Are there different criteria for granting/processing passports for the elite? Do they have to tell whether or not they've had a nose job and anal bleaching? I'm guessing not.Now there were two words that had, up until this point, gently bumped off my ear and sailed away without really sinking in: "anal bleaching". What the heck was this? Sure enough, Wikipedia had an article.
I was well and truly down the rabbit hole now, if you'll excuse the metaphor. I clicked on one of the links at the Wiki, and it took me to a column by some chick at the Village Voice who apparently writes on some regular basis... daily, weekly, quarterly, hourly, I'm not sure ...about buttholes. I had no idea that the topic had such variety. (The chick in question, incidentally, is kin to Thomas Pynchon, which explains rather a lot when you think about it.) Anyhow, after reading the article, what I am gathering is that there are folks who are dissatisfied with the color of their distal sphincters and wish to better their lot in life by making them paler. Hey, it's a free country, I guess.
Of course, the initial reaction to this is to head for the history section of the library in search of the appropriate "Decline and Fall of Rome" quote. I mean, what could possibly be more decadent than adjusting the tint knob on one's cornhole? But that's not really right. The next impulse is to laugh at the vanity of it all. I mean, I don't even really know what color my butt is for sure, and I've certainly never contemplated it with an eye towards dyeing it to match my shoes.
When all is said and done, however, what I mostly feel is amazement at how totally we have subdued this planet. Once we were freezing to death in caves, worried about becoming lion chow, and now we have so thoroughly conquered the needs of food, shelter, and safety that we are free to lounge about and think "You know, I think life would be about perfect if only my poop chute were a whiter shade of pale." O brave new world that has such assholes in it.