From: (Mithryl)
Date:         1997/07/06
Message-Id:   <5pmn3e$>
Newsgroups:   rec.arts.comics.creative

                       YET ANOTHER MISTAKE

                      By Cody Ann Michaels
                     c. All rights reserved.

	It can really be a trial in the summer when My Weekly Reader
doesn't publish and I can't do my column.  Of course, I still have the one
I write for the paper in Brisbane, explaining Americans to kangaroos, but
there are some stories you just can't grasp without the intelligence of an
American seven year old.  Like for instance the news that the Air Force is
about to court martial another second lieutenant with sex problems.  In
this case, the perp, William Kite, fraternized, i.e. dated, an enlisted
woman , who he later married.  God, it makes you wonder what kind of
perverts they have in the Air Force if these are the ones we know about. 
Oh yeah, he also lied.  This is the A.F.'s all purpose excuse for slimeing
someone, especially if the high command doe s something really stupid. 
Someone apparently asked the guy if he dated the woman before he married
her, and he said like, uh, no.  But then it turned out the person doing
the asking had a list of the happy couple's telephone calls -- this is
America, re member -- so the accused fessed up and said, well, yeah, we
did see each other sorta now and then before we got to the altar. 
Surprise!  Gotcha. 

     "The offenses charged warrant a trial by court-martial," wrote Lt.
Gen. Phillip J. Ford, the commander of the 8th Air Force at Barksdale Air
Force Base in Louisiana, who is also responsible for "military justice" at
the base in Missouri where Kite is assigned.  We are, as yet, not informed
about General Ford's own sexual hangups, which numerous generals and other
high ranking doormen have recently taken to calling "mistakes" as they
hand in thei r papers.  However, one of the more charming details of the
instant case is -- we have this from the Times -- that what tipped the
authorities to this latest plot against our American security and apple
pie was when Lt. Col. Robert F. Ippolito, the base c haplain and a
Catholic priest, saw the accused bride, Rhonda Kutzer, one evening as she
visited Kite in the hospital.  Wow!  Is that subversive.  Later, on the
day she left the Air Force last January, she was seen wearing a big
diamond engagement ring.  H ercule Poirot, eat your heart out.  Two weeks
later, Fra Ippolito pushed for an investigation.  Way to go, Padre!  Burn
the heretics at the stake! 

	On top of that, in assembling its case, the Inquisi... whoops, Air
Force used Rhonda's mental health records, despite her refusal to waive
her rights under the Privacy Act.  (NY Times, 7/3/97) What does this have
to do with love?  Her clinical psycholog ist, a major, also testified
against her.  So much for military professional ethics.  Even the date of
her last menstrual cycle was noted.  The couple are expecting.  If found
guilty, Daddy could get out of the stockade in time for the kid's
fourteenth bi rthday.  You see why this would be hard to explain to the
kangaroos?  The Europeans -- forget the French -- it's even worse.  After
all, this band of lunatics is the Fafnir that flies the world's biggest
hoard of nuclear jeu jeus. 

	Of course, they have to burn Kite.  Because if they don't, every
woman in the country -- the ones who can think, at least, (which leaves
out the Secretary of the Air Force) -- me included, will scream their
heads off because of what was done to Kelly Fli nn.  Remember, she lied,
too.  They asked her if Marc Zigo was screwing her all over the apartment
she was sharing with him, and she said, no, not knowing that Marc had
already told the generals everything, complete with floor plans.  This
made her differ ent from General Joseph Ralston, because when Joe was
dating someone who wasn't the woman he was married to at the time,
apparently no one asked him if he was, so he didn't lie.  So he was in
free.  Later, he wasn't so talkative about it either, when he w as being
considered for Chairman of the Joint Chiefs.  Oh, yeah.  That was the
other difference between Ralston and Kelly Flinn (and these other sexual
deviates).  Ralson is the head of the Air Force.  Which gives him a
certain amount of leverage.  At lea st, no one is talking about whether he
is entitled to an honorable discharge or not.  An honorable discharge is
when you get out and no one knows -- or at least cares -- who you slept
with.  Kelly Flinn, as an adultress, only got a general discharge, whic h,
in Mark Russell's words, disqualifies her for almost every kind of federal
job except president.  At least she never asked a woman in a culotte for a

	The paper said that the 2nd Lt. in this case had been ordered by
his military lawyer to shut up and not talk to the press anymore.  Which I
think is a mistake.  Kelly Flinn blabbled all over the place, and now she
is a national icon with a book deal, and probably there will be a movie
starring Madonna.  I hope so.  The other afternoon, the tv seeping through
the wall from the Widow Smalhausen's trailer next door had a program on
about an Air Force hero who's basic claim to fame was that he wrecked a
fort y million dollar jet fighter in Bosnia and then managed to save his
skin for the next several days from people with whom we were not at war. 
He then came home to tickertape parades, presidential speeches, and wrote
a book, which is going to be made into a movie.  Does a pattern seem to
emerge here?  Like, incompetence pays.  He also goes around giving pep
talks.  This was on American Journal, which the Widow Smalhausen watches
like church every afternoon.  She and my gran play their tv's as if they
were chairs in an orchestra.  The Widow watches A.J. while Gran watches
Oprah.  The Widow watches General Hospital.  Gran goes for The Right to
Life, or whatever.  Both are stone deaf.  You can imagine.  The rest of
the trailer park is the same way.  The cacap hony, the shrieking of
extreme tv is like a prelude to the appocalypse. 

	I think the story has real big screen potential:  Their's was an
affair to remember.  They were young, they were in love.  But he was an
officer (and a gentleman?).  While she was only a lowly grunt.  Not only
that.  The high command had found out that w hen she was sixteen, she had
been caught using cocaine.  Her career was over.  She was roadkill.  But
still he loved her.  She would have his baby.  Now they were being hounded
by a venomous military priest.  (Kite?  Kutzer?  Are those Jewish names?)
On a base known for zealous pursuit and punishment of sexual offenders. 
(Strange how eclectic that term has become.) Where the base commanders and
first sergeants get a secret magazine each month from the camp prosecutor
called "The Nooseletter."  Got that ?  Your tax dollars at work --
subtlely.  Oh, and don't forget the shrink who rats on his own patient. 
Okay, it's not exactly the Caine Mutiny, but with the right treatment, I
think it could fly -- no pun intended.  In the meantime, I would
definitely p lay it to Hard Copy.  Maybe we could work in something about
strawberries and little metal balls. 

	Well, I don't have anything more to say about this right now.  I
already wrote about Kelly Flinn once.  In case you missed it, I tacked it
on below.  Hope you're having a nice summer. 


                           NO MISTAKE

                      By Cody Ann Michaels
                     c. All rights reserved.

	"Fashion passes.  Style remains." -- Coco Chanel

    "You must treat the past like a whore." -- Karl Lagerfeld

                             M E M O

To:   Supreme Allied Command
From: Cody

	Okay.  So she's a whore who slept with every serviceman from here
to Okinawa.  A quintessential camp follower.  Homestead.  Fort Benning. 
Parris Island...  You name it.  Bragg.  And boy, did they ever -- once
upon a time.  But that was before Kelly Flin n, the million dollar bomber. 
Now it's a whole new ballgame.  Right? 

	But at the time, there weren't any mistakes.  Although, I don't
know.  Mom used to say that if these guys made war the way they did love,
she could see why it took five hundred thousand of them to whip Saddam
Hussein.  Anything less and we'd all be speak ing Iraqi. 

	I hate to write on the run.  Right now, I'm traveling, doing
research for my next novel.  (I was thinking of calling it American
Agenda, but I may change it to "Toke-ville: Hypocracy in America."  Get
it?  DeToqueville?  Democracy in America?  That may b e a little subtle. 
Write and tell me what you think.)  It's hard, however, to keep silent on
the spectacle of our top military doormen as they dribble into the
microphones about their "mistakes."  I could care less who the generals
sleep with.  They could be doing it in the road with dogs, and it would
be totally appropriate.  But couldn't they show some class? 

	I mean, only Americans would to be so totally bottom as to call a
love affair a mistake.  Can you imagine a French general saying that about
his mistress?  Ou la mistake!  Oui We.  Oink. 

	As an example of how far the devolution has progressed, I refer
you to a novel by Ernest Hemmingway, called, I believe, "Across the River
and Into the Trees."  Maybe 1947.  After the war.  Not his best piece of
writing, but it's about an American general who has a love affair with a
beautiful Italian chick a quarter his age.  Whatever you may say of Papa,
not in a million years would he have used the words "affair" and "mistake"
in the same sentence -- or book! 

	Was Madame Pompador a mistake?  And what about that great military
lover, Dwight Eisenhower?  How about King David?  Whoops, sorry, God. 
Bathsheba was a mistake.  And what about Cole Porter?  "Goodbye and Amen. 
Here's hoping we meet now and then.  It w as great fun, but it was just
one of those mistakes????" 

	These guys are pathetic.

	Take Mike Bowers.  What a wanker.  It's true he was only a
national guard general.  I won't go into the stories regular Army guys
tell in bed about national guard brass.  It's too cruel.  But Bowers,
besides being a weekend warrior, was also the Georgia attorney general who
persecuted homosexuals for having sex in their own bedrooms.  Now he's
running for governor.  So he's announcing his adultery before anyone else
does.  "There is no mistake that I have ever made which has caused more
pain..." etc. etc .  " excuse for my behavior."  Yeah.  Right.  Sure,
Mike.  In other words, the pain you caused as a bigot was entirely
intentional.  Excuse me while I vomit. 

	But, of course, the most entertaining example of military morality
now current is that of General Joseph Ralston, the Joint Chiefs vice
chairman (at least they got that title right), whose being promoted as
next leader of the pack.  Unfortunately, in the 1980s, he had an affair...
excuse me, a mistake with a woman who wasn't his wife when someone else
was.  This violation of military law, as we all know now, after the Kelly
Flinn aff...mistake, is no longer considered a great career booster. 
Instead, it has become the new love that dare not speak its name. 

	To be truthful, I don't know if Ma ever had a mistake with General
Ralston.  The different Uncle Generals and Uncle Colonels who came to our
apartment tend to run together in my head.  Then, too, we moved around a
lot.  She was in special services.  Mom put herself through West Point
because she couldn't afford to go to a good school.  Now she's a lawyer. 

	General Ralston, meanwhile, is in the same Air Force as Kelly
Flinn.  Small world isn't it?  Unlike Kelly, however, whoever was in
charge of the general's privates apparently did not ask him if he and his
girl friend were having sex.  Remember, that was the excuse they used to
cover themselves when the shit hit the Times.  An Air Force general went
before Congress and testified that Kelly Flinn was being court martialed
because she lied about her sex life to her superior officer.  Adultery was
just a side issue.  How could you let a woman fly a B-52 who wouldn't
admit she was putting out? 

	To be truthful, in Kelly Flinn's case, I don't have a lot of
sympathy for a chick who's top goal in life is dropping bombs on people in
third world countries.  So the fact that she got trashed by her own people
may be simple justice -- the Nixon-Al Capon e principle; if you can't get
them for what they did, get them any way you can. 

	Besides lying, this also included disobeying an order to stop
seeing Marc Zigo, her garbage boy friend, who, by the time it was made,
she was living with.  On the other hand, no one -- with the possible
exception of his wife -- appears to have ordered Ge neral Ralston to stop
seeing his lover, even though it seems to have been common knowledge that
they were a pretty hot item.  Nor did the Air Force haul in this comfort
woman, as it did Zigo, and force her to describe in living color the
different times she and Ralson went at it, complete with floor plans of
wherever it was they did do it.  It puts a whole new spin on the phrase
"Don't ask, don't tell."  In fact, so far, there seems to be a lot of
"don't tell"  cloaking Ralston's mistake, possibly because the gen eral
hasn't told the truth, which, if he were a woman, the Air Force would
probably call "lying." 

	As I said, I would like to dwell more on the sex habits of
military primitives, but there is too much conflict going on right now in
my own life.  This will have to do.  The nature of the beast being what it
is, I'm sure there will be many more opportuni ties. 

	In any case, if it was up to me, I would be cautious when it comes
to trying to inflict celibacy on the military.  It must be getting pretty
steamy around the Pentagon about now, now that the big guys can't do the
one thing they do really well, which is brag about their mistakes.  Most
don't have a whole lot to do with their hands, nor much imagination,
either.  It could get pretty hairy if they start looking around for
something occupy their spare time to take the place of mistakes.  I mean,
what else d o they have to play with, except some tanks, airplanes, and
about a gazillion nuclear warheads?  A sexually deprived general could
correct a lot of mistakes with stuff like that.