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Air Force drops gay bomb
June 9, 2007 9:01 PM   Subscribe

Make love not war? The Pentagon confirms that it was researching the possibility of a "gay bomb" that could "turn enemy soldiers into homosexuals and make them more interested in sex than fighting." BBC discusses this and other unorthodox U.S. weapons proposals.
posted by madamjujujive (86 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
Gosh, that's a rich vein of joke ore to mine there...
posted by Burhanistan at 9:04 PM on June 9, 2007


how about combining the gay and halitosis bombs. soldiers would be frantic to fuck each other but couldn't stand each others bad breath. the ensuing indecision could paralyze armies.
posted by quonsar at 9:07 PM on June 9, 2007 [3 favorites]


You know, I was unsure about this whole Iraq thing. Was.

Now that I know we've got the aces at the Wright Laboratory in Dayton on the case, slinging brilliant motherfucking proposals like this, I'm all for nation building and whatnot.

It's like I live in a fucking sitcom or something.
posted by kbanas at 9:08 PM on June 9, 2007 [5 favorites]


I've already discovered this so-called bomb. It's called a case of beer.
posted by troybob at 9:08 PM on June 9, 2007 [7 favorites]


I'm confused...does being gay turn you into a raging sex maniac unable to keep your hands off your fellow soldiers; or does being a raging sex maniac unable to keep your hands off fellow human beings turn you gay? I would like to know what the ingredients of the magical gay bomb were to have been.
posted by frobozz at 9:09 PM on June 9, 2007 [3 favorites]


I would like to know what the ingredients of the magical gay bomb were to have been.

I'm thinking the person behind the concept wasn't thinking in terms of YMCA type gay, but more like a phemerone cloud that would make everyone uncontrollably writhe around sexually a la "Snakes on a Plane".
posted by Burhanistan at 9:12 PM on June 9, 2007


Sorta previous.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 9:12 PM on June 9, 2007


Fat Man, or Little Boy?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 9:14 PM on June 9, 2007 [26 favorites]


Clearly, the bomb isn't going to work. But since the US military is deathly afraid of the gay, they're cock-sure everyone else is too. Mutually-assured fabulousness!
posted by kuujjuarapik at 9:18 PM on June 9, 2007 [5 favorites]


Yeah, yeah, punchline and all that. But the article's use of the word "investigate" is a bit excessive. What it says is that someone proposed such a thing, and the Pentagon declined to fund research into it. So what's the big deal?
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 9:19 PM on June 9, 2007


You're right, kuujjuarapik - I hadn't seen that. I guess the only news here is that someone finally obtained a copy of the original proposal (3 page PDF) through the FOIA.
posted by madamjujujive at 9:22 PM on June 9, 2007


Great, now I've got Electric Six stuck in my head.

Gay bomb, gay bomb, gay bomb!
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:23 PM on June 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


What about a joke so funny, enemy soldiers die laughing?
posted by A dead Quaker at 9:27 PM on June 9, 2007


While I want to dismiss this gay-making-bomb as a wasteful boondoggle, the potential of someone... say... carpet-bombing Fred Phelp's church would go a long way to alleviate my concerns about fiscal expenditure.

(DO WANT.)
posted by ntartifex at 9:40 PM on June 9, 2007


mjj: in addition to the "wtf" tag, I'd say this one definitely qualifies for the ol' "batshitinsane" as well, no? Or, seeing as how the whole thing is a bit Dr. Strangelovian in it's tragicomic War Room looniness, perhaps "batguanoinsane" might be a better choice.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:41 PM on June 9, 2007


Umm... Isn't that just called Ecstasy? Granted it's not a gay bomb, but it sure would get the love flowing... Who can kill when they're in love with everything?
posted by symbioid at 9:42 PM on June 9, 2007


That was the idea in South Africa, symboid.
posted by squasha at 9:48 PM on June 9, 2007


Forget Iran's nuclear program, we need to invade them before they turn us all hard gay!
posted by Saydur at 9:50 PM on June 9, 2007


"Gay Bomb" was a great Wicked Scepter song. Except for they're totally not gay.
posted by Smedleyman at 9:53 PM on June 9, 2007


silly pentagon ... don't they know you can detect gay bombs with gaydar?
posted by pyramid termite at 10:06 PM on June 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


They throw away on money on stupidity, as they kick out desperately needed soldiers because they're gay.

related:
How does the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy apply to Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC)?

posted by amberglow at 10:09 PM on June 9, 2007


This gay bomb of yours better work, Nerdlinger.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:10 PM on June 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


also related:
Maureen Dowd: Outing the Out of Touch
posted by amberglow at 10:16 PM on June 9, 2007


don't they know you can detect gay bombs with gaydar?

Mr. President, we cannot afford to have a mine shaft gaydar gap!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:17 PM on June 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


What it says is that someone proposed such a thing, and the Pentagon declined to fund research into it. So what's the big deal?

Millions of our money for something that's impossible is the big deal--You can't turn people gay. That the military actually thinks you can is also a really big deal.
posted by amberglow at 10:18 PM on June 9, 2007


It all makes sense now. This completely explains the past week here in DC!! Theyfinally set it off. Woooo hooooo!!!!

Thanks madamjujujive.
posted by pwedza at 10:19 PM on June 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Tom Jones would've collected a fortune in royalties.
posted by pruner at 10:29 PM on June 9, 2007


If there's a choice between Letting Freedom Reign and It's Raining Men, I'm totally for the latter. Hallelujah!
Because I WANT to keep my umbrella at home. I'm wanna go out to run and let myself get
Absolutely soaking wet!

With, uh, democracy. And stuff.
posted by maryh at 10:34 PM on June 9, 2007


... causing what the military called a "distasteful but completely non-lethal" blow to morale...

Wow. This is so wrong on so many levels that it boggles my mind. Homosexuality as a weapon? I was just incredulous enough to think at first that the first link might've been to Onion. And now I'm so depressed and disgusted at how my tax dollars are being ruinously squandered that I'm wondering who the real enemy is anymore.

Oh, well, nothing for it but to make the joke: Weapon of Mass Distraction.
posted by pax digita at 10:42 PM on June 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


"The notion was that a chemical that would probably be pleasant in the human body in low quantities could be identified, and by virtue of either breathing or having their skin exposed to this chemical, the notion was that soliders would become gay," explained Hammond.

Freudian slip anyone?
posted by longsleeves at 10:57 PM on June 9, 2007


From the article: "And its absurd because there's so much medical data that shows that sexual orientation is immutable and cannot be changed."

My understanding is that the proposed device would use hormones to trigger sexual urges in soldiers of a temporary nature. I don't think the proponents of this idea were planning to actually TURN people gay as amberglow and I imagine others that were outraged by this idea stated.

IF such a device were possible, what's the problem? I think it would be much better than lethal weapons. And I'd rather have millions of dollars going into non-lethal weapon research than lethal weapons research.
posted by banished at 11:02 PM on June 9, 2007


I'm blinking and wondering if somehow someone read A Confederacy of Dunces and decided to make Ignatius' idea of armies of gay men into a genuine war plan. I can imagine it now ...

"Take cover," one of the men in my troop shouts, but before we can get our masks on, the bomb hits and the gas envelops us in a smouldering pink cloud ... suddenly, the speakers in the helicopter above switch from Ride of the Valkyries to the NIN cover of "Get Down, Make Love." The same unholy weapon has transformed my dull green uniform into a shimmery mesh shirt. No, it's not a fever ... I actually am hot now.

The air is filled with what looks like birds through the clouds, all falling, until I realize that we are being blanketed in thousands of Judy Garland postcards, each containing a message on the back calling for us to lay down our firearms and get laid. I cast my weapon to the ground and clutch at the Sarge, murmuring, "This is my rifle, this is my gun. One is for shooting, the other's for fun" into his ear. We sink down into the dirt of the battlefield in passion, oblivious to the gunshots around us.

* * *

Seriously, I wish the military were a person, because it needs to spend some time on a therapist's couch, telling us about its controlling mother and absent father. This stuff is just too much. My tax dollars for this?
posted by adipocere at 11:15 PM on June 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


MetaFilter: Weapon of Mass Distraction.
posted by SpecialK at 11:16 PM on June 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


It sounds like a great idea to me. I think it might scare the hell out of these religious fundamentalists we're fighting in a way that simple death doesn't seem to accomplish.

To those who think it would be unethical - So, it's better to drop fire on them instead? I'd like to cut and run from Iraq as much as you, but we need a weapon to fight in these situations even if we aren't going to use it immediately.

Unfortunately, from what I know of biology, I would be astounded to see this actually work. I think it might be possible to develop a really strong aphrodisiac, but I don't think changing sexual orientation temporarily (or permanently) is possible. Anyways, I don't think it would be uncontrollable at any level, so realistically you'd only succeed in making them feel very, very strange for a while. Oh, and probably giving half of them cancer.
posted by Mitrovarr at 11:19 PM on June 9, 2007


Gay cancer? Wow, the eighties really are back.
posted by maryh at 11:35 PM on June 9, 2007


The whole thing is like a really bizarre outtake from "Dr. Strangelove." Holy cow.

"God willing, we will prevail in peace and freedom from fear and in true health through the purity and essence of our natural fluids. God bless you all."
posted by blucevalo at 11:50 PM on June 9, 2007


I think it's a great idea to explore shame-causing ordinance. Perhaps a bomb that causes enemy combatants to be picked last when choosing teams for sports. A chess club bomb if you will.
posted by Serial Killer Slumber Party at 11:50 PM on June 9, 2007 [3 favorites]


I gotta agree with SCDB here. Pentagon declines to fund stupid idea, film at 11:00? The Pentagon didn't fund it! They thought it was stupid!

Where's the beef?
posted by Justinian at 12:14 AM on June 10, 2007


They don't always decline them.

*stares at Justinian and SCDB*
posted by YoBananaBoy at 12:21 AM on June 10, 2007


Somebody set us up the gay bomb.
posted by Rangeboy at 12:24 AM on June 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


Eh? This bomb is unlikely to be impossible. I mean, if we accept the premise that our behavior is a product of our chemistry the same way our cells are, you'd have to believe that being gay is part of your soul (separate from your physical body) and not just part of your mind and body.

Of course, it's equally unlikely that this bomb is within our current technological reach. Laughably unlikely even. But is it impossible? Maybe in 100 years it'll be a common street drug. Who knows?
posted by Richard Daly at 12:28 AM on June 10, 2007


Seriously, wtf?
posted by nickyskye at 1:09 AM on June 10, 2007


amberglow , did you read the article? These were just proposals that were rejected, so no money was spent on them. Second, as others have pointed out, it's not a weapon to turn people gay. The idea seemed to be to create a bomb that disperses a chemical that drives people into a sexual frenzy and thus makes them unable to fight. It's a "gay bomb" in that almost all militaries are mostly male, so the sexual frenzy would result in homosexual sex, if the chemical did what it was supposed to. The idea is not as ridiculous or implausible as people are making it out to be. It's actually good that the military is looking at non-lethal, if extremely off-beat, ways of fighting the enemy. Wouldn't it be better if we could incapacitate the enemy, even it's through this somewhat silly "sexual frenzy" attack, instead of killing them?
posted by Sangermaine at 2:00 AM on June 10, 2007 [3 favorites]


Bring it on, bring it on!!! Enact the final scene of Susskind's Perfume. It is a glorious world we live in.

The problem isn't the millions of tax dollars that apparently weren't spent on this, its that anybody, anywhere, would think this coherent enough to suggest.
posted by fcummins at 2:29 AM on June 10, 2007


This is so very Mary Renault: "The Trojan Whores" or "Who Did You Do in the War, Daddy?"
posted by rob511 at 3:34 AM on June 10, 2007


I'm amazed there hasn't yet been a christian action film starring Kirk Cameron as Dirk Stone, a university chaplain who must fight a rogue gay-straight alliance who are trying to drop their thesis-project GAYBOMB on Colorado Springs. The dastardly plan is stopped at the last minute by the power of prayer and the firepower of the U.S. Air Force as all the would-be terrorist are incinerated in their Planned Parenthood command center. The movie closes with the entire student body burning down the Physics, Biology and Math departments in an effort to rededicate the university to Christ.

Come on Holywood, it's like it writes itself.
posted by uri at 3:44 AM on June 10, 2007 [3 favorites]


I want the boooooomb
I want the gay bomb
Don't want my bomb stepped on
Make my bomb the gay bomb
I wants to get gayed up
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:09 AM on June 10, 2007


Gives new meaning to the phrase "friendly fire." And god hope us when the Pentagon starts explaining gian Gay Pride parades through Anbar Province as "collateral damage."

What is it with this fucking country? How much more obsessed with gaydom do we have to be before the world realizes . . . America is gay.
posted by spitbull at 4:36 AM on June 10, 2007


a "gay bomb"

The abandonded Maxwell Smart movie.
posted by jonmc at 4:52 AM on June 10, 2007


Mr Kors already made the most appropriate response, so I'll just reprint it here for those who don't want to read to the bottom of the page you linked to first:

"Throughout history we have had so many brave men and women who are gay and lesbian serving the military with distinction," said Geoff Kors of Equality California. "So, it's just offensive that they think by turning people gay that the other military would be incapable of doing their job. And its absurd because there's so much medical data that shows that sexual orientation is immutable and cannot be changed."
posted by chuckdarwin at 5:04 AM on June 10, 2007


Easy enouogh to dismiss as absurd but it seems based on he idea that the govt and its military have been fucking us right along so why not try it now on the enemy? No wonder gays have so little money and seldom have decent jobs: they are too busy having sex.
posted by Postroad at 5:06 AM on June 10, 2007


If it's not love, then it’s the bomb, the bomb, the bomb, the bomb, the bomb, the bomb, the bomb that will bring us together
posted by kcds at 5:08 AM on June 10, 2007 [2 favorites]



amberglow , did you read the article? These were just proposals that were rejected, so no money was spent on them. Second, as others have pointed out, it's not a weapon to turn people gay. The idea seemed to be to create a bomb that disperses a chemical that drives people into a sexual frenzy and thus makes them unable to fight. It's a "gay bomb" in that almost all militaries are mostly male, so the sexual frenzy would result in homosexual sex,


Of course our money was spent on them--on evaluating the proposal, on considering the proposal, on writing up reasons for rejection, on documentation and paperwork, etc. Every proposal to the military goes thru many hands--or at least it's supposed to. We pay for all those people, and committees and boards.

And sexual frenzy doesn't equal homosexual sex, by any means. Most militaries are mixed now too, and even if not mixed, it would only mean they'd leave a battlefield, not jump each other right there and then.
posted by amberglow at 5:31 AM on June 10, 2007


As a matter of fact, this specific proposal was thought up by the USAF themselves, meaning everyone involved was paid with our money--from the first time it popped into someone's head until it was officially rejected.
posted by amberglow at 5:38 AM on June 10, 2007




Unless of course they find shooting americans a turn on, in which case this idea could seriously backfire.
posted by Hildegarde at 5:42 AM on June 10, 2007 [2 favorites]


Look, would you rather have the enemy temporarily rendered helpless by post-sexual exhaustion and therefore easily captured alive OR would you rather have them really sexually frustrated, therefore angry, therefore ready to kill you, and therefore having to be killed? I'm going for what's behind door number one. And besides, didn't they already do this research and produce a drug that makes men really, um, excited? Isn't it called Viagra?
posted by MarshallPoe at 6:03 AM on June 10, 2007


if i got ahold of a gay bomb, i would set it off at a promise keepers rally.
posted by bruce at 6:30 AM on June 10, 2007


MarshallPoe - No. Viagra does not make you horny. Actually it does not work unless you're horny.
posted by cardoso at 6:34 AM on June 10, 2007


Ok. this silly 'gay-bomb' shit aside. Do they ever use any of those nifty "non-lethal" weapons you see trotted out in Newsweek every year or so? The military industrial complex still seems to be in the business of traditional munitions, and you don't hear anything about earmuffed marines harmlessly neutralizing enemy camps in Iraq with sonic disrupters or some bullshit.

Do we actually make weapons like this to use, or are they just art projects for propaganda people, assigned every 14 months to make the public think that the military isn't necessarily in the business of fucking death?
posted by es_de_bah at 6:49 AM on June 10, 2007 [2 favorites]


They're wasting their time with this bomb idea: all they have to do is drop ME behind enemy lines.
posted by hermitosis at 7:07 AM on June 10, 2007 [8 favorites]


Soo wait...Does this mean that guys in the military aren't sexually frustrated already?

I guess those sailors WERE really just looking for a place to drop anchor.
posted by landedjentry at 7:09 AM on June 10, 2007


I think it's all military-industrial complex welfare, es_de_bah. They throw millions at friends and cronies.
posted by amberglow at 7:12 AM on June 10, 2007


Someone set us up the gay bomb.
posted by orthovirus at 7:13 AM on June 10, 2007


It's a "gay bomb" in that almost all militaries are mostly male, so the sexual frenzy would result in homosexual sex

Oh cool, so the armies wouldn't go into a frenzy and start raping civilians, be they woman, man or child? Those scientists sure are smart!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:23 AM on June 10, 2007


Weapons of ass destruction, more like.
posted by RokkitNite at 7:32 AM on June 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


Scenes from the cutting room floor:
Dr. Strangelove, Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

George C. Scott as General Buck Turgidson

General Turgidson: “Now hold on just a minute! What if this damn thing works and the enemy over runs our boys anyway?”
posted by Huplescat at 7:38 AM on June 10, 2007


NON-LETHAL WEAPONS LAB: BRAINSTORMING SESSION

1st Scientist: Well...what about some kind of a strobe gun? A big flash that blinds people...

2nd Scientist: That could work, but our guys would need, I dunno, smoked goggles or something...

3rd Scientist: What about a gun that turns people GAY?

1st Scientist: Yeah, word on the goggles. I dunno, do you think it'd be too much? 'Cause it wouldn't just be a gun, then, it'd necessitate this headgear so you don't blind yourself. That'd be fine for our guy with the gun, but we'd have to make sure all our guys in the field...

2nd Scientist: Well, it's something to think about. I don't know how practical it is, you're right. I was also thinking about netting...like, a netting gun? Bad guy gets all tangled up in --

3rd Scientist: What about netting that turns people GAY?

1st Scientist: What, like Spider-Man?

2nd Scientist: ...Spider-Man is gay?

1st Scientist: What? I...no, I mean, netting like Spider-Man's webbing. Like, y'know, a spider's web...

3rd Scientist: What about spiders that turn people GAY?

2nd Scientist: Dude, what the FUCK! We're not turning people GAY!

1st Scientist: You need to get past this gay thing, man.

3rd Scientist: Huh huh. Gay. ...You guys are fags.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:14 AM on June 10, 2007 [7 favorites]


this specific proposal was thought up by the USAF themselves

amberglow, read madamjujujive's pdf; it was one sentence in a three-page proposal from the Wright Labs; I'm not sure the money angle is real important here. The list also included the suggestion that the army give enemy soldiers "severe and lasting halitosis," so the ridiculousness goes beyond whatever homophobia was present.
posted by mediareport at 8:35 AM on June 10, 2007


Personally, and call me shallow for thinking this, but I'm more interested in what the gay bomb looks like. I'd like to see some sort of design that brightened up that tired gun-metal look and give it a bit of pizazz. I mean they could go all the way and make it uder-fabulous, but frankly even a splash of color would help...
posted by ob at 9:43 AM on June 10, 2007


sequined like a disco ball, ob : >

...the ridiculousness goes beyond whatever homophobia was present.
The whole thing is ridiculous--all of it. That we paid their salaries while they sat around dreaming this up, and then paid to review and seriously consider these proposals, is absolutely wrong. Competence counts, and incompetence costs. There are plenty of outside people and firms who could have presented proposals--that stuff of this level of absurdity came from in-house govt. labs run with our money is even more wrong.
posted by amberglow at 9:52 AM on June 10, 2007


I spend a lot of my time at the gym, at the opera, and I live right in the middle of the fashion district; the gay bomb has already been dropped and everybody's happier for it.
posted by matteo at 10:39 AM on June 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


Man, I didn't think I was gonna be singing "God Bless America" under my breath this morning, but I guess you never can predict when patriotism will strike.
posted by crinklebat at 10:54 AM on June 10, 2007


I'm actually kinda pleased that someone, somewhere in the Pentagon, was working on a weapon that didn't kill anyone.

You can have a gay bomb, or a bad-breath bomb. Or you can have this puppy. You get to pick.

You can either forcibly remove peoples' limbs with explosive devices, or you can have this.

'Nuff said.
posted by frogan at 11:24 AM on June 10, 2007


I wish I'd seen this post earlier, the timing would have been better to make a joke about the military think tanks getting their ideas about sexuality from watching too much military-themed porn.

Oh well.
posted by kavasa at 11:49 AM on June 10, 2007


So let's see: the enemy forces turn crazily gay, and they have guns, and they take U.S. troops captive. Surely a win-win situation!
posted by davy at 11:50 AM on June 10, 2007


You can have a gay bomb, or a bad-breath bomb. Or you can have this puppy. You get to pick.

is sparky house broken? ... do i have to fix him if he doesn't do girls?
posted by pyramid termite at 12:56 PM on June 10, 2007


my point frogan, is that we ALWAYS go with the neutron bomb. the rest is just pageantry.
posted by es_de_bah at 1:45 PM on June 10, 2007


Nota Bene: The pentagon is Weird. They paid men to try and kill goats with their minds.

Full stop.

With their Minds.

Let's not mention Operation Northwoods, Mkultra, or Operation Mockingbird as well.

In other news, I could really get behind the whole Love Bomb thing.
posted by Freen at 2:07 PM on June 10, 2007


Man, I didn't think I was gonna be singing "God Bless America" under my breath this morning, but I guess you never can predict when patriotism will strike.

It's the patriotism bomb. Another little something they're studying at the moment.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:39 PM on June 10, 2007


just think what would happen if they dropped a stupidity bomb on washington

oh

never mind
posted by pyramid termite at 4:14 PM on June 10, 2007


I think we need more Acoustic Kitty type projects.
posted by chrisbucks at 5:00 PM on June 10, 2007


Wait, wait, don't tell me: you listen to "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me".
posted by yerfatma at 5:14 PM on June 10, 2007


Drop it on Congress, and I'll pay for it myself.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 6:50 PM on June 10, 2007


Metafilter: Mutually-assured fabulousness!
posted by nightchrome at 7:24 PM on June 10, 2007




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