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September 30, 2002

The movement calls your name

Last Friday evening, my girlfriend, my other girlfriend and I were hanging out in front of a Williamsburg art gallery to celebrate the opening of an installation by a friend for whom I have written several expensive art-book introductions. We were discussing our unease about the upcoming war, and also the rise in poverty and how terrible that is. From time to time, we'd sip our beer or wine, and then once in a while someone would break out a little red plastic bag and we'd blow some uncut Peruvian. It was a very typical night out in Brooklyn until the cops came calling.

Sure, we were guilty of the crime of standing four feet outside of a gallery's door with open bags of coke, along with a small group of other people. So what if we were blaring very loud electroclash music into the night, punctuating our consumption with glorious chants of "WHOOOP! WHOOOP! WHOOOP! WHOOOP!"? It was early evening in a warehouse district, and all the working people had gone home to their sad partyless lives. But these three cops apparently didn't care. They patted us down. They took our driver's licenses. One of them went in the car and got on the radio. They filled out a bunch of forms.

Finally, one of them took me aside.

"You'd better not touch me," I said. "Through my work as a radical journalist, I know many human-rights lawyers."

"Buddy, I don't want to touch you," said the cop. "I want to give you this."

It was a flier, advertising an October 6 National Day Of Action against war in Iraq. "Most of the NYPD secretly believes that President Bush has gone too far," said the cop. "We do not want our government to commit acts of senseless violence in our name."

Obviously, I told him, you've seen my anti-war writings, both in print and on the Internet, and you want me to speak at the rally you're organizing. Well, I said, I'll do it, and I'll even waive my usual $10,000 fee.

"Never heard of you," said the cop. "We're just handing out fliers."

"Oh," I said.

"You mind giving us your girlfriend for the evening?" he said. "We're heroes, and we're lonely."

"Sure," I said. "She needs a real man. Just have her home by dawn."

So instead of having a three-way coke orgy, I went home to read the flier and the Internet links listed on it. The more I read, the more I felt committed to "The Movement." Since 1998, we've shut down the World Bank and the IMF, stopped the 2000 Republican AND Democratic conventions, ended capitalism, and freed Mumia. At least in our minds. The government must understand that it cannot break the will of The Movement. We are out there, by the thousands. We already have Marisa Tomei and Ossie Davis, and now the NYPD is behind us as well. We will not let the US Government wage continual war in our name. Also, we need $10,000 by Thursday, or they won't let us use the stage in Central Park.

For more information, or to help, contact Day Of Action head organizer Andrew Sullivan. The anti-war movement has no greater friend.

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September 27, 2002

You must understand me

Since I posted my blog entry on Wednesday about Al Gore's cautionary war speech, I've received more than 10,000 emails from Democrats and Gore supporters, and have been roundly chastised across the Internet for my comments. I thank you all for your concern, but believe that my complex thought process, based on decades of scholarship and careful political reasoning, has been misunderstood.

George Orwell, in a 1936 essay titled "The Spanish Civil War is Unsafe For Children And All Living Things," wrote, "to dissent is divine, but to dissent without regard to your country's security when faced with an enemy who may or may not possess weapons of mass destruction is downright unpatriotic, and perhaps illegal under international law. Don't you understand, people? We are at war with a ruthless shifty-eyed enemy whose only goal in life is our annihilation. Jesus, grow up." How true. How prophetic. Time and again, I turn to Orwell, and to my intellectual mentor, Oxbridge political-science professor Francis Crapshoot, for solace in these difficult times, though mostly to Orwell, since Sir Francis is on sabbatical in Portugal and didn't leave me his phone number.

The hysterical anti-war left obviously doesn't understand my point of view. Like most left-wingers, they would rather allow child-molesting perverts and wife-beaters to teach their children than to make the world safe for democracy. Well, when the final grades of history are handed out, I don't want to be left holding a flaming bag of crap. To even suggest that our upcoming war with Iraq (a done deal, really), like Nicholas Kristof, a known Communist and possibly a Canadian, does in today's New York Times, is the height of irresponsibility. I stand for justice, behind my President.

Let me end this week's posting with happy thoughts. I can smell from the kitchen that Roger and my dear friend Jacques Pepin are nearly done preparing a delicious seafood bread. I'm having seventeen friends, all of them blessed with fabulous genes, over for an orgy this weekend. I can't wait! Some of them are even liberals. But where group sex is concerned, I put politics aside. And you should, too.

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September 26, 2002

Left no more

Today I must confirm a sad announcement. As reported on Jim Romenesko's Media News, as of this week, I will no longer be writing for The Nation. Like I told Nation editor Katrina Van den Heuvel (a truly sexy lady) last night as we shared a post-coital cigarette at the Four Seasons San Francisco, this was not an easy decision. The Nation is one of the great magazines in American magazine history, having published eminent figures like Oliver Wendell Holmes, W.E.B. DuBois, Henry James, Harry James, and the muckraking journalist James Henry Harrison. It was the home of some of my first published articles, including "What Has Become Of The Left?" "The Left Is Coming Back," "Come On, Left," "Meat Is Poison," "Henry Hyde Is A Dick," "Hair Shirt: The Anti-Sweatshop Campaign and the Second Coming Of the American Left On Two or Three College Campuses," and Henry Kissinger, Vampire Of the World." But now, my association is no more.

It became apparent to me over the last two or three days that the American left's grasp on reality is both untenable and unsupportable, especially after I received a $500,000 check from the National Rifle Association to appear at its annual banquet. That's more money than I could make in 12 years writing for The Nation, Mother Jones, and especially Z Magazine, which pays .001 cents a word. And let's face it. Who reads The Nation anyway outside of Brooklyn, Berkeley and Madison, three places where I already have crash pads? In all my years as a journalist, I've never gotten laid by telling a woman that I write for The Nation. But one published editorial in the Wall Street Journal is worth a week of hot-tub parties. And if I ever had to go on one of those fucking cruises again, I'd have to set fire to my own shit and eat it for brunch.

Quite simply, the left lacks the moral clarity necessary to prosecute our current War on Terror. Just the other day, I had lunch in Washington with my dear friend Michael Habib, nominal head of The Palestinian Committee For Autonomous Self-Determination, People Who Believe in Democratic Rule Of Law Without Blowing Up Jews (PCFASDPWBIDROLWBUJ), who said to me, "quite simply, old chum, the left lacks the moral clarity necessary to prosecute our current War On Terror."

My page in The Nation will be replaced by a rotation of features: A monthly Tom Tomorrow drawing of John Ashcroft called "Hiss, Hiss;" "You Can Do It, Left, Don't Touch My Body," a page of inspirational Ani DiFranco song lyrics; the always-scintillating Labor Watch; and the return of Patricia Williams' column, renamed "Diary of A Law Professor Who Happens To Be A Black Woman In Today's Society." Meanwhile, I've got to work on the manuscript of my forthcoming book, "Queen Elizabeth, Transvestite Whore of Windsor."

Alexander Cockburn is a Stalinist filth-monkey. There, I said it. Now, I must away.

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September 24, 2002

All jacked up and nowhere to go

One of the many pharmaceutical companies who sponsor this website recently sent me the most wonderful product, called Minty-Fresh Testostogrease. It is, in fact, male testosterone distilled to its essence, manufactured into a chemically-enriched gel, and shot through with a bit of blue food coloring to give it that extra jolt of goodness. I have absolutely no qualms about praising PharmaMed of Switzerland, fully support their mining practices in Sri Lanka, and don't think it's a conflict of interest that Interior Secretary Gale Norton sits on their board of directors.

For the last two weeks, I've been squeezing a dollop of this magical testosterone substance onto my hairy chest, rubbing it in while rhythmically chanting the name of Ayn Rand, and feeling raw male power surge through my increasingly muscular body. Within minutes of use, I find myself surfing the news channels faster and faster. By the half-hour point, I'm able to absorb both the information coming out of the broadcaster's mouth and from the ticker at the bottom of the screen.

My life has certainly changed since I began using applicable testosterone. Where I once ate three meals a day, now I eat four. My writing output has increased by at least a page an hour, and I find that my opinions are sharper, my observations more cogent, my ability to accurately quote George Orwell more potent than ever. I'm increasingly able to see that all opposition to our war with Iraq is foolish and futile, and I will kick the ass of anyone who disagrees with me. Man, I just want to beat up other guys all the time!

Yes, there are problems. I've grown more aggressive. Just yesterday, my manservant Roger served my morning eggs coddled, not poached, and I tackled him to the ground, beating him mercilessly with a silver tray. Fortunately, because of my testosterone-supplemented mind and body, I was able to apply first-aid to him with greater speed and efficiency. Then I ran five miles to the nearest hospital with him on my back, and I barely broke a sweat. Roger is resting comfortably, and has only suffered minor brain damage. He should be back to work next week.

As for my sexual drive, let's just say that I'm big as a horse and I'll hump you all night long if you only ask.

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Bulled by the Gore

Al Gore's comments on President Bush's Iraq policy are so beneath contempt that I can barely muster the energy to write 1,000 furious words about them. But I can ask Mr. Gore this: Do you negotiate with monsters? Do you invite a pedophile over to have a beer and watch the game? Is there no level to which you won't stoop for personal and political gain?

There is no room for dissent in our society, particularly not from a one-time loser like Al Gore. I can just see the smug looks on the faces of the San Francisco politburo in that room where he gave his so-called speech. God, I can't restrain myself. Excuse me while I howl.

Al Gore! You sonofabitch! How dare you? How dare you? Why don't you move to Germany? You'd fit right in.

Why not just argue for freeing Danielle Van Dam's murderer while you're at it? Or for legalizing slavery? Oh, don't put anything past Al Gore. The man is sinister, I tell you. He hates liberty, he hates freedom, and he hates America. As does the New York Times' Paul Krugman. White Man's Burden indeed, Paul. Perhaps you should in fact heed the words of Rudyard Kipling, a far superior writer, before you, like all your trapped-in-the-muzzy-60s cohorts, start decrying the evils of colonialism. I believe the poem goes, "And so we fought on fields of wheat/Our hair was short/Our beards were neat/Defending grateful brown-skinned friends/Sahib, our means must meet our ends/We are your humble servants."

He wouldn't have written that if it weren't true.


Meanwhile, The Times has discovered, two years after everyone else, that blogs exist. Funny how this article doesn't mention that the Times has completely ignored my blog since it first went live nearly one month ago. Our so-called defenders of the First Amendment are never first, and rarely amend.

It's a beautiful day here at the beach house. I think I'll go outside, lay in the hammock, and read Michael Weisblottom's excellent, clear-minded 400-page analysis of our current war, "Why Terrorism Threatens Everything Good And Beautiful You Love: Inside the CIA." Then I will masturbate, and fall asleep.

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September 23, 2002

My obscenity trial -- in France!

Those of you who've been reading this page for the last two years are familiar with my bestselling novel Hot To Trot, which on the surface is a chick-lit beach read about a 300-pound newspaper columnist who, using her wit, intelligence, and frequent-flier miles, manages to seduce a world-champion surfer in La Jolla. But, as Thomas Frank, the first and only editor of the Baffler, wrote in Harper's, "beneath Pollack's deceptively sunny text is a first-rate novel about the puerility of the American intellect. Also, the New Economy was a scam. I told you so! I told you so!"

Well, in France, I need to put on no such gloves. There, the book is called by its original title, Man Or Monkey: The Puerility of the American Intellect. And French critics are all as smart as Thomas Frank. Giscard D'Estaing wrote in Le Spectator (The Observer), "Pollack, he ees genius, no? Theese is ze most honest novel to come out of America seence Stanley Elkin's "The Impossible to Understand Family." In Le Figaro (The Mustache), Louis Jourdan writes: "It is high praise for me to say that among all the North American ape-men who call themselves novelists, Neal Pollack stands above the trees."

Yet, because of an obscure French law that makes it illegal in print to call Muslims "grub-eating pig fuckers," I am currently on trial for obscenity in the French city of Orleans. Also under contention is this sentence from my book: "Islam is less a religion than a tawdry mating dance for people descended from dogs." In the United States, such a statement would probably get me hired in the Justice Department's press office. Here, it is an intellectual cause celebre.

I mount the stand tomorrow. My lawyer, the famed Asterix Clemenceau, has advised me to take the French version of the Fifth Amendment, which goes, "I refuse to soil my academic integrity by replying to your juvenile line of inquiry, but let me add that I stand in firm opposition to the idiotic, lumbering American war machine, as well as the cultural catastrophe that has been unleashed on the world by Hollywood, MTV, and the Jewish bankers. Vive Le Pen!" Perhaps the French will burn me at the stake, as they do all their heroic martyrs, or maybe I'll just get interviewed on TV. We'll see how it goes.

Meanwhile, I have an annoucement to make regarding my next novel, Hurts So Good, a sequel to Hot To Trot. Because of my dissatisfaction with corporate publishing and chain bookstores, I'm going to release this novel myself, in a limited edition. There will be only five copies printed on golden tickets which will be wrapped around selected candy bars and placed in vending machines at state-university sororities, largely in the south. The lucky winners will get to spend a clothing-optional week at my secret mountain estate in Malta. It could go horribly, horribly wrong, but that's not likely.

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September 20, 2002

Insert lame Bob Greene pun here

Perhaps earlier I frothed at the mouth too vehemently. Among its usual collection of liberal calumnities and half-baked cultural chatter, Salon did just feature an excellent piece about the professional demise of Chicago Tribune columnist Bob Greene. It was written by my dear friend Neil Steinberg, who I knew during my 27 years as a feature writer at the Chicago Reader, definitely one of the three best newspapers in the Windy City. Steinberg describes perfectly the sexual double standard that has always permeated the newsroom of the once-great Tribune. I agree with him that Greene should have been fired years ago, but mostly because he was lame and boring, not because of his sexual peccadilloes.

Then again, I would be a hypocrite to say otherwise. After all, I've enjoyed my share of affairs with impressionable 18-year-old girls (and boys) who I've met through my writing. Their taut, tender, glistening skin, their wide-eyed innocence, and their seemingly endless inability to hero worship make them delightful partners. They email me often, offering themselves up unconditionally and asking for tours of my "newsroom". What would you have me do? I am, after all, merely a man, and teenagers are so easy to manipulate.

Yes, they occasionally freak out and threaten to commit suicide. And sometimes they bring their parents in, which gets messy, but enough money and sufficient lawyering can usually quell those petty disturbances. Occassional melodrama should be no deterrent to a good time. A really good columnist, especially one who's accessible online, can juggle a half-dozen barely-legal dalliances at once. In fact, the only thing I prefer to an affair with an 18-year-old is an affair with a 19-year-old. I've got one waiting for me in the other room right now, so I bid you good day.

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Destroy all protesters

It appears that the anti-war left has finally emerged to once again brandish its opposition to democracy, justice, the rule of law, and all things sacred in America. The two women who interrupted Donald Rumsfeld's testimony before the House Armed Services Committee will, in the long run, be no more than a tick on a boil on the collective ass of history's losing side, but for a short time, they made our task at hand more difficult, and for that they should be jailed, perhaps permanently. Ms. Benjamin, this is not "all about oil." Haven't you been listening? It's about Saddam Hussein and his weapons of mass destruction. And there won't be any anti-American backlash, except in France and perhaps Northern California, which should secede from the Union if it doesn't like our noble war.

As for Diane Wilson, well, I think she'd better get fishing already. Red diaper babies get pretty hungry when mommy's in Washington. Perhaps these ladies should have dinner at Joshua Micah Marshall's house. Actually, I have no idea what his latest Salon piece says, because I let my Platinum Gold Premium subscription lapse. Maybe one of you could write and tell me. It's a shame, really. Three paragraphs of a Salon story is never enough, and I miss that Garrison Keillor sex advice column. Man, is he funny!

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September 19, 2002

Can anyone stop Noam Chomsky?

I'm mentally exhausted from the teabagging scandal that has consumed my last 24 hours. My enemies are braying at the gates for my head, but I'm not prepared to hand it over; since the story broke yesterday I've received 750 offers from potential teabagging partners. Though I've only had time thus far to consummate with two of you, I promise that I'll soon be testicle-dipping across the country.

Some of your emails were startling in their tenderness. John Q., of Lexington, Kentucky, says, "Thank you, Mr. Pollack, for speaking out against the NEA's stated policy of giving grants to visual artists who use nudity, either explicit or implied. I also agree with your revolutionary idea that thought crimes should be prosecuted as actual crimes. Let's teabag sometime."

Karen O. of New York City, writes, "NEAL POLLACK! YOU ARE SO FUCKING HOT! I WANT YOU TO SHOVE YOUR HAIRY BALLS INTO MY MOUTH ALL NIGHT LONG!"

See you soon, Karen.

Meanwhile, enemy of the state Noam Chomsky is at it again. His new book, "Gulf War II: Imperalist Monster Rising," has rocketed to the top of the independent bestseller list, and his accompanying hip-hop CD, "2 Smart 4 Da Chomsky Mouf: Representing Da Noam Family," is getting far too much college radio play. Can the government do nothing to silence this man? I'm coming up with ideas, and will publish them in the coming weeks.

And isn't it interesting that the New Jerk Times is now reporting that the government knew about the potential for September 11 all the way back in 1998? If you recall, like I do, the Times spent most of that year defending President Clinton against charges of immorality, sodomy, and liberalism, and calling for massive cuts in our defense and intelligence budgets. I quote Supreme Left-Wing Fifth Columnist Maureen Dowd, from July 7, 1998: "President Clinton is like Ally McBeal, without the dancing baby. He's Mark McGwire at the bat. The star of his own sitcom. Everybody Loves Bill." Why didn't she use that space to break the September 11 story instead? But that's Dowd for you. Fiddling complicitly with instantly dated pop-culture references while her own Rome prepares to burn.

Finally, I encourage those of you new to this page to send me Fan Fiction. If you wish to write me into an episode of Smallville or make me a minor character in The Matrix, or any other favorite TV show or movie with the exception of Yes, Dear, I'm amenable. I also like genre fiction of every stripe, including but not limited to jungle adventure, noir detective, space exploration, pirates, baseball, and girls gone bad on reefer. Slash fiction is also acceptable, or fiction with slash elements. The only requirement is that I become a character in the story at some point. Some excellent examples of NP Fan Fiction can be found in the Fan Fiction section of this site. Check them out.

I will continue to post new material at least once a week. Send submissions to my personal assistant, Heidi, at nealfanfic@aol.com. Remember, anyone can be a writer. Even you.

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A man wronged

Recently, I've come under editorial attack for my interest in the sexual practice known as teabagging. Before I address the specific calumnities tossed my way by jealous hacks, let me say that if a man enjoys lowering his scrotum into his partner's mouth, and enjoys having his partner suck on one testicle, then the other, and then, if possible, both testicles at once, followed by a judicious application of the tongue to the base of the scrotum, sometimes accompanied by a gentle stroking of the penis, then I say that man should be granted his fun, and should be permitted to look for other teabag afficionados however and wherever he can. No one can disagree with me on that point.

Except, apparently, the "journalist" Michelangelo Signorile. In his column in this week's New York Press, Signorile uncovers the shocking fact that I've been trolling for teabagging partners on bulletin boards at America Online, a known repository of perversion, and The Atlantic ,where a surprising teabagging subculture has appeared. Mike, who I've known since the mid-80s, when he published an East Village bar 'zine called "Out and About: I Will Bury You", is apparently no longer my friend. He writes:

"Neal Pollack has crusaded at length against what he calls male 'pathological libidinity.' He published, in The New Republic, an essay called 'Against the Blowjob,' in which he said that men should brush aside their oral fixations and spend more time playing sports with their families. For years, he's appeared on television saying he's become a born-again virgin, and won't have sex again until two months after his next marriage. He's publicly referred to the male sexual organ as a 'disgusting mutation of God.' His on-line dick-lick trolling is the height of hypocrisy."

Is it, Mike? Is it really? Why? Does a man have to behave in private as he commands others to behave in public? Isn't morality fungible, after all? And, let's face it. I'm a celebrity. If I put out a call on the Internet looking to get my balls sucked by willing men and women, don't you think I'm gonna get a lot of steamy offers? What would you do, Mike? Would you be an exemplary rock of celibacy, or would you squirt hot jizz into 100 willing mouths? These are stressful times. The threat of war looms over us like a looming cloud. I think a little teabagging, for someone who has an important public-opinion-shaping job like mine, is just what the midwife ordered.

People like Michelangelo Signorile, who I call "Al-Queda sympathizers," had better watch their targets carefully. I still believe American men should spend more time with their families, Mike. It's their duty as men, and as Americans. We haven't slurped the last hair off this teabagging debate, but remember that my right to privacy trumps your right to criticize. And if you think I'm wrong, you're a terrorist.

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September 17, 2002

A thought

Often these days I find myself filled with an unquenchable bloodlust that can only be satisfied by one thing: WAR!

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Shuffle off to Buffalo

It's been a tough four days, even by my standards. As I attempted to squeeze in one last weekend at the Vineyard before the arrival of our first dreaded Nor'easter, news marched on. Then came the necessary Day of Atonement, and quicker than you can say Ramzi Binalshibh, I was several steps behind.

All I can say is that despite howls of Fifth Column protest from our putative paper of record, which apparently believes that the rights of individual citizens are more important than the collective will of a nation challenged, I've been calling for the arrest of all Middle Eastern men in the suburbs of Buffalo since April. Let me quote myself, in The Weekly Standard, on April 7, "I have it from reliable sources in the FBI that a major terrorist cell is operating in the suburbs of Buffalo. Let's kill them before they kill us." To which the Times editors responded, in a private in-house memo, "apparently some defenders of our government's so-called War On Terror believe that Buffalo is in danger. To that, we say, hooey."

Who's full of hooey now, New York Times? Who? Who?

Meanwhile, it appears that Kofi Annan has bit down hard on Saddam Hussein's latest weapons-inspection bait. An obscure news agency not available online but known to me through secret sources quotes him as saying, "If Saddam says he doesn't have nuclear or chemical weapons, that's good enough for me. Anyone for tennis?"

Well, Kofi, you're a sucker. I quote Donald Rumsfeld from yesterday's press conference, where he handled our limp-wristed defense-reporting corps like the flaccid bags of cheese they are. From his text, which I ghost-wrote: "The Iraqis are our enemies. They are dangerous people. And we're gonna kill all the world's dangerous people, if they're our enemies, no matter what." Go get 'em, Rummy. As my mentor at Oxbridge, the brilliant political philosopher Francis Crapshoot, once said, "genocide in defense of liberty has no vice equal to its equivalent virtue."

In sad sports news, we all mourn the death of Johnny Unitas, but no one more than me. During my brief term as mayor of Baltimore in the 1960s, he was like a son, albeit one I never met. A quarterback, as I've always said, is like a general who makes more money and gets laid more often. America weeps, as it should.

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September 13, 2002

Cleaning out my closet

Before I begin my ritual evisceration of the panty-waists whose editorial dithering, even in the face of President Bush's thundering will to power yesterday at the United Nations, may, in fact, keep the United States from his historical destiny, I would like to review a book. A copy of Jeffrey Eugenides' new novel, Middlesex, arrived at the beachhouse last weekend, and I devoured it in two sittings. It's the best novel I've read about a hermaphrodite in Detroit since Donald Goines' Chick-Dick: White Man's Justice, which is no longer available except for in the train stations of major east-coast cities. For shame. Eugenides, who once let me stay at his place in Berlin while I was working on a graduate-school monograph, has written a book that is generous, funny, and true of heart. I hope it gets the attention and sales that his last novel, The Suicidal Virgins, did not.

The New Republic hits it smack on the bean this week with its withering assessment of the Democratic party. At least I think it does. Honestly, I couldn't get to the end of the damn piece. But I can tell you that it will take a concerted effort on the part of the Democratic leadership to reiterate its commitment to spelling out a forceful terrorism containment strategy, and, has anyone seen that Avril Lavigne video? Grrrrrowl! The editorialist writes, "the United States needs not only the resolve to meet its enemies on the battlefield but also the generosity and liberal spirit to help keep fragile societies from becoming battlefields." Well said, old chum!

Worn-out battle-ax Madeline Albright weighs in, sort of, with her opinion in today's New York Dithering Times. The kind of limp-wristed equivocation she serves up regarding our forthcoming stripmining of Iraq is precisely the kind of liberal folderol that got us in trouble during the Clinton Administration. Sure, it was a time of peace and unprecedented economic prosperity and all, but look where it got us. Anyone who doesn't blame the Clinton Administration for all the trouble in the world today is wrong, and should perhaps be prosecuted under the Patriot Act.

Finally, a reader writes from Minneapolis, "why don't you just shut up, you McCarthyite bastard?" To you, "Carl," if that is your real name in quotations, I say, are you a terrorist? Would you willfully let our enemies come into your home to rape and kill your family? I thought so. Point made and taken. Have a safe weekend, everyone.

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September 12, 2002

The day after

For a moment yesterday morning, all the birds were silent. Could it have been that they, too, felt the enormity of the tragedy of the loss? The entity that our President calls the Creator must decide. I do know that by instructing Roger not to use the leaf-blower yesterday I added to the quiet, the serenity, the solemn tone of the moment. In the village adjacent to my seaside mountain house, the ice-cream shop teemed with life, and I realized not all had been lost. Teenagers still hungered for frozen confectionary. No enemy can take away their desires, the lingering pangs of summer. Then I was overwhelmed by an unforseen wave of lust, and I retreated to my turret to make a booty call and relieve the pressures that had been building. You can read about my adventure of sexual healing at alt.teabagging.net/pollack. I will clog this space no more with abstract tales of desire.

Meanwhile, President Bush has made his speech to the United Nations, deliniating his case much as I'd outlined on this blog as far back as August. The one thing I would argue with is the President's claim that Hussein has "assed" his own people. Far as I know, few Iraqis have ever seen Saddam Hussein's ass. Thank god. But now that we have the Portugese and the Bulgarians behind us, let's get the bastard.

Finally, today I begin my assault on one of the most dangerous people in America, Ann Coulter. In her book, Slander: Liberal Lies About the American Right, which has received a suprising lack of publicity considering its controversial subject matter and Ms. Coulter's fine gams, Coulter commits numerous acts of calumny too numerous to mention. But she does attack me, which is strange because I haven't been a liberal, officially, since the day Nixon resigned. I call your attention to Chapter 5, "Why Lesbians Want to Eat Your Babies," whereCoulter says, "In Neal Pollack's world, sex is something you trade like baseball cards. If he had his way, Afghanistan's new government would be run by the gay-rights division of the ACLU."

OK, Ann, I did write a column once for Slate claiming that the gay-rights division of the ACLU would be a better choice for governing Afghanistan than the Karzai coalition. But I was JOKING. You need a humor lesson. I suggest you turn to The Onion, a hilarious Madison-based publication that receives too little attention from our mainstream media.

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September 11, 2002

We cannot forget, cannot remember

We will remember to forget.

Researchers have long found that memories of epochal cataclysm fade with time. For instance, who, other than me, mentally commemorates the sacking of Rome by the barbarians? Especially now that Robert Graves is gone. The remembering of such events even has a specific name: remembering of such events. As time passes, time marches on; we live our lives and so do other people. We go shopping and masturbate into soggy tissues. One ongoing study at the University of Illinois Chicago's Psychology Department - of a large, country-wide sample of people - is finding out that we have already forgotten some things about September 11. Who was President then? Which network went live with coverage first? What pundit helped us heal before all others? Jesus Christ! They flew a plane into the Pentagon! We forget. We conflate. We confuse.

But we also know, of course, that this kind of memory is not the most important one. Some events solder themselves into our consciousness so intensely that they change the way we see the world for ever. The details barely matter. The change itself matters. You are fired from the magazine you edited; your freelance career is greately curtailed because a major newspaper is afraid of your ideas; leading activists attack you for being a dangerous reactionary; your ideological enemies lurk around every corner. These kinds of events stop your life for a moment; your soul freezes while the rest of the world swivels around you to a new position. Then you start to blog, and you feel better.

September 11 was one of those moments. It wasn't a random tragedy for which grief is a slow-acting salve. It was a call for all thinking people to begin spreading their opinions across the soil of America like seeds of grief and brilliance. It was a horrible crime, and we needed to understand how, what, and why it happeend. Radical Islam, our enemy, intends to attack and destroy the very principles of the Enlightenment that underpin the American experiment, principles that my writing embodies. The appropriate response to this act of nihilism and evil is therefore not grief or remembrance or sadness or reflection, although each of those has its place. The appropriate response is blogging.

I could go on, but who wants to read 1,000 words of pompous warmongering by a self-styled public intellectual on a day like today? Go be with your family and friends now. Hug a stranger. Have sex with them if they're willing. And tune in to this blog tomorrow. Because our enemies lurk, and I wield my keyboard like a golden hammer.

Grieve! O Grief! Onward, onward toward destiny!

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September 10, 2002

Code orange, alert, alert

At my last writing, if you remember, I'd left Susan Sontag in a state of post-coital bliss. Then I wake up this morning to find out that she'd written an editorial for the New York Times. Well, I say, good for her. It's been a long time since Susan got a paying gig worthy of her analytic skills, which I've always told her were substantial. But it's hard to get someone with such massive intellectual insecurities to publish. This war has turned her into a woman of extreme courage.

That said, I can't agree with what she wrote. It is, on its face, anti-American. How can she possibly argue that our War On Terror is "not a war but, rather, a mandate for expanding the use of American power"? How? How? What an absurd proposition. Susan, you would be well-advised, in these days of heightened Code Orange alert, to remember the words of George Orwell, to whom I've often been compared by prescient commentators. I believe he wrote, "Idealism is the last refuge of idealogues. Also, Communism is bad, and I just spit in someone's soup."

When Susan writes, "I do not question that we have a vicious, abhorrent enemy that opposes most of what I cherish — including democracy, pluralism, secularism, the equality of the sexes, beardless men, dancing (all kinds), skimpy clothing and, well, fun," I have to say that I know for a fact she's lying. Susan Sontag does not like all kinds of dancing. She hates the tango. In a 1973 Atlantic Monthly essay, "I Hate The Tango," she called it "a false seduction."


Meanwhile, Joshua Micah Marshall, his unshaven bespectacled face resting gently in his right palm, discusses the Republican plan for social security on his website. Honestly, I have no idea what he's talking about, and I don't care. Isn't tonight the season premiere of Buffy?

We are living in dark and demagogic days. Anyone who criticizes our President this week is anti-American, anti-democratic, and anti-all that is good and sane in this world. While my site will be silent tomorrow out of respect, be warned that I am watching for signs of ideological slippage. I will find you. And I will destroy your career. Code Orange, indeed.


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September 9, 2002

I have returned

I apologize for my absence the last few days. My plane was delayed by almost two hours coming out of Johannesburg. We finally took off when Colin Powell told the pilot: "Hurry home! I've got to help the President fabricate evidence that will thrust us into World War III!" When the pilot seemed unmoved, he pointed to me and said, "That man has a deadline for the New York Times Magazine!"

The next day, as Susan Sontag and I lay on her futon, smoking cheroots, licking each other between puffs, she said, "You know, I really regret that thing I wrote in the New Yorker last year, the thing that went, 'how many citizens are aware of the ongoing American bombing of Iraq? And if the word 'cowardly' is to be used, it might be more aptly applied to those who kill from beyond the range of retaliation, high in the sky, than to those willing to die themselves in order to kill others.'"

"You do?" I said.

"Yes," said Sontag. "The Bush Administration has impressed upon me the urgency of our War On Terror, and with September 11 approaching, I think it's important that we put aside our partisan differences and remember that we're all Americans."

I grew erect, and we started at it again. As Susan and I bumped until the break of dawn, I thought about a recent Salon feature,Forbidden Thoughts About 9-11. And I remembered my OWN forbidden thought, which was, man, would I love to be nailing Ashleigh Banfield RIGHT NOW, and even more forbidden, would I love to be nailing Lester Holt RIGHT NOW.

So as we approach that most terrible of anniversaries, I urge you all to send me forbidden thoughts, about anything, and I'll post them on the letters page. Nothing is sacred, now that Susan Sontag is a Republican. Email me at npblog@aol.com.

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September 3, 2002

Sullivan the Magnificent

Andrew Sullivan, usually a brakeless train of wrong ideas, nails it on the head in today's "www.andrewsullivan.com" blog, in which he tells the Iraqis to go fuck themselves. But when Andrew writes, "the global hostility to dealing with Saddam cannot be avoided. It comes from America-envy and the usual appeaseniks and terrorist-lovers," I think he's slightly off-base. America is hated, world-wide, because we have superior bloggers, and they know it. They can't stand the fact that our opinions are sharper and better-informed. After all, our ability to express opinions without the intrusive filter of editors and fact-checkers is what made this country great.

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Be Still Now, Sweet Land Of Liberty

As the anniversary of that most terrible day descends upon us like a hungry falcon seeking its prey in a burnt-out forest, we must remember those who sacrificed themselves so we could be free, who gave more than we thought humanly possible, who did the work while we, stunned, wept real tears. I'm talking, of course, about television journalists, whose labors have brought us all closer together, as Americans, but also as people.

I've had the privilege of watching several Sept. 11 retrospective documentaries, including Fox News' "Awake, Angry Giant," CNN's sharply-titled "American Perspective In Crisis," and MSNBC's "You Were There With Ashleigh Banfield." When I think about the lives lost that day, I cry. But when I think about how hard journalists have worked to tell us about the lives lost, I really cry, and I feel grateful to have been born into such a wonderful empire.

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September 2, 2002

Day of labor, week of rest

It has been a delightful weekend. First, I enjoyed the hospitality of my dear friend Jason Epstein and his wife, whose name I cannot remember, at their summer home on the Cape, and we stayed up until almost midnight talking about books and politics and many other topics varied and sundry. If you haven't had the opportunity to eat Jason Epstein's food, to have been invited to one of his delightful literary parties, well, then, you haven't lived. Martin Amis, who was in attendance, said, "Jason, this food is simply delightful!" Then he passed out in a pool of his own vomit.
Martin, you sure showed Stalin what's what in your latest book! I'm glad someone is finally telling the truth about the Communists.

Then, I attended a bisexual orgy at a Provincetown loft condo rented by my dear friend Julian Casablancas and his bandmates in the White Strokes. My goodness, those young men know how to party! As we all saw on the MTV music video awards, culture just keeps churning along, in fascinating ways. At one point, the hired entertainment for the evening, an all-hermaphrodite 80s new-wave cover band called Notorious, played the Cars' "Shake It Up," and the crowd just went wild. I got two blowjobs in five minutes, and then I had to go to bed. But as I've often said on this blog, music is for the young, and I am no longer young.

Meanwhile, the baseball strike didn't happen, thank goodness, despite the best efforts of Murray Chass at the Times to prod it along. Still, as a lifelong Red Sox fan, I know that just means more agony for me. When will the Curse of the Bambino lift? When? When?

This will be my last post for at least 24 hours. I'm getting on a plane with Colin Powell in a few minutes, to accompany him to the summit in Johannesburg. Hopefully, he will persuade the world of our mighty cause. Don't people understand that having the United States in charge of EVERYTHING is in their best interest? Certain Marxists, like Paul Krugman, who in today's New York Times makes another feeble case for civil liberties, do not. Note to Paul: Secret trials are necessary so lousy reporters like you won't cover them. As William Jay Williams, the first Jew to serve on our Supreme Court, once wrote, "liberty, muted by opinion, is an irredeemable vice." Disraeli couldn't have said it better.

I will post from South Africa as soon as I can find an English-speaking person who will take me to a working computer.

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