Taking a break from all things work- and domestic emergency related - we had yet ANOTHER WonderKids Rescue, this time of the Baby Daddy from the Ford-Ranger's-Clutch-Is-Tits-Up-Emergency trip to our mechanic in Sellwood - to settle down with the advertising-rich pages of the World's Worst Newspaper to find...
...yet another "news" item detailing the venereal stylings of one of our public - or should I say "pubic" - figures, in this case the newly-elected Mayor of Portland, Mr. Sam ("No, Not THAT Sam") Adams.
Seems that the randy Mr. Adams was dipping the mayoral wick in someone named, appropriately, Beau Breedlove (Mister Adams is out and proud - there are some things that you really gotta love about Portland). Question in this case being, when Sam decided to emulate the Greek Army and never leave his boy's behind, was said behind attached to a "boy" (i.e. someone who was under the Oregon age of consent of 17) or a "man"?
Apparently this question came up during his election campaign and was violently quashed, to included making the question-asker (an opponent of Da Mare's) a byword and a hissing. But love and a cough cannot be hid, and now the beauteous lad is babbling like a brook and everyone is full of righteous ire that our City Father lied about being the Sugar Daddy of the little twerp. And, again, we're supposed to be fascinated and appalled by the genital posturings and the lying and...
I'm frankly tired of all this nonsense. I think we've firmly established that some of history's greatest political leaders weren't going to win the Purity League Order of Truth and Decency First Class. They weren't where they were because their publics trusted them not to try and have sex with their sons or daughters. They were there because they were smarter, more practical, more ruthless, better at governing than the alternatives.I've talked before about how our nation - and I have to say that this is beginning to apply to many societies and nations across the globe - seems to be showing the signs of senilty or, at least, an advanced return to juvenility. And other than the popularity of such utterly moronic dreck as "American Idol" (and what passes for "news" on the networks), ISTM that this sort of utterly vapid fixation on the copulatory activities of our leadership is as good an indication as any that Elvis has left the building.
Dubya can run a whole country based on his idiotic "gut". Dick Cheney can deny that the VP is part of the Executive Branch, order torture and lie about it. Legions of officials from city councils all the way to the capitol building are complicit in chicanery, influence-peddling, shilling for malefactors of great wealth and betraying the People of this nation. And yet our "news" media, and we, would rather talk and worry and fuss about who put whose totem pole in whose donut hole.
Did I mention Teh Stupid?
The whole thing makes me vaguely ill and yet makes me think of another time, when we were another People.
In 1884 the Republican Party - whose place as the spoilt children of the victory was assured by the defeat of the Democrats and Confederates in 1865 - ran a nastily corrupt congressman from Maine. James G. "The continental liar" Blaine was a fairly typical mid-Victorian U.S. Representative, thoroughly in the pocket of the wealthy and involved in the sorts of unsavory deals that pretty much defined "politics" between the end of the Civil War and the reform movement of the turn of the century. This guy, though, was SO nasty that even the other Republicans couldn't stomach him; the contrast between the Mugwumps' loathing of Blaine and the current gang of GOP idiots obesiance to Rush Limbaugh proving that Republicans have descended a long way down the evolutionary scale since 1884 from true humanity to somewhere between the lemurs and the more developed species of fish.
But as luck would have it Blaine's opponent, Grover Cleveland, had handed the GOP a gift when ten years earlier he had danced the horizontal mambo with a rather...difficult...young woman named Maria Halprin that resulted in a strapping lad that Cleveland provided with child support.
Naturally - since Americans then loved a spicy sex story as much as we do now - the tale came to light. And the GOP, who had belatedly realized that their dirty candidate was as popular as a Palestinian oompah band at an AIPAC convention, siezed on the story and ran it round the wires. Blaine campaign crowds marched past Cleveland supporters chanting "Ma, ma, where's my pa!"The horrified Dems ran to Cleveland: was this true? Yep, ol' Grove said, and I'd swive her again and twice on Sunday. Oh dear, oh dear, what shall we do? wailed the Dems, to which Cleveland simply replied:
"Tell the truth."
What an amazing concept! Tell the truth; our candidate has genitals and uses them. So what? You're electing a president, not the proctor of morals at a girl's school. As a smart American, who'd you rather have - the bought-and-paid-for lackey of your plutocratic masters, or a decent man who once decided to do the nasty with an attractive woman?
The story goes that the day after the election Cleveland's supporters marched past the dejected Republicans chanting:
"Ma, ma, where's my pa? Gone to the White House! Ha, ha, ha!"
I'm not sure what the moral of this story is.
Do I want my "leaders" thinking with their little head(s)? But, then again, what the hell do all these connubial conniptions get us, other than a fixation on the groins of the people that we hope and expect will get us from point A to point B by using what's above their shoulders rather than below their navels?
Overall, I suspect that what this stuff really tells us is something about the cognitive abilities of ourselves, our fellow citizens and the people who own our news media.
And I suspect that the story it tells is less encouraging to our continued political health than the cautionary tale of our new Mayor Adams and the boy across the Willamette with a bottom like a peach.
Who swam quite well, thank you.