It was the decade when...
The horse rode the cowboy.
The Internet is the greatest resource for communication and social interaction ever invented. No matter how alone and isolated people feel, no matter how trapped they are in their lives, the Internet provides a way to reach out and connect with those who share similar problems. It's the world's biggest support group, one that knows no borders and one for which distance between parties plays no role in impinging communication. It saves people's lives daily. It can also bring horse fuckers together.
It was the story that shocked America. On July 2, 2005, Kenneth Pinyan, a 45-year-old engineer at the Boeing corporation was admitted to a Washington hospital late in the evening. He suffered from a perforated colon and later died of the injuries. Upon investigation it was determined that his death was the direct result of some intense horse-on-man action. I'll venture to guess: not the way Mr. Pinyan thought he would expire (though, as you're being pounded by a horse, the thought must occur to you). What's more, this was no isolated incident. Pinyan belonged to a underground club of sorts: a consortium of men who, having found each other on the World Wide Web, bonded over their sexual predilection for horses. They took a name for themselves, and, indeed, for anyone with a romantic interest in all things bestial: zoophiles, or "zoos" for short. Catchy, no? Meeting at a ranch outside Seattle, this convocation of equine lovers would shoot the shit, watch science-fiction flicks, drink frozen cocktails, and then, as one does with pals after a few on a Friday night, proceed to have receptive anal sex with Arabian stallions. The last of these activities would often be videotaped and distributed free of charge on the Internet, giving all those lonely zoos out there some much needed stroke vids. (One imagines there was quite a dearth of options before.) When the story leaked out the media attention was torrential; the public sat slack-jawed with horror and fascination. We were beside ourselves with prurient titillation, adolescent snickering, and puritanical indignation. The Seattle Times reported that the story was its most read of the year. Washington State enacted a bestiality law in short order.
Now, man hath been laying with beast since time immemorial. (They didn't put these things in Leviticus because they were just worried about someone trying it.) But one imagines in the past that the activity was almost always somewhat, shall we say, private. The lonely shepherd scenario. Given that it is a topic moderately, ahem, difficult to bring up in polite company, to be a zoo is to be one in secret and alone. Until the Internet. The anonymity of the net gave these rather exotic libidos room to breathe: a space to discuss that which was formerly unspeakable. It took modern technology to facilitate organized bestiality—there is irony there somewhere, maybe everywhere.
The Enumclaw Horse Incident proved grist to the mill for the art-house cinema set when Seattle journalist Charles Mudede and filmmaker Robinson Devor teamed up on the languid (and occasionally soporific) quasi-documentary Zoo; the film was something of a scandal at Sundance in 2007, though it failed to achieve mainstream box-office success. Then again, I doubt Grizzly Man would have done as well if the lead had blown the bears before being eaten by them. Fortunately, the film Zoo maintains a tasteful and poetic visual style at all times, despite the obvious possible provocations. If Zoo's oblique visuals leave you unsated, and you want curiosity to really kill that cat, the strong of stomach (and the weak of character) can seek out footage posted online of Mr. Hands (Pinyan's online handle) and his equine companion in flagrante delicto. (The actual incident that precipitated Pinyan's ignominious end was not, thank God, filmed for posterity.) I myself want to continue sleeping at night and, ergo, do not watch.
Though the death of Kenneth Pinyan spelled the end of the Pacific Northwest's most unusual social club, horse-fucking lives on. In July of 2009 Rodell Vereen was caught in South Carolina making love to Sugar, a female horse—I think it's safer when the horse is the bottom—that was not his to seduce. He was subsequently arrested. The catch: Vereen was on probation at the time...for having sex with Sugar before! Now that's love.
You AUGHT to remember.