Okay. This is the last issue of The Memphis Flyer and the last We Recommend column of the year 2002. So I suppose some sort of year in review thing is in order. Not on your life. What we re going to talk about this week is the penis. Yes, the penis. If you have an aversion to reading about the penis or are simply not interested, just stop now and go about your non-reading-about-the-penis business. Go play the organ! If you don t have an aversion to reading about the penis, then you must go now and purchase a book I ran across recently actually a gift someone got at a holiday party and said someone was generous enough to share it with me called A Mind of It s Own: A Cultural History of the Penis by David M. Friedman. And let me tell you, this is a treasure. Or let James H. Brada, MD, Director of the Center for Male Sexual Health, Albany, New York, tell you, as he does on the book jacket, Anyone who has a penis, or knows someone who does, should read this book. I d say that covers just about everyone, save for maybe a sect of nuns who were born in the convent and have never left. We certainly know plenty of priests have seen them. Going back as far as the pagan mystics and ancient Greeks, the latter of whom, according to Friedman, considered it an act of courtesy for a man to touch another man s penis, and as far into the future as to discuss Anita Hill s public battle with Clarence Thomas about the size of his penis and thereby making his penis size a racial issue, Friedman chronicles the history of the penis in these chapters: The Demon Rod, The Gear Shift, The Measuring Stick, The Cigar, The Battering Ram, and The Punctureproof Balloon. In those chapters, Friedman covers such theories as A man can hold his manhood in his hand, but who is really gripping whom? Is the penis the best in man or the beast? There are many stories about castration festivals, religious rites of passage that involved lots of fires and excited dogs barking and people throwing swords around and drinking wine and vomiting and singing and limp bloody bodies. Sounds frighteningly like the New Year s Eve parties I used to throw although I don t recall anyone losing anyone s manhood. Cars, yes, but no magic wands. In modern times, Friedman writes, Because of recent incidents involving Bill Clinton [and that s not even in the Cigar chapter] and John Bobbitt [who, as I stated on this page many years ago, was lucky enough to have an addadicktome], to name but two, the word penis has appeared in more mainstream media outlets, and been said in conversations around more watercoolers, than ever before. And now it has appeared once again. You read it here. And with that, we will plunge into the real business at hand here: what s going on around town this week. Today is, of course, the day after Christmas, so many of you are probably drinking either Maalox or Bloody Marys. Tonight s Kwanzaa Celebration
at the Pink Palace Museum Mansion Theatre is sponsored by State Rep. Henri Brooks and the Pink Palace Museum and features speaker Dr. Raymond Winbush of Morgan State University and the presentation of the Kwanzaa king and queen. Other than that, I d say, rest up for the weekend and New Year s Eve.