So the "kid"
of "my kid's mom" appears to have grown up into a sociopath. Yes,
Deryk Schlessinger, beloved soldier-boy scion of talk radio's
Queen of Moralizing Mean, has shown the world just what it means
to be Dr. Laura's kid.
that 21-year-old Deryk, a United States Army special forces paratrooper
recently stationed in Kandahar, Afghanistan, is following in his
famous mom's footsteps by producing his own "show" that attempts
to entertain by spewing hate, intolerance, sexism, sadism, virulent
racism and casual brutality.
Deryk's mom's show is on radio. Deryk's show is on Myspace. Well,
it was. Unlike his mom's long run on Hate Talk Radio, Deryk's
Myspace page was soon cancelled. Myspace is a website where anyone
with an email address can put on a multi-media show about their
favorite subject - themselves! - complete with photos, blogs,
music and video. It's censored, of course (Rupert Murdock wouldn't
have it any other way); no nudity or explicit sex is allowed.
However, you can run a picture of yourself sucking on the barrel
of a gun, as young Deryk Schlessinger did.
You can also
show "cartoon depictions of rape, murder, torture and child molestation...
a photograph of a bound and blindfolded detainee captioned "My
Sweet Little Habib"; accounts of illicit drug use; and a blog
entry headlined by a series of obscenities and racial epithets,"
as Deryk's Myspace page featured, according to Matthew D. LaPlante
who broke the story in the Salt Lake Tribune.
Just as his
mom's radio show is filled with fervor for war and neo-con puritanism,
Deryk's Myspace blog was filled with enthusiasm for his mission:
"Yes... FUCKING Yes!!! I LOVE MY JOB, it takes everything reckless
and deviant and heathenistic (sic) and just overall bad about
me and hyper focuses these traits into my job of running around
this horrid place doing nasty things to people that deserve it...
and some that don't."
ardent assertions of job satisfaction, The US Army is not pleased.
Army spokesman Robert Tallman has officially declared the page
to be "repulsive."
Myspace blog was filled
with enthusiasm for his mission:
"Yes... FUCKING Yes!!! I LOVE MY JOB,
it takes everything reckless and
deviant and heathenistic (sic)
and just overall bad about me
and hyper focuses these traits
into my job of running around
this horrid place doing nasty things
to people that deserve it...
and some that don't."
and Myspace page were credited to and included many photographs
of Deryk, including the one of him sucking on the gun like the
Reverend Ted Haggard sucking on a gay hooker, with a goofy look
in his eyes as he gives the thumbs up with his free hand. Speaking
of which, what's with all these lunatics posing with guns in their
mouths? Seung-Hui Cho, the nut that shot up Virginia Tech, just
did it in his public relations video. What is the gun-in-the-mouth
pose supposed to show off - their brave and heroic fellatio skills?
goes on to explain:
Schlessinger page included nearly a dozen 'friends,' including
a number of soldiers in Afghanistan, several of whom were linked
back to Schlessinger's page and some of whom had additional photos
of, and comments from, Schlessinger on their sites.
website indicated the 21-year-old soldier is stationed in Kandahar,
Afghanistan, where, the site's author writes, 'godless crazy people
like me,' have become 'a generation of apathetic killers.'
indicated Schlessinger's team has survived numerous mortar, rocket
and roadside bomb attacks. It also included several graphic cartoons.
In one of the stick drawings, a top-hatted man laughs as he rapes
a bound and bleeding woman in front of her family. In another
depiction, a man forces a boy to perform oral sex at knifepoint
as the child's mother pleads for her son's life."
the "kid" whose "mom" called gays a "biological error." What does
that make her gun-sucking son? A nurtured nightmare?
is known for her harsh, rigidly moralistic, sex-unfriendly, anti-feminist
advice, bullying style and boisterous support for the Bush administration's
violent invasion and occupation of foreign lands. She preaches
a strict approach to "family values" that she herself did not
practice when she was young, married, cheating on her husband
with Bill Ballance, the man that provided her start in radio.
Bill is also the guy who took all the nude photos of Laura that
are all over the web.
Why did Laura
switch so suddenly from being such a freewheeling swinger for
women's rights to a sanctimonious "nag" cheering on a senseless
war? Can you spell opportunism?
Here's the story I heard around the time I was writing Being A
Woman with Dr. Toni Grant, one of Laura's colleagues: When a right-wing
phenomenon named Rush Limbaugh got the radio time slot before
hers, and Laura saw Rush's ratings rise, she decided to go after
his audience with a vengeance. She changed her politics 180 degrees,
becoming the ultra-right-wing, liberal-bashing Dominatrix to the
Dittohead Faithful, entertaining her vicariously sadistic audience
by verbally beating up her hapless callers who didn't conform
to rigidly held ideals of purity, monogamy, blind patriotism and
you imagine how the kid
of "my kid's mom" must have
been teased in school? No wonder
he was expelled by two different
colleges before mom got the
bright idea to sacrifice him yet again
by sending him off to fight,
kill and possibly die in Bush's War
on Terror, so that she could have
a fresh new slogan for her
own rapacious Army: "I am the
proud mother of a
deployed U.S. paratrooper."
Laura has never been one to practice what she preached, and her
personal family feeling was on display when she had to claim the
body of her 77-year-old mother from the LA County morgue 10 days
after it had been found rotting, unattended, in her apartment.
shmypocrisy; "family values" proved golden for the ambitious Dr.
Laura. She made millions off the slogan "I am my kid's mom." So
is it any great surprise that the kid is a kind of monster?
Deryk's youth on the altar of her ratings. Can you imagine how
the kid of "my kid's mom" must have been teased in school? No
wonder he was expelled by two different colleges before mom got
the bright idea to sacrifice him yet again by sending him off
to fight, kill and possibly die in Bush's War on Terror, so that
she could have a fresh new slogan for her own rapacious Army:
"I am the proud mother of a deployed U.S. paratrooper."
the "kid" is getting back at the "kid's mom." The "deployed U.S.
paratrooper" is firing some serious public relations missiles
at the "proud mother."
bloggers are frantically trying to defend their Mean Queen, saying
it's not a parent's fault what her son does. But Dr. Laura is
not just any parent. She has made a professional example of her
parenthood. She is her kid's mom. She exploited this kid's very
life for the sake of her ambition to rule the stay-at-home-mom
culture. If any mom is responsible for her kid's behavior, this
kid's mom is.
go on, I must confess I am not an unbiased observer of Dr. Laura's
behavior. I've been feuding with the woman for over a decade,
ever since she called me a "pseudo professional porn queen" in
LA New Times. Ironically, this was just before her nude pictures
were released on the Internet. Though I found the moniker quite
amusing, I knew she didn't intend it for my amusement, but as
a condemnation of me, my work and my sexuality.
Therefore, I asked her to apologize; when she didn't, I placed
the "Block Curse" on her and started my notorious Dr. Laura Diaries.
Then of course, Laura's naked photos were released, turning her
into a national laughing stock and symbol of sexual hypocrisy.
Shortly after that, she lost her TV show. But she's a scrappy
little miscreant. Neither the Block Curse nor the curses of millions
who abhor her high-strung sanctimony has substantially shrunken
her bank account.
Though ridiculed or actively ignored by most thinking Americans,
she retains her syndicated radio show, her cottage industry in
moral diatribes and tawdry warmonger jewelry supported by her
impassioned "Army" of "I am my kid's mom" T-shirt wearers.
also say that I feel personally disturbed by Deryk Schlessinger's
depiction of U.S. Army officers' appalling treatment of civilians
in Afghanistan, a country that I fell in love when I visited there
before Deryk was born, in the days when his mom was a nude model
and a liberal.
in Dr. Laura's Army have furiously issued form letters to editors
of newspapers printing stories about the "kid"'s horrifying Myspace
page. They can hardly defend the contents of the page (though
many of them appear to be aroused by it); so they just protest
that the page might not have been the brainchild of darling Deryk,
but could have been the diabolical work of the "enemy." By "enemy,"
do they mean Al Qaeda, pro-choice feminists, the Afghan Taliban
comeback committee or progressive gay members of the ACLU? Actually,
Dr. Laura's Army sees them all as the "enemy."
created the page
for the same reason that the
Abu Ghraib prison guards smiled
proudly and gave that same
thumbs up as they took photos
of themselves torturing prisoners:
Deryk did it because he really
thinks it's a cool thing to do.
He thinks it's sexy.
He thinks it's funny.
hasn't thus far confessed that he created the page, and there's
a slight chance that he didn't (though he obviously posed gleefully
for the photos). But really, if he didn't do it, why didn't he
say so as soon as the camel dung hit the pr fan? Why didn't this
kid's mom's publicist put out statements by young Master Schlessinger
deploring that awful ugly Myspace page and vowing that he had
nothing to do with it? Don't be surprised if such denials aren't
released soon. But if young Master Schlessinger were indeed the
innocent victim of a bad joke by some sort of "enemy," then the
natural thing would be to say so immediately, which he did not.
So, he almost certainly made the page or at least helped make
think that Deryk only fantasies about exhibitionistic sadism,
just go on the Internet and you can find a video of a young man
who has been identified as Schlessinger brutally grabbing, pushing
down on the ground and then kicking a female protester at the
2004 Republican National Convention in New York, where he was
attending as a Young Republican. Getting his political career
off to a riproaring start! Well, he's only following the example
of his President, and he is that mom's kid.
And now here
he is, a high-profile special forces paratrooper in the U.S. Army,
praised like a God for his "courage" every day by his famous know-it-all
Mom and her Army. "I brought my son up to be a warrior," the kid's
mom gushes with pride. Yes, indeed.
Army is not so supportive. The Pentagon's solution to disruptive
problem children like Deryk is to shut down access to a variety
of video-sharing and social networking internet sites, including
MySpace, on its computer systems worldwide. Needless to say, this
will close down an important line of communications between soldiers
and the outside world.
me of something I heard on The Dr. Laura Schlessinger Show. A
woman called in to ask what she should do about her husband looking
at porn on the computer.
the computer," was Dr. Laura's advice.
both Laura and the U.S. Army are tossing the baby out with the
bathwater, throwing away all of the myriad positive benefits of
cyber communications, because they are afraid of what people communicate.
are right to be afraid.
is a spirit within poor sicko Deryk that wanted to tear off the
mask of hypocrisy that his mom wears so easily. Perhaps that's
why he created the Myspace page. Perhaps this is, at the risk
of sounding clichéd, a genuine cry for help. Perhaps Deryk
created the page to say: Help me! I'm a scared, ironic human spirit
trapped in the hard body and hard-ass mind of a rabidly militaristic,
racist, sadistic, jingoistic patriot suckled by the toxic milk
of my venom-spewing mom, trained by brutes to honor the bosses
of the Bush Crime Family, raised to despise the weak and bully
sensuous, so that I too can someday, if I survive, rule the world
by force, fear and brutality. Please help me get off of the Path
of Thanatos that my mom and this government have put me on, before
I commit more atrocities against my fellow humans or pull the
trigger on this gun in my mouth."
side of me imagines that this spirit is what propelled Deryk Schlessinger
to create his appalling Myspace page. If this is indeed a cry
for help, how can I, a therapist, not answer it? With this in
mind, I want to offer 10 hours of free therapy to help Deryk come
to terms with his abusive upbringing. Obviously, he'll need a
lot more than 10 hours; but if he wants more, hey, this kid's
mom can afford to pay for his therapy.
But my cynical
side says: Nah. Deryk created the page for the same reason that
the Abu Ghraib prison guards smiled proudly and gave that same
thumbs up as they took photos of themselves torturing prisoners:
Deryk did it because he really thinks it's a cool thing to do.
He thinks it's sexy. He thinks it's funny. He might think it's
just "bully," as TR used to say, to be a bully. He might even
think it's a smart step in his (and his ruthless mom's) path toward
the U.S. Presidency. Considering the brutal antics of the current
U.S. Sociopath-in-Chief, the kid might be right.
Susan Block is a sex educator, cultural commentator, host
of The Dr. Susan Block Show and author of The 10 Commandments
of Pleasure. Visit her website at http://www.drsusanblock.com
or visit her brand new bloggamy and post comments at
Send all comments, love letters, hate mail, questions, confessions,
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