Good golly I’m bored by all this endless debate about Clinton’s sexual proclivities. Last Sunday night, “60 Minutes” dragged out some out-takes from an interview they did in 1992 with the Clintons where they weren’t allowed to answer any questions. Was it just me, or did you feel like screaming at Steve Kroft to shut the hell up after asking a question because he’d then go on to explain the point of the question like we (the ignorant public) or they (the immoral Clintons) didn’t understand it. And we heard the usual non-answer answer from Bill. This, then, is news.
I turned to Alex on the couch and said, “well, which President didn’t get his dick sucked? I mean, this is the President of the United States, here. If you can’t abuse that power, what’s the point?” I thought probably Nixon never got a good blow job, intra- or extra-marital. He needed one, that much is clear. And Carter said he had committed adultery in his heart, but he never explained whether that was horizontal, between-the-sheets adultery or a quickie “nothing to do with love” adultery.
Gerald Ford. Hmm. He was only in office a short time, but how long does it take to invite an intern in to take a look around the Oval Office? Kennedy is a given. That dude was a rabbit. And they wondered where he got that bad back. Eisenhower we now know was diddling his driver in double-ya double-ya two, some cute chick in a uniform. Now who could resist that? And he was overseas, and he wasn’t the Prez yet so maybe that doesn’t count.
Martin Van Buren. I bet he was a randy sort. That hair probably turned the cooks on. My distant relative Chester A. Arthur (assuming everyone with that last name is related somehow). He had a big ol’ mustache. Maybe he went down on someone else. One can only hope.
Do you think Dole, had he been elected, would have had these problems? I mean the problems of having one’s penis’s distinguishing marks discussed on Larry King. “Can we talk about the president’s willy for a moment, Paula? You say it you can identify it to prove you’ve not only seen it but serviced it. Is it bent? Got a mole, perhaps? An erotic piercing?” Really, I want to see how far we can push public propriety here. What can we get Lynn Russell to say on CNN? Will she say “cock ring”? Can you imagine how wonderful that would be, here at the edge of the millennia? To hear the term “cock ring” on Headline News. Then we’ll know it’s truly the end of everything.
It is a truly remarkable world we’ve invented for ourselves. I suppose I’m not shocked by any of this Sex Scandal crap because, as I said, I’m simply not surprised that anyone would succumb to an abuse of power. There’s that whole moral debate about “any man who’d betray his marriage oaths would betray all oaths”, which succeeds in leveling the logic for all of us because if we cheat in one area we’ll cheat in another when we all know we cheat as far as we think we can get away with it. The only measurement of one type over another is the level of shit we’ll catch for doing it rather than a question of breaking an oath. I’d love to believe that people are ethical most of the time, but history and human nature tell me that this simply isn’t true. Some people are ethical and we make them saints. We also make crazy people who wander the streets naked and live with badgers saints, so I’m not sure that proves much.
Anyway, I love this period of American history and I’m just so damned proud of being an American right now. Can’t you just feel the tension in the air? How long will it be before someone mutters “blowjob” on the airwaves? Not including Howard Stern, I mean. More like Dan Rather. Who wouldn’t be proud of the moment that the network that brought us Walter Cronkite announcing the moon landing and the death of JFK would also provide us the man who was beat up on the street when he was mistaken for Kenneth and didn’t know the frequency could allow Rather to look sternly into the camera and read in his stately and monotone inflection; “Did Monica Lewinsky go down on President Clinton? What does the President’s penis look like? And how many of our past presidents have received blowjobs from White House staff members? All this and more on the next 48 Hours.”
Maybe it’s just me, but I certainly get all atingley at the prospect.
I wonder how Chelsea handles all this. We never hear from her, and it’s not like—at 18 or 19 or whatever she is—she’s unaware of these little Lincoln Bedroom farces. Imagine, if you will, being a college freshman and having not only the entire campus but the entire nation, probably the entire world, discussing your father’s dick. I mean, wow, kind of an ice breaker or what?
“There’s that new girl. Eating with all those dark-suit types around her.”
“She’s the President’s daughter! She’s probably very lonely.”
“I never though of that! Let’s ask her to eat with us… Hi!”
“You’re Chelsea, right?”
“I’m Linda and this is Marcy. We were just talking about your father’s dick and noticed you sitting over here all alone and wondered if you’d like to sit with us.”
“I’d really rather..”
“Have you seen his dick?”
“The president’s dick. Have you seen it?”
“Would you mind just going aw..”
“I hear it has ‘distinguishing marks’ on it.”
“Troy—my boyfriend Troy, he’s over there—his dick isn’t circumcised. I kind of like that.”
“Eeyoo! Marcy, that’s just gross!”
“Well, he can’t help it!”
“Still. Eeeyoo. Is your father circumcised, Chelsea?”
(Chelsea looks at her Secret Service contingent) “Don’t you people have guns or something?”
“I’d do him.”
“Oh! In a second!”
“Can’t you just see it? The sun streaming through the Oval Office windows. A bunch of people outside waiting to get in.”
“Like diplomats or something!”
“Please shoot me.”
Our Bodies, Ourselves
How does one explain these things to the kids? When I was growing up, all we had was Watergate. I remember watching the hearings on TV—we had to for school. This was “history in the making”, but I must say that history, while it’s being made, is usually so dull. I’m hoping this all pans out and Clinton maintains he didn’t have sexual relations with Monica and we all get to watch the hearings all day long pre-empting Sesame Street and Oprah. Imagine the fun! Imagine the questions! “What do you consider sexual relations, Mr. President?” The speaker holds up an illustration from the Kama Sutra. “Is this within your definition?”
“Senator, yes. That would be sex.”
“I have some video I’d like to play now, if I may Mr. Chairman?”
“By all means!”
I should be writing for MAD TV (SNL is so ten years ago). I’m hoping against hope that impeachment hearings will commence and they’ll concentrate not on the real lawbreaker of asking a witness (snicker, snicker) to lie under oath but what, in fact, happened and who, in fact, did what to whom. It’s a ratings bonanza waiting to happen! And we all know that the only thing—the only thing—that counts in this world is ratings. Who’s paying attention? How much ad revenue can we squeeze from this? And if it ain’t ad revenue, it’s merely the more hard-to-refine Word of Mouth. Street Buzz. Everyone wants that, good or bad. Politicians need it so they can talk at you more. You need to know who they are, even if you hate them. Then they have you watching them and they can suck you into their schemes. Celebrities need it so you’ll watch them or buy their albums or go to their movies or purchase their calendars and autobiographies and posters and lines of dog food. Everyone wants your attention, see. And the best way to get it, survey says..!
The other sick, sad thing (Daria! Yes, I watch a lot of TV. I used to say I watch “too much” TV, but I’m at one with my addiction) is the emerging trend to use innuendo and rumor as news. People, obviously, want to watch this sort of thing. How else to explain the on-going success of Jerry Springer et al, shows that glorify human stupidity even as they snicker, nay, guffaw out loud in a snorting derogatory manner at it? I also watch Talk Soup when I catch it whilst channel surfing and laugh right along with skunk boy and crew at the unbelievability of it all. But I watch mesmerized and even Alexis, the grande dame of “TV, as a whole (hole), sucks” will pause and find herself seated on the arm of the sofa (I am ensprawled, leaving little room for her otherwise) watching the vulgar display. Everyone, it seems, loves garbage TV.
Now, of course, we’re supposed to believe the National Enquirer as a source for “news”. And Matt Drudge—who should keep his Jughead-like countenance in Hollywood where it belongs—was sitting on the panel of Meet The Press a couple of weekends back! Another sign of the apocalypse, surely. He held up The New York Post as an example of truth in journalism. He called himself an enemy of Clinton. This is unbiased reporting at it’s best, wouldn’t you agree? Matt, if you want to write editorials about abuses of power and so forth, label them thus. Repeating unsubstantiated rumors, as Carl Bernstein pointed out on Sunday Morning, is not news reporting. For that matter, repeating substantiated rumors is not reporting, it’s gossiping. Your self-promotional schpiels couched as self-righteous indignation are disgusting.
In closing, I’d like to add that I certainly hope I used dick and cock and blow-job enough for the search engines.
February 4, 1998