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Men and Flowers

Sort 265 investigates floral masculinity.

by Dear Jon
May 18, 2004

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Now that you mention it, why was there such a moral breakdown in the military at the prison in Iraq?
Dear Blank,
Some time ago in a sort I do not have time to look up, I flamed the students of the Chicago suburb who were involved in violent hazing practices. I found nothing funny to talk about in that event and I find nothing funny in this event. However, I do thank John Stewart of “The Daily Show” on the Comedy Channel for being able to find humor in any situation. Of course, it is biting satire of all the villains involved in this mess.
I could really get on a soapbox. Three other columnists for The Partial Observer treated the prisoner abuse scandal recently and they are much more coherent than me.
I will say only this: What did we expect? Families have dissolved, good manners are considered hypocritical and old-fashioned, and Prime Time has become a cesspool for every kind of personal humiliation. Think of naked people walking around on “Survivor,” and the hideous voyeurism of “Fear Factor.” 

On top of that, you have our Attorney General wanting the unconstitutional Patriot Act to broaden his powers to that of Gestapo Marshal. And for two years, our Secretary of Defense has been winking to the press, the public, the International Red Cross, Amnesty International and the United Nations about the status of prisoners and the Geneva Conventions in Guantonamo. I am not even talking the top secret stuff and whether he or someone else approved certain interrogation techniques. I am talking about two years of smug, public grins about the prisoners in Guantonamo, and two years of an American public collectively shrugging our shoulders.
So again, what did we expect?


Dear Jon:
What is a good way to surprise my favorite girl on her birthday? (Note: I already did the 40 year surprise party, which was a great success.
- No Clue
Dear Clue,
Dust the furniture and vacuum all the floors without being asked.


Dear Jon,

Should people with morals ever consider politics as a career?

Free Thinker
Dear Free,
Government, yes. Politics, maybe not.


Dear Jon,

Is it okay for a man to plant and/or care for flowers? Is there anything remotely manly about it?

Concerned Flower Guy
Dear Flower,
It all depends on the kind of flower being planted. Think of it this way, a rose is a manly flower. It was on the coats of arms for the Tudors and Lancasters in the War of the Roses, (white roses against red roses) that ended in a clash of armored knights at Bosworth Field in 1485. You cannot get much more manly.
Roses have an austere beauty which communicates aesthetic sensibility when purchased and given by a man to a woman. And they have thorns, which means that on your way to your girl-friend’s apartment, if muggers get you in a tight spot the roses can double as a weapon in hand-to-hand combat.
“Leave that guy alone. He’s got a dozen long-stems!”
Carnations are neutral. They are pinned to the clothes of males and females alike during formal rites of passage such as high school proms and weddings. They are also used by all assortments of the gender confused at formal occasions such as weddings in Massachusetts and ordinations in New Hampshire.
Tulips can no longer be a manly flower after "Tiny Tim" played a ukulele and sang "Tip-toe Through the Tulips" in a falsetto on "Laugh-in."
The last flower I want to find in a man’s garden is a bush of “bleeding hearts.”

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