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Letter from America June 24, 2004
Ode to the Dolphins
By Mark Ames Browse author Email

Men are grateful in the same degree as they are resentful.

-- Swift

POINT DUME, MALIBU -- I have finally discovered what price peace. This is it, on the cliffs of Point Dume overlooking the Pacific Ocean. In the morning, the ocean really is pacific -- before the winds build, the waves on the calm gray-blue water look like wrinkles on a freshly-ironed sheet. The dedicated surfers and boogie-boarders are out early, starting around six in the morning. And so are the dolphins -- moving languidly, confidently, in pods of up to twenty or more. Overhead wing formations of pelicans patrol the beaches -- their large, sharp heads give them a kind of pterodactyl look. Below my balcony, a bright green lawn lined with rows of birds-of-paradise plants stretches to the edge of the cliff. Flocks of green parrots sometimes flap by my window. I thought they were a hallucination the first time I saw them -- as if in Malibu, even hallucinations are nice.

But it is the dolphins I love the most. I used to sneer at dolphins -- I thought they were the hippies of the ocean. But they're not. Dolphins are a lot like dogs. For one thing, they love people. They swim as closely to the surfers as they feel like. One friend who used to surf here told me you could pet them as they swam past. The best thing about the dolphins here is that they're real hams -- they love showing off to the humans. And they love riding the waves. When the surfers clear out towards the end of the day, you can see the dolphins wading around the break, bumping each other playfully, until a good eight-footer builds... as the wave rises into an open tube, you can see these sleek gray figures streaking along the back of the wave, angling sharply to ride the length, so fast that they're almost a blur, like an impressionist painting. When the wave crashes, the dolphins often leap completely out of the water, then curl down and land bottle-nose first.

I was gushing about the dolphins over the phone while talking to a friend of mine in Moscow, and she replied she'd heard that dolphins are homosexuals and into bestiality -- that is, they try to hump human trainers in water parks. To be fair, if I was held in captivity by some other beast, I would probably try to rape it when it got into the cage with me.

Another friend of mine in LA also told me that dolphins are homosexuals.

Aw, you're all just so damn cynical, aren't you. You see, from up here in the two-story condominium where I've been living alone, with the sound of crashing waves, a computer, books, piles of stims, and a view of dolphins, the days are too blissful for me to be "cynical." This is my price for peace. You set me up here, and I'll write love-hymns until the day I die.

Dolphins, as far as I know, aren't sexual deviants. But they are wife-beaters. Researchers have found that male dolphins often abuse their female mates, something that caused an outbreak of cognitive dissonance among the Greenpeacers.

When I told this to my Moscow friend, she answered, "Well, the female dolphins probably did something to deserve it. Hopefully they'll learn their lesson and not piss the male dolphins off."

That was how Duke in LA felt: "The dolphins are going, 'Bitch, turn on the fucking football game and get me a fucking beer, or I'll mark your other eye!"

Note to dolphins: I have to admit, I laughed at their jokes. Please forgive me. Gratefully Yours, Mark.

* * *

Last week, while reading on the lounge chair on the lawn, a tall woman with long blond hair and gargantuan knockers walked past me, smiling. We started talking. She told me, in her funny accent, that she had been living in a friend's beach condo and that she was getting kicked out in a few days. Her name was Vibe. She grew up in a hippie commune near Copenhagen, ran away at age 14, moved to Los Angeles and stayed ever since.

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Save The eXile: The War Nerd Calls Mayday
The future of The eXile is in your hands! We're holding a fundraiser to save the paper, and your soul. Tune in to Gary Brecher's urgent request for reinforcements and donate as much as you can. If you don't, we'll be overrun and wiped off the face of the earth, forever.

Scanning Moscow’s Traffic Cops
Automotive Section
We’re happy to introduce a new column in which we publish Moscow’s raw radio communications, courtesy of a Russian amateur radio enthusiast. This issue, eXile readers are given a peek into the secret conversations of Moscow’s traffic police, the notorious "GAIshniki."

Eleven Years of Threats: The eXile's Incredible Journey
Feature Story By The eXile
Good Night, and Bad Luck: In a nation terrorized by its own government, one newspaper dared to fart in its face. Get out your hankies, cuz we’re taking a look back at the impossible crises we overcame.

Your Letters
Russia's freedom-loving free market martyr Mikhail Khodorkovsky answers some of this week's letters, and he's got nothing but praise for President Medvedev.

Clubbing Adventures Through Time
Club Review By Dmitriy Babooshka
eXile club reviewer Babooshka takes a trip through time with the ghost of Moscow clubbing past, present and future, and true to form, gets laid in the process.

The Fortnight Spin
Bardak Calendar By Jared Lindquist
Jared comes out with yet another roundup of upcoming bardak sessions.

Your Letters
Richard Gere tackles this week's letters. Now reformed, he fights for gerbil rights all around the world.

13 Toxic Talents: Hollywood’s Worst Polluters
America By Eileen Jones
Everybody complains about celebrities, but nobody does anything about them. People, it’s time to stop fretting about whether we’re a celebrity-obsessed culture—we are, we have been, we’re going to be—and instead take practical steps to clean up the celebrity-obsessed culture we’ve got...


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