Sunday, April 15, 2007

Imus, Anus, and Janus

Anus in the Morning

In New York, at WFAN, they had Imus in the Morning. In Portsmouth, at WNXT, we’ve got Anus in the Morning. Imus, the aging wannabe rapper, is now paying for his potty mouth. Anus in the Morning, the aging wannabe rock star, continues to defecate through his. I’ve heard and read over the years about him, and how controversial he is, but I’ve actually only listened to him once. Somebody who had been in the business told me shock jocks have to be megalomaniacs. A shock jock, according to one online source, is “a slang term used to describe a type of radio broadcaster (sometimes a disk jockey) who attracts attention using humor that a significant portion of the listening audience may find offensive.” Imus used “nappy-headed hos” to describe the Rutgers ladies basketball team, and a significant number of Americans heard about it, were offended by it, and Imus is history.

But Anus in the Morning, a minor-league more muted Imus, is still with us, because advertisers on his show, like SOMC, unlike the advertisers on Imus in the Morning, do not have to worry about a backlash. This after all is Portsmouth. What advertiser is going to raise hell if Anus is occasionally offensive or spouting political opinions in the morning? He is doing his job, which is to see that things don’t change in Portsmouth, that the same old crowd gets away with the same old shit, and that Portsmouth politics remain the same-old sham. Covering for those who run Portsmouth and criticizing “domestic terrorists” in the local reform movement are among Anus’s responsibilities, which is why he periodically attacks the most serious threat to the political status quo, Ward Three councilman Bob Mollette. Just as there are franchise players on sports teams, somebody you can build an organization around, Mollette is a franchise player in local politics: he is someone you could build an honest government around, so naturally Anus in the Morning is going to try to discredit him. One way he tries to discredit Mollette is by criticizing his public service blog. Compare Mollette’s blog with Anus in the Morning’s narcissistic MySpace site and you will get an idea of the totally different universes they live in. In contrast to Mollette, who is truly community oriented, Anus in the Morning – with his hobbies and his music and his online friends and his dogs – is so into himself, so wrapped up in himself, so, like, totally in touch with himself, that he is in constant danger of disappearing up his own you know what.

I mentioned earlier that I listened only once to Anus in the Morning. That was the morning of October 16, 2006, which was the opening of the U.S. Grant Bridge, a bridge that cost many millions more than it was supposed to and because of delays took longer to build than the Golden Gate Bridge. Not wanting to miss the historic opening of the bridge, but figuring that it too might have fallen behind schedule, I tuned in to WNXT on the morning of October 16 to see if I could get an update. Maybe the newsman at WNXT would be providing coverage. What I got instead was Anus in the Morning. If memory serves me, he was broadcasting from the Ramada Inn with his female sidekick – is Misty her name? She was broadcasting from inside while Anus was outside, close to the inaction. Then Anus returned inside, bursting with so much joie de vivre that he was about as much fun as a one-man River Day Parade. Misty asked what was going on outside, and Anus replied, as best I can recall, that “Bob Huff was outside giving people the finger.” Misty was at a loss for words. Or was Misty just confused and not sure what she had just heard? I know I wasn’t sure I heard it right.

Huff, waving or giving the finger?

Without knowing exactly who Bob Huff was, I knew he was part of the Establishment. Somebody took a picture of Huff that morning, a white-haired gent smiling like a politician and waving his left hand at whoever was passing by. He wasn’t giving anyone the finger in the photo, but it would have been so easy for him to just turn his hand over and lift that finger. I learned later Huff was the head of the Chamber of Commerce. So there was Anus on this momentous day of Portsmouth’s history, the day when some hoped Portsmouth’s economic revival was about to begin, a day when schoolchildren and almost every dignitary in town was preparing to walk across the bridge, and there was Anus telling Misty and WNXT’s listeners that the head of the Chamber of Commerce was outside giving people the finger.

An obscene pagan gesture

Those listeners familiar with Anus’s repartee may have understood right away that he was just kidding. Huff wasn’t really giving citizens the bird. It was just Anus’s way of adding a little irreverent levity to the proceedings. You never know what Anus would say next. Goosing up the program, so to speak. “It was the reason many listeners tuned in,” Weston Kosova wrote about Don Imus in Newsweek. “What was he going to say next?” How are you going to keep your listeners tuned in, especially in the morning, for god’s sake, if some of those listeners are cool cats, like Anus, if you don’t keep the wisecracks coming, if you don’t keep them wondering what he's going to say next? Hell, the last thing Anus wants anyone to think when they tune in to WNXT is that they were listening to Zeke Mullins. Zeke had never played with “an old time rock and roll band called The TroubleMakers. Zeke had never lived “in a secluded and most beautiful area of the Wayne National Forest in Southern Ohio.” I am quoting from Anus’s MySpace website. Zeke Mullins wouldn’t have a MySpace website in a million years.

Maybe Huff was not giving people the finger and maybe Anus never said he was. Maybe . . . But wait a second. If you have any consciousness you can still call your own, or if your unconscious is not totally brain dead, there’s probably more in this finger business than meets the eye. Holding up the middle finger is an ancient obscene gesture, substituting for the erect penis, and was used widely as an insult in pagan cultures. Wikipedia says giving the finger is shorthand for “Fuck you!” It is especially insulting to a male, because there is only one way for a male to be fucked – unnaturally – so it is the ultimate insult, the ultimate degradation, for a male, to be given the finger because a fucked male is no better than a female. Males who have never been in combat, or played football, need to find ways to prove their manhood, and giving the finger makes them feel like one of the guys. Witness the callow George W. Bush giving the finger in the following YouTube clip. Even though he loves to dress in camouflage fatigues, rub elbows with fighting men, and go quail hunting, Vice President Cheney is not willing or able to go as far as Dubya and give the finger. Never having served in the military, not even in the National Guard, as Dubya has, Cheney, the father of an artificially inseminated lesbian daughter, has to settle for telling Senator Leahy of Vermont, on the Senate floor, “Go fuck yourself!” That’s not quite the same thing, is it, as “Fuck you!”? No, “Go fuck yourself” is more like artificial insemination.

But isn’t that what the “Fuck you!” crew in Washington is doing, like their two-bit counterparts in Portsmouth? Aren’t they always giving the citizens the finger? Aren’t our local Castrati giving the people the finger and saying “Fuck you” when they filch $2 million from the city for an empty department store and then won’t give the money back when the sale is ruled illegal? Aren’t our local Castrati giving the people the finger and saying “Fuck you” when they appoint to the City Council a local lawyer with a reputation for involvement with prostitutes and drugs? Aren’t the Castrati making that finger even more obscene whey they get that same councilman appointed chair of a committee that is going to decide where the new city building will be, in spite of the fact that that same councilman was and remained the lawyer for the absentee landlord whose property the Building Committee ending up recommending as the site for the new city building? Aren’t our local Castrati giving the people the finger and saying “Fuck you” when they appoint the wife of a former disgraced mayor to run that inglorious Porksmouth pork project known as the Welcome Center, a job for which she is about as qualified as her husband had been to be mayor, before he was recalled from office by a 2 to 1 margin? I could give other examples, but I need to move on to my final point.

On April 14, Anus in the Morning attempted to cover his ass when he, as the front page of the Daily Times put it, “weighed in on Imus firing.” Weighed in? That such an intellectual lightweight could weigh in on anything would be news. “I think it will be like the Janet Jackson incident was for television,” Anus told the reporter interviewing him, referring to the Imus mess. No, Anus, you don’t want to go there, you cluck, because by using Janet Jackson, who is a breast baring black woman as your example, you are implying that what Imus said is true: black women are “hos.” But Anus was only just beginning to show what a ninny he is. Because he then goes on to predict in the interview that Imus would not be fired. Waxing indignant, he gets in even deeper, saying Imus “should have been fired a long time ago,” but he does not fail to point out, name-dropper that he is, that he had once met Imus way back when. What an ass-kissing encounter that must have been. Some of the hundreds of politicians, authors, and entertainers who appeared on Imus's show to further their career, were quick to criticize or denounce him once he was fired by CBS and NBC.


The highlight of the Daily Times interview is this quote by Anus in the Morning: “Imus didn’t attack political figures. He attacked a whole team of children actually.” Having hung around MySpace for as long as he has, Anus appears to have trouble distinguishing children from young adults. These are not children. They are young women. They are in college, not grade school. They are old enough to vote and to serve in the military. But Anus of course wants to hold himself up as a defender of helpless children, as he holds himself up as the St. Francis of abandoned dogs on his MySpace website. Children are sometimes stalked on MySpace by sexual predators. If Anus wants to defend anyone, defend those children, get outraged about them, not 18 to 21 year-old young women who can handle themselves without his patronizing assistance. Anus closes the interview by admitting he sometimes makes “comments” about political figures, including Portsmouth City Council. Oh, really? “But I don’t do it to be mean-spirited as a way to take somebody out, " he says. "I’ve never meant to harm anyone.” No, of course not. Anus is not like Imus, you see. Anus is not now nor ever has been a shock jock. Anus is like the Roman god Janus. He is two-faced.


If you should happen to hear a newscaster on WNXT say at noon, “It has been three hours since Anus in the Morning was last seen. He was sitting right here at WNXT, doing his show, when he disappeared, without a trace. It is a complete mystery and even Misty, who was sitting right next to him, is mystified. Where did he go to? What is going to happen to those dogs at his forest retreat? Chief Horner has not ruled out the possibility that domestic terrorists had something to do with his disappearance.” If you should happened to hear that newscast, do not exclude the possibility that what actually happened was that Anus fucked himself and disappeared up you know where.