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Mulhall column: When the weird turn pro

As if a year of COVID wasn’t odd enough, 2021 appears poised to prove Hunter S. Thompson correct for pointing out, “When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.”

Take the Super Bowl, for example.

During the halftime show, back-up performers apparently forgot to bring COVID-19 masks and raided the locker rooms for every jock strap they could find. Musically unremarkable, the performance will no doubt be remembered by the supportive chingear.



That, and the mankini streaker. In the second half, a guy in a Borat-style red mankini, blue shorts and yellow shoes sprinted onto the field and ended up the only thing in red to cross a goal line all game. CBS declined to give the guy any airtime. Instead, they turned the cameras on Tom Brady watching the interruption from the sideline.

He clearly was not amused.



To keep things political, Norah O’Donnell in a pre-Super Bowl interview asked President Biden — who ran in part on a wholesale rejection of all things Trump — if he will re-enter the Obama-era Iran deal by lifting Trump-imposed sanctions.

All the normally multiloquent President could muster was “No,” and perhaps in what must have been an attempt to look resolute, Biden managed instead to look more like he was trying not to swallow a mouthful of expired oysters.

That was just last Sunday, of course. The broader picture of recent events is equally weird.

Toward the more repugnant end of the spectrum, there’s something of a fashion tidbit, and no, I’m not talking about jock straps, as trendy as that may become even in women’s locker rooms. For all the young men among us interested in attracting a partner, all I can tell you is forget the conventional wisdom.

Last week, numerous women lined up to chime in on Marilyn Manson’s unusual relationship proclivities. Suffice it to say no one’s going to take Manson up on date night ideas.

While you can’t take much of anything useful from this, what does stand out is that more women than you might think give Manson’s Herman Munster meets Paul Ruebens on goth look the thumbs-up.

Manson’s preferred appearance pushes some of the more common choices like personal hygiene or a decent habberdasher way down the deportment priority list.

As It turns out, a c. 1970s Roaring Fork Valley coal miner had most of what’s needed to pull off Manson’s look: Imperfect but generously-applied eye-black for a start. Mix in the countenance of President Biden answering a tough foreign policy question, and who knows? You too may never want for a date.

If fashion tips derived from Marilyn Manson aren’t weird enough for you, perhaps some COVID vaccination news out of Iran will do.

Almost 15 years after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared to a Columbia University audience that Iran had no homosexuals, Iranian cleric Ayatollah Abbas Tabrizian cautioned Iranians that getting the COVID-19 vaccination turns you gay.

So much for the old nature v nurture debate.

According to the Ayatollah, you don’t even want to get near a person who has had the vaccine, though he doesn’t say exactly why.

If deterring people from getting the vaccine was his objective, perhaps the medical-advice-dishing Ayatollah could have pointed out that most vaccines modify messenger RNA (mRNA), teaching the human immune response to react more calmly to the presence of the coronavirus spike protein, and that no one really knows if the vaccine’s mRNA tweak might suppress immune response in the presence of a spike protein that needs the immune system’s “normal” response.

But no. The Ayatollah decided to go with the ‘vaccines-turn-you-gay’ claim instead.

To keep things from getting real, Donald Trump’s impeachment trial began in the Senate this week — you know, the first of its kind in U.S. history impeachment trial of a President who has already left office? The trial won’t last long, and in the end the Senate will vote to acquit.

But don’t lament the outcome’s relative normalcy. It’s 2021. There’s always next week.

Mitch Mulhall is a husband, father and longtime Roaring Fork Valley resident. His column appears monthly in the Post Independent and at postindependent.com


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