A p r i l   2 0 0 6

No time for love

Why not concentrate on being you?
Dear Dr. Jones
by GZO Jones

s it advice? Is it opinion? Or is it simply the monthly rant of a pompous, over-the-hill windbag? Whatever it is, it's been happening without fail since our very first year, 2001, when GZO Jones contacted us from his Brazilian retreat and hinted at a literary pedigree that reaches back to the Beats. So we offered him the job and he's amused us while remaining pithy and religiously reliable ever since. Plus, he works really cheap.

Dear Dr. Jones,

What to do with Barry Bonds? I mean, here's an arrogant guy who's been throwing the national pastime's record book all out of whack and breaking the law.

Giant Killer

Dear GK,

I'm not exactly sure what it is that you mean. Are you asking if those gaudy records should be expunged? Are you wondering if the sullen slugger should be in prison? Do you think he should be flogged for setting a bad example for all the kiddies? Or are you suggesting that he alone is guilty of baseball's nefarious steroid breach?

Don't forget that a lot of baseball's records have been distorted by people other than Barry. Remember Mark and Sammy? The truth is that they all hit home runs off plenty of pitchers who were using steroids of their own. And some say Babe Ruth had an unfair advantage: He never faced some of the best pitchers of the day – they were barred from the game for being black.

Somebody recently told me they'd like to see legalized steroids and watch Barry Bonds hit home runs all the way to Alcatraz. As interesting as that sounds, I don't think it's the solution. Besides, in this doctor's book, baseball is more about double plays and sacrifice bunts than home runs.

Here's my opinion: The only answer is to leave the past in the past and address the sport's present and future. If you want to kill yourself early by taking steroids, that's your business. But then you have no business competing in an event I might pay to see – it's an unfair advantage. Case closed.

As for the record book? Let it be and get out plenty of asterisks.*

Anything other would be akin to those old group photos from the heyday of the former Soviet Union – back when they simply retouched the photo whenever a comrade fell from favor.

– Jones

*Babe Ruth's 60 home runs in 1927 will always seem more interesting than Barry's 73, as will the 61 hit by Roger Maris in 1961.

Dear Dr. Jones,

Have you read the one in GQ magazine about a study saying Republican men are way better in bed than Democrats?

Party Party

Dear PP,

Haven't read the story. My subscription to GQ ran out circa 1973. But even though your question makes me laugh, I don't mean to say I'm laughing with you.

For starters, the media's job is to sell, sell, sell and it sounds like you're eager to buy. The suggestion that one political party is better in the sack than the other is too ridiculous for words. Take it from me.

Furthermore, that kind of thinking only buys you into the dangerous notion that we're all defined by allegiance to one of the two insidious political parties that, combined with "organized" religion, are pulling America into the ditch – and the rest of the world with it.

I'm not sure if you are woman or man, but why not concentrate on being you? The only proven way to be good in bed is to figure out what the other person likes, and then give it to them. There's nothing political about that.

And just because you see an advert for Ford or McDonald's doesn't mean a new truck or a Big Mac is the answer to anything.

– Jones

Dear Dr. Jones,

Half a million people in L.A. rallied the other week over the prospect of restrictive immigration laws but war protests don't get more than a few thousand. What's goin' on?

Mercy Mercy Me

Dear 3M,

There's no draft to rankle the college ranks, which makes Mr. Bush's war seem pretty remote for most. That's a shame, because if Americans really wanted to rise up and foment change, well, the times couldn't be more ripe.

But illegal immigration touches a lot of the popular hot buttons – jobs, the economy, foreigners (and their religions), tax collection, social services, border protection, equality and on and on. It's the one all-encompassing issue that's gotten inside America's grill and it's not going away.

– Jones

Examine more advice from GZO Jones, visit his Web site and e-mail your question, large or small, to gzojones@hotmail.com.

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