Or maybe a cockroach typing by leaping up and down on the keys.* (Title reference explained for the history-impaired.)
Been a lot of snark and blather about Bradley Manning's long-telegraphed ("bombshell"? Puh-leeze) announcement that he would far rather be a she, much of it altogether crude.
Let's step back a moment, shall we? Like you, I'd just as soon so much recent history didn't read like Jerry Springer transcripts, but in the case of Pvt. Manning, a guy that small and that young was going to be in serious risk of rape in a heavy-duty Federal pen even if his nickname was "Spike" and he could punch though walls bareknuckled. Going public -- and probably getting sent to the "sexually-different prisoner" unit you'll find at nearly every large prison, official or not -- is Manning's safest possible course.
I have repeatedly opined that a sworn member of the military in particular has a price to pay for breaking security, no matter how morally motivated their actions or how trivial the official secrets revealed. He took an oath to serve and then broke it, and now the piper must be paid. In this case, the bill is 35 years in prison. --It's not 35 years of sexual abuse.
The kinds of abuses prisoners inflict on one another, and particularly on the most vulnerable among them, are no joke. It's just another way in which prisons become finishing schools for crime and bent minds; it doesn't punish in any proportional way and it doesn't do a darned thing to reform criminals.
Is the whole call-me-Chelsea thing kind of, well, tacky? Yes. Is it discomfiting? Damn skippy.
That doesn't make it a very funny joke.
* archy wants you to know that computer keyboards have solved his problems with the shift key. And there's an odd connection, here, too: the original illustrations of archy the cockroach and his pals were drawn by George Herriman, better known and much loved for Krazy Kat -- and from behind a drawing board, nobody knows you're black. For all his talent, for all his work was enjoyed by millions, he spent his whole life hiding his hair under a hat, talking about Greek ancestors to explain his dark complexion, "passing" lest he be despised for his true ancestry.
YANKEE RADIO TOOL KIT, #106
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