Thursday, March 13, 2008

Dear Mr. Spitzer:

Dear Mr. Spitzer:

I’d like to say I know how you feel, or I feel for you, but I’m no longer sure of this. Alan Dershowitz and I were hoping you’d tough it out and not let the bastards get you. After all, at least you’re heterosexual. And $80,000 is trivial these days. Not even the annual gubernatorial clothing allowance (quite a pricey suit you were wearing to walk the dog when I passed you on Fifth Avenue recently!). Far less than a year's triple tuition at Horace Mann. Not enough to even suggest an addiction. And you had the moral rectitude to use your own money. I was a little charmed by the innocent way your neighbor observed you repeatedly withdrawing your ATM maximum like a law-observing customer. Not establishing an offshore account like some of your colleagues. And how many of these breathed a temporary sigh of relief that Kirsten or Kristen or Amanda hadn’t given their pseudonym to the FBI in exchange for whatever they might have been offered. The book deal will be huge. Not to mention the Hard Copy payment. If Jennifer got 6 million for a picture of the twins, what might they offer for Kristen’s cellphone?

But what happened to the good old days when these well-paid employees had class and style, not to mention sufficient dedication to the job not to violate the old honor code? Is there no binding contract? No one you can sue in turn? And were you not paying top price for hygiene, for manners, for that je-ne-sais-quoi? Whores are not what they used to be. Nor is honor among thieves, as you have learned the hard way. My 18-year-old found Kristen marginally attractive. Not the kind of girl he’d have bothered to take back to his spring-break hotel room because, as he said, she looked like she might be the coyote Sunday kind. She looked desperate. He could have found you a better alternative-- closer to home-- and without a weakness for FBI drama. Makes me almost want to start my own brothel. It’s certainly as respectable a profession as massage and I could find you some women who are a lot more competent than half the TV shrinks who’ve been running their botoxed mouths on CNN.

So was it the thrill of the chase? Were you not informed that the FBI had staked out your hotel several weeks ago? And if not, I find your lack of private vigilance charming as well. Do you not get points for your naivete? For risk-taking? For catering to a human need? For a kind of charity? Was tennis boring? Or were you framed? Don’t you watch Law and Order? You went to Princeton and Harvard. Are you going to allow a twit like that bring down the house? Okay.... your wife is devastated. Or not. She looks pretty smart. Your kids. But it’s done. FEMA may not come to your assistance, but I will. Alan Dershowitz will.

And it’s not just my sincere frustration that the crooks on Wall Street— those billionaire brats who maybe put the FBI up to this in the first place— will be running as free as the rats on Park Avenue tonight. They are celebrating with treasures from the wine cellars of 5-star restaurants which will be paid for by their corporate expense accounts. Some of these are sharing their best vintage with a paid escort-- not Kristen but one who (dressed) could pass for an employee or consultant or daughter. And it’s not just the loss of term-closure or the sting of defeat, even though I actually believed that you were going to exterminate some of the vermin who have polluted our city and state and economy.

I think, on top of it all, I am disappointed in your taste. I was expecting at the very least some Elizabeth-Hurley type. Not a hamster-eyed Jersey girl with a dysfunctional past and a tabloid reading-list. For $4,300 an hour, I expected someone--well, less 'cheap'. Maybe not a Rolls Royce, but not a Honda. I wanted some hot gorgeous thing to convince me this was all about sex and passion. Even Hugh Grant had better taste. And he didn’t back down.

Here’s what I’ve been thinking about tonight: Remember your kids, when they were little? How they picked one story…one tape, one TV show…a song…and they played it over and over. Until it came out of our ears and eyes and wound into our dreams and nightmares and forever and ever will be a madeleine of fatherhood. But at a certain point, they moved on. They wanted variety. And like the internet generation they are, they began to need variety. Like a drug. They don’t even have dog-eared White Albums and Last Exit and Are You Experienced. They just delete and delete. Download and delete. Is that it?

Here’s what else I’m thinking about. Loneliness. Abandonment. Not just the kind you’re going to suffer in coming months, but the kind you might have suffered all those months you were making the ATM withdrawals.

Forget about the apology. Come clean. Are they threatening to hurt your family? Give us the real story. We’re not as dumb as we look. And we’re certainly smarter than to buy into an organization named like a cheap hotel from one of Bangkok’s seedier neighborhoods. Give us a story. My favorite Springsteen tune is Candy’s Room. I went to the same schools as you. You owe me.


Anthony said...

Hmm... you seem generally supportive, if rather vaguely, of the hapless Spitzer and his speed bump, for two reasons, one gathers, the minor quality of the household sin, pace the wife's presumed upset/indignation/fury/careerconcern at the minimal infidelity, and the loss to New York of the human capital accumulated by and invested in the schoolboyish governor, caught in naivete and pants down posture.

Seems to me you are on the whole right to be indulgent to such peccadillos, which have almost nil public consequence, other than the vastly disproportionate political consequences when unmasked, and that only because of the absurd and anachronistic Mann Act and other 19th Century-in-spirit legislation which seem way out of date for erasure.

Selling one's favors would seem to be something which will eventually be recognized as personal business which is not a public issue unless legislated against rather uselessly, which drives it underground and makes it expensive, pimpladen and a matter for blackmail and disgrace if exposed.

Moreover hypocrisy in a public official is endemic and almost inevitable given the dysfunction between public theater and private human reality, so if anything it is admirable that Spitzer was able to serve the public interest (as legislated) and collar thieves on Wall Street, and even go after prostitution dutifully, when he himself obviously didn't agree with the voters and laws he served.

Now the state has lost all that human capital in public service (sadly including those who worked for him sometimes at a pay cut) and the potential for reform he embodied as governor, and those that like to escape the brunt of the laws in the financial and political area are gleeful.

All to serve the grubby prejudices of the hoi polloi who subscribe to laws to protect monogamy within marriage which are useless in the face of human nature, especially the nature of high level politicians who are clearly often oversexed by nature and/or due to the eroticism of power and the acquiescence of nubile females it encourages.

it is time for the people of New York State to bite the bullet and realize that legislating paid sex out of existence is as unrealistic and damaging a policy as banning abortion, and only the yahoos vote accordingly.

Perhaps we should make being a john a misdemeanor with a $200 fine and establish a state brothel in Albany (and Washington etc) for the relief of oversexed legislators and high level executive officials, with the usual bureaucratic oversight. to guarantee quality and displace exploitation of either demand or supply.

Met a Princeton graduate today who informed me that her sister undergraduettes at that fine institution a long time ago were happy to make some pocket money in this way when short of ready cash.

What business is it of goverment to stand in their way, let alone serve the bluenose matrons who think they can enforce loyalty in their husbands with laws which will be flouted anyway and in this case only allow the political enemies of reform to get rid of a worthy executive.

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