Boehner and Boners: Is the US a Doner?

I couldn't resist posting this after I saw both of these articles! Here are two articles whose juxtaposition is all too intriguing:

Reuters: House Republicans elect Boehner as leader
Thu Feb 2, 2006 5:20 PM ET
By Richard Cowan and Thomas Ferraro
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Rep. John Boehner of Ohio upset a former deputy to indicted Texan Tom DeLay on Thursday to become majority leader of the scandal-rocked House of Representatives.

With this party leadership election, House Republicans hoped to begin to move beyond ethics problems, tied to lobbyists, that threaten their control of the Congress in the November election.

Rep. Roy Blunt of Missouri had appeared to be the front-runner, based on a long list of public commitments. But Boehner, who campaigned on a vow to seek to renew the party's "spirit and vision," defeated Blunt and Rep. John Shadegg of Arizona in a secret-ballot election by fellow Republicans.
The Big One

Posted on Thursday, February 2, 2006. From one of the fifty winning entries in a contest to design a warning sign for a planned nuclear dumping site at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The contest, sponsored by the Nevada Desert Space Foundation, aimed to find a symbol whose meaning would outlast the projected life span of contemporary language and culture, as the nuclear waste will remain dangerously radioactive for more than ten thousand years. The proposal, by Paul Schollmeier, was accompanied by a line drawing of an erect penis. Greenpeace, Zurich, will exhibit the winning entries later this year. Originally from Harper's Magazine, April 2004.

My proposal is to mark the nuclear repository with a phallic symbol to warn against transgression and trespass, especially if, as seems very likely, our culture should perish. The human phallus presents an immediately and universally recognizable symbol which transcends language and culture. Humans thus ought to have the ability to recognize this symbol as long as we retain our present anatomy. That our anatomy might change drastically in the next ten thousand years appears very unlikely, and if mutations become prevalent, a nuclear disaster of some sort must surely have taken place, and warning signs of any sort would serve no purpose.

I take the phallus to symbolize at once hierarchical and territorial dominance. Of course, some feminists would have much to say about phallocentric folly, but this behavior is a fact of life even in the most enlightened times. The phallus, therefore, presents an image which, for the foreseeable future of our species, should occasion attitudes of respect and circumspection in its beholder. This image ought to cause respect for possible hierarchies represented and circumspection for possible territories defended. Indeed, the very fact that I am using erudite euphemisms to refer to this portion of the human anatomy, not to mention the fact that many, if not most, people will initially react with unease and even aversion to a mere proposal to use the image of an erect penis as a warning sign, attests to the deterrent power this symbol will have on future generations.
The question: is there a subtle message, based on Schollmeier's vision, in the Republicans' elevation of Mr. Boehner to the leadership position?


  1. Have the Republicans erected a metaphorical Schollmeierean "boner" to warn us of a toxic hazard in the congress?

  2. Interesting if you mis-pronounce his name. He is Bay-ner, not boner. But I like the idea!

  3. Maybe it is he, who is mis-pronouncing his name! Anyway I think it's fitting considering how many of those congress folks are real bone heads.


Aldo Leopold: "We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect."

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