Opinion » Bill Cope


The Badger Bob Era, week 3


Let's get something straight right out of the box. Forget what the subtitle says. I didn't write that. This ain't the era of Badger Bob. This ain't even the month of Badger Bob. This is the third and final week of Badger Bob, that's what this is. And if Cope doesn't get his ass back to work PDQ, those BW kids can fill this page up with classified ads and editor drool as far as I'm concerned. Soon as it warms up, I'm going mushroomin' and with any luck, you'll never read another word of mine again.

If you were paying attention last week, you noticed I have no problems with changing subjects in mid-column. There's no law says I have to spend the whole 1,000 words talking about one thing at once, so if I feel like skipping from topic to topic like a New-Age blogger on a Starbucks binge, that's just what I'll do. Besides, there's far too much objectionable trash happening for any responsible opinion columnist to ramble on and on—a la Cope—about any given outrage. In a weekly paper like this, that would mean only 52 outrages get proper attention over the course of a year. And with that numbnuts Bush still in the driver's seat, there's more like 52 outrages a day coming out of the White House alone.

Another thing. Last week, I used the phrase "retarded monkeys" to describe some ill-behaved kids at a concert, and I don't suppose a lot of you liked it. That word, "retarded," has fallen out of favor, and rightfully so in the case of people with authentic disabilities. They have a rough-enough row to hoe without being called abusive names by jerks only marginally smarter than them.

Yet it's far too good a word to kick out of the lexicon just because a bunch of retards have been calling mentally challenged people "retards." I promise you this much: I would never call a handicapped person a retard, and I would happily slap the snot out of anyone who does. But I'm not giving it up. No other word quite so concisely describes so many flakes in this freak show we call America. Case in point: those polygamists down in Texas. Just picture in your mind the interviews those women have given, then look me square in the eye and tell me you weren't thinking, "What a bunch of f***ing retards!"

Not that the men came across any better, but after watching those ladies try to explain themselves, I started to understand where the appeal of polygamy must come from. If that's the only gene pool you had to go fishing in, I figure you'd have to marry at least five or six of 'em just to come up with one complete personality.

But hold on here, ye morally superior smugcats. Before this degenerates into a string of cheap shots against those pitiable polygamists, let us mull something over. I wouldn't have thought of it myself if it weren't for the juxtaposition a couple of weeks ago of two concurrent news events, both involving massive attention from those assigned with keeping America informed, both involving devout believers dressed in funny clothes, and both involving—as an article of fact if not of faith—the regard of women as secondary and subservient to men. So ask yourself which is more unnatural, more aberrant, more perverse—a practice in which males are allowed all the mates they can handle? Or a practice in which the loftiest, most sacrosanct members of the society are allowed to take no mates whatsoever, yet feel entitled to dictate what is proper sexuality to their followers?

And old Pope Benny needn't reply, as I believe I can predict what His Holiness would have to say on the matter.

What we have here are polar opposite approaches to the same goal. One bunch thinks you can screw yourself to godliness, while the other thinks you can abstain yourself to godliness. I don't pretend to be no theological authority, so I'll leave it up to God to decide which one comes closer to what He has in mind.

But I don't think God would mind me pointing out the obvious, that there's a lot more polygamy going on in His creation than there is celibacy. Take your average tribe of baboons—you got a dominant male who mates with all the available females, and that includes the young ones as soon as they mature into fertility. When the younger males reach an age when they might conceivably become sexual competition, they're driven from the group and left to make it on their own.

Sound familiar? The only thing missing is a baboon Brigham Young who set the historical example.

Not that I mean to imply what's good for baboons is good for humans. For one thing, if humans feel the need to have multiple marriages, they should have the common decency to spread it out over time like Liz Taylor and Frank Sinatra did. Secondly, if this is all about procreation, the world doesn't have nearly enough baboons, but we have all the crazy religious zombies we'll ever need ... and then some.

And most importantly, 13-year- ... 14-year old-girls should not be marrying anyone , let alone 50-year-old child molesters. It probably doesn't matter among baboons that sexual maturity and psychological maturity aren't the same thing, but it sure as hell does among humans. Even in Texas.

But the larger issue here is that any time we cross-wire spirituality and sexuality, both of 'em come out of it all f***ed up. And invariably, women end up holding the dirty end of the stick. This goes far beyond fringe Mormons hiding out in the desert or pedophile priests who compensate for their faith's asinine rules by playing snugglebunny with altar boys. Except for a few progressive denominations—mostly Protestant and mostly American—that have let women break through the stained-glass ceiling, the world's full of pious p****s who practice the gospel of misogyny. Retards! All of 'em! Willful, prideful, intentional retards who pay for their imagined superiority with twisted minds and damaged lives! Separation of church and state? ... Pshaw! What we really need is a wall between church and sex! Once that's done, I figure the state will get along just fine.

Looky there. I managed to spend the whole column on pretty much one subject. And as a result, there's no time to discuss the revelation that the entire upper echelon of the Bush administration approved of torture. Or the news that our military boys have a greater risk of dying from suicide than from anything terrorists are doing. Or the world-wide crisis in food supplies. F***ing religion ... if it can't turn us into oblivious retards in one way, it finds another.