Frist Puff Piece: "Reeking of Silverback Testosterone"

Washington Post

That Laura Blumenfeld gives good copy.

[Frist] pressed his stethoscope to the gorilla's chest and narrowed his eyes. Kuja, a silverback patriarch, was breathing isofluorine. He was the Senate majority leader of the gorillas, who negotiated disputes, back-slapped the ape boys and owned exclusive mating rights with the females. When Kuja started to stir, a veterinarian injected more anesthesia. One backhanded swipe could break Frist's neck.

Frist listened to the heart; the gorilla's lub-dub sounded human. "When you're this close, you feel this kind of oneness with them," Frist said. The stink of ape sweat and gorilla testosterone soaked his hair and clothes. "Gorillas, people, men. You look at the people here, a symphonic flow of people pitching in. It's the oneness of humanity."

This kind of oneness does not come easily to Frist. Though devoted to matters of the heart, Frist acknowledges that he is aloof, something he traces back to the day he refused to attend kindergarten. He calls it "the Great Wall," an emotional barrier that has kept him from having close friends. It is a wall that could block his connection with voters, some say, and his way to the White House.

...At 9:30 a.m., Frist opened the Senate, gripping the corners of the lectern, as he had the operating table. Across the city, rolling in a bed of hay, Kuja opened his eyes and grunted. The gorilla kept touching his tongue to his tooth. Something had changed inside of the beast while he slept. Frist smiled and spoke unremarkably from the lectern, reeking of silverback testosterone.

This is supposed to be a puff piece - something that makes Frist look better, you know? All these "drenched in gorilla testosterone" lines are just grossing me out. He still stank of the surgery as he went to the Senate? Isn't that unsanitary?

Maybe Blumenfeld is reaching here, so please you God. The man took home cats to play with a couple of days and then dissect, he worked so much that he felt like an intruder in his own house, and now we get stories of him "reeking of silverback testosterone" on the Senate floor. This is taking anti-socialism to an unhealthy extreme!

And by the way, let's get this straight: when you have drugged an animal past its ability to tear you inside out, it's impossible to establish a feeling of oneness with them. If "oneness" means anything, it is a mutual act. What Frist was doing is getting in touch with the tempting sensation of possession. He covets, Clarice, and we covet the things we see every day. Frist covets advancement and power. He seeks an exalted place in this world. And that's something that shines through this creepy little article.