for Eddie

I think it's because Dr. Ruth says it's OK,
Or maybe it's because everyone does it when they turn
the damned thing on,
Or maybe it's because I'm afraid of intimacy,
Or maybe because they are not jamming the Playboy Channel on
my cable TV,
Why do I masturbate in front of my TV? I wonder,
Why would I consider such a filthy and disgusting thing?
Because I'm bored by the Hustler honeys, Playboy playmates,
Penthouse pets, and god only knows what else,
Because I can't afford a VCR and home movies and do it right
for once,
Or maybe because I'm hard up and can't find a date on a
Saturday night,
Because I love watching the 20 minute workout,
Because I love seeing the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling
spread their legs on a color television screen,
Because I can't afford buying porno magazines and it's
easier than fantasizing,
Because I love watching Jimmy Swaggart's face when I do it,
Because my parents are no longer doing it,
Because my friends are doing it but with the wrong people,
Because my friends are not always honest about it,
Because I hate being titillated without reaching an orgasm,
Because I love shocking my family and friends
by talking about,
Because I couldn't get it up at a massage parlor, which I
visited when I was eighteen years old,
Because my father is a dirty old man,
Because I'm sick, lonely and desperate,
Because my mother thinks that sex is dirty,
Because of Solid Gold dancers and spokesmodels on Star Search,
Because MTV keeps bombarding me with pictures of horny women,
Because Sally Struthers keeps asking me for money that
I don't have,
Because it's so irreverent and I have no respect for television,
Because, according to feminists, I'm a white male oppressor of
Because I can't seem to find the right girl,
Because I cry every night with no one to talk to,
Because I can't stand TV commercials,
Because I'm tired of looking at women's underwear,
Because I am a twenty-five year old virgin,
Because I'm in love with Debbie but can't see her,
Because I'm not into one-night stands,
Because I'm tired of women tights doing aerobics,
Because we all want to be good to our bodies,
Because I don't get a release through my wet dreams,
Because I'm bored by TV correspondents and
the world situation,
Because Mr. and Mrs. Reagan never talk about it,
Because Pat Robertson talks too much about it,
Because I'm interrupted by feminine hygiene and tampon
Because masturbation is probably against the law in the
Soviet Union,
Because Madonna is posing for Penthouse,
Because I'm tired of sexual innuendos in the sit coms and
I want to see the real thing,
Because no one is really liberated,
Because of all the hangups,
Because of hypocrisy and cynicism,
Because of lack of love in the world,
Because of exploitation of sex in the media,
Because I don't really take Dr. Ruth seriously,
Because we need more love and less sex therapy,
Because we shouldn't take ourselves so seriously,
Because of all the pain,
all the tears, all the insecurity,
Because I still believe in romance with a right person,
Because of Nietzsche and nihilistic philosophy,
Because of the whips and chains,
Because of sado-masochism and child abuse,
Because of date rape and dirty old men in their
gray raincoats,
Because of live sex acts on Times Square in New York City,
Because I threw up after seeing one,
Because I'm tired of all the psychological bullshit,
Because of Donna Rice and Vanna White
(if I spell these names correctly),
Because of all the lies and superficiality,
Because of all the phony self-righteousness,
Because of the endless web of corruption,
I masturbate, I masturbate, I masturbate,
And I will continue to masturbate in front of my television
set until I'm totally fed up with the whole thing,
No, people, you will not take away my soul and dignity,
Nor my faith, nor my endless tears,
And I will belong to no church,
And I will sing a song in my final hour,
Before my death, before my fatal sleep,
I will hear the music of the gods,
I will breathe the freshness of the sea air,
My song is of innocence and of hope,
My song is of a man, longing for freedom,
Freedom from the material darkness that envelops all of us,
All of us, all of us,
Bound in chains of solitude,
Imprisoned by the false gods!

                                        --Alexander Shaumyan
                                            December 25, 1987