[A bit dated by now, but a classic.]
The Night And
by Bjorn Nordal
raged all day, and there was an accumulation of more than eight inches. It was
dark, and downtown traffic was bumper-to-bumper and standing still. There were
few of us left in the newsroom at 9 p.m., and the morning edition of the
newspaper was “put to bed.” But none of us relished the idea of joining the
masses of stalled motorists.
“There’s a vogue
little tavern that’s just opened up around the block,” said Jack, the assistant
managing editor. “Why don’t we have a few belts and let this traffic clear out.
Besides, the plows won’t be through before eleven.”
We all agreed
that we’d rather sit at a warm bar for the next two hours than stare at the
taillights of the cab in front of us.
collars and down-turned faces we stepped from the circulation dock into the
billowy white expanse. After fifteen minutes of trudging and cursing, Jack
pointed to a newly-installed neon sign. “There it is, that’s it,” he exclaimed,
“it’s the Hickory Dickory Dock.”
As we stepped
inside we stomped our feet and welcomed the rush of warm air. Carl, the
editor-in-chief, led the way as we angled our way to five empty stools at the
bar. None of us took note of the ambience or the constituency. It was a hard
day and a freezing walk, and we wanted a pick-me-up. “I’ll buy the first
round,” the chief said, withdrawing his money clip.
courts-and-cops reporter, was first to notice the surroundings. “Look at that
poster over there,” he said. “It looks like a naked guy bent over a sofa with
his butt stuck up in the air.”
another one,” Jack said. He pointed to a black-and-white poster depicting an
incongruous enlargement of male genitalia.
“Yeah, and look
over there,” said Steve, the sports writer. “There’s a picture of two guys
I whirled my
head in each direction to view the wall displays. As I did my eyes locked on a
corner table. “Pictures! What pictures?” I blurted out. “There are two guys
over there actually sucking face and groping one another.”
Jack,” the boss said, “you’ve brought us into a faggot bar!”
new,” Jack replied sheepishly. “How was I supposed to know? Besides,
homosexuals have their own social contract and a right to conduct themselves as
they please. Just so long as they don’t have designs on our social contract.”
Bill and I
stared at each other in amazement. Had Jack really said that? Carl curled his
lip and squinted his eyes in disapproval, the way he did when we turned in
lousy copy or missed a deadline. We glanced at the chief and instinctively knew
not to enter the conversation. He was going to pontificate, as often he did:
queers have always had their own social strata. But they’re never satisfied
with that. They want their perversions accepted in civilized, heterosexual
circles. They’re like political zealots – they want to impose their standards
and limits on normal people. And doing so makes them feel legitimized.
Homosexuals are part of a subhuman underworld that the philosopher Friedrich
Nietzsche referred to as ‘the many-too-many.’”
I quietly and
approvingly mused at the boss’ use of the term, “many-too-many.”
have so much to offer,” Jack said. “Many of them are brilliant, liberated
people with artistic license and a creative genius. If they bring so much to
our culture, shouldn’t we be tolerant of their sexual persuasion?”
Carl was livid.
He threw back a swig of his brandy and wagged his forefinger in Jack’s face.
“Artistic license! …creativity!” he shouted, “these homosexuals are liberals,
race-mixers, anarchists and counter-cultural social insurgents. There are
low-profile queers, too, certainly, but in Western civilization they have
historically remained in the closet.
“Queers are not
true musicians or artists, either. They’re not profound or funny. They’re
imitators, actors and distorters with a sick sexual agenda. They promote
profligacy, cultural degeneracy and hedonistic decadence. They mock our culture
and our norms, and they strive to degrade Western art, music, history and
literature to subhuman levels.
prominent homosexual politician or businessman will ‘come out,’ and you’ll find
he’s almost always a liberal. And lesbian feminists are misanthropic -- they
attack conventional families and straight lifestyles. They pride themselves in
turning little boys into effeminate powder-puffs and little girls into
grotesque bull-dykes. Homosexuals seek to mentally and emotionally subvert
heterosexual children and bend their minds to accept the ‘gay’ lifestyle. It’s
a great conquest for them to ‘turn’ a straight kid.
“More than that,
queers seek legislation to give them protection above and beyond the American
tenet of equality before the law. They seek privileges to which heterosexuals
are not entitled. They campaign for public funding to expand their social
contract and diminish the natural relationship between straight couples. They
infiltrate education and teach our kids that homosexuality is merely an alternative
lifestyle. Queers and lesbians breed their own kind among themselves and openly
proselytize for their cause – and they deliberately glamorize and misrepresent
AIDS and the queer agenda with in-your-face advertising and politically correct gay pride spin.
heterosexuals are made to feel guilty, ashamed and inadequate when confronted
with homosexual issues. Homosexuals are made to appear downtrodden, victimized
and deprived. To stand up against homosexuality has now become more than merely
improper, it has become a hatecrime. And you know as well as I do that if I
printed any of this soliloquy in my newspaper tomorrow, our Jewish-liberal
bosses would fire me. I’d be blackballed from journalism forever.”
Jack was about
to respond when he noticed a silence in the newly-opened Hickory Dickory Dock.
Ears and eyes were tuned to Carl’s bombast against homosexuals. Partially-clad,
leather-clad and cross-dressed men with orange and blue hair, painted bodies
and pierced body parts began gathering around. Some offered disparaging remarks
and rebuttals while others simply shouted vulgarities. We became aware of our
predicament. We were outnumbered, and we had aggravated a militant homosexual
demographic on their home turf.
who as it turned out was also the owner, intervened on our behalf – mostly for
the sake of his bar and liquor license. He didn’t want a brawl. Carl, Bill,
Steve and I were invited to wait outside, pending the arrival of a cab. Jack,
the defender of homosexuality, was invited to stay to make apologies for the
chief and defuse the situation.
As years passed,
Carl passed away and I graduated from beat reporter to become managing editor.
I learned much from Carl in the interim, and he is responsible for introducing
me to my pantheon of heroes. On my office wall are pictures of H. L. Mencken,
the great journalist; Richard Wagner, the great composer; and Friedrich
Nietzsche, the great philosopher. Few co-workers recognize the faces.
I recently gave
a cub reporter a present. It was Nietzsche’s Thus Spake Zarathustra. She read it eagerly, and after a recent
discussion on the evils of miscegenation and homosexuality, she sent me an
e-mail: “I see what you mean, boss,” she wrote. “Our culture is sick and
inundated with the ‘many-too-many.’”
Once again it’s 9 p.m., snowing and cold outside. Traffic is
standing still. A few of us will go around the corner for a pick-me-up. But the
Hickory Dickory Dock closed last year, after a shooting and a drug raid. The
bar is now the Golden Eagle. There are all-American, blue-collar, hard-hat
construction workers at the bar, and the American flag hangs in the window.
Carl would approve.
But the queers
and their perverted life-style are still out there. I’ve been told their new
bar is now three blocks down the strip.