Members of the Dandy Goat’s staff have returned from nearly a month of seminars and soul-searching, part of an annual effort to increase our sensitivity and awareness.
Dandy Goat founder Franklin J. Dubbles spent four weeks at a luxury resort high in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, where in between trips to the spa and gluten-free organic meals, he took courses designed to shake him out of his male stupor.
Especially useful was a seminar called “How Do You Like It Now, Bitch?” in which male participants role-played drug-addicted sex slaves for an entire week while female and non-cisgender participants beat them with phallic-shaped rods and taunted them with derogatory nicknames.
“I never knew that high heels were so uncomfortable, or that being told how sweet your ass looks while you beg for a taste of heroin could be so humiliating,” Dubbles said. “I’m saddened to have been born a libidinous male oozing with testosterone. We are scum.”
Meanwhile, editor, staff writer, graphic designer, social media coordinator, janitor and unpaid intern Richard Omega was dispatched to Seattle, where he joined the city’s Occupy movement to better understand the discrimination that unbathed populations face, and how drum circles can foment an overturning of the capitalist system.
“Actually, I didn’t learn one fucking useful thing,” Omega said. “But I smoked really good pot almost every night, and it was totally legal, so that was cool.”
Contributor Ichabod F.N. Herstal divided his time between between an ice pool in the German spa retreat of Baden Baden, where he learned to reduce his resting heart rate to 25 beats per minute as part of his quest to control his volatile temper, and an anarchist squat in Amsterdam. He also spent some time made up in blackface and working as a waiter in Baltimore to experience life on the receiving end of white privilege.
All three men say they have come to see that poverty and inequality are their fault, but that a perfect world, harmonious and free of judgement, is just around the corner — if only people would open their hearts and minds.
“The key is to dialogue,” Dubbles said. “Dialogue in the morning, dialogue in the evening. Even dialogue while you’re siting on the toilet. Let there be no end to the dialoging.”