I've received several scathing emails from angry readers because I didn't post anything about Rachel Corrie yesterday, the 2nd anniversary of her martyrdom. Truth is, I'm still reeling from the tragic loss of the Baroness Lips Von Lipstrill, and wasn't up to writing about the death of yet another icon of human rights. But I did attend the Rachel Corrie Memorial Hootenanny at Evergreen State College last night. Unlike the tumultious orgy of grief that was the Susan Sontag Memorial, this was a solemn event, with just a few friends and supporters gathered around a small bonfire of U.S. flags to roast marshmallows and remember the noble crusader who gave her life so that Palestinian suicide bombers may live.
I never knew Rachel myself, as I graduated from Evergreen years before she ever enrolled. But there were others like her - young, spirited, so full of life that it oozed through their pores, causing severe acne and a strange cat piss odor that lingered for days. They were warrior poets, posessing an inspirational courage to fight for what they believed in without resorting to the cowardly jingoism of actually putting on a uniform and fighting.
Once such girl was Tawny Donahue. I can still recall her deep, green Irish eyes, that funny snorting sound she made when she laughed, the sparkly beads that festooned her flowing blonde hair like dingleberries on a Lhasa Apso. The last time I ever saw her was my second year at Evergreen, shortly after the annual Procession of the Species March. A bunch of us met back at the campus for the traditional post-parade toot on the communal hookah, followed by two or three hours of sitting on the grass and discussing the progressive sociopolitical benefits of anthropomorphic sexual fetishes. It was a way for us to commune with nature while standing up for the cause of social justice and human liberty.
Anyway, we were in the midst of some really hardcore animal sex when for reasons I still can't explain, Tawny suddenly leapt to her feet, shouted "FREE IVAN THE GORILLA!!!", and threw herself in front of a passing golf cart driven by a Mr. Leo J. Goldfartz, campus groundskeeper.
He had to have seen her - how could he miss her? She was a 5'-4" duckbilled platypus for Goddess' sake! But he didn't even slow down. The gruesome crunching sound as Tawny's beak was crushed under the wheels of the cart will haunt me for the rest of my days.
"You're killing her, you fascist bastard!" I screamed, my fuzzy bunny ears flip-flopping with rage.
"Goddam geese!" Goldfartz growled, squinting at me through his thick, coke-bottle glasses. "I'll teach 'em to shit on my grass!"
Cackling meniacally, he backed up and ran over her broken body another 17 times before the cart finally ran out of juice and campus security dragged him away. Our sweet Tawny lay staring at the sky, her tiny, flightless flippers twisted into grotesque positions. We buried her there in the Mao Tse-Tung Memorial Zen Garden, her screams of "I'm still alive, you dopehead freaks!" ringing in our ears.
Tawny was 23 years old when she died. Just like Rachel.
But she didn't die in vain. One year after Tawny's brutal murder at the hands of the Zionist Landscaping Cabal, Ivan the Gorilla was taken from his cell at the B&I Shopping Center in Tacoma and moved to a large, expensively furnished apartment at the Atlanta Zoo, where he now enjoys a same-sex relationship with an orangutan hairdresser. Tawny's parents sued and received a sizeable settlement from Merlin L. Halvorson, the war criminal who invented the golf cart in complete violation of international law. Me? Well, I didn't let Tawny's death sour me on humanity, but turned the experience into a positive force for good by joining a progressive think-tank devoted to preventing Israeli aggression against the indigenous Palestinian peoples.
So, as I stood watching the dying embers of the star-spangled bonfire last night, I thought about Rachel and Tawny, and how deeply their lives had changed mine, just as my Great Uncle Harvey's had when he jumped in front of a bus during the great Schmidt's Beer Drought of 1984. All three died exactly as they had lived: brave, defiant, and screaming complete gibberish. They will not be forgotten.