No doubt, I’m not your typical Yale alumna. I’m not a propertied billionaire or even millionaire—legacy or self-made—nor a tenured academic, scientist, CEO, lawyer, stockbroker, political operative or journalist embedded with the MSM, like many of my distinguished classmates.
My profession—and passion—is that of “sexologist,” the only one in my class… at least the only one that’s out of the closet about it.
I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve and my sexual freedom across my chest. I also tend to cover my Ivy-edumacated brain with a hat, preferably a big hat.
As such, I forego the buttoned-up suits, preppy crew neck sweaters and boat neck blouses typical of the Ivy League for lingerie and latex. Not that I ever wore suits or boating attire much, even while an undergrad, being more the hippie tie-dye type… when not in costume for a play or streaking naked through Old Campus “for peace.”
Nevertheless, I am a proud magna cum laude graduate of Yale University, Class of ’77.
I haven’t always been so proud. Maybe it has to do with not being “typical,” but for over a decade, I’d tell people I went to college in “New Haven.” Actually, for various reasons, a lot of Yalies do this. Not that it conceals the Yale bona fides, since nobody thinks we mean Quinnipiac College. We just say it to be cool and/or because we cringe at coming off as “elitist.”
I confess, I have a longstanding inclination to critique the “elites,” and ivy-adorned Yale University—envisioned by the theocratic Reverend John Davenport, co-founded in 1701 by prominent witch-hunting Puritan Cotton Mather and Christened after its biggest benefactor, wealthy British colonialist Elihu Yale (later indicted for corruption)—is nothing if not elite.
Couldn’t the Metaverse just digitize privilege, call it “e-lite” and sell bits of it like bitcoin?
We Yalies were marked the “best and brightest,” which was something of a Mark of Cain, as graduating from Yale was and is no guarantee of intelligence, but more of an indication that you do well on tests. Or that your Dad did well on tests, well enough for you to get in too. Or, more likely, your Dad or your Dad’s Dad contributed a lot of money, big bones for the Bulldog.
Honestly, seeing Yale’s most notorious “C student” attempt to denounce the “wholly unjustified and brutal invasion of Iraq—I mean, Ukraine…hehe… Iraq too! Anyway…” was enough to make any Eli—elite or on the street—want to hide our diplomas.
It was my husband Max who helped me see my Yale degree a little differently. For everyGeorge W. Bush, there was a Samuel Morse—inventor of the Morse Code. For every awful Brett Kavanaugh (Yale Class of ’87) who makes me want to hang my Bulldog face in shame, there’s an awesome Lupita Nyong’o (Yale Drama MFA 2012) who fills me with ivy pride. It all evens out, more or less, and— Magna Cum Laude or just me-coming-loudly—Yale’s a part of my life. So, thanks to Max, I gradually started to show off my Yale degree… with a twist.
I’m not the first Eli to hang a Bulldog pennant on the wall behind her bed, but it happens that said bed is also where I broadcast my weekly talk shows. Like a chef hosts a cooking show from the kitchen surrounded by pots and pans, I host my sexuality show from bedsurrounded by sex toys… and a pennant emblazoned with “For God, For Country And For Yale.”
It was never expressly stated, but I’ve always felt that bit of boola-boola helped seal the deal for my HBO specials, executive-produced by proud fellow Yalie Sheila Nevins (Yale Drama MFA 1963). Not that I didn’t deserve it on “merit,” but we know the clubby nature of elites.
SWAY crushed by Dick
After watching one of these HBO specials, Sex Week at Yale (SWAY) founder Eric Rubenstein, Class of ‘2004, invited me to speak at the first SWAY in 2002 and every SWAY thereafter through 2012. Good times! Indeed, those special winter weeks around Valentine’s Day, the High Holidays of Love, were sex educational, mind-body-and-soul-expanding times for the students, faculty and special guests who were lucky and brave enough to participate. As for me, I felt welcomed back into the bountiful bosom of Mother Yale every other year. That is, until former Yale President Richard Levin stopped SWAY from swaying.
And what a shame that was. Under pressure from corporate interests, Yale-in-Singapore,an entrenched over-privileged fraternity system, and well-funded, ruthless anti-sex-education, Christofascist media, including Focus on the Family, Master Dick forced SWAY to bow to his haughty, erotophobic and demeaning demands. Then he crushed it anyway under his elite J. Press tassel calfskin loafer.
Incidentally, Yale college supervisors are—or were—called “Masters,” so “Master Dick” is actually not as outrageous a nickname for former President Richard Levin as it sounds. In fact, as the head of Yale, he could—I’m taking a leap here—be called “Master Dick, Head (of Yale).”
Silly puns aside, Dick Levin is gone, replaced by a kinder, gentler Yale President, Peter Salovey, whose groundbreaking work in Emotional Intelligence I appreciated enough to quote in The Bonobo Way. I’d like to believe Pete would not have crushed Sex Week at Yale like Dick did.
People ask if I’ll ever “bring it back,” but it’s not up to me. Maybe Yale students will resurrect Sex Week at Yale, or put on their own version for the 2020’s—or 2030’s (assuming the Megamachine lets human civilization last that long). Hey, a sexologist can dream…
Besides being the quintessential e-lite academic institution (that other school in Cambridge notwithstanding), Yale has a tradition of elite-critiquing—from Nathan Hale spying on King George III to Chaplain William Sloane Coffin leading protests against the War in Vietnam to socialist economist Richard D. Wolff condemning capitalism in our times—and I am proud to be a part of that tradition, in my fashion.
Rightwing Coup Anon’ers portray Yale as a hotbed of “woke,” decadent Marxism. So, “elite critiquing” doesn’t only come from the Left, though it tends to be accompanied by a large side order of garbage when delivered by the Right. Seeing neo-Puritan Senator Tom Cotton get pilloried in social media for vainly trying to denigrate brave Yale student protesters against Christofascist speakers as “fragile… Leftwing children” made me proud of my school.
To kick off this special boola-boola weekend, I put a small Yale pennant on my big blue hat with Y-A-L-E emblazoned across my chest, accompanied by an assortment of other Eli-positive accessories, including a “Y” pendant hand-woven by Twin Towers in-house designers with the blue and white threads of inmate uniforms. The opposite of elite and light as a flower, it occasionally flips around and upside down, turning the “Y” in the circle into a peace sign, which I take as a good omen.
One accessory that was seen only by Max and my selfie stick was my Yale University thong—or thongs—received as gifts and purchased over the years at the Boola Boola shop on Broadway.
These thongs were just good wholesome collegiate underwear, until one otherwise fine day in 2006. I had just produced a Yale Whim ‘n Rhythm concert in which Yale thongs were flashed, which got some very elite Yale corporate lawyers’ panties in a twist, and they told the Boola Boola shop to stop selling those thongs and me to stop showing them… or else!
The shop stopped, but I did not.
In fact, I told Yale’s killjoy counselors to go ahead and sue me. They said they most certainly would, but never did. Sometimes you’ve just got to call the bluffs of these blustering elites—and not let them scare the panties off of you.
We passed our home Covid tests and took meticulous photos of our negative results before leaving Bonoboville, expecting we’d have to take another test when we reached New Haven. After all, the plane was packed with heavy breathers, most of whom were gleefully maskless.
It was our first flight since our carefree, pre-Coronapocalypse, Mile High Club days, and we were both recovering from our wild Bonoboville Reunion and a whirlwind DomCon 2022, with a bout of pneumonia in between.
The kissing helped, but overall, the new post-Coronapocalyptic flying experience—once a nomadic pleasure brimming with delightful possibilities of connecting with old and new friends and lovers—is a paranoid, overcrowded chore.
Speaking of the good old days, why don’t we take a tip from the “smoking sections” of yore and seat the maskless in the back of the plane? Never mind, I can already see the fists flying before the planes even take off.
The best part of our new air travel experience was Max’s wheelchair. Having let Delta know in advance that my Yale Husband, due to his various ailments, would need assistance, a charming attendant whisked him along through the fast lane as I jogged to keep up. The adrenaline rush, along with the edibles I took before leaving Bonoboville, helped beam me up above the Delta dystopia that threatened to swallow me in swarming madness.
Thank Goddess, the maskless, softly snoring individual next to me spent most of the flight burrowed into the window. I burrowed into Max and checked out the video fare, passed on “King Richard”—the film that won an Oscar for the dude who’d just punched a comedian at the Oscars—and picked films about three of my lifelong “sheroes,” Dr. Jane Goodall, Erin Brockovich and Frida Kahlo. Maybe it was the edibles, but I felt the passions of these amazing women intersecting with my own like a Venn diagram—Erin for the environment, Jane for the apes, and Frida for erotic art.
Frida Kahlo, who spent even more quality time in bed than me, has long been a great artistic socialistic inspiration. I’ve admired Erin Brockovich even longer, and not just because Salon snarkily compared my push-up bra’ed efforts to save the bonobos to the activist’s own cleavage-enhanced environmentalism. My Jane Goodall love goes back even further. What a great primatologist and advocate for chimps and all the apes—including me. I was honored when Tom Quinn tongue-in-cheek dubbed me “Jane Goodall After Dark,” and deeply touched when Jane’s assistant emailed me to say she “loved” the Bonobo Way.
Goodall, Kahlo and Brockovich all worked with and against elites to further their causes. Perhaps I’d been doing the same—at least trying to—with the Bonobo Way… or did I flatter myself with such grand comparisons?
I may not be in that Big 3, but at least, I didn’t punch a comedian at the Oscars—let alone bomb anybody at all, like some of my aforementioned fellow Eli alumni.
Return to Yale
Before we could say “go bonobos,” we’d arrived in New York, two very sleepy seniors, one plastered with Yale logos and the other in an “I Love Dr. Susan Block” cap, ripe for being exploited in the sleazy transportation tangle of fast-talking hustlers and exhaust-belching vehicles surrounding JFK.
I could almost hear the predators salivating all around us, though that was probably as much in my imagination as the great “crime wave” is in the Republican narrative.
Because soon enough, Vinnie from the Bronx (seriously), by way of the Dominican Republic, found us, convinced us he wasn’t a predator—or a liberal mirage—and transported us to New Haven for a reasonable fee, as he chatted with us about life, love and how unfair the U.S. embargo was on his cousins in Cuba (of course, we agreed). Then he ate bagels with us when we reached the Yale registration office two hours early, and would have stayed over with us if we’d booked another bed in the dorm.
Yes, we booked dorm rooms for this reunion, since all the hotels were either full or at prices too elite for us. What the dorms lacked in comfort, they made up for in thrift. But did I mention we two geriatric jetsetters were on the fourth floor of this charming neo-colonial edifice with elegant bannisters and no elevator? Thank Goddess for Alejandro Campillo(Class of 2022) graciously dragging our bags all the way up those winding stairs.
Not being able to sleep together really sucked. There we were in two single, extremely narrow dorm room beds anchored to separate walls in adjoining rooms. So, we did it like students, snuggling up for sex in one cot, then splitting up for sleeping, studying or stepping out for pizza (sorry New York—and Rome, but New Haven Wooster Street pizza is numero uno). Ah, the pleasures and pains of boarding school sex! Even seniors can enjoy it… and suffer from it—although those kinds of pains are kind of nice.
But before all that erotic intimacy and joint agony, we had to register. Yale Class of ‘77 was assigned the remotely located residential college of Timothy Dwight, so far from Commons, I’d never ventured inside of it as a student, at least not while sober.
We were surprised the reunion desk administrators didn’t even look at those carefully-snapped photos of our Covid-negative tests, let alone administer fresh tests right there (as we did at our Bonoboville Reunion). We weren’t the only alumni who were a little disturbed by this. We Yalies like to protect our elite immunocompromised asses.
Well, some of us do. While I imagined a fully masked reunion like Eyes Wide Shut without the orgies, the real thing was far more mundane, masks half-on and off, though mostly off, as we vainly tried to maintain distance, knocking elbows, facing forward for photos and nodding at familiar and not so familiar faces.
Mostly not familiar to me, since my three and a half years at Yale coincided with the three and a half years of my life most colored, so to speak, by LSD aka acid, psychedelic mushrooms and week-long peyote trips through The Stacks of Sterling Library, beautiful Beinecke Hall (where I took an independent study course in ancient Tibetan art with Professor Wesley Needham, one of the original New Deal architects of Yale whose face is carved into the entryway to Trumbull College), the tomblike outside of Skull & Bones (never the inside), the ultra-elite “secret society” of the Bushes and other frighteningly powerful Yalies, and the actual tombs of Grove Street Cemetery.
And yes, despite or perhaps because of my hallucinogenic extra-curricular activities, it took me just three and a half years, as opposed to the standard four, to graduate, not that I did it to show off or because I was particularly bright.
The sad truth was that my dear Dad (not a Yale grad) was developing Parkinson’s disease, and my parents were running out of money to pay that elite college tuition, so my best bet to avoid a Mount Vesuvius of student debt was to overload my schedule with easy courses (no challenge for a Theater Studies major) and graduate six months early.
Maybe if I’d been able to give my undergraduate education its full four years like my elite, student-loan-free peers, I’d be smarter about things, like when and how to wear the damn mask. Hard to say. Somehow, I felt okay taking maskless photos because we were all facing forward, though I suspected I was flirting with disaster.
Good thing “disaster” was only flirting—no serious dating—because both Max and I emerged from our 45th Yale Reunion Covid-free. Nevertheless, the specter of the spiky little virus seemed to hang in the air or lurk behind the bar, dividing, not uniting—or at least, not helping. Though first-night cocktails under the Timothy Dwight tent were nice enough, it just wasn’t as intimate and exhilarating as the first night of, say, our 2017 Reunion when we shared a cup at Mory’s Temple Bar.
Mory’s is historically elitist-to-the-drunken-core, but that “sharing” tradition—passing around the big, inscribed, silver loving cup filled with a mystical concoction of liquors, juices, ice, unknown aphrodisiacs and your drinking companions’ saliva, as everyone takes a swallow without letting the urn touch the table (or it goes over your head)—reminds me of bonobossharing food (and sex) along with silly pranks, and it’s a big reason it was so much fun.
Nowadays, Mory’s isn’t so elitist; anyone can get in. However, “sharing a cup” in 2022—at Mory’s or Denny’s—sounded as appealing as slurping up a puddle of bacteria infested sputum in the alley outside Toad’s Place.
With that in mind, we safely sipped our separate drinks under Timo’s tent.
After making merry (or as merry as we could) and then coming together in the dorm room, Max and I rolled onto our single beds and fell into the fitful sleep of the jetlagged.
Friday morning breakfast found us sitting across from my classmate John Robinson Block and his lovely fiancé Mary. Despite sharing a last name, John and I are not related. We barely even spoke as students, John being an arch conservative favoring bowties and ascots—“elite” to the point of caricature—and me being a left-of-liberal feminist hippie favoring jeans or nothing at all (we called it “streaking” back in the day), a “sexy lefty”… to the point of caricature.
So, there we sat, two Yale caricatures at our 45th reunion. We had previously stumbled upon each other at our 40th, when life wasn’t quite as polarized, and we shared a laugh over our same last names and sartorial flamboyance. Little did I know that the old Block surname (via John’s family) would come to haunt me the day after January 6th 2021, the infamous Insurrection, aka the “Rape of the Capitol,” aka Coup Anon. What a crazy day that was for everyone on all sides of the MAGAt mess, and for me, it revolved, rather ridiculously, around my last name.
Thus, on January 7th, 2021, I found myself explaining to various concerned friends, foes and media outlets that no, I was NOT Susan Allan Block, the wealthy, Insurrection-cheeringOhio Arts Council Board of Directors member (think Ginni Thomas with a taste for Renoir), making headlines by posting particularly ardent fangirl support for the Orange One and his attempted coup, but simply Susan Marilyn Block, bonobo-loving, Trump-loathing sexologist.
Susan ALLAN Block’s artistic expression on Facebook read as follows (caps hers): “NO PEACE, NO UNITY, NO CONCESSION.” The way my name-twin called President-elect Joe Biden “ILLIGITIMATE” [sic] and Veep-elect Kamala Harris a “WHORE” made my sex-worker-supportive, spellcheck-abiding head spin.
Making matters even weirder that day, I discovered that Susan Allan Block is married to Allan Block, twin brother of John Block, the gentleman in the ascot smiling across from me at breakfast on the first morning of our Yale reunion.
This particular Block clan (there are a few) runs Block Communications which publishesthe radical Rightwing Toledo Blade and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (whose workers, as I write this, are on strike). Just as this Block has been cheering for Trumpty Dumpty’simpeachment, imprisonment and—most important—disappearance from my news feed, these other Blocks appear to have been rooting for the MAGAt mob… from a safe, elite distance, of course.
All of this flashed through my mind as we made small talk, shared recipes and memories of Italy and, in true elite form, said nothing of our extreme political differences. John and Max seemed to genuinely bond over their passion for pasta primavera. I marveled at how we friendly primates—no matter how elite or extremely different we think we are—can always find ways to connect when motivated.
I personally was not so motivated, partly because I’m still smarting over John’s MAGAt-cheering sister-in-law sharing my name, and partly because I was vainly trying to prepare for my leadership role at the “Roundtable” that would take place any minute at this very table.
At least the topic was one I could talk about in my sleep: “Peace, Love and Bonobos.” I’d just done a similarly themed talk, “Make Kink Not War: Be Bonobo,” albeit for a very different audience, the kinky latex-clad “elites” of DomCon 2022.
Needless to say, John and Mary politely left our breakfast table before it turned into a Leftish “Roundtable” talk, and a group of more politically sympatico Yalies soon filled the empty seats.
I liked the idea of a Roundtable, conjuring fairy tales of King Arthur and those sexy Knights in their kinky armor, trying to be bonobo, or as bonoboësque as you can be when you’re doing all that jousting and crusading (not very).
A roundtable also sounded so much more equalizing and peace-loving than the table that was dominating the news at the time: that endlessly long war table of Vladimir Putin’s that you could just imagine him calmly sitting at as he bombed his “brothers” in Ukraine.
At that point (if not before), NATO sat itself down at the other end of Putin’s ridiculously long imperial dining table, with no effort to make it round—or make peace—as the two parties on either end started lobbing dishes (bombs) at each other. Months later as I write this, they are still at it, with neocons, neoliberals and even some so-called “progressives” all joining the fight that only profits the dish makers (the war profiteers). Will they keep it up until all the dishes shatter, the middle collapses and the parties at both ends fall into the breech, i.e., nuclear war?
Back to the “roundtable” which implies that there are no elites, no “heads” or masters. All are equal, in the round—at least in terms of the table.
Of course, equal doesn’t necessarily mean anarchy, and even in King Arthur’s circular countertop of chivalry, everybody didn’t talk at once. Somebody had to lead the discussion, and today, that somebody was me.
Why “Peace, Love and Bonobos”?
I chose “peace” as a theme because here we were (and still are) at war (again). Even prior to my time at Yale, I protested war and the military megamachine for which Yale and so many other elite universities are think tanks. I am still protesting war, every single war that America has started—or instigated—in my lifetime, and I’m still researching the tricky process of peace.
I chose “love” because this year, Max and I have been celebrating our 30th anniversary of lawfully married love. Interestingly and rather romantically, we fell in love, at least in part, due to our aversion to war. The year was 1991, and we were both opposed to a very popular war, Desert Storm, a.k.a. the *First* Gulf War, under the command of U.S. President George H. W. Bush, Sr. (Yale Class of 1948).
Desert Storm would reverse the rather healthy and sane “Vietnam Syndrome” (American citizens’ natural aversion to war), much to the detriment of our nation and the world. Yet all bad things in life have some good, and one of the First Gulf War’s inadvertent consequences was bringing Max and me, two peaceniks in a sea of war cheerleaders, together… forever!
I also chose “love” because I didn’t think it would be polite to write “sex” on the Yale Roundtable card, and “love” is a pretty good euphemism for sex. I had addressed the topic of “Sexuality and Aging” on our 30th reunion panel, and now here we all were, a decade and a half older. Yikes! For many of us, good old-fashioned penis-in-vagina (PIV) sexual intercourse is proving more challenging—mostly due to our advancing age, but also thanks to various environmental and social factors that seem to “conspire” against good PIV sex these days. Therefore, we might want to explore different types of outercourse over intercourse as a primary erotic activity, perhaps getting into kink and/or going deeper into intimacy, and anyway, it’s all about love, or it should be.
I chose “bonobos,” because I love bonobos, the “Make Love Not War” chimpanzees who swing through the trees as well as with each other. They also happen to be humanity’s closest Great Ape cousins, and perhaps that tells us something about our own randy desires.
But here’s the kicker: Not only do bonobos engage in a LOT of sex in a Bonobo Sutra of positions and relationships, but they have never been seen killing each other in the wild or captivity. They make peace through pleasure.
Bonobos empower the females more than any other ape, but they also nurture the males. There are no incels in Bonoboville. Not every bonobo has sex for procreation, but all engage in sex for recreation. Perhaps most critical, bonobos see the “sharing” of food, sex, resources, love and all good things—even with strangers—as a virtue and a pleasure.
I may be an old peacenik, but I’m not the only one who yearns for peace in these times of Perma War. Most call the constant churn of military destruction “Forever War,” but I think that sounds too romantic. I call it Perma War because it’s like Perma Press, except instead of pants that won’t crease, it’s wars that won’t end.
But are human beings even capable of peace? And who will show us the way? Elite think tanks? Lost tribes? Angels? Aliens? Pundits?
Or how about our closest living cousins who exhibit this remarkable ability to make peace through sharing pleasures? “How about bonobos?” I not-so-humbly suggested to my in-the-round table of equal elites. To seal the deal, I brought up the Yale connection.
Back in 1925—four years before bonobos were officially identified in 1929—the original Yerkes Primate Center on Hillhouse Avenue at Yale housed a remarkably good-natured chimp named Prince Chim. Later, primatologists determined that Prince Chim was a bonobo, probably the very first to live in America.
Prince Chim taught Dr. Yerkes, about the nature of what primatologist Frans de Waal calls “hedonic kindness.” The megamachine teaches us the opposite, that greed is good—at least for the “elites”—but is it? Bonobos show us that sharing is good, that helping others is pleasurable as well as meaningful, that being good feels good. Recognizing that “truth” can lead to releasing our inner bonobo individually and even socially. In any case, it is inherent to our primate nature.
So, there’s hope for us.
But there’s not a lot of time. We human apes need to learn as much as we can from bonobos before they go extinct. In fact, we need to ensure their very uncertain survival—thanks, to a great extent, to elite and brutal Western colonialization of their native habitat of the Congolese rainforest—and in turn, they might just return the favor by showing us a better way, a bonobo way.
Perhaps one day, the MSM will make a totally inaccurate docudrama about SWAY like they do about everything else. In the meantime, I’ll continue to tell it as I saw it: Sex Week at Yale was a joyous yet serious, playful yet responsible, diversified and meaningful, student-conceived and operated, biannual week of higher sex education that was crippled and then crushed by cowardly former Yale President Richard Levin as a scapegoat for the bad behavior of Yale’s wealthiest, most elite fraternities, including Delta Kappa Epsilon (DKE), of which G.W. Bush happens to be a former president.
The DKE boys led the infamous march through the streets of New Haven yelling “No Means Yes! Yes Means Anal!” Sex Week at Yale had nothing to do with that or DKE’s other campus crimes. But SWAY was squashed and DKE marches on.
From swinging bonobos to SWAY and politics, I could have chatted with the charming knights and brave ladies of my roundtable all day. However, the tirelessly genial catering crew was clearing all the roundtables of everything—including people—to prepare for the next round…
Yale Treasures Handsome Dan & M.G. Lord
As for what we did next… I honestly don’t remember. I think Max and I went back to our dorm room which, being on the elite fourth floor, was quite the climb.
Then… maybe we had sex. Maybe we collapsed after our hike up Mount Timothy. We were still pretty jet-lagged. I do remember changing clothes. I didn’t think it appropriate to be Ms. Sex Week at Yale all day. So, I went from black and red to classic Yale blue, adorned with a logo-laden Lux et Veritas scarf given to me by Saybrook Master (yes, Master!) Mary Miller upon delivering my second SWAY Master’s Tea in 2008. Draping myself in silky shields and esoteric symbols, I fantasized I was an elite Lady cosplaying in drag as a Roundtable Knight conspiring to overturn the Medieval Megamachine, roll back the Crusades and return all the stolen, ravaged land to the native peoples and non-human animals before it was too late.
Speaking of nonhuman animals, one of my favorite encounters of Reunion Weekend involved the legendary Romeo of Elihu, Handsome Dan.
Good thing for Max, Handsome Dan is not a man. He is 14th in a distinguished line of English bulldogs serving as Yale mascots going back to 1890. Our encounter on a bucolic bench in the Timothy Dwight Courtyard, snapped by Dan’s talented human caretaker, Kassandra Haro ’18, was so photogenic, it won—well, tied for—first place in the Yale Alumni Photo Contest. Whoop! Whoop! Pretty elite.
What is it about that big, wrinkled dog face that’s so damn cute? Um… I was talking about Handsome Dan XIX (to be precise), not myself.
Our rapport reminded me of my “Survival of the Friendliest” interview with dog and bonobo experts Dr. Brian Hare and Vanessa Woods. Both dogs and bonobos can teach humans a lot about friendliness and how to make peace through sharing different kinds of pleasures.
Much as Dan and I enjoyed the pleasure of each other’s company, Caretaker Kassie held Yale’s canine ambassador to his busy Alumni Weekend schedule. That left me with my fellow humans who did not disappoint. The excellent entertainment featured the Class of ‘77’s own celebrated author M.G. Lord, who told several mirthful tales, including one about her mother warning her of the dangers of hotel bedspreads because “people had sex there.”
That warning didn’t stop M.G. from staying in hotels—or, I would hope, having sex in hotels—though she might silently calculate Mother Lord’s Rule, “the sperm count should be lower than the thread count.”
For Max and me, forgoing the hotel for the dorm this year was less about sperm count or thread count than bank account. The rich get richer, and the poor pay more.
But M.G.’s joke did remind me that Yalies don’t mind sex talk, as long as there’s a hefty dose of erotophobia thrown in for balance.
After the entertainment, I took a few more selfies with my elite classmates.
“This isn’t going on some site is it?” asked one.
“Oh yes,” I replied. “PornTube!”
“It’s the end of all of us,” said another, as we all laughed for different reasons.
Bombing & Getting Bombed
Saturday morning’s Y-A-L-E tank top was a cheerful shade of turquoise that absolutely nothing else in my suitcase matched. Current fashionistas say, “matching is for old people,” so I decided not to give a damn, and anyway, I matched Max.
Was “Right to Riot”-supporting Oath Keepers Commander Stewart “Yale-to-Jail” Rhodes (Yale Law, 2009) lurking nearby in full body armor? Honestly, Stew is more sex-obsessed than me, inserting details of his alleged lawyer romance into his testimony, which didn’t exactly endear the jury who found him guilty of the rare charge of “seditious conspiracy.” Didn’t Rhodes’ Yale Law education teach him how to defend aiding and abetting a regime change? Oh, maybe that’s just for foreign countries…
Might a more successful Insurrection-defending Yale grad, like Ron DeSantis (Yale, 2001), make an appearance to *ensure* we’re being tortured legally like he did as a CIA lawyer in Guantanamo? Then I remembered NeoCon Ron was too busy turning the state of Florida into a Fascism-Lite launching pad for his more imperial ambitions to bother interrupting our little college reunion.
After an exchange of recipes and pleasantries with John and Mary, Max and I took the shuttle from TD-Siberia to York and Chapel for the Yale Dramat Open House where we were greeted by one masked Dramat student and a couple of lost alumni. Not that I was expecting paparazzi, but it was a bit sad, especially the lone Mory’s cup on a coffee table, not to be sipped from, but just gazed upon like a relic in a museum of ancient bacchanalian rites.
We strolled down York past Toad’s Place, bringing back memories of performances and Sex Week at Yale after-parties, plus a Pimps ‘n Ho’s soirée I attended thrown by G.W. Bush Jr’s daughter, Barbara Pierce Bush (Yale, 2004).
That’s right, as Barb’s Dad was bombing Iraqis, Barb was getting bombed on Kamikazes in big red plastic cups, safe in the bosom of Mother Yale. Like her namesake, perhaps the younger Barbara Bush just didn’t want to “waste her beautiful mind on… body bags and death.”
Who would have thought that the dark side of “Lux et Veritas” would be a cozy little dorm room bed for monstrous murderous lies?
Into the light!
No Forced Breeding!
I hurried through cross-campus, eager to join my fellow freedom-fighting feminists at the pro-abortion rights rally being held at the Women’s Table sculpture designed by Maya Lin in front of Sterling Memorial Library, and this old protester was not disappointed.
It was a decent-sized, friendly but fuming crowd. Even though the Supreme Injusticeshadn’t yet officially ruled on Dobbs at the time, there was a feeling of dread in the late spring air… and from it sprung comradery. Several of my classmates, many other alumni and students from all Yale classes, were there to be counted.
At first, I basked in the nostalgia of shouting slogans and standing up for women’s rights at Yale—just like the old days of “feminist consciousness raising”—but that was soon overtaken by supreme disgust that we have to do this all over again.
The rally was organized by members of the Class of 1987, Brett Kavanaugh’s own classmates. I suppose they know better than most what an arrogant, misogynistic, lying, crying, shitfaced, little hypocrite he is.
“Brett You Lied Again!” screamed our signs to the eyes of our fellow elites across the street.
Some of us were also incensed by the author of the leaked Dobbs decision (and very probably the leaker as well), that nasty neo-Puritan who gives Cotton Mather a run for his toxic incel-lite sanctimony, Supreme Court Injustice Samuel Alito, Jr. (Yale Law, 1975).
“BANS OFF OUR BODIES!” proclaimed the buttons over our bellies.
“No forced breeding!” I shouted, pleased to hear a chorus of “yeah!” from a mother/daughter duo twinning in white T-shirts emblazoned with “Liberal C*nt” in hot pussy pink.
As more protestors gathered, so did the cops. The mood changed as they moved aggressively through the crowd, their weapons gleaming in the setting sun.
We didn’t feel up to getting arrested, and besides, the final reunion banquet would be underway in a couple hours, so we stashed our signs and headed back to TD.
Poor Little Lambs
For our final night of reuniting, I wore a Yale Xmas tree ornament as a pendant, the perfect—and perfectly ridiculous—accessory for my silver latex dress. Capt’n Max looked dapper in a string of silver 30th wedding anniversary pearls and one of my Yale thongs folded discreetly like a handkerchief in his blazer pocket.
Under the TD tent, we gathered for our last night together, serenaded by our Whiffenpoof brothers, silky-voiced as when they were “poor little lambs… gentlemen songsters off on a spree” 45 years ago.
Enjoying the hoary old baritones and basses, the rest of us “poor little lambs” sat in our folding chairs as if strapped into time capsules, barreling back into the fading, over-farmed pastures of yesteryear.
“Baaa… Baaa…. Baaa.”
Then, before we can quite grasp the past, forward we fly, whiplashed into the crash of climate-change churned by the Capitalocene megamachine into an increasingly destructive future that even the most elite Yale brains can’t figure out how to stop or slow down.
We “poor little lambs” (who haven’t been turned into lamb chops) have just grown up to be wooly old sheep, after all.
Peace on Earth. Pleasure for All. Baaa… Baaa…. Baaa.