This is meant to provide some relief for those tired of boring journal entries on philosophy, religion and politics. I see a lot of stuff on cable--in fact I am learning more from just watching cable in San Francisco than the average college jock might learn in four years of classes. That is the secret: you can find stuff on cable in certain geographical areas where there is demand for programming that reflects diversity on both the horizontal and vertical senses of the word. In fact, it is no secret that in markets like NY, SF and even LA Boston or Chicago, you may find shops and institutions that cater to a greater vertical and horizontal diversity than you might find, say, in Peoria or Podunk. They usually are the blue areas. That's just a fact of life. The same is true for what you can get on cable. When one gets older, and the weather gets colder, one may be homebound more often and you find your only company may be your books and that boobtoob. Except it ain't just a bootoob no more. It can be a great learning experience, an adventure in continuing education. Since my boobtoob is so old the on and off button no longer works, it has been on for the last five years. Sometimes with the sound off, sometimes on my favorite music channels, like opera, jazz, blues or meditation music, sometimes with the cable off, so I can sleep by the soft blue-green light of my trusty Zenith boobtoob screen when there is no cable reception coming through--I bought that set back in 1996 in a second hand store in the Mission district for $20, plus the price of a $7 cab ride home. American made, it has taken plenty of lickin' but it keeps on tickin', 24/7/52 for at least a jubileum and it may outlast my human form. Without cable I could barely get a few grainy local channels and I was ready to dump the box. Along came Comcast and with it my reception is, well less than HDTV, but as good as you can get on any ordinary color set.
I was absolutely amazed to find what I could get on cable in the Bay Area. 999 channels to be exact. Now with some luck you might find occasional worthwhile cable offerings in other areas as well, but not with the 24 hour daily frequency it is presented in the great metropolitan population centers.
So it was that one day I saw this PBS documentary on the need to preserve various species on the brink of extinction. The hero of our story is this German scientist named Dr. med. vet. Thomas Berendt Hildebrandt of the First European Elephant Management School in Hamburg, Germany, who is not affraid to get his hand dirty. Check him out: Dr. med. vet. Thomas Bernd Hildebrandt
Not a bad looking dude for a Dr. med. vet. I call him hero, because what he does is heroic. He exseminates elephant males and then inseminates elephant females.
What is so heroic about that you ask. Well, let me tell ya.
Exsemination, a word I thought I had just coined when writing this piece, actually turned out to be a word already. Check it out:
It means obviously the opposite of insemination--and we all know what that means, toch?
So how do you exseminate a frisky bull elephant? Well, 0bviously with extreme caution. You see, while we humans get all hot and bothered about inches, duimen or thumbs in Dutch, elephants deal in feet. A bull elephant needs at least a five foot tool to reach the cervical entrance deep inside his mate's body to make her not only truly happy but pregnant as well. And you thought you had a hard time finding that G-spot? Think again and take your hats off--chapeau for Mr. and Mrs. Elephant.
Hey, it stands to reason--ever see the size of the elephants feet, or its nose?
Human beings know how to exseminate themselves before they reach high school usually, but that is not the way of the elephant. They can only do it the way we do it on our first real date, after all they have no hands and their trunk just was not designed for getting their rocks off. But wait, maybe it was, by that intelligent designer in the sky. After all, they can't use their hands or feet to pick their nose, so how might they have been designed to do that? Maybe that five foot pole was meant to serve them for that purpose? And maybe, just maybe, they could even blow their nose that way, or even use their nose to blow their hose? I have to check with the intelligent design school folks on that.
But anyway, how does Thomas Hildebrandt do it? I mean exseminate an elephant? He can't just manually, and manfully stimulate that monster hose, because when the bull gets too excited he gets awfully frisky and the good Dr. med. vet. could get hit by that pole like it was a baseball bat--says PBS. Too frisky, too risky.
But first a caveat. Ninas, corred las cortinas! What follows is not for your eyes--so draw the curtains, girls.
Or at least cover your eyes, and no peeking. Dr. Thomas enters the bull's anal cavity and gives him a gentle (or maybe not so gentle? PBS didn't specify) prostate massage with his arm. According to PBS that will do the trick. The bull gets really hot and may emit low frequency moans the equivalent of 'yeah baby!' to be heard for hundreds of miles around--and eventually will come in a tsunami of sperm.
The torrent of ejacualate is caught in a kind of elephant condom, a plastic bag that is designed to hold at least the volume of a can of soda pop. And the bull can go 'pop' five times a day.
Ouch, that may hurt our frail human male egos a bit, but we must face the truth with manly courage. Decus maiorum vindicat virtus, after all. There are bigger things in life than our own undersized equipment.
Once the baggy is full of the life giving ejaculate, Thomas takes off to the airport. His favorite bull actually lives in the Pittburg zoo. It is a bull with much progeny all over the world by now. And surely by now he has come to love and cherish his vet.
On the airport, there are the inevitable questions: Hold it right there sir, what's in that funny looking little case you got there? Mam, you don't wanna know. Try me. Oh well, eh, it's elephant semen.Huh????? You kidding me? That's a liquid, toch? Liquids are a nono, sir, you ought to know that. Well, I got this special clearing, go ahead and read it. Oh, OK, then, but put it where it belongs, under your seat. All righty. And off he goes in the wild blue yonder with his precious liquid.
On the other side, a female elephant is impatiently waiting to get inseminated. That too is a tricky business. The cervical opening is microscopic and hidden deep inside the folds of the gal's body. They use a five foot tool with a scope at the end so they can see what they are doing. I saw it too, thanks to PBS. There are three tiny little slits, each just a millimeter or so in length. The one in the middle is the right one. Once they locate it, they can squirt the stuff into the right spot.
It's exhausting but rewarding work, says Dr. Hildebrandt. And I believe him. Even retelling this story gives me the chills--after all, saving a species as noble as the elephants from extinction is a wonderful and enlightened thing to do. But enlightened action often means you may have to get your hands dirty.
I realize some folks may find what I wrote about, or how I wrote about it, in bad taste. Those who know me are aware that I am not given to the use of profanity in my ordinary manner of speaking. I use it only when it serves a purpose, and there is as much purpose to my use of profanity in this piece as there is there is method in my madness.
So let me close this journal entry with something a little different--it deals with a subject related to the ordinary fears of people when encountering different, and perhaps to them dangerous patterns of behavior.
Oh, let me call a spade a spade: prudish minds, preutse geesten, may find the topic I wrote on today 'in bad taste. Something you tune out of before it infects your frail and sensitive awareness with a dangerous illness from which you may never recover--an illness the French have called la joie de vivre, the joy of living.
So let me provide you with this beautiful poem by Federico Garcia Lorca to even things out a bit:
La Carmen está bailando (Carmen is dancing)
por las calles de Sevilla. (throught the streets of Sevilla)
Tiene blancos los cabellos (Her hair is white)
y brillantes las pupilas. (Her pupils bright)
corred las cortinas! (draw the curtains)
En su cabeza se enrosca (on her head is entwined)
una serpiente amarilla, (a yellow serpent)
y va soñando en el baile (and she makes music in the dance)
con galanes de otros días. (with merriment from other days)
corred las cortinas! (draw the curtains!)
Las calles están desiertas
y en los fondos se adivinan,
buscando viejas espinas.
corred las cortinas!
I only gave you a rough translation of the first two stanzas because I really can't do justice to the poetry. I am sure somewhere on the net or the library there must be a more decent English version than I can come up with, but anyway it will give you an idea of what it means.
Life is too precious to be wasted on prudish fears or aversions. Live your life to the fulness you are capable of, whatever the circumstances you find yourself in. Never close the curtains on life and the many wonderful expressions of it. Carmen, that high-spirited gypsy girl in this cancion of Federico Garcia Lorca was of course also immortalized in literature by Prosper Merimee and in opera by Bizet based on Merimee's short story. That's how I still get my kicks at age 66.
By the way, Garcia Lorca was gay and was murdered by the Spanish Fascists:
Check it out:
Here's a blurb from that last link:
Along with his poetry and plays, Lorca was also attacked for his homosexuality. In his plays and poetry he increasingly drew the conclusion that problems of sexuality could only be resolved through the liberation of society from poverty and cultural and religious backwardness.
Amen to that. And hats off for this truly poetic hero!