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The Truth, Mainly - 12/30/1996

Membership A-twitter at 1996 Pinko Awards Banquet

We're all a-twitter in the American Association of Dirty Rotten Bleeding Heart Liberal Secular Humanists. First, because our membership is up 33% from last year. Second, because that increase meant that at our annual meeting last night all four of us could symmetrically occupy a back booth and the 44th and O Street DaVinci's and order two medium pizzas, one pepperoni and one veggie.

We get all a-twitter rather easily.

The occasion, as you know, was the 1996 Pinko Awards Banquet, where, with greasy fingers and malice aforethought, we decided the following winners:

•The Seed-of-Dissension-Among-Future-Good-Old-Boys Award—to the Kappa Alpha frat of Texas A&M, now banned from the campus, an Aggie official said, because a pledge "was somehow hoisted by his underwear, which led to an injury which ultimately resulted in the removal of his testicle."

•The Jim and Tammy Faye So-Much-for-the-Sermon-on-the-Mount Award—to Paul Zane Pilzer for his inspirational book, "God Wants You to be Rich."

•The How's-That-Again? Non-Sequitur Award—to Newt Gingrich for his televised observation during the GOP Convention that "A mere 40 years ago, beach volleyball was just beginning. No bureaucrat would have invented it, and that's what freedom is all about."

•The Statistic Least Likely to be in the GOP Platform Award—to the 1996 Green Book of the House Ways and Means Committee for pointing out that the purchasing power of welfare benefits in 1996 is half what it was in 1970.

•The What'd-We-Tell-You? Award—to University of Georgia researchers whose study supports the "theory that homophobia is possibly a response to subconscious or denied homosexual arousal." Homophobes, said Prof. Henry Adams, "despise in other what they see in themselves."

•The Best Visual Depiction of Political Hypocrisy Award—to cartoonist Signe Wilkinson for a drawing labeled "A Republican Family Values Production." It portrays "The First Wives Club": The first Mrs. Bob Dole, the first Mrs. Al D'Amato, the first Mrs. Newt Gingrich, the first Mrs. Phil Gramm, the first Mrs. Rush Limbaugh, and the first Mrs. Dick Armey (LJS, Oct. 19, '96).

•The Pluperfect Pizza Proselytizing Award—to the Anchor Baptist Church of Woburn, Mass, which the AP said "enticed teen-agers and younger children" onto a bus with a promise of free pizza. Instead they were taken to the church, subjected to a sermon, told to put on baptism robes, and totally immersed.

•The Two Pithiest Quotes Uttered at the Same Meeting Award—spoken at the founding convention of a new progressive alliance in Texas: "The divine right of kings has been replaced by the divine right of CEOs" (Ronnie Dugger, founder of The Texas Observer); and "Getting progressives together is kind of like loading frogs in a wheelbarrow" (Jim Hightower, former Texas Ag Commissioner).

The Truth, Mainly


•Best Political News from Orange County, California in Years Award—to the voters who last month turned out of office the nastiest man in Congress, Rep. Robert Dornan. "You are a poor excuse for a Marine," he yelled at a retired colonel who campaigned against him. "You are a pathetic, old, senile man. You are a slimy coward."

•Best Father-Son Dialogue Award—to Rickey Worthley and son of Belton, Mo. When the boy declined his father's 6 a.m. invitation to mow the lawn, the AP reported, Mr. Worthley pushed the mower into the boy's bedroom, started the engine, thereby cutting great clumps of the bedroom carpet. The boy called police who arrested the patriarch and charged him with assault.

•Best Cross-Species Miscommunication Award—to Matthew Settles who jumped into the Manchurian Brown Bear pen of the San Diego Zoo because, a police officer said, "he told us that the bears had motioned for him to join them." He later reconsidered the motion while recovering from groin-repair surgery.

•Really Poor Loser Award (Bible-Quoting Division)—to an unnamed assailant in Dadeville, Ala., who, after losing what the AP called an "early-morning Bible-quoting contest, shot and killed the winner.

•Ugliest Use of Scripture Award—to Alabama state senator Charles Davidson who said that "People who are bitter and hateful about slavery are obviously bitter and hateful against God and his word" because Leviticus says "You may acquire male and female slaves from pagan nations."

•The 18th Century Quotation Most Relevant Today Award—to Jonathan Swift, who, as an Anglican clergyman, observed that "We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another."

Swift's name brought us to a boisterous discussion of who should win this year's Grand Yahoo Award. The debate led to our flinging bits of pizza at one another and being asked by DaVinci's, even before the vote could be tallied, to adjourn sine die, such conclusion further contributing to our a-twittered state.


Lincoln English Professor Satterfield writes to salvage clarity from his confusion. His column appears on alternate Mondays.


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