The Invisible Hand

(I bet they sell copies of the Wealth of Nations)

This week, St. Mark’s Bookshop announced that despite the massive outcry from the reading public, the store’s Cooper Union landlords have not agreed to lower their monthly rent in order to help save the independent bookstore. The news came after weeks of furious blogging, tweeting, and Facebooking on the part of readers throughout New York City. “

(emphasis mine)

Look I love bookstores more than any other commercial enterprise. When I think about places to visit in the US I usually think about an iconic bookstore that would make the trip even better. Powell’s in Portland, Busboys and Poets in DC, The Strand, The Printed Matter, and yes St. Marks’s, in NYC, etc… So I get it. I am demonstrably saddened by the death of small indie bookshops. But we do realize that no one did the ONE THING required to keep a store open. Shop there.

“As The Awl points out, petitions are nice, but they do not pay the rent. If the 43,825 people who have currently signed the petition had also bought a nice new hardcover novel for $25.99, the St. Mark’s Bookshop would have no trouble paying its rent for the next 4 years.” <—–RUBBER meet ROAD. 

I mean we all know that essentially blogging, tweeting, and (for fucks sake) Facebooking (a verb? ugh) have the same impact on the world as loudly declaiming your displeasure to your cat, right? 

The War on Halloween

Can you imagine the look on some kid’s face when they receive a bible instead of those mini snickers? Talk about your sad trombones. It’s clear that we need a culture warrior attacking from the left. Where are our Bill O’Reilly’s who can loudly declaim yet another move by crypto-religious-facists bent on destroying our constitutionally mandated separation of church and state? Hitchens is nearly dead, and he’s too busy arguing that we should send drones to assassinate all our enemies. Maddow won’t bite I bet, she’s too busy being adorable. So then who? Just wait, Thanksgiving will be next. 

First they came for Halloween…..

Free Enemas In Sonoma County



(This image was taken inside

So anyway, this happened:

On the afternoon of Sunday, May 1, a 53-year-old Sonoma man who is visually impaired – that is to say he could not see well, if at all – was standing in his apartment when a woman appeared in his doorway, unannounced and unexpected.

The woman told him she was there to give him an enema. Because the man had recently undergone intestinal surgery, he thought perhaps that explained her presence.

Okay, I’m still with you. Odd concatenation of afflictions and events for this guy, to be sure, but I am little surprised he doesn’t blanche at the pop-in–which is a big no-no around my house. Who likes a pop-in? But this takes place in Sonoma County and maybe they’re more accommodating up there. 

The woman deftly guided him to his bedroom, had him drop his pants and lie face down on his bed.

She then gave the man an enema and promptly left.

The whole episode took about a minute-and-a-half, he later told police. The woman did not leave a card or any other identifying information. And given the condition of his eyesight, the man did not, in the complete sense of the word, actually see her.

How does this happen to somebody? I’m not a prude, but there would probably a bit of conversation before that happened to me. Maybe I’m just not all that familiar with enemas, but as a rule, talking always precedes pants-dropping.  Maybe he has great health insurance, and so he’s always getting post-op perks like massages, facials, and enemas, but in my experience once you leave the hospital the only thing they give you is a collection letter. 

Therefore, there are only three possible ways to explain this.

1. She is some kind of legitimate health care practitioner, albeit one that is not so good with details. She was supposed to give someone an enema that day, just not this particular guy. She had all the stuff after all, and was quick about it. 

2. Having intestinal surgery makes you compliant. You’re probably in pain for a long time before the surgery, and the relief you get is so great that you just have stars in your eyes for anyone affiliated with the practice of medicine. He probably would have opened his door to a shaman. 

3. Some sort of weird sex thing. 

 However, back to the matter at hand:

A day later, on Monday, the enema recipient began wondering about what had happened to him but took no action. By Tuesday, he felt compelled to shed some light on the experience, so he contacted police. An investigating officer promptly called the man’s doctor and was told no enema had been prescribed, ordered or approved.

Sonoma police turned the case over to the domestic and sexual assault unit of the Sonoma Sheriff’s Office who have yet to make sense of the caper.

Can you imagine that gnawing feeling as it started to creep into his mind. He’d try to ignore it while blasting Big Brother, or whatever, but it would return. That haunting feeling that he had felt before. It was like when he played that game with his uncle that one time that felt funny. And then finally it was too much to ignore. And he knew it was fishy, eventually, after all he did call the cops BEFORE calling his own doctor. 

Stray thoughts: 
-So I get the idea that this was not his first enema rodeo. I would be a lot more surprised if someone came my door bearing such strange gifts. 

-I don’t know how long an enema is supposed to take, but she seems like she knew what she was doing, and he must have recognized, whilst being flushed, that she knew what she was doing. Unless she has some signature enema technique we’ll never know her side of the story, since she can’t be identified. 

– But if was a good, er, properly executed enema and there were no problems, then I think you have to suck it up and take the L on this one, rather than explaining it to the authorities.  Just own it. “I got a random enema yesterday. I also listened to the game on the radio.”

-Enema is a strange word. Feels like it has more vowels that it really does.

So yeah, I saw that, and thought I’d pass it along.