& Recently . . .

Amendments to the New Iraqi Constitution

by J. M. Houk

The Iraqi Bill of Rights First Amendment—Freedom of Speech, Press, and Peaceable Assembly All Iraqis (except women, Sunnis, and Kurds), shall have the right of unabridged speech and press, and the right to assemble peaceably, so long as they keep…

Memo to the Executives

by Ron Burch

To: TV Development V.P.s From: Office of the President, Network Programming Re: Reality Programming—Tentative Pilots for Next Season Senior Home A live-camera look at daily life in a nursing home in Piscataway, New Jersey. Seniors picked as contestants will have…

Rejected Letters to Penthouse Forum

by Ed Murray

Dearest Penthouse, I place the shaft my penis within the warm, lubricated, connubial confines of a latex mouth each night before I lay my weary head upon my pillow. I know exactly what it is you are thinking: “Ah yes,…

Disquieting Modern Trends: White-Hot Legal-Eagle Point/Counterpoint Edition

by Will Layman & Chris Osmond

The floorboards here in the executive suite of D.M.T. Plaza are layered with crumpled up heavy bond, much of it traced with blood and other DNA-carrying fluids. Is it the brutal heat of August? Is it the intoxicating whiff of desperation coming from Anne Coulter’s hairdo as Bush’s poll numbers dip? Perhaps we should explain.

A.C. HairSure, the endless torrent of spot-on social commentary and bleeding-edge critical perspective to which you have grown accustomed to synchronizing your cultural watches looks pretty damn easy to produce. And as jobs go, we suppose that this one is pretty cushy, what with the bratwurst bar and the foot rubs and all the mint toothpicks we can chew. But we must also point out that, some weeks, these instinctive calls that we are able to make on the disquieting-ness of up-to-the-minute social debris come a little less instinctively than others. And this week, fair readers, we are in a bit of a snit.1

You see, part of being a jaundiced social critic …

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Wednesday, August 31, 2005   |    Fiction

Editor’s Letter

by Mick Stingley

Lame Ducks and Rocket Launchers

Hi there. It’s me again.

Guess what? George W. Bush is still in the White House in the midst of a second-term presidency and he’s still actively waging an unwinnable war at the cost of millions of dollars a day and averaging the death of twenty U.S. soldiers a month. While Iraq burns, his passive involvement in pressuring the Sharon government in Israel to evacuate Gaza, (under the dubious guise of placating and soliciting the assistance of a totalitarian cabal of oil emirates in order to smoke out Osama bin Laden) smacks of collaboration. Especially when the military faction of Hamas, who wear masks, insists that Gaza is only the beginning of their quest: they will take rocket-launchers to the West Bank and ultimately East Jerusalem. Bush’s nefarious motives are in question given the conflict of interest with his family’s historically documented pecuniary ties to the Middle East. In this futile war-for-oil, the machine is being greased by a snake-oil salesman who is playing both sides against the middle while people die. There will be no peace in his time.

And we sit passively by and do nothing but read lavish magazines that are little more than pseudo-pornographic meta-catalogues for ugly watches and bad cologne, occasionally glancing at the articles, parsing halfheartedly through the stiff verbiage that manages to accumulate within the glossy pages and sigh. And we throw parties and go to other parties. Mercifully, Bush is a lame duck who cannot run for office again and his unfortunate reëlection has overwhelmed the fleet-footed liberal media and left them little more than limping mallards at a cesspool. We are also to blame. The time to ponder and question has passed: it is time to act. Perhaps we need to get rocket-launchers.

Here in the pristine vestiges of the last bastion of liberal intelligentsia, those of us who care about such things are relegated to discussing these topics outside of a bar or restaurant as a simpering ex-Boston Democrat turned Republican Yankee-fan wages an all-out war against smokers. This whining little off-the-rack troll has managed to overcome his limping awkwardness to thrive as the multinational overlord of a media empire devoted to mainlining financial information at an accelerated speed with the jejune indifference of a William Gibson antagonist who lines his pockets while all around him is pain and suffering. And still we cannot smoke at Da Silvano?

The Neros are fiddling, badly, while Rome fumes. We must consider the rocket launchers for our own preservation.

In this issue we have an eight-page photo-spread of cover-girl Jennifer Tilly. Our intrepid George Gurley spent time with the bosomy forty-something temptress to learn the right way to play poker and get behind just what makes this wonderfully breathy actress take our breath away. Dominick Dunne speculates about what really went down on that last fateful day between John F. Kennedy Jr. and Carolyn Bessette. Annie Leibowitz captures the grandmothers of famous people at an eldercare senior center on the Upper West Side. Christopher Hitchens visits Judith Miller in prison and finds that he must relinquish his trusty flask before entering the establishment where she is unjustly sequestered. And finally, Michael Wolff points out, once again, that the media has a lot to answer for.


Mick Stingley has been published in The New York Post, Hustler Busty, and CLUB magazines, and you'll find him very soon in upcoming issues of Men's Fitness and FHM. He is a regular contributor to KNAC.com as a reviewer/low-rent rock critic. He also writes artist bios for Atlantic Records and probably reads the New York Times way, way too much.