I have been turning to one of my journalism heroes for guidance, Hunter S. Thompson. I have had my nose in "Better than Sex: Confessions of a Political Junkie."
This is dangerous, at best, but it's one of the things that keeps me going.
It starts like this.
"Chapter 1 Authors Note
Confessions of a shootist: Cruel humor on the campaign trail, from the murder of JFK to the crimes of the Marquis de Sade.
'Trace a line of goose pimples up the thin young arms. Slide the needle in and push the bulb watching the junk hit him all over. Move right in with the sh!t and suck junk through all the hungry young cells.'
William S. Burroughs, The Soft Machine"
"John F. Kennedy, who seized the White House from Richard Nixon in a frenzied campaign that turned a whole generation of young Americans into political junkies, got shot in the head for his efforts, murdered in Dallas by some hapless geek named Oswald who worked for either Castro, the mob, Jimmy Hoffa, the CIA, his dominatrix landlady or the odious degenerate FBI chief, Edgar Hoover."
I got in trouble when I was four for wearing a "Kennedy" button to my private Christian school. And don't get me started on my other journalism heroes, Woodward and Bernstein or Watergate as I won a SPJ award for my interview with John Dean when I was in college.
So, as two and a half years of investigating Shriners corruption whirls wildly around in my brain, like the frog in the blender but the frog lives, I'll ask myself "What would Hunter do?"
Well, he'd go after the rat bastards, like an evangelical journalist wielding his pen like a plugged in Fender crucifix, obeying the Gods of sex, drugs and rock and roll with a fury and frenzy for which he will always be famous.
Not that this is a bad thing, as my roots are the basically same except that I have been sober for the past 26 years.
So, it is from these points of view that I have been trying to analyze and understand the corrupt behavior exhibited by some Shriners.
I want to better understand the behaviors of those who appear to be drunk with power and addicted to politics; those who break the law as they put their own interests before those of the burned and crippled children, not to mention deceiving their brothers, the widows who bequest their estates and the IRS.