Scott Williamson, courtesy Petersen Museum
Faster than a speeding Bullitt: Steve McQueen’s 1956 Jaguar XKSS

How Did I Miss That? New Old Jaguars; Canadian Word Police

Steve Russell
12/2/16

My grandkids do not jones for cars like I did. They only got licenses to drive when their parents got tired of playing taxi.

The small town in the Creek Nation where I grew up was divided into Ford families and Chevy families. Chrysler products were less common and foreign cars nothing but rumors until Tulsa got dealers in Volvos, Renaults, Simcas and such. I do not remember a Volkswagen dealer but there had to have been one because we got two, count ‘em, two VWs in Bristow. One was a bug that followed a college kid home from OU and the other was a bus bought by the only taxi service in town.

There were no Asian cars. Foreign cars we could read about were German, French, and Italian, but the really cool ones were British: Austin-Healey, MG, Triumph, and—oh my!---Jaguar. The Italians made sexy cars, but few sold for less than a three bedroom house.

If the Brits had built quality cars, they would have dominated the sports car world with their reasonably priced roadsters. I’ve never seen an ugly Jaguar, but they were priced toward the high end for Brit iron and you needed a mechanic on retainer.

Which brings me to the Jaguar XKSS, the street legal version of the D-type racer that dominated Le Mans from 1955 to 1957. A factory fire destroyed nine of the 25 in existence on February 12, 1957.

This year, Jaguar Classic intends to rebuild the nine destroyed Jags to the original 1957 specs, but for a few safety changes. They are even taking the VINs off the cars that went up in flames.

A brand new 1957 Jaguar XKSS could be yours for a mere $1.5 million!

That would be chump change for the U.S. Navy, but even the Navy has limits. The $4 billion stealth destroyer will go operational without its advanced gun system, designed to fire the Long Range Land-Attack Projectile (LRLAP). The Navy decided that a minimum of $800,000 to fire a single shot is too expensive.

Those first two items are about sex if you agree that an automobile can be sexy. My grandkids don’t think so, but my generation did.

The LRLAP? Major phallic symbol.

So I’m on the same topic when I observe that lots of people consider popular media reports of sex research to be TMI. The Independent just published a news brief on sex research that seemed not enough information. Citing The Journal of Sex Research, the Independent claimed that a survey conducted in Quebec found four out of the eight paraphilias described in the DSM-5 were neither rare nor unusual.

A paraphilia is a supposedly abnormal sexual practice and the DSM-5 is Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition---important when mental health services are covered by health insurance. Diagnosis in the DSM is critical to reimbursement.

This list of the eight conditions deviant enough to need correcting used to be much longer. Remaining are exhibitionistic disorder, fetishistic disorder, frotteuristic disorder, pedophilic disorder, sexual masochism disorder, sexual sadism disorder, transvestic disorder, and voyeuristic disorder.

My cousin Ray Sixkiller suggested you could cut this list in half by putting the exhibitionists together with the voyeurs and the masochists with the sadists.

Transvestic disorder sounds like turning fashion into a medical issue.

Fetishistic disorder? I once had a girlfriend who could only get in the mood if it was raining. Sounds like a fetish to me, and certainly encourages rain dance jokes, but where’s the harm?

I don’t think I need to chase down that Quebec survey to see the DSM could use some fine tuning.

Illustrating my point by catering to voyeuristic disorder, the BBC reported the hilarious response of Catherine Zeta-Jones, 47, to the intrusion of paparazzi into her Mexican vacation with her husband of 16 years Michael Douglas, 72.

Angered by publication of unflattering bikini photos, Zeta-Jones took to Instagram to say she was “sharing the photographs my husband took of my ass.” Two conclusions from the photos she shared were that she is aging well and that she had just rendered the pirate photos worthless.

There was another case of a woman taking charge and doing it her way this week. The football game between the Lions and the Vikings engaged the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, to sing the national anthem.

I don’t like the national anthem because it is not singable by ordinary people, but once in a while somebody with Franklin’s range and power will get ahold of that song and whip it into shape. She took over four minutes, worth every second. 

Have I changed my mind about the song? No, because you and I are not Aretha Franklin. But she made it as entertaining as it’s ever been.

“Whoa,” Cousin Ray interrupted. “I wouldn’t go that far.” 

Reminded of the Hendrix version, it occurred to me that Donald Trump’s white nationalist fans would not be happy that the song got nailed by two non-white artists. Then a third version by a non-white artist came to mind, and the white nationalists would object to this one for a whole other reason. They think the national anthem can only be sung in English. Wrong. 

Since few white nationalists follow my column, I don’t have to justify getting the rest of it outside the United States.

Antonio Fernandez was born in the Spanish village of Cerezales del Condado in 1917, one of 13 siblings in a very poor family. He had to leave school at 14 because his family could not afford the fees. Fernandez died this year at age 99, having immigrated to Mexico and made his fortune marketing the second most popular imported beer in the U.S., Corona Extra.

Fox News reported that Fernandez bequeathed a sum of money to endow a cultural center in his home village and another sum to be divided among the residents. Each of the 80 residents of Cerezales del Condado will inherit about $2.5 million. Having grown up watching The Millionaire on TV, I hope Mr. Fernandez did not destroy their lives.

Sputnik reported that the so-called Islamic State—known as Daesh among Arabs who don’t like it---has further diversified its economy by entering the black market for human organs. Last year, a Daesh-friendly cleric issued a fatwa that allowed organs to be removed from healthy captives to save the life of a Muslim. Some organs are reportedly taken from their own fighters, but only when they are dead. I would find this hard to believe if Daesh had not done worse on video.

While I have nothing but good things to say about every time I’ve visited our Canadian friends, I can’t claim to always understand them. Sometimes, I can only report and rely on others to understand.

The BBC reported on the Kensington Police Service, guardians of Prince Edward Island, threatening an innovative punishment for drunk drivers on their Facebook page. They warned that the police cruiser would be playing Nickelback on the way to jail.

The Facebook responses showed there was no failure to communicate in Canada, one reader asking, “Doesn’t torture go against the Geneva Convention?” Another reader, apparently a Nickelback fan, suggested replacing the band in the drunk driving torture with Justin Bieber.

My puzzlement continued with another BBC report from the Canadian Parliament, where Conservative MP Michelle Rempei accused the government of treating Alberta “like a fart in the room” and drew the ire of Green MP Elizabeth May for using the word “fart,” which May claimed was “distinctly unparliamentary.”

Dr. Josh Greenberg, Director of the School of Journalism at Carleton University, tweeted, “With all eyes on Trump’s destruction of U.S. politics & civil society, a silent but deadly political scandal in Canada.” I felt better seeing that some Canadians are puzzled as well.

Maybe Canada should follow Wales and consider making an advisory list of “unparliamentary” words. The Welsh list contains words that register in the U.K. but not here like “bleeding obvious” and “bollocks,” but also “corrupt, cowardly, deceit, deliberately misled, dishonest, dubious, evasive, hypocrisy, liar, mealy mouthed, misleading, misrepresented,” and “sneaky.”

“How,” Cousin Ray wanted to know, “do you talk about politics without those words?” He did have to admit that some insults were over the top, such as “keeping down the political vermin” meaning “a Tory-free zone” or “(Y)ou are to culture what Robert Mugabe is to free elections.”

South of the Canadian border—way south---KVUE reported that state workers at a new office building in Austin have been alarmed by the numbers of snakes showing up recently. The report contained the factoid that in the last 16 years, only two persons have died from rattlesnake bites in the entire state.

Cousin Ray reminded me that Texas turned down Obamacare funds to expand Medicaid and has the highest percentage of people with no health insurance among the states. He asked if I wanted to bet that the two-legged snakes in state government killed fewer people than rattlesnakes?

Fewer than two people killed by lack of health insurance? He was offering a sucker bet and I did not bite.

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