Bryan Fischer’s Oral Sex Hypothesis
Politics is getting particularly dirty as we approach the presidential election, and my foray into the culturomics of American sexual behavior prompted by a statement made by Bryan Fischer, the preacher and radio commentator who is the new darling of the religious right. While you may never have heard of him, his status as a culture warrior was described by Jane Mayer in a recent article in The New Yorker. Though not as well known as Glen Beck or Rush Limbaugh, his radio show, Focal Point, reaches a million listeners — about the same number as MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow.
Fischer is most famous for his gay-bashing diatribes. But in a recent attack on Democrats, he also took on heterosexual oral sex (which he cryptically refers to as “the kind of activity that President Clinton practiced in the Oval Office”). Specifically, Fisher makes two claims about oral sex on his radio show (click here). The first was that oral sex has caused a dramatic increase in the number of cancers of the head and neck in the United States. The second is that Bill Clinton is the culprit. (“An entire generation imitated his behavior.”) Let’s examine these claims separately.
Is Oral Sex A Health Hazard?
Fischer says that oral sex can be bad for your health. Unfortunately, he may be right. With more than 30,000 new cases a year, cancers of the mouth and throat are on the rise,especially among the young. A 2007 study found that people with oropharyngeal cancers were considerably more likely to have had multiple oral sex partners than a cancer free control group. Another study found that oral sex (and even open-mouth kissing) facilitates the transmission of human papillomavirus. (HPV is the malicious family of bugs which can cause genital warts and cancer). But what really got Fischer in a twit was a January 2012study which found that 7 percent of Americans aged 14 to 69 are infected with oral HPV. This spells trouble as the most common variety of the HPV in people’s mouths is also among the most virulent in terms of causing cancer.
Oddly, Fischer neglected to mention another STD that is associated with oral sex — herpes. In times past, the simplex 1 variant of herpes was considered a non-sexually transmitted oral form of the virus which caused cold sores around the mouth. A different form, herpes simplex 2, was thought to cause the STD, genital herpes. But because of the increased popularity of oral sex, more and more people are showing up at their doctors with cold sore herpes infections on their genitals. Indeed, at the University of Wisconsin, theproportion of students’ genital sores caused by herpes simplex 1 jumped from 31 percent in 1993 (the year Bill Clinton became president) to 78 percent in 2001 (the year Clinton was replaced by his less kinky successor). Hmmm…
Testing Reverend Fischer’s Oral Sex Hypothesis
So, while I hate to admit it, Fischer’s claim that oral sex can cause health problems is indeed scientifically justified. But what about his second claim — that the former president’s “inappropriate relationship” (Clinton’s term) with a White House intern instigated an epidemic of oral sex among the youth of America? Fischer is, of course, dredging up a charge that has been floating around for years. But now, thanks to Google, for the first time we can put it to an empirical test.
I really wonder why some in the media, press, intellectuals and politicians keep finding fault with Anna Hazare, Baba Ramdev and their team whenever they talk about corruption, black money or some alleged corrupt politicians. The trend is, to argue that these activists have lost focus, find flaws with the words that they had uttered, detect some misunderstanding or internal fight amongst their team members or bring up allegations of corruption against one or the other member of the team. Alleged rivalries and one up man ship by one individual or the other are exaggerated in an attempt to play on the egos of individuals aimed at creating friction between the crusaders and to make public believe that all is not well with the activists. Are these aimed at hiding the main concerns raised by these individuals by diverting attention of the people to some, not so very important issues? Let us face facts, the so called fault lines in the movement may concern the armchair political strategists, intellectuals and the media but are non issues for the masses who believe that these technicalities do not make the issues raised by the activists less important in any way.
The question is, are Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev preaching wrong things? Are they spreading falsehood when they talk of corruption and black money? Do we want them to stop their crusade? Or are we to believe that the Government will act on these issues on their own and everything will be hunky – dory? Do these so called shortcomings warrant a new team to take over the movement? Would a different team, strategy or approach make any difference to the importance of the issues involved or be more successful? When most of us including the opposition parties have failed to enlighten to voting masses, aren’t these activists doing a great job?
Corruption and black money cannot be accepted in any civilized society. In a country like India, if at all we wish to change things, it is only the voter who can make the difference. Educating the people is likely to awaken the people to elect the right people to represent them, a byproduct of which will be accountability in governance. Change in attitude and mindset of people can only be achieved by sustained campaigns like the ones that are being staged by these social activists.
Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev are not politicians and do not appear to be on the lookout for a political appointment. They do not belong to the privileged up end society or are they trained in manipulating words to remain politically correct every time they communicate. But one thing is for sure – they do connect with the middle class and to the poor especially those in the rural areas very clearly and effectively. They have been able to bring to the fore issues which has for quite some time been agitating the minds of many. Today, you like it or not, the bulk of the middle class and the lower strata of the society believe that the issues raised by them indeed have a direct bearing on their quality of life and well being. Every time some spokesperson from some political party criticizes these activists or find fault with them, the Aam Admi sees it as an attempt to demolish the movement. It confirms their worst fears that all is not well with the ruling class and these are attempts to brush wrong doings under the carpet.
None can claim that the issues raised by these activists are irrelevant. Allegations of wrong doings, corruption, misuse of power and misappropriation are breaking news almost on a daily basis. It also seems true that CWG, 2G, illegal mining, land grab, Coalgate, black money slashed outside the country, NHRM, NREGA scams etc are massive frauds involving lakhs of crores belonging to the people. There is no doubt in any ones mind that had these national wealth not been plundered, the very face of the country would have changed. It is also true that the unfair deals people have received in the hands of the Administration and the unwillingness of the so called leaders to stand up and correct wrongs have propped up discords such as the Naxal movement. The rule seems to be different for the common man and the ruling class.
Considering the gravity of the issues involved, it is naïve for anyone to imagine that people will fall prey to propagandas highlighting relatively unimportant issues. Protecting the corrupt would boomerang right in the face of the guilty and the protectors. Individuals are not important for the people especially when they are reeling under tremendous inflationary pressures and are facing the effect of corruption without any respite. The difference between the rich and the poor as well as the common citizen and the powerful are visible to the naked eye. We as a country cannot ignore these very potent issues.
The earlier we see logic, correct wrongs and allow the rule of law to prevail without any consideration for individual loyalties or favorites, the better it would be for the country and our political system.Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim should not waste any more time if he intends to retire from politics as he has said.
“Anwar called me last
OPPOSITION LEADER ANWAR IBRAHIM RECOUNTED HOW HE WAS DRAGGED LIKE AL-QAEDA (TERRORIST) BY ABDULLAH BADAWI’S UMNO-BARISAN FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
“He should retire right now. It is futile … his desire to become the prime minister,” the former prime minister told reporters after paying a courtesy call to visiting President of the Czech Republic Vaclav Klaus, here.
Anwar had indicated in an interview published recently by the Financial Times that he might consider quitting politics if the opposition fails to wrest federal power in the next general election, due by April next year.
Dr Mahathir said Anwar’s statement was mere rhetoric because, even if the opposition pact were to lose in the next general election, he would continue to dream of becoming the prime minister.
The former prime minister said in jest that probably an honorary prime ministerial post could be established for Anwar for the duration of five days to enable him to fulfil his dream prior to retirement.
Meanwhile, Federal Territory Umno Liaison Committee secretary Datuk Syed Ali Alhabshee said Anwar’s latest statement was yet another ploy to garner sympathy votes in the next general election.
“Anwar should retire from politics now because he himself knows that he cannot win in the next general election. He and the others in the opposition pact realise that they cannot compete against the proven track record of the Barisan Nasional (BN) which has the support of the people,” he told Bernama when contacted.
The Cheras Umno Division chief said he was convinced that Anwar would continue to be active in politics even if the opposition pact were to lose in the next general election because he harbours ambitions of becoming the prime minister.
Syed Ali advised BN leaders to be wary of Anwar’s tactics, saying the Permatang Pauh MP was deft at psychological warfare and propaganda.
Sure doesn’t sound like a true leader…more like confuscation on the issues at hand. What seems to be the delay in calling for GE if the BN is supremely confident of winning as our PM likes to point out? He’s in fact denying our rights to choose our government by playing games with the … Read more