A collection of stories and cartoons about the intersection of sex and politics.
What could be more like an inverted wonderland world than the contemporary political scene? In Jerry Stahl’s “L’il Dickens,” Dick Cheney becomes the object of homoerotic desire, his trysting taking place in a back room off a gun shop in Wyoming (also used as the Vice Presidential Emergency Operations Center). In Mistress Morgana’s “An Open Letter to the Bush Administration,” the drop in the bondage and S&M business is blamed on the war in Iraq: Bush is “taking the fantasy out of torture and domination and making it real.” In James Frey’s “The Candidate’s Wife,” the unmet sexual needs of the wife of a conservative, born-again senator are explored. In Charlie Anders’s election-night scenario, “Transfixed, Helpless, and Out of Control,” a sweet young thing is tormented equally by a suede flogger and by reminders of four more years of polluters rewriting environmental legislation and surveillance conducted in the name of Homeland Security. Elsewhere we’re confronted with the grim realities of war, as in Nick Flynn’s “A Crystal Formed Entirely of Holes,” which begins with a woman kissing a hole made by an AK-47 in her lover’s bicep; other “holes” eventually become metaphors for loss here. Fantasy is also an element of the collection. In Alison Tyler’s “Measure A, B, or Me,” a couple becomes aroused by a political poll, and, in Michelle Richmond’s “Milk,” a woman blissfully breastfeeds tribal guerillas though, unknown to them, she has been ingesting a toxic substance she passes along through her milk.
More fun to talk about than to read.