Wayward Breasts And The Ever-Vigilant Reign Of Empress Barbie

by Phil Rockstroh

March 1, 2004   


Somewhere in this empire of Paxil and paranoia: A car alarm has sounded, issuing its electronic admonition to the empty air...

Somewhere in this empire of broken-eros and permanent war: A million souls sit in their work cubicles; within us, a nebulous yearning rises, only to be subsumed by the fluorescent lights above and transformed into a low-grade sense of dread.

Somewhere in this empire of the clueless and commodified: High priests of marketing have announced the nullification of the union of Barbie and Ken.

In our collective memory: Televised images of horrific events are seared: A black convertible limousine wheeling into Dealey Plaza on a November morning in Dallas; a winter's sky enshrouded in smoke from the immolation of the space shuttle Challenger; towers, in Lower Manhattan, aflame in jet fuel, bodies falling from the clear and cloudless, early autumn air...

But where were you on that tragic, mid-winter Sunday -- when -- that breast... that Breast of Infamy attacked America, when her guard was down, during half-time at the Super Bowl?

The car alarm continues its tirade to an empty parking lot... Though, in reality, no intruder had disturbed its sanctity; only a sudden gust of wind had been the culprit, disturbing the still, morning air, setting off its alarm, alerting any and all within earshot to the lurking presence of phantoms: Whoop... Whoop-Whoop-Whoop... Whoooooop-Whoooooop-Whooooooooooooop, it besieges us. I'm under attack, it cries out. The threat is imminent! Whoop... Whoop-Whoop-Whoop.... Whoooooop-Whoooooop-Whooooooooooooop!!!

Or: Could it have been traumatized by the breast as well?

Or: Is it warning us of the imminent threat of Weapons of Mass Homosexual Matrimony being deployed in San Francisco?

Sitting in my cubicle, that the corporate oligarchs have provided, a war rages within me... and I'm receiving only highly-censured dispatches from the front.

Here on the home front of my self-awareness, things look so fragile. These days, it seems as if everything could just fly apart at any given moment. The world, and my place in it, seems so flimsy: An empire built of eggshells; it could all shatter in an instant: ...Living on credit, the house of cards of health care, jobs evaporating, so many people like me existing only a couple of paychecks away from ruin...

In the parking lot of the office park, I hear in the distance: Whoop... Whoop-Whoop-Whoop.... Whoooooop-Whoooooop-Whooooooooooooop!!!!

Even Ken and Barbie have split -- not because Ken has come out of the closet and is jetting towards San Francisco to marry G.I. Joe (though that possibility seems altogether plausible) -- but due, I'm told, to corporate decisions involving marketing viability...

As is the case with Ken and Barbie, all aspects of my life nowadays are lived in accordance with corporate caprice.

Though Ken and Barbie seem unruffled by it all -- their perfect plastic features, unfazed by the sundering... I do so envy them.

But beneath it all: I feel torn away from something essential that I cannot name...

Whoop... Whoop-Whoop-Whoop.... Whoooooop-Whoooooop-Whooooooooooooop!!!!

I have begun to fear that feral look my children get in their eyes, nowadays -- it seems as if they're on the verge of the recognition of seeing us all for the frauds we have become and how our corruption has befouled their legacy...

Whoop... Whoop-Whoop-Whoop.... Whoooooop-Whoooooop-Whooooooooooooop!!!!

I must find a way to protect them... from... from... what? From... from that damn Super Bowl breast... Yes, that must be it!

But deep down, I suspect, that the actual reason I hate and fear that breast so much is because I fear my children will find it (and a large percentage of the billions of other pairs of those damn things that exist worldwide) far more appealing than the toxic and phony world we have build for them.

But I could never say such a thing aloud. It makes me feel uneasy even thinking it...

Whoop... Whoop-Whoop-Whoop.... Whoooooop-Whoooooop-Whooooooooooooop!!!!

Yes, the problem must be that breast...

How could it have the temerity to intrude upon the sanctity of the Super Bowl?

"Everyone knows the Super Bowl isn't about sex -- or even violence," I tell myself, but a subversive and sarcastic voice arises from within me:

"Right! -- And the invasions of the Mongrel Hordes wasn't about rape and plunder: It was about spreading cultural diversity."

The monotonous hum of the florescent lights above my cubicle warns me against indulging in sarcastic ruminations regarding such a fine American tradition as the Super Bowl.

But the breast lurks in the shadows of my thoughts... Inside, I carry this wordless sense of dread involving how this breast incident came down.

There was something about the manner in which the breast just suddenly, without warning, revealed itself -- like a terrorist attack, or like a volley of gunfire from a highway sniper; like the attack of that shark in "Jaws;" like the appearance of a world-destroying comet from space; like the arrival -- out of thin air -- of legions of middle-aged queers who have a sudden compulsion to marry one another -- something awesome and awful that shatters my safe, insular world -- a swift and terrible ambush of reality that confronts me with the knowledge of how utterly powerless I am.

Whoop... Whoop-Whoop-Whoop.... Whoooooop-Whoooooop-Whooooooooooooop!!!!

No, I have concluded, I must, at all costs, keep these feelings concealed, even from myself; otherwise, I could be forced to contemplate what I have forsaken, what passions and truths I have traded away for the false sense of security that the corporate order offered me when I tacitly agreed to surrender what was most sacred, vital and alive within me.

Though, at times, I feel as though I might just loose it.

Whoop... Whoop-Whoop-Whoop.... Whoooooop-Whoooooop-Whooooooooooooop!!!!
Whoop-Whoop... Whoop-Whoop-Whoop....

I want to be as unflappable as Ken and Barbie.

And I would be -- except for that damn breast!

Christ, we will not tolerate anymore of that sort of breast-business unloosed upon the land. I'm feeling fragile enough already. It seems as though we are all just barely holding this thing together as it is.

The jiggling of a reckless tit might bring it all down.

Ah, but Barbie's breasts are fixed in place, immovable as Heaven; they are not endowed with the nuisance of nipples nor the annoyance of nuance; they are role models for us all: Steady, firm, intransigent to change, impervious to dangerous passions...

Barbie's plastic physique will endure; it will survive us all... Her perfect form and features will not bio-degrade, will not crumble and collapse like the statues of antiquity... Long after the Statue of Liberty has corroded and collapsed into the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, a million Barbies will remain, unscathed by time, achieving near immortality, vouchsafed in their landfill tombs like Egyptian Pharaohs.

We should erect a giant Barbie in New York Harbor to replace that French-forged slattern that presently occupies the space. Lady Liberty's time has passed: There she stands, draped in her slovenly robe and oxidizing crown -- she resembles an aging, demented Mardi Gras Queen...dazed, drunk, wandering the streets during Lent.

Barbie is a much closer reflection of us and of our true aspirations. She has the perfect corporate face -- plastic, lifelessly perfect. Whether it is mimicked by a table-dancing stripper or a Fox News anchor, her face is the face of our commodified empire.

Whoop... Whoop-Whoop-Whoop.... Whoooooop-Whoooooop-Whooooooooooooop!!!!
Whoop-Whoop... Whoop-Whoop-Whoop....

WOULD SOMEBODY SHUT OFF THAT DAMN CAR ALARM! I'm sorry -- but I'm feeling a little out of sorts, so far this millennium... I feel like I might come unhinged... Damn that tit! Damn those West Coast Queers!

Whoop... Whoop-Whoop-Whoop.... Whoooooop-Whoooooop-Whooooooooooooop!!!!
Whoop-Whoop... Whoop-Whoop-Whoop....

But -- what keeps me sane -- is knowing that Barbie will prove to be our salvation.

Picture this, if you dare: Barbie Versus Breastzilla. Barbie, Our Goddess of Eternal Certainty locked in a war of cosmic proportions with The Evil Breast of the Beast of Chaos and Decay.

This is the Super Bowl of Salvation -- where the stakes are our very souls.

Will Barbie suppress the Breast? Will we be saved?

Or: Are there sleeper cells of breasts waiting to reveal themselves? How many millions of breasts may be subverted to the side of the evil-doers? Will both breasts be drawn in? Perhaps, the other breast might be recruited to spy on its subversive twin?

Divide and conquer: That's the plan... It could be the path to total victory.

Whoop... Whoop-Whoop-Whoop.... Whoooooop-Whoooooop-Whooooooooooooop!!!

We Americans are calling out: Keep us safe. Insulated. Provide us with guarded gated communities of the mind where we will encounter no surprises.

We all want to be like that boy in the sterile bubble -- you know the one they made the movie about... you know, President George W. Bush.

Sheath us in protective plastic wrap like American Cheese -- Yes, keep us pure and simple like American Cheese Food -- not that smelly, French cheese, stinking up the air of our hegemonic rule, blocking the god-given right of our entitled proboscises to smell the fragrant musk of our own unilateral power.

We know that the French are part of the Axis of Odor.

These are perilous times: We have enemies at home and abroad and they want to destroy our way of life, destroy our core values -- the things we so love -- our churches, our families, our belief in God, Super Bowl Sunday... They desecrated the sanctity of Super Bowl Sunday, for the holy love of God!

What's next? Our SUVs, our Hummers, our Winnebagos, our patio decks, our lawn furniture and lawn statuary, our cherished freedom to shop and keep on shopping even when we're broke, our unalienable right to the pursuit of obliviousness, and our absolute entitlement to pursue happiness by devouring the entire planet as if it were a microwave burrito...?

Next: They'll take away our PopTarts, our Paxil, our bug-zappers, our lawn-sprinkler systems, our very pool toys, and assault weapons; then they'll come for our pristine, nearly odorless, yellow, individually-wrapped, processed Cheese Food.

This is a serious threat! We are now at color code Yellow Cheese Food!

At the sound of the warning alert -- all citizens are to take duct tape and plastic sheeting and wrap themselves like individually-wrapped, processed Cheese Food!

We must cover the entire country in protective shrink-wrapping -- then -- we must launch an all out preemptive attack on France: Operation Cheese Food Freedom!

First: Barbie will dispose of the Breast of Eternal Darkness, then she will led our attack on those stinky, moldy cheese-sucking French.

Then we should crown Barbie the ruling Queen of the United States... No... Barbie and Ken -- they should be made the King and Queen of the Earth... No, make that: Emperor and Empress of the Entire Universe.

Whoop... Whoop-Whoop-Whoop.... Whoooooop-Whoooooop-Whooooooooooooop!!!

In the meantime, we must be ready. Sloppiness and uncertainty will undo us all.

Chaos is the enemy; its terror cells of decay proliferate like subversive fungus in the public shower stall of creation.

Empress Barbie's first act should be to overturn the second law of thermodynamics. It should be one strike and you're out for negative entropy.

We must leave nothing to chance: In the remote possibility that a snowball ever does have a chance in hell -- heads should roll!

Our Empress must construct more secret detainment camps, more maximum security prisons, more federal death penalty statutes. Bring back the electric chair! That's the solution, but we need to go bigger -- an electric sofa, -- yes, bigger still -- an electric dining room set!

We need an Edict Against All Uncertainty! Get me The Department of Cosmic Security -- Empress Barbie must enact an Inter-Planetary Patriot Act:

Empress Barbie should decree that all spontaneous utterances should be memorized in advance -- but first these utterances must be submitted to a select committee of the Inter-Planetary Homeland Security Office for approval.

All sporting events should follow the exemplary model provided by professional wrestling. All final scores should be posted prior to the start of each game to avoid any unnecessary anxiety regarding the game's outcome. Furthermore: Since Half-time has proven to be equally as treacherous, all half-time activities will now be staged weeks in advance of said game. Any sign of spontaneous breast related activity will be met with severe consequences and all offending breasts will be detained and forced to wear maximum security brassières (or "Gitmo Bras," as they are referred to among the stalwart ranks of our sin-smiting shock-troops) for the duration of our universe-wide war against terror, untidiness, and any and all other tastelessness and tawdry displays.

Whoop... Whoop-Whoop-Whoop.... Whoooooop-Whoooooop-Whooooooooooooop!!!

We need prayer in the public schools. We need prayer on public transportation. We need prayer in public restrooms!

All passengers boarding flights of the imagination should be searched and stripped of irony, sarcasm, and other dangerous, hidden cargo.

All monsters are to remain under the bed and not fraternize with skeletons in the closet.

We have our work cut out for us: We have so many so-called rights to stifle, so many unruly worlds to subdue, so many star systems to cleanse, so much cosmic dust to vacuum, so many filthy universes to beat-out like dingy rugs.

Whoop... Whoop-Whoop-Whoop.... Whoooooop-Whoooooop-Whooooooooooooop!!!!

We have so little time. Time is an enemy. Time is a thief and I want to see it placed number one on America's Most Wanted.

Time should no longer be allowed to speed up during moments of excitement, nor slow down during moments of tedium -- time should be ordered to arrive on time.

Whoop... Whoop-Whoop-Whoop.... Whoooooop-Whoooooop-Whooooooooooooop!!!!
Whoop-Whoop... Whoop-Whoop-Whoop....

Why does time hate America?

Why do breasts hate America?

Why is Barbie as silent as a statue of Christ on the cross?

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Published March 1, 2004
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