Thursday, May 19, 2011

I'm living in an age that calls darkness light

So Arnold had a secret that (one hopes) included child support payments. One wonders if he made his mistress and child take the same kind of cuts he foisted upon the employees of the State of California.

Meanwhile, Newt's passion for his country forced him to have sex with and eventually marry one of his staffers, leaving behind another wife.

Former Senator John Ensign had to be told by his spiritual advisor to put his pants on and go home.

David Vitter, Mark Sanford, Larry Craig, the new guy from New York who photographed his hot bod in the bathroom mirror for a craig's list posting.

I know I'm forgetting some.

John Edwards does some personally despicable things and his political career lays in ruins, despite any good works he might have done in the past. All those things are erased because of what he did with his penis. Same for Elliot Spitzer and Gary Hart. I'm probably forgetting others.

Republicans, while running candidates on a family values platform, forgive their members' transgressions. Democrats, while not being the party of sexual morality legislation, fricassee their members. Most of them, at least. Bill Clinton is a survivor, but he's definitely the exception to the rule, wouldn't you say?

And it's not just sexual moralizing on the right. Oh, Mike Huckabee. He was obese and lost a bunch of weight and got really healthy. He wrote a book and did huge promotional events touting the importance of being lean and healthy and how we should treat our bodies like temples, not garbage dumps.

Have you seen Mike Huckabee lately? Poor fellow. I feel his fat. Sharing his genetic programming toward porkiness, I understand how frustrated he must feel. The yo yo weight is on the upswing and he's got the double chins mocking him in the mirror every damn day as a reminder that he's still a prisoner to his love affair with food. But did his food and exercising moralizing earn him hard knocks from the geniuses on Fox News the way they've gone after First Lady Michelle Obama for promoting healthy lifestyles? Of course not. It got him a job there at Fox instead.

All of this is my long-winded way of saying this is why I try to not preach about better living or sexual morality. I am weak. The flesh is weak. My body is a cage, my mind a cesspool. My better angels are often seen sitting in the corner booth of a seedy bar playing strip poker over glasses of whiskey, telling dirty jokes while cigarettes dangle from their lips. And that's when they're not climbing into the back seats of cars with a sly smile and a glance over their shoulder. Their halos long gone, their wings missing feathers, their gowns stained with barbecue sauce, their pantyhose a laddered map of where they've been.

So really, what chance do I have? And who am I to tell anyone else how to conduct their personal affairs? That doesn't always preclude me from doing so, but it does make me a tremendous asshole for it.

One can't watch the TV or scan the internet without seeing someone yucking it up over these stories of right wing personal indiscretions. I understand the need to laugh. Hypocrisy is ever so deserving of the shame finger. This particular hypocrisy has become such a standard on the political right that we don't even have to clarify that what we're on about isn't the sexual peccadilloes, but the fact that they were committed by some guy who'd just made a speech about the sanctity of marriage. Do you imagine them grunting and rutting and giggling as they recite their speech into the ear of their paramour, the irony as thick as the smell of sex in that room at the Four Seasons? I do. It's very unappetizing.

Or do they compartmentalize just as Bill Clinton said he did? Do they flip a mental switch that keeps them from drawing a line between what they're doing and what they say other people should do? Are they completely incapable of noting the hypocrisy?

I had an affair with a guy once who wanted a midlife do over. I always suspected that it pleased him to no end that he thought he was pulling a fast one on our shared employer, but he'd never admit that the illicitness of the affair was a huge part of the appeal, critical to the relationship. His favorite line to repeat to me was that if I were ever questioned, I should deny, deny, deny. No matter what the circumstances, no matter what evidence an accuser could produce, I was to deny.

He was a Republican, too.

The mind of the powerful man is a curious thing. While I can list all the reasons why I could never run for office, the reality is that I don't believe I have the right to tell other people what to do. Seriously. I sucked as a boss. I'm much too accommodating and worried about the feelings of others to make for a good authority figure or leader. Powerful people, on the other hand, feel entitled to tell people what to do and how to do it.

While talking about this with a friend, the friend pointed out that perhaps I should run as a Republican because then my deviant background wouldn't matter. All I'd have to do is pretend I've seen the error of my ways, find God and be born again. Voila! Instant political career success!

Except I'm a terrible liar. And I would never last as a Republican considering how they're supposed to be anti-everything these days. I don't want to tell people what to do with their lives, I just want to advocate for everyone to have a better life. And yes, I do believe that some people would have better lives with a little less excess. Some people would be well served to be relieved of the burden of some of their wealth and power because having it all has depleted their humanity. They no longer recognize that they are part of something larger than themselves. There is nothing larger than themselves. And there I am - being my own kind of hypocrite.

This being human thing is such a balancing act, isn't it?

The human heart is complicated, indecipherable. Add to it the pressure exerted by the sex glands and some days we're lucky we can walk across the room without having to stop to hump a table leg without so much as a by your leave. Focusing on sex and sexuality has been such a winning vote getter for the political right. And how much time and energy has been wasted on things that, as Arnold, Newt and the rest of the Pink Helicopter Club have, once again, shown us, are truly non-starters. John Boehner calls letting the Bush Tax Cuts expire a non-starter, but Mr. Boehner, sir, you can legislate tax policy. It's an enforceable law that worked for many years in this nation. On the other hand, you simply cannot legislate morality. Humans are built to do certain things, our hardwiring is meant to lead us into temptation.

Wouldn't it be invigorating if we could refocus our political system on lifting all boats on a rising tide instead of tying concrete blocks to the ankles of the least among us? Who really cares if Tab A is going into Slot B? Ultimately, no one cares. Only when they're standing in the voting booth with an array of candidate choices and not a lick of sense about real public policy matters, do most Americans actually give a good goddamn about sexual morals. And it's not that they really care because if they did, they'd care about who's  diddling the maid or sexting or dancing around in his girlfriend's underwear while she wears a fake mustache and strap-on dildo. People vote for moralizing hypocrites because it's a hell of a lot easier to understand pee pees and wee wees and who should be doing what with whom according to somebody's unread bible than it is to understand the federal budget, tax subsidies and foreign policy.

While the world wanks over the salacious details, I'm going to get busy on my next project - my plans to run for President of France as the Socialist Candidate. I hear there's going to be an opening.

22 comments:

  1. so much truth. I love the description of your angels, btw.

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  2. Ran across this the other day, it's the Ten Commandments for Conservatives.

    I have never been able to figure out why the so-called "Family Values Voters" are so willing to look the other way when a Reich-Winger gets caught with their pants down, but will condemn a Dem in a similar situation?? I've heard it's the hate the sin, forgive the sinner, but that only works for those they consider to be Xians and we all know the Dems are heathens!!!

    Thinking about doing a post about how this country is being run, infuenced, controlled(haven't figured out exactly how to phrase that) by a minority of a minority!!

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  3. We just got to that chapter of Isaiah, so I recognize the allusion.

    One of my markers of People Not To Elect is in fact whether they spout a lot of moralistic crap, since that seems to mean epic sleaziness on their part, but many Americans don't seem to have learned that yet...

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  4. For Newt to say that anyone who quotes him from his Meet The Press interview is lying is beyond laughable. It follows the long standing Republican strategy though - tell a lie enough times and it becomes the truth.

    Although it doesn't involve infidelity, Santorum's remarks about McCain are absolutely astounding. Don't get me wrong, McCain is not anywhere close to someone I like, but for Santorum to say McCain doesn't know anything about intense interrogation is laughable.

    Let's not forget about the former congressman from Florida (I can't think of his name right now) who liked to make friends with congressional pages. But for my money, the most hypocritical of all is Palin.

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  5. Most of the pol rats you’ve mentioned are men (or a facsimile). Women, who have play-with-me-sex get treated far more harshly.

    And your list is incomplete - it could get pages longer if you included athletes. College kids and their debauchery is but a tune-up for their real go-go days when they turn pro, If it’s imaginable, pro jocks have done it legal or otherwise.

    Of course, actors and actresses also win prizes for their exploits. Unlike pro jocks, (generally speaking) excessive sex also includes copious amounts of booze and pills so, as a group, they tend to become chaste when they enter de-toxic programs. Their humping of anything moving is slowed down by their urge to vomit.

    One last point. How much of the internet is devoted to sex and porn? Would the World Wide Web cease to exist if all sex and porn sites were shut down?

    U.S. of A. your middle name is Hypocrisy.

    ps: John McCain is now as old as the Grand Canyon but during his youthful Navy days he was known as a horn dog.

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  6. I think my angels might be hanging out with yours. (There goes my bra, out the arm hole.)

    And all of what you've said is true. The right-wing sexual shenanigans would be so much easier to forgive if they were not sandwiched between so much moralizing.

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  7. Hey, I served the drinks to those angels of yours and let me tell you - they don't tip worth a damn!

    However, if they are what made you the fantastic writer that you are, then I'll serve them free drinks forever. This was a very good piece, Lisa. As Elissa has already said, so much truth.

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  8. "When everyone does better, everyone does better". Paul Wellstone.

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  9. ya know what really kills me.... I want a sex scandal all my own.. just like the Republicans get to have. Well, I went to Walmart... couldn't find one... even checked the produce aisle. Then I went to Target... nope... (but I did get some new underwear, just in case) Walgreens... nope. I even went to the Outlet Mall... Checked Barnes & Noble... shit... I even done gone out to Chuck E Cheese (well the games are fun anywayz... so I gotzta ask... Where can I get a Sex Scandal??? do I need a coupon?

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  11. ...I am weak. The flesh is weak... the whole paragraph is brilliant. And that, is why you are queen.

    (sorry I pushed send a little quickly there)

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  12. See. See! That's the best damned news I read all day long, everyday. I keep hoping the folks at Slate or Salon or some such find their way here and then call you right up, begging -- begging! -- for you to write for them. It would be their lucky day.

    There are so many great lines and rants in here I can't even list them. And I tried highlighting when I started but had to give up 'cause I couldn't keep track.

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  13. And for Mnmom above, I sure do miss Paul Wellstone. I was living in MINN then and still remember where I was when I heard his plane had gone down. What a great guy.

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  14. I can't judge Clinton, because I'm still trying to figure out the definition of "is".

    He also gets a pass from me because, frankly, his wife grates my last nerve. [It's either her voice or her personality. Perhaps both.]

    I don't think I have any angels. The Voices in my head are Grace from "Saving Grace" (aka Holly Hunter), an unknown yet obnoxious comedian, Marge Schott...and my pastor. [He's the voice of reason. The other voices are always telling him to SHUT UP.]

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  15. My take on politicians is simply that the more sanctimonious and uptight they appear, the more deviant and evil they are behind closed doors.

    I'd rather vote for an open hypocrite than a closeted one.

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  16. Seriously, I give up on them all. (Although I was never really in Arnold's corner.) And I'm done reading fiction. Excuse the cliche', but you really can't make this shit up.

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  17. You might do better as the head of the IMF. There's definitely an opening for that position. Think of all the people you could help and all you'd have to do is hang out with a few assistants drinking wine, eating bonbons, and telling jokes all while emailing cash to those in need.

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  19. Elissa - Thank you. I'm glad you liked that. It was fun to write. Because it's true.

    Kulkuri - Interesting. And that's a good line - a minority of a minority. Yes.

    Dr. MVM - Sadly, yes.

    D - And that line is from a song by The Arcade Fire. And I agree, the more they moralize, the bigger the secret.

    Latka - There list grows and grows. And how absurd of Santorum.

    Bill - Well said. It can't be just liberals keeping the porn industry afloat.

    Averil - our angels could tell some stories, couldn't they?

    The Crow - Thank you and I'll have a word with those angels about tipping.

    MnMom - We could use a lot more Wellstones, and fewer Gingriches to make this world a better place.

    okjimm - A coupon might help! But maybe what you really need is a $500,000 credit limit at Tiffany's.

    Deb - Thank you for that. I'm going to have to look for my crown.

    tericarter - you flatter me. Thank you for that. Talk about a mood lifter.

    renratt - I'm with you. The more they deny their hypocrisy the uglier it appears in the light. And you might want to get that Marge Schott thing checked out. It could be the cause of your ear infection.

    Sherry - Poor Danielle Steele and Sidney Sheldon. With our 24/7 cable news and the ongoing political/sexual shenanigans, we don't need them anymore.

    susan - Excellent idea. I'm aces with money. I'll be needing you as an advisor though.

    mountjoy - Like you, I find the woman's roles troubling and the lack of birth control use perplexing, but I draw the line at the name calling. There's no need to call them tramps, etc. They weren't the people out there pushing or setting policy for others or moralizing on what other people should do because they were in the shadows, not holding the microphone or sitting in the big chair of power.

    And as a former woman of questionable judgment, I resent the name calling. It's not necessary.

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  20. Damn, girlfriend. This one is smokin'! And you're so right about uneducated voters. In fairness, I think so many people are just trying to survive they haven't the time to sift through all the bullshit to find out the truth about any of the issues. Then there are news junkies like me... and you. ;)

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  21. Okay this:

    My better angels are often seen sitting in the corner booth of a seedy bar playing strip poker over glasses of whiskey, telling dirty jokes while cigarettes dangle from their lips. And that's when they're not climbing into the back seats of cars with a sly smile and a glance over their shoulder. Their halos long gone, their wings missing feathers, their gowns stained with barbecue sauce, their pantyhose a laddered map of where they've been.

    This, this, this, this! Who could write this but you?? Print this out, hang it by your computer, and put on there in red marker, I am a Fucking Writer. Lyra Says So!

    As for the rest, you run for France, I'm moving to Paris. C'est vrai, mon amie.

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And then you say....

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