Big thanks to everybody who e-mailed about the recruiter comments (and thanks to C.I. for highlighting them at The Common Ills). Barry wrote that he read acout some stuff in the newspaper but didn't really "connect with it because at 42 it's not anything I've had to wonder about happening to me." If it helped anyone that's gravy.
Antonio e-mailed to share his story:
They act like friends and then they turn on you and you're confused and everybody likes to be liked so it's just this game they're playing. So I say I want to go to college and be a lawyer and they are like so cool with that and shooting the breeze and finding out more and more. Then they start telling me that my grades aren't good enough for college and that my father can't afford to send me to college and let's hope I'll be happy working at a taco stand. And I'm mad and angry and the taco stand crack was really supposed to get to me because I'm Latino.
Jordan e-mailed that they do a thing with women that's a little different:
They told me that it was fun & exciting and the only place that I'd be able to move up, that everywhere else there would be this celing but that I could do anything in the army. They said as a young woman I could sign out after four weeks if I didn't like it because that was a special thing they had for women. But I was "tough" and probably wouldn't need it. They started bringing up my older brother who they don't know and isn't in the military and I think they were trying to figure out if there was competition there between me and him. I told them to fuck off and started walking away and they start talking really loud about how "She's scared. Yep, she's just afraid." I almost turned around to tell them off but as mad I was, it was obvious that they were trying to make me mad.
If you've got a story to share let me know.
I got an e-mail that kind of surprised me and I'm still not sure she's for real. I called Rebecca to ask her about it and whether I should answer it. She asked if it made me uncomfortable and I said no so she said answer it and maybe some other people will write in with other questions like that and or something else.
In case the gal who e-mailed was serious, I'll leave her unnamed so I don't embarrass her.
She wrote about Ruth's thing on NPR over at The Common Ills. (Which is great and you should read it.) She read this part of Ruth's entry and had a question:
Could any of that have effected chromosomes? I don't see why not. One of the first things fertility doctors, one of my sons is a fertility doctor, recommend to a couple attempting to have a baby with little success is that the man stop wearing briefs and switch to boxers to allow for "breathing." If something that simple can have an effect it seems clear that the toxic waste around us could as well. Or at least that seems clear to me.
She wanted to know about "breathing" and if it had anything to do with why all the guys on her campus are always grabbing their groins.
The question doesn't embarrass me but I did think it might be a joke.
So like it's summer and it's hot. And our parts hang out, guys. I don't want to be Dr. Ruth and use words like testicles but I don't want to offend anyone. I could be like Austin Powers and use words like twig and berries. Give me a second.
Okay, like our gear, men's gear, hangs outside the body. It's hot outside so it's hot down there. And like our package might be pressed against our skin or itching from the heat. And I bet if it's a hairy guy (I'm hairy except for my back) that we probably get even more uncomfortable than some dude who's got a little hair or 1 who shaves down there or something. If I'm wearing briefs, I'm going to have to make adjustments a lot because everything's packed in tight. But even if I'm wearing boxers, I still got pants on so I'm going to need make some adjustments. That's what we usually call it "an adjustment."
And sometimes we can just grip our waistband and give that a tug. But sometimes we need to grab the package itself and make an adjustment. My Ma would holler at me like crazy if I did that in public but I do that sometimes. I don't stick my hands down my pants in public but I have seen dudes do that. To me that's going too far but I'll reach down and give it a grab over my jeans and stuff.
I hope that answers your question. Oops, I talked about me. You were asking about all guys and while that's all true for most guys there are also guys who like to cup their crotches to show off. So some guys you're seeing may be doing it for that reason. Sometimes a guy will do it to show off if he thinks he's got a big package or thinks someone's interested in it. Sometimes a guy does it because he thinks it makes him look tough.
If there's something I didn't think of, guys help me out because this gal might be serious.
Speaking of serious stuff, I want to put up something from C.I.'s site here because I think it's pretty important:
Dahr Jamail's "Iraqi Hospitals Ailing Under Occupation" is a report you should be aware of.
There are nine sections, it's 37 pages (pdf format) and page five tells you what you probably already feared. Surveying thirteen hospitals "in order to research how the healthcare system was faring under the US-led occupation:"
This report documents the desperate supply shortages facing hospitals, the disastorous effect that the lack of basic services like water and electricity have on hospitals and the disruption of medical services in Iraqi hospitals by US military forces.
This report further provides an overview of the situation afflicting the hospitals in Iraq in order to highlight the desperate need for the promised "rehabilitation" of the medical system. Case studies highlight several of the findings and demonstrate that Iraqis need to reconstruct and rehabilitate the healthcare system. Reconstruction efforts by US firms have patently failed, while Iraqi contractors are not allowed to do the work.
The current model in Iraq of a "free trade globalized system," limited in fact to American and a few other western contractors, has plainly not worked. Continuing to impose this flawed and failing system on Iraq will only worsen the current healthcare crisis.
Before the next Operation Happy Talk gets started (I realize that in one form or another, Operation Happy Talk is always ongoing), you should familarize yourself with Jamail's report. It notes what is needed from program changes to basic equipment. Though you won't be surprised to learn of our "broken promises" (can the Bully Boy make any other kind?), you may not be aware of how bad things are and how many promises we've broken (or how much tax payer money has been wasted) until you read the report.
If you got a question on something, ask. Obviously that means on just about anything. If I know something or have an opinion, I'll put it up here.