1. After two or three days of cool weather, the summer returned. The heat wasn't punishing -- in some ways, it was very pleasant -- but there was a miasmal quality to the air that seemed ominous, even in the most beautiful place on earth, the Heather Gardens of Fort Tryon Park. 2. The headlines were equally ominous, as our political leaders continued a brutal, unrelenting campaign to transform the country into militaristic theocracy. Political malfeasance was very much on my mind, not only because of the daily news, but also because Stephen and I were slowly watching the Vietnam War documentary, which raises many questions and answers others, the most relevant being: Is it possible for a once-peaceful society to slide into civil unrest and, eventually, war? Clearly, the answer is yes. You wonder how these things happen, and then, here it is. You see the world falling apart, and then it is gone. Or, as Morrissey once sang, "I've seen this happen in other people's lives, and now it's happening in mine." 3. Recently, when the executive branch of the United States announced that -- for reasons of "religious freedom" -- it would no longer require employers to subsidize women's birth control as part of a health-insurance plan, it occurred to me that only one solution was left: a sex strike. The concept is not new, of course. Roughly 2500 years ago, Aristophanes wrote (somewhat satirically) about the women of ancient Greece banding together to withhold sex from their spouses and lovers with the purpose of ending the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta. But if there has ever been an idea whose time has come, this is it. The facts are not disputed: namely, our country is ruled by a relatively small group of rich, powerful men, the vast majority of whom are heterosexual and are married (to women). These men (presumably) enjoy having sex, but they keep passing laws that objectify, dehumanize, and punish women in ways that deserve a very serious response. Another march, no matter how well organized or attended, cannot be counted on to get their attention. But not letting these cretins have sex for the foreseeable future seems like it might. Women's reproductive rights are only the most immediate concern: once this issue is addressed (and it wouldn't be that difficult: it's not as though we lack the resources or the technology), women could demand all sorts of sensible reform related to gun control, climate change and other environmental issues, economic inequality, and so much more. (Gay rights.) Although I'm gay, I -- as should anyone who supports this vision -- would happily join this effort in solidarity if it meant constraining the power of our current political regime and averting the kind of civil unrest -- and war -- that seems to be their primary aim. 4. Like so many ideas that pass through my oxygen-deprived brain when I'm running, this one seemed great for a few minutes but more problematic once I stopped and began to consider its practical implementation. Like how to get 180 million women on board? Could a #nosex Twitter campaign go viral? Perhaps, but I wasn't sure I trusted the political efficacy of Twitter, which seems better suited to promoting armchair activism, standup comics, and corporate propaganda. Aristophanes skirted the issue by simply having (near the start of his play) a few representatives convene at the urging of Lysistrata (after whom his work is named), where the no-sex edict is issued and then followed. In many ways, I remembered, fiction is easier than the real world. (Although it's also sometimes harder.)5. Or even if the campaign began to unfold, it seemed likely that Republican leaders would react even more harshly. They would -- with the assistance of a handful of unreliable Democrats -- pass a series of laws that would quickly transform our country into (even more of) a Handmaid's Tale dystopia. Then again, if we're already going down this road, maybe it's better to acknowledge it now and start fighting before it's too late. 6. Whether the women of this country decide to embark on a #nosex boycott or resist through other means, there's one thing that watching the Vietnam documentary makes crystal clear. 7. When people are invaded and punished -- when they are subjected to arbitrary, draconian rule -- eventually they will find each other. They will rebel and fight back, which is how we end up in the kind of wars that nobody wins.