted his orders from his high horse. This little episode in the high seas will go down in future military annals in varying versions, each retold to ensure the maximum laughs each time. But there will be a common punch line: who would have thought that a nude American commander would take command conjoined with a just as nude soldier because his highly stimulated anal sphincter locked around the ample organ of his sex partner? Soldiers of future generations will have raucous times recounting how the two faced & embraced each other, the 6'4" soldier easily taking in his commander's weight as the latter crossed tightly his legs around the boy's buttocks so he won't slip & snap the boy's organ on his way down. He barked his orders over the right muscular shoulder of the soldier & sometimes he even rested his head on the latter's muscular deltoids. How sweet, a naughty machinist whispered to a companion but they had to run to the bowels of the ship before they could finally laugh themselves out to a catharsis.

The Chinese commander was more or less successful in controlling his upwelling stomach but barely. Still he wasn't surprised by what he saw. Homosexuals usually flock to where the boys were & the military was where the real boys were. He read a clandestine North Korean report on the many American officers frequenting the gay bars in Itaewon, Seoul's version of San Diego's Hillcrest in the Korean Peninsula. There was a joke that they only had to bomb the gay bars and the Koreas could be united. The agitations by the gay movements in the West that resulted on the repeal of their "Don't ask, Don't tell" policy just emboldened the many closet officers in the American military to venture out. Tentatively at first, now they were in full force.

Well, that's just a sign of their weakness, mere gays could hold their balls, he thought. The Chinese should encourage the Americans. Let them party. The big American military budget must be equipping hi-tech gay sex clubs inside their costly military installations. China didn't have to exert, it just have to wait for the queens to self-destruct.

338 BC Chaeronea, Ancient Greece

Pancratius knew it was just a matter of minutes and it would be over. He looked at the sleeping young boy, his parabatai. That's the first sleep he got for the last 3 days. He was sure it was the final lull. Demetrius was only fifteen and it pained him the boy might not live to see the next sunrise. The Macedonians were just massing at the next hillock in the east for the final assault any moment now.

The last of the army of lovers...

He was the only one in love, the elder heniokoi. He knew Demetrius' heart finally learned to beat just recently but it was not for him, it was for a girl. He had his chance to mold it the way the wise men before him had done, it was part of the education of the boys. He could still have tried it but he knew war would have its way. His imminent death has finally given him clarity.

They were successful in Thebes. The teachers and warriors who loved beautiful boys. It was easy to trick the wealthy parents who were only too glad to delegate the unruly adolescent years of their sons to what they thought were selfless souls. Especially if they were great philosophers and warriors who would go to extra lengths to provide training and education not only to the brain, the heart, but even to the dirty parts like the anus... his favorite. How greater could a lover be? He wondered if future parents would be as uneducated as the ones in his time. Stupid fathers, delicious sons. What a great time to be a pederast. He hoped the killjoy civil leaders will never be wise enough to spread education to the masses.

It has been 40 years since the Sacred Band of lovers were formed. 150 couples. They vowed to protect each other to the death. Their loyalty to each other will finally be tested today.

"Demetrius, wake up". He shook the shoulder of Demetrius. It was now clean of the grime that collected after three days of non-stop combat. He was seen as the heniokoi but he lovingly cleansed it while the boy slept, oblivious of the reproach in the stares of the other older men who couldn't stoop down to do it to their younger partners. A final atonement.

The boy opened his eyes. He has always been a light sleeper.

"You can leave me here. Zelda is waiting for you." Zelda was the name of the girl that Demetrius murmured in his sleep.

"I can't leave you. Father will be angry with me."

"I'm done with life, boy, yours is still ahead of you. I know you love Zelda. I'm giving you your freedom to follow your heart."

"If I leave you, I will be branded a coward. "

"You are still young, you have all the time to prove you are brave."

"Father told me we are lovers, we should defend each other... until death. I made a vow to die for you."

"You've always believed in me as a teacher, haven't you?"

"Yes. I respect you like my father."

"You believed I loved you very much?" He tried not to choke. He was not a sentimental man. He was angry with the sudden rush of strange emotions.

The boy just nodded. Those innocent eyes are arrows to my heart, he thought.

"Then I'm telling you now I'm letting you go because I love you very much."

"I'm a good soldier, Pancratius. I won't run away from the enemy. I will fight to the end."

"You love Zelda, don't you?"

A moment of hesitation. He saw the boy did not want to hurt him. But eventually he nodded.

"Our relationship was just arranged. I was the only one in love, you never were. It's clear now you never will be. It was my most fervent hope that you would have learned to love me just like in any other arranged relationships... but unfortunately, we will be denied time ... You're free to go, Demetrius. It's because I love you so much that I'm letting you go. You don't have to die for anybody's delusions."

"I'm not afraid to die."

"I will be the one who'll kill you if you don't leave now."

"You can't."

"I will kill myself if you don't leave now."

"You can't"

Pancratius smiled. He's resigned. "Promise me, Demetrius, when you see me die, run, run away to Zelda, will you promise that?"

"I have my honor. I will die fighting for you. I will protect you til death.""

"Promise me, you'll run, Demetrius." He looked at the boy almost imploringly. There's a certain stoicism to innocence and he wanted Demetrius to grow up big. Fast. "You won't have to fight for anybody anymore. Just run!" Then he stabbed his sword into his heart. The boy cried his name, tried to run to his aid but, with the last ounce of his ebbing strength, he slapped his hands then shouted as strong as he still could. "Runn!!!"

He was smiling when he took his last breath. He saw Demetrius running. Away. To Zelda.

He never knew all of those left behind would be killed before the nightfall. The Sacred Band of Thebes was no more.

January 20, 2012 10 PM, Pacific Time, Malibu

Without delay, cable news transmitted live pixelated video feeds of the morning drama in the South China Sea. The Chinese authorities immediately saw a propaganda opportunity & they lost no time. Herman Schonberg caught it at his home office as he sipped his usual brandy before going to bed.

Well, it was just a matter of time, he thought. Sexuality was a private matter and it had no place in politics. He was never in favor that gays in the military should declare themselves as such. They would only be unnerving the esprit de corps of the unit, he thought. No way would it give the equality being sought by gays anyway. Another of the stupid political delusions which have been piling up recently even as the West skidded in almost all the fronts. All it did was erect a facade but it would only undermine the country in the end.

This is a major breach of the facade, he smirked.

He never considered his attraction to other men a major problem. It was just a secret like his other many secrets & he was in no obligation to share it. Life was not supposed to be a walk in the park, the fun was in negotiating around the bumps so one could reach the ice cream vendor anyway. It's never wise to go around proclaiming your warts. If you can't flaunt you're ugly, why should you flaunt you're abnormal? In a nature which prized perfection, it didn't really make sense to invoke selective exception. Much more if that exception invited revulsion. You can't tell the gears of evolution to just stop & exempt gays for any pretension much less if it's only for humanitarian reason. Evolution discarded the deletory by default, and it's insane to interfere with a natural process bent on improving the species. If there was anything wrong, it was delusional politics, this insistence of equality by the crabs who couldn't accept they simply didn't amount to much. He knew his being gay was a defect, and he was realistic enough to accept it & just worked around it. Coming out was never an option. Only the pretentious would applaud him anyway & he had no time for those types.

Having sex with Herman Schonberg was the prima facie evidence that a boy was heterosexual. Herman made sure of that. He went to great lengths to assure himself a boy was really straight before even inviting him in. Each sexual act was beneficial to everybody, most of the big actors in Hollywood passed through his bed. The secret Hollywood code of conduct: been there, done that. Doing it with a straight boy was supposed to ensure his secret remained a secret forever. It appeared now he was wrong there. Apparently, there was never going to be closure to each clandestine sexual act. The secret was out there in that external hard drive and it was just a matter of time, it would explode. He was sure many reputations and careers would be destroyed.

Except his. He never relied on an image, he was simply too rich to be really affected eventually anyway. The great equalizer: great wealth. He laughed at all the historical revisionism just to prop up gay delusions. There was this longing to revive the grandeur of some ancient time. Homosexuals were never accepted at anytime. Except the rich ones, of course. In a way, the gay philosophers in the upper strata of ancient Greece were wily enough to gain acceptance, but the poor ones were ridiculed in the streets even then. What changed since then? He was a billionaire, even if it was known he was gay, not much will change because he could still control his milieu anyway. You can't say that to the gays on the streets. Same storyline through the centuries. He was not convinced that would change. Ever.

Especially with how the world is turning now...

He could see no comparison with the Black struggle. Which was just a matter of cultural prescription but all the human functions remained the same. With gays, you have to challenge the very same pathways that respond to pleasure & coax them to lose their code for revulsion for the abnormal. He was gay but he couldn't even force himself to concede that to gays. The revulsion was just too strong. He could see an impenetrable physiological, not political, brickwall separated gays from their delusion.

He considered the gay movement as just a part of the overbearing pretentiousness which pervaded Western culture in the past decades. Their sudden prosperity spoiled the pretentious to imagine they were bigger than what they really were so they developed this fantasy to share their "good fortune" by smothering what they considered "unfortunate" with "compassion". To the point they politically blackmail anyone who were not as pretentious as them. It amused him to hear they were actually babbling about modernizing the world. Nice to dream of future utopias when you know you'd be dead to admit you were just fooling yourself all along. Wait til that prosperity was taken away from them, or are they so busy wishful thinking they haven't noticed anything?... He was gay but he was naturally homophobic... so what was he, an enemy now of these clowns? If they were any wiser, why did they build their campaign against Homophobia when majority of the people more likely have clinical symptoms of Homophobia in varying degrees anyway? All the pretension of compassion didn't exempt one from being stupid. Even if they threatened revolution, would that stop him or Herbert from vomiting?

Were they Plasil now?

That reminded him, he was getting nauseous watching the military conjoined sexual twins in his television screen. He took two 500 mg. capsules of Plasil, one tablet of 10 mg. Diazepam, threw away his brandy in the bar sink then shut off the TV.

He thought too much time was wasted on irrelevant politics. He's not interested in becoming embroiled in a political hullabalo amidst all these pretentious people. If you're ugly, don't pretend you're beautiful. If you're abnormal, you're abnormal. He was never in favor of giving false expectation to people who will remain forever trapped in their abnormality anyway.

He felt somewhat surreal knowing he would be exposed as gay soon. His brother will look down more on him. Not that it would really matter, he despised Frank anyway. But he still wanted to be the first to tell him.

"Frank, it's Herman, I called because I want you to be the first one to know something..."

"Have you seen the breaking news?"

"The sea incident?"

"I bet all those stone-age people who wanted to control our lives are shitting in their pants right now. I bet they must be praying sick to their gods now. Let's see if they could still eat their money after seeing this."

"That fool shouldn't have been assigned to that boat."

"You don't get it do you? Enough of you peddling fantasy, show the rot, dammit! It's the wretched of the world who are the salt of the earth, boy. They say all these faggots were sent by the devil, show more of them and rub the most wretched on their faces. But you act as if you were born in a high horse like them. Have you shown a faggot in your movie? No, because you worship only the money. The faggots are your vampires and atomic bombs, boy, lob them to scare the real devils so they scamper away."

Herman saw no virtue in mining the gay dollar in showbiz. He was leaving that to the peanut operators. To him, that market merely paid for hamburgers and French fries, a waste not only of good investment, but worse, of many talent. Hollywood was littered with star materials who became spoiled merchandise after being hoodwinked into appearing in all those gay propaganda roles. Mere sacrificial lambs for a never cost-effective delusion because your audience would just be the same converted miniscule crowd anyway. Politics and business didn't mix in his universe. He fired a producer who advised him it was "wise" to do so to educate the conservatives & the religious. His politics was liberal but he knew a dumb employee when he saw one. There's nothing easier than changing the channel, turning off the TV, not going to the cinema or buying a CD. The only real dent would only be in the shrieking decibels of self-congratulatory hot airs in the production offices of mostly gay men, lonely women & their political cohorts. Small-time pursuits. He could see the imagined bandwagon will be swept away in the next backlash anyway.

He had a reputation for being ruthless. He just didn't beat around the bush. Once, he already completed the casting of a movie when he saw the picture of one of the chosen male lead stars while surfing. He clicked a link which opened into a clip from an old movie. The actor was engaging in a somewhat explicit gay sex scene and there were a hundred comments mocking the real sexuality of the actor. The usual racket. There were tons of small-time gay directors hunting for young actors who would kill for any chance to be noticed, even if it was for a forgettable gay movie. Innocent they have just been suckered into a poison landmine to their dreams. Nobody became big because of the "vaunted" gay market, but many careers were nipped in the bud instead. Still he gave the boy a chance. He told himself if he didn't feel anything if the boy was presented to him, he would forget about it. The boy must have been so honored to be invited by the great Herman Schonberg into his private sanctum. But when the boy touched his hands, his stomach instantly made the decision for him. Anybody rejected by Herman Schonberg's stomach never worked in Hollywood again.

"Like I told you, sooner or later, they'll fall flat on their faces. That's reality right there, boy," Frank's voice was very loud now from the other end. He could visualize his sharp features, very animated, ominous.

"America doesn't deserve him, Frank. He did his country a great disservice by being a fool."

"Ah, the imperialist bro talking now, eh? Why shouldn't he be? Just because his asshole wanted to be a cunt? The wretched are the soldiers for the better world, boy. That major has no idea how he just turned into a national hero!"

Herman thought it was useless. Conversations with his brother have always been theoretical whirlpools.

The older of the two sons (with different mothers) of a Berlin physician who escaped the Second World War to build a new life in America, Frank Schonberg was a former Professor in Political Science in Stanford University, drived a clunky Volkswagen Beetle, had a former porn actress wife and lived a lifestyle more simple than that led by Herman's private secretary. He was one of the original Hippies in the Bakersfield area. To Herman, Frank still was. At 69, he was still a Hippie who listened to the promises of tomorrows that were "blowing in the wind".

January 21, 2012 12 Noon, Hongkong-Beijing Time, South China Sea

During erection, a big portion of the blood volume enters the cavernous tissues of the penis. They should flow back to the body after a few hours to restore the blood supply or normal metabolism could be deranged producing relative dehydration & acidosis. There were already many cases of mortality recorded as a result of locked-in penis during copulation. Mostly, vaginal. If ever, the spectacle created by the spastic anal sphincter of Major Albert Hageman would be the first to be fed live to international television.

The Chinese were basking on the PR manna from heaven. They even had the chance to show to the world their humanitarian side. It turned out the American destroyer's benzodiazepine supply has been raided by addict soldiers from its clinic. Eventually, they had to airlift the conjoined American soldiers to the Chinese warship so the proper muscle relaxants could be injected to them.

The Chinese Commander was interviewed by a burly TV reporter who looked like a sumo wrestler.

(Translated from Mandarin)

"What do you think happened, Comrade Commandant?"

"Well, we know the enemy has no morals. They love to stuff things into their... behind."

"What kinds of things, Comrade?"

"You wouldn't want to know."

"I'd like to, Comrade, that's why I'm asking you?"

"Believe me, you wouldn't want to know."

"Comrade, I told you, I'm dying to know!"

The commander whispered it to him. Immediately, as if by magic, the reporter's eyes became dreamy and he darted his tounge over his lips as if licking an imaginary ice cream. The Chinese Commander was unnerved by the transformation of the sumo wrestler who seemed to have been turned into a blooming flower bud right before his eyes.

"Really?" The reporter's voice became soft, almost breathy.

"See, Americans have very low morality. They are very dirty, indeed."

"Was it big?"


"T-the Americans... yes, the Americans!"


"Really... big?"

"I said definitely."

"I bet it was delici... upps, dirty indeed. They are dirty, aren't they, Comrade?"

"Definitely dirty."

"Can we see how b-bi... dirty they are, Comrade?"

"The doctor declared it off-limits. They are going to separate them by injecting something."

"I can't apply as his assistant?"

"No, you're a reporter. You have no more questions?"

That seemed to have snapped back the reporter from his trance. He immediately modulated his voice into a baritone. "Ah, of course, as we have seen, the Americans really have very low morality and definitely will rot in the garbage soon. That shows the ascendancy of the Chinese way of life over these over the hill degenerates..."

He was not fooling the Commander. The latter was just barely able to control his stomach watching the two abnormal Americans conjoined to each other a good part of the morning, but being face to face with this abnormal was the last straw. They never saw the likes of it before in Chinese television. Ever. His breakfast splattered all over the reporter's face.

At least, the Chinese reporter was a fast thinker. Dripping, he shouted to the camera before it signed off: "Now, you see how degraded America is, it makes the Chinese vomit."

January 20, 2012 New York City

Richard Gluck, the character actor, was beside himself. He did it. Well, he had no more to gain by hiding the truth. Actually, he has outed himself to close friends a long time ago. He knew he has reached what he could reach and it would be wishful thinking to think otherwise. He was 40, he couldn't be the A-list star of his fantasies anymore. So he did it the big way. He came out by marrying his boyfriend.

And as he looked at the face of Roberto, he saw his future. Then he saw no more. Only one bullet and his head was shattered.

Next: Chapter 9