During the "Celebration of the Muse", recently held at Cabrillo College, author Claire Braz-Valentine was the highlight
of the evening when she read the following:
An Open Letter to John Ashcroft
Attorney General of the United States
On January 28, 2002, as Attorney General John Ashcroft you announced that you spent $8,000 of taxpayer's money for
drapes to cover up the exposed breast of The Spirit of Justice, an 18 ft aluminium statue of a woman that stands in the
Department of Justice's Hall of Justice. John, John, John, you've got your priorities all wrong.
While men fly airplanes into skyscrapers, dive bomb the Pentagon, while they stick explosives into their shoes, and then
book a seat right next to us, while they hide knives in their luggage, steal kids on school buses, take little girls
from their beds at night, drive trucks into our state capital buildings, while our president calls dangerous men all
over the world evildoers and devils, while we live in the threat of biological warfare and nuclear annihilation, you are
out buying yardage to save Americans from the appalling alarming, abominable aluminium alloy of evil, that terrible ten
foot tin titty. You might not be able to find Bin Laden. But you sure as hell found the hooter in the hall of justice.
It's not that we aren't grateful. But while we were begging the women of Afghanistan to not cover up their face you are
begging your staff members to just cover up that nipple to save the American people from that monstrous metal mammary.
How can we ever thank you?
So, in your office every morning in your secret prayer meeting, while an American woman is sexually assaulted every 6
seconds, while anthrax floats around the post office and settles in the chest of senior citizens, you've got another
chest on your mind. While American sons arrive home in body bags, and heat seeking missiles fly around a foreign country
looking for any warm body you think of another body. And you pray for the biggest bra in the world, John, because you
see that breast on the spirit of justice in the spirit of your own inhibited sexuality.
And when we women see our grandmothers, our mothers, our daughters, our granddaughters, our sisters, ourselves, when we
women see that statue of the spirit of justice, we see the spirit of strength the spirit of survival. While every day we
view innocent bodies dragged out of rubble and women and children laid out like thin limp dolls and baptised into death
as collateral damage, and the hollow eyed Afghani mother's milk has dried up underneath her burka in famine, in shame,
and her children are dead at her breast. While you look at that breast, John, that jug on the spirit of justice, and
deal with your thoughts of lust and sex and nakedness, we see it as a testimony to motherhood. And you see it as a tit.
It's not the money it cost. It's the message you send. We've got the right to live in freedom. We've got the right to
cheat Americans out of millions of dollars and then just not want to tell congress about it. We've got the right to drop
bombs night and day on a small country that has no army, no navy, no military at all, because we've got the right to
bear arms, but we just better not even think about the right to bare breasts.
So now, John, you can be photographed while you stand there and talk about guns and bombs and poisons without the breast
appearing over your right shoulder, without that bodacious bosom bothering you, and we just wanted to tell you in the
spirit of justice, in the spirit of truth:
John, there is still one very big boob left standing there in that picture.