Drama and comedy
If John McCain had served in the army, his bewildering animosity toward repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" would be more understandable. The armies of the world have probably done much to perpetuate the idea that naval tradition is nothing but rum, sodomy and the lash. The marines, as the Navy's hyper-macho bastard offspring, are probably in denial about the whole thing, hence their hostile approach. It's not like they don't have sea duty, after all.
For those who don't know, combat forces comprise about 20 percent of any modern land-based military service. One question is and remains why sexual orientation should be an issue for the 80 percent whose job it is to support the combat arms. Another is to wonder whether anyone in a combat arm would be able to break their concentration long enough to hit on a peer.
Back to McCain. Today's exchange between McCain and Adm. Mullen may hint at the long-standing family feud between McCain and the rest of the regular Navy officer corps. We've had all sorts of little dances about why this celebrity ex-POW did not advance to Rear Admiral, at least upon retirement. The most likely explanation is that he was seen as a troublemaker before he was captured and a troublemaker afterward. To this Navy veteran, Admiral Mullen seemed to be on the verge of forgetting he was addressing Senator McCain, and sliding toward reaming out Captain McCain for shooting his mouth off once again. There was just something in the respective body language. With that history, I'd bet that if Mullen said "black" on this question, McCain would say "white."
Part of my job is to search the Internet for identifying information on physicians, when their surgical and treatment notes don't make their specialty and status clear. As I was doing that today, I came across the fact that specialists in disorders of the colon and rectum now prefer to be called colo-rectal specialists, rather than the old standby, proctologists. Why, ask the laypeople?
Their spokespeople dance as much of a hornpipe as McCain did before Mullen, but it seems clear that the goal is to disarm the abundance of medical humour aimed at proctologists. Although these people seem to enjoy their work, apparently they take exception to being, umm, the butt of so many jokes. For example:
- Q: What kind of accident did the proctologist have?
A: He was rear-ended!
- A proctologist is a doctor who puts in a hard day at the orifice.
- A proctologist is a brain surgeon for lawyers.
Substitute colo-rectal specialist in any of the above and you'll see at once what they're up to: (Well, they may be up to the elbow, but never mind!)
Seeing that people in this field derive much of their amusement from their patients, it seems perfectly fair that amusement should be a two-way street.