Wednesday, May 9, 2012

THE BEATEN GENERATION: The Dick Principle (Chapter 13)

UPDATE (MAY 9, 2012), this chapter was initially posted on May 3, 2012: 
Lol, interesting things have been happening lately which convinced me to let this Chapter stay as headline for the meantime. Curiously, some of the scenes found in the 135 chapters of the novel are happening in real life right now. Hmm, do I just have a fertile imagination or are people just predictable? This chapter is crucial because it contains the seed for myriads of conflicts which will lead to the climax of the novel. It is multi-layered, includes hidden traps for future surprises. Including a couple of events playing in real life right now, making me wonder if reality is in fact a comedy like the novel. Lol. 
Updates will appear below this one. Its date of publication will change as each update is posted below.




by Dick & Poli Tico

NOTES:   The discourse about San Francisco in this chapter is a continuation of the one in Chapter 11 which was published a month ago yet. A continuing dialogue which will run throughout most of the novel. Perhaps you should refresh on Chapter 11 (especially the tables) to fully appreciate the conversations in this chapter.



Chapter 13: Africa-dreaming In A City Stunted By Pretentiousness

"Jammer!"
a disillusioned Dutchman

"Peccato!"
an Italian full of misgivings

"Dommage!"
a disgusted Frenchman

"Que pena!"
a disappointed Spaniard


January 22, 2012, Morning (GMT+8), Beijing, China


The US Embassy First Secretary who was sent to see him couldn't quite believe it. A commander of the US Navy under the "protection of the enemy" refused to see an American government official who came to help him. One of the embassy officers suggested they should file a diplomatic protest but the Ambassador immediately shot it down. He had a hunch it would backfire. The next events proved him right.

He was not sure how big was the hand of the Chinese intelligence in the unfolding of the ensuing events. But he had to admit what came next was a master stroke. All the countries in Southeast Asia had booming economies dominated by local ethnic Chinese and they could influence local events if push came to shove. That morning was the first time that they ever acted synchronously across national boundaries. All the major dailies in all the big cities in Southeast Asia had the same headline : BWA HA HA HA HA. Splashed on all the front pages were half-page pictures of Commander Albert "Margaret" Hageman of the US Navy in drag. Apparently, it was taken during a private party given to the commander in one of the secret military installations around Beijing (when asked by the Chinese organizers how he would want to be called, the Commander coquettishly replied she's called Margaret when she's in drag, like his favorite actress, Margarita Beaumont). The commander was shown heavily made-up, wearing a shoulder-length blonde wig like Margarita Beaumont's current hair-do, and a body-hugging mini-skirt, complete with a 3-inch stilleto heels. He was hugging a young shirtless muscular blonde Russian who was "invited" as his escort for the occassion (he was a Russian exchange student and he later would complain to a Beijing woman's magazine that the amount given to him was not enough to compensate for his nausea putting up with the Commander's advances).

All the front page pictures had the same caption: The new American military uniform for World War 3 as modeled by a US Navy Commander.

 One particularly naughty Malaysian radio commentator started calling all American military personnel "Margaret". So when he reported the transfer of thousands of American servicemen from Okinawa to Guam, his commentary went like this: "So thousands of Margarets are being transferred to Guam because of the complaint of the local Okinawans when four Margarets reportedly raped a 12-year old girl. Girl? Are they telling the truth here? Are they sure it wasn't a boy?"

By the end of the day, the new meaning of Margaret will be spread by a chain of guffaws throughout the Pacific Rim. By the end of the year, it will be included in the new edition of the Webster's dictionaries that will be released in time for the Christmas shopping season. Margaret, besides being the name of a deceased British princess, will henceforth now also mean "an American soldier, who may be gay, or maybe not after all (knock on wood)".

There will be another new word that will also be added to the same edition. WaltzingBenilda, in honor of the serviceman formerly named Ben Rhodes, will come to mean "an American soldier who decides to undergo sex change while still on tour of duty."

A twenty-second video clip of the mini-skirted Commander "Margaret" Hageman dancing crotch-smashing Lambada with the young Russian immediately became viral. It will have ten-million views after the first hour, hundred-million on the second. It will become the most viewed video clip in Youtube's history by midnight. Only few in the US were reading or watching the news since yesterday so it was only through that clip that most got wind of the "Margaret Affair" brewing across the Pacific.

As expected, a political circus will erupt in the US. A Republican Senator from New York will lament the "political delusion" which encouraged "the gay plague" to "bring rot" to the mighty American military. The Nebraska evangelist will again shriek "Sodom and Gomorrha, Sodom and Gomorrha", and his screams will be so strong his loose false teeth will again fly like a missile, this time shooting past the backrow of his cavernous congregation. Not to be outdone, when a motley group of gay activists in drag will try to put up a rally in Times Square in support of the Commander, irate senior citizens  will elect to throw their dentures like molotov bombs at the drag queens than hear a note more of what one gray-haired grandmother called "evil lisp". A Fox commentator will give the final word:"It's a day of gnashing teeth for America, ladies and gentlemen." Then he will gnash his perfect teeth in front of the camera. Which the few viewers (viewership rating of 0.005%) will assume as mere works of art of an overpriced dentist.

The CIA director knew they were genuine (surprisingly, it was part of the trivia in the commentator's dossier). He feared he might be the one needing the dentist, he has been gnashing his dentures so tightly since the "surreal" events in Asia emerged that afternoon (next morning in Hongkong-Beijing Time, GMT +8). He called an emergency video conference of all the station chiefs in the Pacific Rim. He wanted to know why the overseas Chinese businessmen were not preemptively pressured to toe the line. Surely, "endangered" access to the American market would've brought senses to overambitious minds.

The Hongkong station chief replied tonelessly, "The overseas Chinese are among the heaviest investors in China, Director. China is primarily a domestic market. Contrary to common belief, only a negligible part of the Chinese economy is exports. And the wily overseas Chinese businessmen believe the Chinese market is a bigger investment egg than anything America can offer shortly. China will be bigger than the American economy in 5 years, twice in another fifteen years, and they could afford to weather American threats til payback time."

"Loose talk. China will only grow 8% next year because they couldn't sell their exports so they won't grow as big as their delusions. It's a sure hard landing for them, and you better believe it, they will be smashed!"

" You read too many newspapers with falling subscriptions, Director. Try reading our reports. China's exports is only 1% of its yearly GDP double-digit growth output. That lower 8% expected growth is even bigger than their desired growth. In their next five-year plan, they programmed only 7.5% growth each year to prevent overheating which has gone uncontrolled for decades. More double-digit growth could create bigger inflationary havoc in the short term. The Western financial crisis was actually a boon to them, it gave them room to maneuver."

"Meaning?"

"Meaning, if our politicians don't use their heads more than their mouths, Margaret will forever be Margaret."

In Tahiti, the original Margaret, the actress Margarita Beaumont, was just about to board the limousine that would take her to the airport when her secretary  showed her the front page picture of Commander Albert Hageman in drag. The hairdo of the Commander was almost exactly like hers, his mini-skirt was similar to the one she wore on the cover of last week's issue of People, even his high heels were similar to the one she wore in her last film (though she would have preferred a more masculine leather terrain shoes in that one if not for the fag director). She thought that's probably how she would look like when she turned 50. The jokes of nature, she smirked. She actually wanted to be a destroyer commander when she was a little girl. Apparently, the Commander wanted to be like her.

"Margaret Hageman, eww!" she smirked again, this time a la Humphrey Bogart in "Casablanca". When she boarded the limousine, she laughed her head off a la Vincent Price in "Dracula". On her seat, she tossed her shoulder-length blonde hair in the Marilyn Monroe way but felt she was Tarzan. She smiled contentedly, remembering Aikiko, and thought she was much more a lady-killer than Bill Clinton. She was Don Juan!


January 21, 2012, 7 PM (GMT-8), Cedars-Sinai, Los Angeles, then West Hollywood

I love you?

Has anything changed? Lol. Too soon, he chided himself. He looked again at the peaceful sleeping face of Tina. One thing he was sure of, nothing was the same like before. What Tina did was a gamechanger.

What game?

Could he at least feel a new invisible band of energy that binds him with this incredible woman? Sisterly? Motherly? Wifely? Guilt? Pride? Forgiveness? Home?

Come on, feel it!

Suddenly he felt stupid and laughed quietly at himself.

Not there yet, silly!

He was told Tina woke up while he was at the therapist. She immediately looked for him. She allegely cried smiling when told he was alright. The nurse immediately gave her tranquilizers so she could rest .

How long must he wait before he could see some results?

His cellphone chirped softly in his breast pocket.

"I'm on my way," It was Phillip.

For all the stolen intimate times they had shared together, they never revealed to each other their true identities. When he called up to divulge to Phillip he was going to the therapist, Phillip told him,"No reason to hide anymore. We decided to lead normal lives so let's live it." He revealed his true identity. Tony revealed his.

Phillip Masterson was a columnist for a weekly newsmagazine identified with the liberal intellectual elite. Tony was a writer for Liberalroom.com, a website for the "liberal cool" ("We were fated to meet by the liberal gods," Phillip joked).

They were going to meet in Tony's West Hollywood apartment. His mother was a good cook and he decided it would be a propitious start of their new friendship celebrating it with her famous mole. His father already flew this afternoon to San Francisco to return to his job as manager for nearby Vallejo across San Pablo Bay and to make arrangements for the apartment in El Cerrito (owned by Helmut Schiller) which will become their home for the next six months. He thought it would be a nice send-off dinner for her before she joins his father. She welcomed Phillip warmly and the latter made it very evident he enjoyed the meal and the company.

Tony and Phillip took a slow leisurely drive around after the dinner.

"There are too many fags here," Phillip noticed.

"Nearly half, 41%, of the population here are fags. Fag central of the US."

"I thought you were only into straight guys."

"I've been here for ten years but I avoid the fags. I have no friends here. I was only after the cheaper rent. They are supposed to be big on social consciousness here. The city was precisely incorporated as a city to escape the uncontrolled rentals of LA."

"So it must be attracting people then. Overpopulation must be a problem here?"

"On the contrary. Both LA and Beverly Hills which completely sorround it are growing but West Hollywood is losing people right in the middle. "

"Like a black hole?"

"Like a black hole in a bursting universe."

"It's surprising people didn't prefer cheaper rents?"

"They were clearly more particular about the kind of neighbors they had."

Silence.

"I guess it's typical in areas with big concentrations of fags. Normal people prefer a more normal environment. I wouldn't really want to raise a family here, much less around Castro in San Francisco. Hey, do you know San Francisco was the biggest city in the West Coast before?  And have you ever wondered why it remained practically a dwarf?"

"You know I grew up in Vallejo, just outside San Francisco. There's this common complaint only fags, closets, hipsters or Asians are left in San Francisco after workhours. So if one is not into Asians and he wanted to find a serious relationship, he should go find it in the suburbs."

"I come from Kansas. People always hear strange stories about San Francisco."

"It's the flagship of the American liberal project. If you wanted to pretend as liberal, you were not supposed to wonder why San Francisco remained a dwarf through the years. Or why it was eclipsed by LA, San Diego or even San Jose. People there find solace in simplistic answers. Some say it's the earthquakes. But Tokyo has been levelled by an earthquake in the 1920's and then bombed in the last World War but it has produced the biggest and wealthiest human settlement in the world. All the other big metropolises in the Pacific basin which incidentally have far more numerous and taller buildings than San Francisco are found in the Ring of Fire. The skyline of San Francisco is just a backstreet neighborhood compared to those of major Asian cities which were just big villages when it was already a big city. So there must be something poisoning the water there that stunted it through the years relative to its peers. The hemorrhage of people outwards began in the 1960's when all the Hippies and the fags began to settle there. The Hippies have died of old age but the fags have multiplied enormously. Do you know that in 1900, only Shanghai, Hongkong and Tokyo were larger cities than San Francisco in the Pacific basin, that it was even larger than both Seoul and Singapore? But it is the smallest financial center in the area now, even smaller than most of the second-tier cities of any of the major Pacific Rim countries."

"All those elite universities around and nobody among the eminent political scientists were curious why?"

"Those are liberal hotbeds. They feed on the Snob Appeal politics prevailing in the area. Democrats have political control in Northern California. Default membership by new arrivals. Most thought they had the docile Asians and the Latinos anyway to prop up their ideological agenda. While they were still fresh from the boat and poor, I presume."

"Some would probably just say the glitter of the money from Silicon Valley would make shooting their own feet irrelevant. The liberal free spirit was supposed to be what fostered the great minds that created the IT industry."

"Why, did the geniuses that they recruited from Bangalore have to shoot their own feet to make a dent in Silicon Valley? I bet, those Indians didn't need to find inspiration from San Francisco to nourish their free spirits. They were already inspired geniuses even before  boarding the plane for the States."

Laughter.

"But here's the great paradox. A big joke actually. The companies there are giant capitalist success stories but the area is full of near bankrupt cities. Like what my mother told you, Vallejo can only afford my father and his secretary because the city has no more money to staff its city hall. Do you even know of a city in Africa with the same predicament?"

"So where were the intelligent people with free spirits ? They seemed unable to anticipate such humiliating eventuality. Busy dreaming of Africa?"

Again, laughter.

"San Jose, the richest in the area, hosts big IT companies. But it has the same debt problems. The unions for the peace officers made sure their wards would get the biggest pensions they could extract from the local government, leaving the people begging for services. I used to think democracy was supposed to serve the people. Or is the modern version now only for certain people?"

"It appears nobody was looking on how their actions would impact on the big picture. Like how an intelligent person would normally do in making an intelligent decision."

"Just the usual pretentious lip service to democracy. Perhaps it's different with free spirits, they felt free to do not intelligent things because they were still free to call each other intellectual at the end of the day anyway. The crucial thing was the facade, not the substance."

"I'm beginning to think it was not "despite" but "because" of them. Stunted cities. Near-bankrupt cities. In an area of successful capitalism. It's just too ridiculously laughable to be a mere coincidence."

"Snob Appeal politics becoming Laughing-stock politics. Great evolution."

"Not evolution, it's mutation!"

Again, hearty laughter. Left unsaid, though lurking in both of their minds, was the fact that they were both into liberal politics since college. Tony graduated in Stanford, Phillip in Columbia. And they were both working in liberal media companies which required them to come up with pieces hewed to the ideological lines.

The irony just made things surreal for both. Where was the modern world made progressive by liberal ideas?

Phillip had a sad glimmer in his eyes. "Metaphor for a declining world shaped by supposedly intelligent free spirits. San Francisco now, the world shortly?"

There was silence when they reached Santa Monica Boulevard. They were lost into their own thoughts, as if each was calculating on how to proceed with the conversation.

It was Phillip who spoke first.

"So how was the session?"

"I have positive feelings over it. Sometimes, I knocked my head why I didn't act sooner."

"You know it's being discouraged by some pretentious quarters, don't you?"

"Sexual conversion?"

"Dumb arguments actually. That sexual conversion was supposed to increase what they call homophobia if you tried to save homosexual people who could be saved. They were sacrificing people for their delusion."

"You don't believe phobic reactions to gays won't disappear anyway, right?"

" The recurring story of our so-called Modern Times: Political dogmas first before the people. You stop being rational when your politics is at stake."

"Political dogmas first over the people of San Jose who were left begging for services... Political dogmas first over fag Billy who might have had a chance to live a better life by undergoing sexual conversion..."

"The trendy dogma of the moment  above all. For what? Millions were killed for economic equality but there are more poor people than ever. Fight for my modernity here, fight for your illusion there... after all the noise, the world should be a better place now, don't you think? But surprise, everything is declining, Ladies and gentlemen! Everybody's prospects are dimmer. What were all those noise for?"

"More battles needed probably?"

"Do you think  there's enough time? Ignominy brings new realities and values. Will the rules for battle be the same shortly? How would the blame game look like?"

Silence.

Tony broke it with a sigh. "Twisting the world to fit political dogmas. I submitted an article about that but it was shelved. The editor said it was contrary to prevailing progressive concepts."

"I wrote about my sexual conversion and I was advised to just wait. One curious thing baffled me though. The editor seemed fearful of something."

"He could be a closet case. Most are always fearful."

"You know, the gay battle was bigger than the gays. The gays were the least important part of it. There were bigger forces using it for a bigger end. Proof of their disconnect from reality, they pretended to modernize fart and are about to make everybody  gag from the stench."

"I know that."

"It should have been clear to any keen mind."

"I only realized it now."

"I'm telling you it's obvious."

" In my stupidity I only realized it now that I discovered something! It was right there all along!"

"What?"

"Damn!"



January 21, 2012, 4 PM (GMT -10), 30,000 feet above the Pacific Ocean

Margarita Beaumont should be happy, she got confirmation her wishes would be implemented just before the Gulfstream taxied off the loading area in the Papeete airport. The stumps of Charles Murphy and Arthur Dandridge were to be cremated together at 3 PM LA time, well before the arrival of the plane at LAX. She intended to just make a perfunctory appearance for the press to show that she was a grieving widow then return the same evening to Tahiti.

Back to Aikiko's arms. Savoring the soft skin of Aikiko in her mind, Margarita Beaumont was smiling beatifically, feeling like Muhammad Ali after winning a heavyweight boxing match, when the luxury jet exploded high above the calm Pacific Ocean.



January 21, 2012, 8 PM (GMT-8), Los Angeles

Stella just left when Herbert Campbell II turned on the TV to catch the cable news. He was startled when he saw the headline.

So they eliminated her right away, he thought. They sure are in a hurry...





Next- Chapter 14


BACKGROUND MUSIC

The most played in my music player this year is the first album, Голая (Golaya), of Russian pop-rock group Градусы (Gradusi). All songs are Top 40 potential. Their latest single (not part of the aforementioned album) is currently in the Russian Top 10 and is the first song below. They went electrodance this time. I'm not so much into that genre but somehow Gradusi made it palatable. It fits the surreal edge of the narrative above.

Градусы - Заметает



And from the album "Голая":
Градусы - Режиссер


Градусы - Голая



 Pictures posted by Delilah
Thanks, Pete of Brighton