Ask a Dilettante – I Was Just Doing Research!

The former global AIDS coordinator had to resign from his position this week because it came to light that he hired “escorts.” How do people in power expect any of us to take them seriously when it seems like every week another “leader” is outed for not practicing what they preach?

Since when do people in power think they get to live beyond the rules they themselves have created? Since the beginning of time. Duh.

They need to follow the lead of the Who’s Pete Townsend. He was busted buying kiddie porn online, and when caught claimed he was doing research. See, that absolves you of responsibility. You’re doing it for the greater good of humanity. Research.

The man you mentioned, Randall Tobias, encouraged abstinence rather than the usage of condoms in preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS, saying that condoms were ineffective. When busted this week for having used an escort service, he claimed that he only received massages. (Sound familiar? Pastor Ted Haggard also claimed he was just getting a massage from the male prostitute with whom he had a three-year relationship. If Tobias and Haggard were really just getting massages, each would have gone to a licensed masseuse rather than risk scandal by using an escort service. Obviously.) Tobias should have said he was doing research. A hand-to-penis “massage” is a great safe-sex alternative that doesn’t require a condom. See how that works? Research.

Might have worked for Haggard, too. Instead of attempting the lame “massage” defense and the tired Bill Clinton “I didn’t inhale” excuse in reference to the meth Haggard “purchased but never used,” he should have said he was doing field research. Know thine enemy and all that. Research.

And should the day come that Dilettante is found doing drugs with Rush Limbaugh while twirling a gun on the tip of her finger, assume it’s research and move on. Quickly.

Everyone thinks my boyfriend is gay. I’m a girl, so this is a problem. I think they are just buying into stereotypes. Yes, he likes musicals and doesn’t eat meat and has a really cute apartment that he decorated himself and has shared with the same male roommate for seven years, but all of that is superficial. If he were gay, why would he be dating me?

Research. He’s just doing research.

[This column originally appeared in its entirety on Houstonist.]