I had this book of riddles when I was small... and besides the chicken and moron jokes, there were a few philosophical sphinx-worthy entries that have stayed with me. One was 'To What Question can you never answer 'yes'? The answer was 'Are You Sleeping?' but of course this was the PG version of 'Are You Dead?' I don't quite know why, but trying to filter the meaning of the Petraeus resignation today, I kept coming up with alternate riddles like: 'To What Question can you never answer yes and keep your military appointment?' Or for Eliot Spitzer... '..and keep your political office'... or for Anthony Wiener... or Bill Clinton, who maybe never actually answered the question... etc., and kept his office, his wife, the money, and besides a karmic and perhaps metaphorical cardiac crisis, he seems to have maybe increased his rockstar politician status.
But really, what is it about this 21st century culture that makes adultery so newsworthy? And considering the horrific bloopers and perverse incidents that have smudged the broad heroics of our troops in the Middle East, is a little romance or a little affection really criminal? It hadn't really occurred to me that there were 'General' groupies... but why not? And why can't the media leave politicians to their jobs and let them have their human flaws. God knows our Founding Fathers dipped their pens in several inkwells and whichever bullet assassinated JFK, it was undoubtedly not fired by a jealous ex.
As a musician, I've heard all kinds of tales about the habits of rockstars-- their sexual preferences, their obsessive little idosyncracies... but rarely do I hear this kind of thing from the guys in their band. Professionals know they're privy by proximity to a certain TMI level... and they respect this. It's really no one's business. To be crass, how many times have you found yourself in the next stall from someone you know on another level and absorbed information you simply flush away and delete before you go back to your table? No one's business. So what is wrong with these people?
A mere week ago I was biting my nails and fretting about the elections. Has anyone noticed how quickly the looming monster-head of Mitt Romney has receded? A bit like the Wicked Witch of the West after the bucket of water I read today his Facebook fans were abandoning him in droves. Just like that....all his beautiful wickedness... pay no attention to that man behind the mask...whatever... we are Mitt-free for at least 4 more years...onto the horrific hurricane aftermath, the long winter of financial difficulty for my small family, thankfully untouched in our neighborhood, the pathetic inappropriate omni-coverage of this Petraeus scandal like the military version of Bachelor. I suppose the Hollywood treatment of CIA and FBI has done much to bolster their image... and am I the only one who wondered why a 4-star general and super-hero would feel the need to color his hair? Has anyone taken a poll of Republican vs. Democrat hair-dyers in Congress?
When I was kid, reading my little joke book, I also had Bible class. Among the enigmatic Ten Commandments, I misunderstood Adultery as kids pretending to be grown up--- maybe lying about it--- or maybe something that happened to cream. I didn't ask questions back then. So how can people be criminalized for consenting private adult love? What is inappropriate except this voyeuristic supposition... or the suspicion that something official and dangerous was exchanged, betrayed? Can't he pull a Bill Clinton....or is he too honest? What do Mormons consider adulterous anyway? And what did Mitt have to do with this whole story which broke on election day? Was this some Republican desperate last-minute attempt to slime the administration and complicate the Benghazi story? Is the insinuation that Petraeus was too busy having biographical sex to respond to a crisis? Is there something more heinous for which the sex scandal is simply a smokescreen.. and what a news-greedy screen it is providing... now another General is involved, the word 'scandal' is viral, the adjective 'explosive' is already in overuse... now it's 'bombshell'... and I am beginning to yawn? Ironic that it is Veteran's Day, people are homeless and hungry and cold-- many of them veterans who cannot afford hair dye or extramarital women and will never have a biographer or a jealous groupie or even a pension and proper healthcare if we don't start straightening out priorities and get on with the business of balancing the budget.
Tonight a shindig next-door with a DJ-- while we were underpaid, working long hours slagging out our old veteran analogue music, well-dressed party-goers dancing to LLoyd Banks, Fifty Cent, Bankie Banks--- (such names-- how about Goldman's Sack?)... maybe they are celebrating the End of Capital Gains Tax Cuts? Or maybe just Capital Gains? Certainly a common denominator, judging from the coats, bags, and jewelry.
But on the way out, 2 AM, a young beautiful girl passed out, police standing around, ambulance on the way--- we hope she can be revived, she seemed seriously unresponsive... and they dance on, the drunk happy people in their finery--- young, carefree, drunk and unafraid--- they have everything; they wait in the VIP line, they text, they fail to look, some of them undoubtedly failed to vote... they fall on the dance floor, they get up; turns out the unresponsive girl, despite fake ID, is merely 19--- my version of 'Adultery'... so what is the crime, the accountability, the punishment, ... to what accusation can you never respond 'Not Guilty'?