Thursday, May 31, 2007

It began with locusts. It ends with bees.

Lesbians are going extinct. And bees. A monkey at the Denver zoo has bubonic plague. Last night, while I was masturbating, I was certain I was going to die today. I haven’t yet, but its only 11:15pm.

It’s true, about the lesbians – well, its all true – A New York Times article in Aug. 2006 reported on a growing transsexual trend in the lesbian community: a number of lesbians are having sex change operations to become men, thus rendering them no longer lezzie. Even if they sleep with women after the change. The community is concerned, many are even outraged, as this negates the feminism that is, ideally, inherent in the lesbian spirit.

In the male gay community, the proportion making the switch to vagina is considerably smaller. Gay men seem to be satisfied with dragdom and the occasional hissy fit. And while good Spandex can hide any errant genitalia, the satisfying power of ramming one’s erect (can transsexuals get erections?) long john into another human being, cannot a dildo bring. This is reductive, I know, and what it says about the human desire to mark and control one’s territory, in the way perhaps only penis can, is scary and warrants further discussion.

I’m scared of a lot of things, SARS, nuclear attack, cancer, famine, water shortages, wrongful imprisonment and the three A’s: aneurysm, amputation and AIDS, but I thought I could write bubonic plague and polio off the list – not so fast. I woke this morning with either a hangover or a brain tumor, watching the present millennium unspool like a Saturday Night Live marathon, the shows after it stopped being funny.

The bee rapture. The bees are dying in droves – current hypotheses site cell phone waves, climate changes, pesticides, wind patterns. Bees are sex on wings – pollinating, creating life – if they’re dying, humanity can’t be far behind. If no flowers, then no post-argument, pre-make-up-sex bouquets, no babies – thus death. It began with locusts. It ends with bees.

I remind myself that in the fifties, my mom was crawling underneath her desk at school, or into the bomb shelter at the local post office - that every generation suffers its own myopic horrors, real and anticipated. Still, lesbian attrition rates notwithstanding, it feels to me like we are living in a uniquely scary world.

A close friend says I have a hypersensitivity to the potential for tragedy. Though I am not a depressed person. Scared yes. To revise a cliché – I think I may have my finger on the pulse of my generation’s paranoia. And while not a conspiracy theorist, I do believe it is places like the puppy pastry shop on 8th and A in the East Village that brought about the French Revolution and later, Stalin.

From the G8 summit struggle to the “nefarious chicken-finger pandemic” recently cited in the Times, I’m attuned to the potential for nightmarish upheaval. This is the way the world ends, not with a bang, but a Starbucks.

Apocalypse Bagel has the potential to be many things, a fast-paced thriller with philosophical overtones, or a theoretical mind fuck with agreeable measures of action and gratuitous violence, or a science fiction exercise with spiritual aspirations, or a ripe romance whose threadbare bodice is beyond ripping, all depending on your expectation. (In that sense, it may be something like the afterlife.)

It toys with a number of questions that have resisted resolution for countless generations, like, what on earth are we doing here? Why bother if nuclear annihilation is just around the corner? Did Nikola Tesla really design a field generator that amplifies biocosmic energy? Why are bees going extinct? Who needs to be killed next? Who has to do it? (Trevanian has already answered the last one perfectly: The one who can.)

I am ready to take on your fears. It's time to confront and correlate the anxieties that have, during the present administration, found a humid, non-recyclable Petri dish in which to propagate – a culture of fear. And let it be known, I came of age with Slyvia Plath and Philip Roth, so no discussion of fear could be complete without the sisterhood of sex and death. I like nookie with my nuclear warfare.

What are you afraid of?

With great hope for the future,
Your Scaredy Cat