Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Models without makeup

The claudiaSeptember Harper’s Bazarre has a model pictorial that finally appeals to me.

Eight of the world’s most beautiful models pose for photographer Peter Lindbergh… without makeup.

Amber Valletta, Shalom Harlow, Kristen McMenamy, Helena Christensen, Nadja Auermann, Cindy Crawford, Claudia Schiffer (right) and Tatjana Patitz all confidently step out from behind their makeup artists to show us what true beauty looks like, unadorned, honest, real. Ladies, especially those who would never dare dream of appearing outside without a few coats of goop, please take note.

Along those same lines, I’m also a big fan of Women Before 10 A.M. where Veronique Vail visited 96 actresses and models in the early morning while they were still sleepy and makeup-free. Some beautiful images in there, highly recommended.

Hoot Island returns! Kinda.


Guess it’s been a while,. huh.

You know, I totally meant to call. Really. But with one thing and another, and, well, you know…

Anyway, I’m back up and working on rebuilding the Island from scratch, more or less, so please bear with me while I figure this out. There’s gonna be a short period of messiness, I suspect, while I get everything back online.

But in the meantime, you can go read my short story collection “Giggling Into the Pillow” for free! It’s over at Smashwords, in several different formats for your portable reading pleasure. Not that I’d ever stop you from buying a print copy for yourself, of course…

Thanks for checking back, and I hope to hang around another 10 years.

CDC It, Now You Don’t

Over the past few years there has been a small but growing wave of news articles reporting that several governmental agencies have changed their publicly-available health information to reflect the current administration’s ideology. Specifically, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention web site has removed information on the effectiveness of condoms in preventing HIV transmission, including a section called “Programs That Work” which focused on HIV and highlighted several proven programs that involve condom use. Studies that showed education about condom use did not lead to earlier or increased sexual activity have also been removed.

Is this, as has been claimed, the act of an agency that wishes to ensure their web site reflects the most accurate information available? Or is it, as has also been claimed, the act of a bunch of wussies terrified they’ll lose their funding if they don’t get with the program? We talked to Marcus Hamilbee, spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services.

HI: Mr. Hamilbee, why were these passages removed from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention web site?

MH: These changes reflect purely scientific judgments. Recent studies have shown that our previous fact sheets were incorrect, and we have a responsibility to our country to be completely accurate.

HI: That’s certainly understandable. May we see these studies?

MH: No.

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HI: Excuse me?

MH: No, you can’t. Neener neener neener.

HI: Sir, the latest studies show that condom use does, in fact, help tremendously in the prevention of HIV transmission.

MH: Nope, nope, that’s inconclusive.

HI: Maybe in the sense that condom use can’t prevent it 100% of the time…

MH: Ha! See? See? Inconclusive! That’s science, that is! It’s a scientific word and everything, I heard Stephen Hawking say it once. Well, type it, anyway. Or does he talk into that thing? I could never tell.

HI: But that’s absurd, it’s like saying that because seat belts don’t prevent 100% of all traffic fatalities, you shouldn’t tell people about them.

MH: And we don’t. Bad habit, seat belts, they encourage people to drive more, gives you a completely unfounded feeling of safety. Will they protect you against a meteor strike? No!

HI: But that’s crazy!

MH: No, no, “crazy” isn’t scientific at all. It’s “inconclusive.”

HI: But sex education that explains condom use doesn’t increase sexual activity. Your own studies have shown that comprehensive sex education, with birth control information along with an emphasis on abstinence, is the best way to go.

MH: Not my studies. That was the other guy.

HI: Dr. David Satcher? The Surgeon General of the United States?

MH: Former Surgeon General. Real nutbar. Something to do with the job, I guess. Remember that other one, the black chick? Thought all our problems could be solved by whacking it?

HI: That’s not what she… never mind. Even if you suspected that condom use might not be as efficacious as previously thought, isn’t it irresponsible to remove the information entirely?

MH: Damn, that was a good word.

HI: What?

MH: Effywhatever. Damn good word. And you’re right, that’s why we put the information back right away.

HI: No you didn’t, you put it back after enough people complained. And what you put back was different. All we’re asking is, where are the results of the studies that caused you to change the factsheets?

MH: I’m sorry, but allowing the release of that information could reveal vital vulnerabilities to terrorists.

HI: What?

MH: You don’t want them to win, do you?

HI: What has that got to do with condom use?

MH: Don’t you know anything? Look, teaching kids about condoms encourages them to have sex, right?

HI: No!

MH: Really? It did me, boy, one health class and I was ready to tear that shit up. But trust me, it does. We have conclusive evidence that it does.

HI: And what evidence is that, exactly?

MH: President Bush told us it did.

HI: So you’re admitting that the changes were made for ideological reasons and not scientific ones?

MH: Not at all. Exhaustive tests were performed with thousands of people from all walks of life, over a period of many years, and these results were, ah, resulting.

HI: Why is that no one has ever heard of these tests?

MH: It was kept a secret. National security, you know.

HI: May we see the list of people in the test?

MH: Well, I shouldn’t, but okay. Here.

HI: This… this is the membership list of the Catholic League, Project Rescue, and the American Family Association! How can you think this is impartial?

MH: Because they promised they would be. And you can trust them, because a lot of them are religious and shit, and they gave us lots of money to show us how sincere they were.

HI: And the results were?

MH: People who remained abstinent, or monogamous married couples, avoided the HIV virus way more than the sinful, lecherous, multiple rapist people who used condoms.

HI: That’s never been in question, but I don’t think-

MH: Therefore, married people can’t catch AIDS. Proven fact.

HI: What?

MH: So everyone should either be a virgin or married. That’s the only way we’ll ever stop this terrible epidemic.

HI: We can’t stop it, but we can slow it down with more comprehensive-

MH: Which is why I’m pleased to announce that President Bush will be announcing his newest program, “Operation Matchmaker.” Starting this May, all Americans will be expected to be married or celibate and be prepared to prove it to inspectors.

HI: What? You… that’s… you can’t…

MH: Perfect, isn’t it? Won’t be any AIDS or underage sex or nothing ’round here, that’s for sure. Singles bars will be outlawed, and all dating services will be nationalized so we can use their databases. Anyone not currently married or affianced will be matched up with another unmarried person, based on carefully analyzed criteria. Probably Social Security numbers, we haven’t worked that out yet.

HI: But even leaving aside the horrendous invasion of privacy and the massive violation of the Bill of Rights, what about homosexuals who can’t legally marry?

MH: Who cares? They don’t have real families anyway, the perverts. We can always ship ‘em to Africa as volunteer medical assistants or something. They can help the other freaks and wear those dashiki dresses they like. Best part is, once they’re gone, that’s most of the people who have been doing all the complaining, right there! A win-win!

HI: You can’t believe that Americans will put up with this.

MH: Sure they will. A couple of newspapers will bitch but no one believes them anymore anyway. How many people on the street noticed when we started stacking political nominations with religious demagogues? None! They don’t care, they just want their tax refund. We’ll just say it’s necessary for our national fiber. Can’t beat the ragheads if we’re morally impure, right?

HI: So you’re saying that a country who’s policies are determined not by reason, democratic decision, or science, but by draconian enforcement of government-sponsored religious belief is bad?

MH: Hell, yeah! Can’t wait to nuke ‘em off the map!

HI: Mr. Hamilbee, thank you for clearing that up for us.

MH: Glad to be here.

Hurricane diary: This blows

Hoot Island is bouncing back from Hurricane Charley, which blew through here a week ago and caused us some minor grief and inconvenience, the most obvious being our lack of internet access. Fortunately we managed to hunker together and get through the rough, powerless days with perserverence, frontier spirit, and six barrels of wood-grain alcohol and a crate of strawberry dacquiri mix.

What follows is my diary of the days before and after the storm, not counting the entry missing from the night of the storm itself which I believe I swallowed while trying to burrow into the rosebed in abject terror. Accounts differ.

Day One: We Getting Some Rain?

Heard about the weather reports while flipping channels trying to find the Nude Olympics in time for the fencing bouts. Those guys are packing some serious weapons.
Seems there’s a little storm out in the tropics somewhere. No worries, they never come here. Make a note to pick up some more duct tape anyway, that always come in handy on Bondage Night.

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Day Two: Everyone Knows It’s Windy

One of the Island Girls stopped me during my daily laps and asked about the storm, which is now offical and named “Charley.” I assure her that everyone I’ve ever known named Charley has indeed caused damage, but usually to himself and maybe the nearest television set, and that she shouldn’t worried. She smiled and laid back down, and I resumed lapping.

Day Three: I Am Nailed To The Hull

Okay, okay, it’s a damn hurricane. Everyone keeps freaking out and buying bleach and taping windows. Three of the cabana boys nailed plywood sheets to themselves. We’ll get some rain, no big deal. Geez. You’d think people were really scared about… 120 mph winds? Holy shit! Pull the girls in a circle!

Day Four: I’m Flippin’ My Switch, But Nothin’s Happening

Got through the storm okay, aside from the screaming. We lost the roof off the pool changing room, about half of those funky-shaped pillows, all of our perishable food, and our entire supply of bikini tops. The lack of bikini tops actually helped, as we had to eat the crate of whipped cream before the freezer got too hot, and we didn’t have enough plates or bowls and needed suitable surfaces for the cream. So far I’m not hating this hurricane.

Had some problems from people being blown in different yards, but that’s a matter for the displaced people and their significant other(s) to work out. Some of the cord-based people are complaining about their lack of vibration but they’re just going to have to deal. We have worse problems to deal with: there’s no Internet access. I bore up well for about an hour, but after that I was found drawing crude porn in the sand outside the racquetball parking lot and muttering about the poor bandwidth. I’m better now, I’ve almost stopped looking at my blank computer every five seconds. Wait, was that…? No, still out. Hey, is it…? Nope. Dammit.

Day Five: No Juice, No Service

Have discovered the problem with an island full of horny, hungry people. The simple survival request, “Do you have anything to eat?” invariably triggers a predictable response, which, while distracting, doesn’t help us in any meaningful long-term way. Noticed a number of power lines down. Asked around for anyone who has worked on poles before, got a surprising number of volunteers, some with their own leg straps and power tools.

We were forced to drain the wading pool, but I didn’t want the milk to go sour.

Found Trisha kneeling by the washing machine, sobbing. They’ve become very close these past few months, to the point where she’s almost worn one corner into a smooth curve, and the machine’s sudden cessation has sent her into a severe depression. Also she wants to wash some clothes.

Day Six: The Foraging Begins

No sign of when we’ll have power again, but we’re managing. Fortunately we had a large supply of chocolate and strawberries, and the edible underwear should last another week. We’ve called for protein donors to help out and the lines are around the block. God bless those selfless gentlemen! I had to stop a few of them from donating too many times in a 24-hour period, they were looking a little pale.

I’m proud of the folks here, they’ve managed to keep their spirits up and fuck each other silly despite the barbaric conditions. I’m not counting Ted and Margaret, who have been going at it steadily for about a week now and may not have noticed there was a hurricane. We’ll send a runner over tomorrow.

Day Seven: Making Do

Turns out that toilets flush just as readily with a tank full of champagne as they do with water, although the tingly sensation of sitting on a bowl full of bubbly has caused a great deal of unnecessary potty breaks.

Day Eight: I’ve Grown Accustomed to Your Taste

Amazing what you can get used to. I would never have thought that I’d ever be interested in a woman who hadn’t bathed in a week, but, hey, people adapt. I get the idea that interest in oral sex has waned, thought.

Day Eight: Power!

Woke up to hear the happy cries of Trisha hitting the spin cycle. Things are back to normal, and I breathed a deep sigh of relief. Then I coughed a few times and went to go shower before I tried that again.

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