Thursday, March 7, 2019

Pornosophy: John Wayne Bobbitt at Colonus

"You Know the Lorena Bobbitt Story. But Not All of It," was the title of a piece that recently ran in The Times (1/30/19). The piece anticipated the recently released Amazon Prime documentary LorenaActually it’s rather amazing that the whole tale hadn’t become the subject of a major dramatic work even before this. You would think that a composer like John Adams might have tackled it for an opera. You might say that Sophocles' Oedipus deals with the things every guy is afraid of, killing his dad and sleeping with his mom. But what happened to John Wayne Bobbitt is really the nuts and bolts of what every guy fears—that someone will cut his dick off. Guys often refer to a tough boss or partner as busting their balls, but whatever you think of Bobbitt (who Lorena accused of rape and who would later be convicted of battery against another woman) this is worse.  Given an occasional shot of testosterone you can probably function OK without balls, but without a dick you’re in trouble, unless of course you have any interest in transitioning (though without a penis there isn’t going to be much to work with). Luckily the cops were able to find Bobbitt’s dick and through the wonders of modern medical science, it was reattached. In fact, Bobbitt went on to have a career as a porn star while Lorena became a feminist icon and hero to battered women. However, what if a dog had eaten it? Let's suppose Sophocles had written the play. It might be John Wayne Bobbitt at Colonus or Charlottesville and the subject is certainly worthy of a Greek chorus. Let’s say someone cut your penis off, wouldn’t you, to echo Arthur Miller’s words about Willy Loman cry, “attention must be paid.”

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