An Inclusive Litany


In rent-controlled Santa Monica, California, fistfights have broken out between repairmen trying to fix various building violations and tenants who would prefer to keep the violations unrepaired so they don't have to pay rent, under local laws. "We've had to call the police many times," says Al Markevicins, who manages several hundred apartments in the seaside community.

When the University of Pennsylvania announced mandatory "racism seminars" for students, one member of the University Planning Committee voiced concerns about the coercion involved, expressing "deep regard for the individual and my desire to protect the freedoms of all members of society." A university administrator sent her note back, with the word "individual" circled along with the comment, "This is a RED FLAG phrase today, which is considered by many to be RACIST. Arguments that champion the individual over the group ultimately privileges [sic] the 'individuals' who belong to the largest or dominant group."

The New York Post, October 20, 1992:
And in this fiercely competitive profession, there's some bad-mouthing of rival houses—suggestions that mistresses elsewhere offer sex. Serious dominatrixes maintain that prostitution does not exist in the better houses.

"It would be a big insult to the mistress for a slave [customer] to even ask for sex," says Leslie. The request might make her so mad she'd stop beating him.

At a celebrity pool party held in New York to celebrate the publication of Kelly Klien's coffee-table book, Pools, eco-actor Matthew Modine warned us: "Pools are huge contaminators of the planet... When you put a gallon of chlorine in the swimming pool, it evaporates and destroys the ozone." Asked what his favorite place to swim was, Modine responded, "any ocean that's still alive."

The Seattle Arts Commission paid $10,000 for a portable toilet. Unlike a Port-a-Potty, Sani-Can, Johnny-on-the-Spot, or any toilet seat the Pentagon ever came up with, this one had its insides removed and replaced with a hole in the ground, changing its identity to an objet d'art.

The artist, Buster Simpson, "wanted to address social and ecological concerns through a functional piece of art," explained Doug Lauen, spokesman for the Commission. The artist intends that after the privy's patrons, preferably homeless, have filled the hole, it will be moved from its outdoor location and replaced with a tree, which is said to benefit from the fertilizer. "The finished piece is not nearly so important as the consciousness-raising which comes from challenging people's assumptions about art, their own bodies, and the environment," said Lauen.

Considering that a portable toilet can be purchased for less than $500 and a tree can be planted for $10, the cost for the heightened consciousness comes to $9,490. In fact, had the Arts Commission not agreed to sponsor the project, Simpson says he was prepared to set the privy up as "guerilla art." In other words, at no cost to taxpayers.


Mark A. Peterson of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, thought the woman he had sex in his car with was named "Jennifer." It turns out that "Jennifer" was one of eighteen distinct personalities sharing the body of a former waitress identified in subsequent press accounts only as "Sarah." Another personality, a six-year-old girl named "Emily," happened to be "peeking" as Peterson and "Jennifer" made love. "Emily" told "Sarah," the so-called "host" personality, who became enraged and called the police.

At the ensuing rape trial, several of Sarah's personalities—each of whom were sworn in separately—testified against Peterson, including Emily, who demanded a teddy bear before she would agree to answer prosecutors' questions. Peterson was convicted of second degree assault and sentenced to up to ten years in prison. Sarah, the London Daily Telegraph reported, was so traumatized by the events that she subsequently developed twenty-eight new personalities.

Publisher's Weekly, July 13, 1992:
"I'd say the biggest hope that we have right now is the AIDS epidemic," offers [novelist] William Vollmann, sipping from a glass of dark rum in his living room in a quiet section of Sacramento, California. "Maybe the best thing that could happen would be if it were to wipe out half or two-thirds of the people in the world... In time maybe the world would recover ecologically, too."

In Burlington, Vermont, about 300 people showed up to protest the visit of a Playboy photographer. Many women showed their disapproval of the magazine's portrayal of women as sex objects by baring their breasts.

The Washington Post, October 6, 1992:
"It's my duty as a human being to use every means possible... to stop evil, which is child abuse," [Sinead] O'Connor said in the Vox interview. "The Jews in Germany would not have been exterminated if Hitler had not been abused as a child. Adolf Hitler wasn't a bad person; he was a very [screwed-up] person."

A professor at Washington University at St. Louis teaches a course called "Dyke Philosophy." Instead of seminars, she teaches "ovulars."

To foster AIDS awareness, the state of Connecticut printed 600,000 cocktail napkins with a picture of a condom and various messages: "Please Let This Come Between Us," "You're Putting Me On," "Let the Good Times Unroll," and "Shake, Rattle, and Unroll."

Beth Weinstein of the AIDS division of the state's Department of Health Services commented, "well, this is a way of getting attention, to give people something to talk about."

Among the collateral acquired by the Resolution Trust Corporation from failed banks were: forty thousand dog costumes (for humans to wear), nine thousand "Calypso Cup Holders," a ten-foot wooden giraffe, a nude dance bar, a patent on a process for turning manure into cattle feed, and the town of Bear Island, Minnesota.

From the Summer 1992 Windsong Resource Directory, Boulder, Colorado:
Bernice Hill, Ph.D., Jungian Analyst. Bernice regularly incorporates in the rich symbolic work of Jungian analysis the core breathing and evocative music of holotrophic breathwork developed by Stan and Christina Grof. Her main interest is working with those who are intent on discovering their own "path of the heart," the process of individuation. Member, International Association for Analytical Psychology. Insurance facilitated.

Laura Reine, Spiroenergetics. Inner dimensional experiential methods utilizing the arts to facilitate internal self-direction and expanded awareness. Practical processes for the everyday world. Harness aspects of your polarities into personality alignment for increased creative potential and purposeful productivity. Establish and maintain your own "Circle of Power," and smile your way to meaningful success. Center Star Communications. Private sessions, groups, seminars. $75/hour, sliding scale, group rates.

Steve Rosen, Reiki Master, Herbal Therapy, Toning. Steve offers a unique combination of Reiki, herbs, touch, and chanting to aid in healing emotional and physical challenges. Above all, Steve is an interested, caring listener, willing to dialogue your issues with you. Sliding scale fees range from $50 to $75 per 1.5-hours session.

Karen Smalley, Co-Creative Gardener with Nature Intelligences. Karen has 12 years of experience landscaping and gardening in the Boulder area. Her partnership with Devas and Nature Spirits enables her to take a new practical approach to homes and gardens. Karen specializes in specific energy processes for the land and homes using the Perelandra techniques, and offers consultation in overall land planning, garden design, and all landscape gardening services. She also teaches kinesiology as a tool for communication with Nature, and Flower Essence Therapy.

In Waterbury, Connecticut, Dominic Monte was awarded $594,000 in damages for an accident that occurred when Monte crashed his motorcycle into a parked car while police were pursuing him for speeding. Under Connecticut's policy of "comparative negligence," a plaintiff whose negligence doesn't exceed 50 percent can receive damages. The jury decided that Monte, who was ticketed and admitted to speeding at about 80 m.p.h., was only 50 percent at fault. The jury also decided that the police officer and his "pursuit tactics" earned a 30 percent share, and that his superior officer earned 10 percent for failing to provide his officers with adequate high-speed pursuit training. The remaining 10 percent went to Enrique Navarez, into whose parked car Monte crashed, and who now may be on the hook for $118,800.

The Los Angeles Times business section reported that convicted serial killer Kenneth Bianchi, a.k.a. the "Hillside Strangler," was suing Eclipse Comics of Forestville, California for including him in its latest series of "Serial Killer Trading Cards." Bianchi, serving a life sentence in the state of Washington for murdering two women, wanted $6.75 million in damages, claiming that this use of his name and likeness could create "consumer confusion"; furthermore, Bianchi objected to the unauthorized use of his "product," which consisted of "his name and likeness, and the effort made for years to establish that mark."


The city of Santa Cruz, California, has made it illegal to discriminate against anyone in housing or employment on the basis of obesity, toothlessness, or any "physical characteristic."

The office of the House of Representatives' majority whip spent $3,162 in 1991 on muffins from the Cookie Cafe.

Members of the San Francisco chapter of the Green Party of California defeated a motion to end "male dominance" in party meetings by alternating male and female speakers and cutting off additional male speakers after all the women had finished. Said one Green, "Some women felt that if there were no women left to say anything, maybe there was nothing left to say and men were just making hot air."

Smithsonian Institution Associate Director Robert Sullivan has a mission: to make the Museum of Natural History politically correct. Soon to go, for example, is a popular exhibit of Captain John Smith trading with the Powhatan Indians on the banks of the James River. Why? The Powhatan women are barebreasted, and that's sexist. Another popular exhibit that will get the axe is the leaping Indian tiger. Why? Many men like to have their photos taken with the tiger. That irks Sullivan because it makes the tiger seem like a hunting trophy.

[Ed.: Potential exhibits may receive comments from any of the following groups: the Smithsonian African American Association, the Accessibility Network, the American Indian Council, the Asian Pacific American Heritage Committee, the Gender Issues Action Group, the Women's Council, and the Smithsonian Institution Lesbian and Gay Issues Committee.]

Steve Davis and his father, Jake, who run a landscaping business in Woodbridge in Prince William County, Maryland, hoped to earn some extra money during the holiday season by setting up their Christmas tree lot outside a shopping center and selling a few hundred trees. A county zoning official visited them and said they would have to get the following or face closing: A temporary commercial activity permit ($125); a business license ($10); and a vendor's license for each salesman, requiring criminal background checks, fingerprints, reference checks, and entitling each salesman to a laminated ID card ($20 apiece). Prince William officials said their regulations are necessary to screen out fly-by-night salespeople, who may presumably sell substandard Christmas trees and then skip town.


If you're traveling into Toronto, your flight may be delayed. A herd of deer has taken up residence near the airport, and they often mosey onto the runways, stopping traffic. Environmentalists are fighting efforts to move the herd somewhere else.

In December, 1992, The National Labor Relations Board convicted Electromation, an Elkhart, Indiana, electronics manufacturer, of unfair labor practices for meeting with committees of employees in 1989 to discuss employee grievances. The NLRB ruled that Electromation's Action Committees were illegal in large part because the employees were paid for the time they spent meeting with management representatives, without a union being involved.

The NLRB's decision sent shock waves through the Fortune 500, since most large companies now have joint employer-employee "work-quality circles" that attempt to raise efficiency and productivity. But because the circles are usually run by management instead of by a joint management-union committee, the decision implied that such circles are illegal. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires manufacturing companies to have joint committees of management and employees to deal with safety issues. But the NLRB warned in an April 15, 1993, memo that such committees, dealing directly with employees, may be illegal under federal labor law.

A freelance artist who illustrates children's readers received a set of "multicultural" instructions running to ten pages, single-spaced. In one of the pictures resulting from these instructions, the hero is a Hispanic boy. There are black twins (one girl, one boy), an overweight Oriental boy, a Native American girl, and a Caucasian girl born with a congenital malformation that gave her only three fingers on one hand. The Hispanic boy's parents could not have jobs that would seem stereotypical, so they had to be white-collar workers and eat non-Hispanic food—"spaghetti and meat balls and a salad." The editor even specified to the artist what kind of lettuce should be in the salad: "Make sure it's not iceberg: it should be something nice like endive." There also had to be a picture of a senior citizen—jogging.

After Mike Montagano allowed a church congregation to use his used car dealership for meetings until it could find a proper facility, the Burlington, New Jersey, zoning board informed him that the building was being used illegally and that he faced a $500-a-day fine. According to a state motor vehicle statute, a dealership could not be open on a Sunday, and the board said that even if the dealership was open only to the congregation, it would still be considered to be open for business. Montagano maintains that he deliberately stayed away when the congregation met, going instead to his vacation home to avoid being accused of trying to conduct business.

Edward Espinosa of Fresno, California, burned himself when mashed potatoes fell in his lap as he was playing in a school lunchroom, an injury that required plastic surgery after the burn became infected. The boy's father, William Espinosa, filed a lawsuit against the Fresno Unified School District, claiming that the food the cafeteria served should not have been so hot and that the attendant should have restrained the boy, then in the first grade.

An appellate court has reinstated the case, which was dismissed in a lower court. Robert Rosati, the attorney representing the school district, maintains that the case should be dismissed again. He says that before the incident, the attendant told the boy several times to sit down and eat his lunch. "What was she supposed to do?" he asks. "Do you tie the kid up and spoon-feed him?"

As for the temperature of the food, the state of California requires its schools' hot food to be at least 140 degrees, and the Food and Drug Administration requires that food cooked off the premises and then reheated, as is done in the Fresno schools, be 165 degrees. Accordingly, Rosati feels that there is little the school could have done differently. "Their argument is it is a breach of duty to serve food that is too hot," he says. "The bottom line is ... hot food is supposed to be hot."

"Style Plus" article in the Washington Post, December 14, 1992:
Without running the risk of being considered "touchy-feely," Clinton is known as a hugger of men and women. Simple handshakes aren't enough for this man whose theme song could easily have been borrowed from the cotton industry's "the touch, the feel, the fabric of our lives"... What one does with hands, lips, arms, trunks, and legs carries far more weight that a barrage of insults, eloquent speeches, or sweet poetry whispered in the ear. The problem is that many of us, unlike Clinton, have lost touch with touch.

William Ellen, lifelong conservationist, environmental consultant, and former wetlands regulator for the state of Virginia, will serve a six-month prison term for violating federal wetlands statutes. He was hired by a private landowner to create wetlands—ten duck ponds on Maryland's eastern shore—as the part-time project manager of a proposed hunting preserve and wildlife sanctuary. Ellen consulted frequently with local, state and federal officials, obtaining 38 separate permits for the project. During construction of a management complex on a piece of land previously designated as uplands, an expansion of the technical interpretation of the term "wetlands" caused confusion whether it was legal to have moved two loads of soil onto the land, which was so dry that federal safety regulations required them to hose down the dust while they worked.

John Pozsgai, a refugee of the 1956 Hungarian uprising and self-employed truck mechanic in Pennsylvania, was fined $202,000 and was sentenced to three years' imprisonment and five years' probation for hauling some 7,000 used tires and rusting car parts out of a ditch on some property he had purchased, then filling it over without a federal permit. According to Pozsgai's lawyer, it's "the longest unsuspended jail term in the history of the United States for any environmental crime, including the dumping of extremely hazardous waste and [cases] were people were even injured and killed."

After receiving a small federal grant to build a library in Philomath, Oregon, townspeople contributed the rest of the necessary funds and volunteered to build the library themselves. But the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor ruled that the library project was in violation of the Davis-Bacon Act of 1931, which mandates that contractors must pay workers the established prevailing union wage ($20 to $25 an hour) when engaging in any federally subsidized construction costing more than $2,000. So the library will not be built.


The Smith College Office of Student Affairs issued a pamphlet that defines "ableism" as "oppression of the differently abled, by the temporarily abled." The term "differently abled" was "created to underline the concept that differently abled individuals are just that, not less or inferior in any way..." "Ageism," according to the pamphlet, is "[o]ppression of the young and old, by young adults and the middle-aged, in the belief that others are 'incapable' or unable to take care of themselves."

An 18-year-old South Carolina girl ended up playing Santa Claus at a mall because the regular Santa Claus couldn't show up; however, because the kids weren't pleased to find out that Santa Claus was a girl, the mall sent the girl back to being just one of Santa's helpers. The girl, who was paid less as a helper, claimed this was sexual discrimination; "just because I'm female doesn't mean they can keep me from being Santa Claus," she stated.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that a lesbian group named Lesbian Visibility Project was going to local shopping malls to "shop 'til stigmas drop." The group said it wanted to raise people's consciousness about lesbians, and their slogan was "we're here, we're queer, and we're going shopping." The group also liked to sing one verse of "Deck the Halls," just so that they could sing the line "now we don our gay apparel."


Producers of the popular video-verite show "Cops" failed to air footage of a botched crack house raid in Kent, Washington. The police raided the wrong building and the cameras recorded a troop of well-armed police officers kicking down the doors of the Carver home in the middle of the night and wrestling the parents and their four children to the floor. The mother, who was naked, was not allowed to put on any clothes.

A man who was fired for sexually harassing his female co-workers sued his former employer, arguing that his employers "should have realized that his conduct constituted an aberration from his normal behavior and qualified him as a handicapped person."

Dearborn, Michigan police officer Brian Yinger has been suspended for three days without pay and ordered to seek a psychiatric evaluation because he pens the numeral 7 in the European style, with a horizontal slash across the downward stroke.

After Sol Wachtler, Chief Judge of the New York State Court of Appeals, was arrested for extortion and threatening to kidnap the fourteen-year-old daughter of his ex-lover, Professor John Money, a prominent sexologist and medical psychologist at Johns Hopkins University, railed against Wachtler's treatment as a criminal. According to Professor Money, Wachtler suffered from "Cherambault-Kandinsky syndrome" at the time of his crimes, an "erotomaniac type delusional disorder" causing its victims to suffer helplessly under "the spell" of lovesickness. Money criticized the FBI's handling of Judge Wachtler, calling their "law-and-order treatment of people with CKS ... the equivalent of making it a crime to have epileptic spells."

AIDS trading cards are now available, featuring photos of AIDS activists, celebrities who had AIDS, and AIDS facts on the back of each card. Each pack comes with a condom as opposed to the traditional bubble gum.

Various school systems on Long Island, New York, have hired private investigators to identify students from New York City who have enrolled illegally in suburban high schools to escape the city's public school system. The investigators stake out houses from cars, specially outfitted vans, even from perches in trees. They patrol borders and hide under cars with video cameras.

While the Congressional Record was first published in 1873 as a daily, written account of the floor debates in the House and Senate, congressmen can now place almost anything in the Record. Furthermore, at the end of each day legislators can "revise and extend" their remarks. The 1991 edition thus ran to 36,500 pages and cost upwards of $25 million to publish and distribute.

As of October, 1992, freshman Florida Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen has inserted more than 400 items into the Record at a cost of $405,000 to taxpayers. On February 3, 1992, Ros-Lehtinen accounted for 10 of the 24 "extensions" printed. These included a tribute to a 17-year-old constituent on his becoming the third Eagle Scout in his family, a commemoration of the recently deceased mayor of North Bay Village, Florida, notice that the annual Girl Scout cookie sale had begun in her district, congratulations to Miami's Southwest High School on its addition of sign language to the curriculum, recognition of the new manager at South Florida's Spanish-language Channel 51, a tribute to the Silverado Skies art gallery for their owner's "passion for the Southwest," and a tribute to South Florida's Blockbuster Entertainment Corporation for aspiring to expand their market.

On the same day, her colleagues congratulated Odessa Permian High School in Texas for a state football championship, honored a constituent's 50 years of service at a sand and gravel company in California, and paid tribute to "the guiding force behind WPSX-TV," a public television station in Pennsylvania. Legislators typically send honored constituents a copy of the page on which they were mentioned.