I've always wondered how rumors seemingly credible and well-known get started. There seem to be a few key points, based strictly on my own observation:
- The target of the rumor is well-know or becomes well-known within a given culture or sub-culture as the rumor spreads.
- The rumor seems to explain other well-known facts that are otherwise inexplicable.
- The people spreading the rumor (if its perceived as negative) are people who never liked the target of the rumor in the first place.
- It is virtually impossible to stop the spread of the rumor, if only because the public target's denial of the purported or strongly suspected facts would tend to spread the rumor further, and get more of the public involved in the quest for the truth, which might well confirm the rumor.
- Rumors must be "sticky" in the sense that they capture suspicions and the imagination of the public, which makes individuals want to pass on the information to others. "Making a site sticky means that you are giving your readers what they want, and giving them a reason to stay on the site. "
- MAMZ seems somewhat effeminate to many people;
- He admittedly joined the army in an effort to be become and be perceived as a "real man";
In an autobiographical article that MAMZ wrote for the American Prospect, dated April 16, 2006, MAMZ said of his participation in the US Army:
But basic training was the best thing to ever happen to me. They say they break you down in basic training so they can rebuild you into a real man. I was already broken when I arrived at Fort Sill. For me, it was all building.Why did MAMZ feel like he was not a "real man" and how likely is it that those feelings were thoroughly extinguished by changing his "underwear" in front of other men for two or three months?
Rather than confirm his sense of manhood, his participation in the Army seems to have left him feeling more insecure. In a letter to his the student newspaper at his alma mater, Northern Illinois University, MAMZ, after he left the Army, MAMZ said:
Worrying about whether the known homosexual sleeping next to you is watching as you change your underwear may seem trivial as you read this, but to the soldier who’s short-tempered after three weeks in the field and four hours of daily sleep, it becomes a matter of great importance to his pride and sensibilities. And in any case, there aren’t many people who would change clothes in a group of co-workers if members of the opposite sex were in the same room watching. There is something inherently uncomfortable about it. Such fears would go a long way in disrupting efficiency and morale in a unit.
MARKOS C.A. MOULITSAS
Undecided FreshmanOne particular aspect of that letter seems especially curious and troubling. MAMZ said:
. . . in any case, there aren’t many people who would change clothes in a group of co-workers if members of the opposite sex were in the same room watching.For many men, being naked in front of a women "of the opposite sex" has only positive associations, since undressing with a woman present is a necessary and desirable part of having sex with her. I believe many "real men" feel this way. Being afraid to be naked in front of a woman seems sexually immature and profoundly un-masculine. MAMZ seems to conflate and be unable to perceive any difference between undressing in front of gay men and undressing in front of members of the "opposite sex."
One has to wonder, ïndeed, why MAMZ conflates being naked in front of gay men with being naked in front of women. Is that really the same thing? Maybe it is, if you secretly sexually desire naked men as much or more than you sexually desire women.
Many in the blogosphere have wondered what the word "undecided" meant to MAMZ in the letter to the student newspaper, and in the context of a letter about fear of gay men? It seems reasonable to wonder precisely what MAMZ was "undecided" about, and whether he was ever able completely resolve his indecision. Certainly the term "undecided" can be understood in ways in this context.
People constantly Google "gay" and "Kos" and then find their way to this blog. Ironically, the nickname that Kos' associates gave him in the Army is also the name of a notoriously gay mecca resort island of the coast of Greece. One has to wonder if the nickname was entirely coincidental or was suggestive of some part of MAMZ personality that was perceived and "named" by his Army co-workers.
I believe that much of the speculation about MAMZ`s sexuality comes from gays and lesbians who would like to publicly claim MAMZ as one of their own, but who cannot do so unless and until MAMZ "comes out of the closet," if indeed that's where he is now.