Thursday, March 13, 2008

Notes on a Scandal

"As I'm sure you know by now, New York Governor Eliot Spitzer has admitted that he was involved in a prostitution ring. Now this is the same man who when he was attorney general went after the prostitution ring. So apparently, it was for not giving him good service."--Jay Leno, Tuesday night

"What's the difference between Eliot Spitzer's dingus and trans-fats? One's considered a public health crisis in New York; the other's in french fries and donuts."--me, Tuesday morning, when asked for a Spitzer joke.

This is my first blog entry as a 34-year-old. It became oh, so painfully obvious that I am getting older when I said of 22-year-old Kyle Busch, winner of last weekend's Atlanta race, "He pushes himself that hard 'cause he's a kid and he can." (My L'Ailee, who turns 33 this year, still pushes herself too hard at the gym where she works, can't sleep unless she's completely tapped herself out, and plays best when she plays hurt, but that's because she's always a law unto herself.) Thank you, Alan, for the acknowledgment. Everyone else, it's okay--I didn't remember yours, either! :-)

My birthday actually went really well despite being on a Tuesday. I got iTunes gift cards and pandas adopted for me, including ones whose pictures I did not have--little baby Zhen Zhen (means "precious," which she *is*) at the San Diego Zoo and Ya Ya and Le Le in Memphis. I got taken out to lunch at a wonderful Indian place with a huge vegetarian selection. I wanted to try a little of everything! There was cake in the break room and flowers on my desk from my wife and a steady stream of e-cards. Just terrific.

And then there was the Spitzer scandal, all wrapped up and tied with a shiny red bow for me. I don't like him, never have. I know he's pro-SSM, but I still never cared for him. He seemed like someone who was just hell-bent on making a name for himself, at anyone's expense, and like someone who didn't trust people. As we've seen so often, folks like that really can't trust *themselves*, with excellent reason. I think that what Silda did, standing next to him, is far more degrading than whatever "Kristen"/Ashley did with him. Just once, I'd love to hear that the wife isn't going to show up at the press conference because she's too busy going to her gynecologist, a lawyer, and to pick up the wood chipper she rented. The jokes are just now beginning to abate at my office. A lot of people are happy that David Paterson's stepping up, and I'm one of them--he seems genuinely decent, as opposed to Spitzer. I hope he does better. I don't think he can do worse.

The thing is, I actually think prostitution should be legal. (Or to put it more technically, decriminalized, which is a different concept.) But Spitzer didn't. He wanted one law for everyone else and another for himself. It's commonly said and thought that prostitution is a hard life, but it's people like Spitzer who do their damnedest to make it hard. He inflicted a world of hurt onto other clients, prostitutes, and services. (Paul Karl Lukacs of Reason magazine explains quite nicely and briefly.) The term hoist on his own petard more than applies here.

The ones I feel most sorry for are his daughters, who are teenagers. I wanted a brain bleaching--imagine how they felt reading about their dad's visit to the Mayflower Hotel! He spent over $80,000 on prostitutes. Imagine the fallout from the girls if he ever told them he couldn't afford to get them something they wanted (an iPod, a Wii, their first-choice winter formal dress). Imagine, too, if he ever got all neurotic about their burgeoning womanhood the way some dads do--told them to cover up the tank top or take off that makeup, gave a boyfriend the "fear of God" speech, etc. Eliot Mess' personal world of hurting is only beginning with the resignation, I think. That's just fine. Maybe one day, people will learn what they need to from these situations. I think it'll be a lot more birthdays before I'm able to see that, though.

Links, links... is organizing candlelight vigils against the war on March 19.

Finally, equality for same-sex partners of ambassadors. Deb Price explains why this is important.

A couple months ago, I talked about our problem with bedbugs. Well, they seem to be migrating away from NYC. This may help y'all out.

"Abracadabra" means more than stage magic.

I'm not the only environmentalist who loves racing! Leilani Munter, a female driver who was formerly with NASCAR and now is with Indy, is trying to green up racing. She apparently loves a challenge, but good on her!

Now, I have scared my best friend and my kid brother, who both drive like little old ladies, while driving them around. And there was the time when I was helping my mom with an interstate move, and I took over the wheel for her so she could get rest, and we got a panicked cell phone call from her friends in the moving van behind us because they lost us. I was going a tick above 90--*oops.* And I had to razor stickers saying "I'm not speeding, I'm qualifying" and "Get in, sit down, shut up, hold on!" off my Jeep before I sold it. But I still think my wife laughed and pointed in my direction much too much when reading this Onion article.

And also from the Onion, Carl Edwards Does Mournful "Did Not Finish" Backflip."


alan said...

Thank you for brightening my afternoon before I go to work!

I'm glad you had a wonderful birthday, and no you aren't getting old; you are just beginning the qualifying laps for that!

As long as the surf still calls you will never be old!


Tai said...

"first-choice winter formal dress"
What IS that? I never got one, but it wasn't because my DAD spent $80,000 on HOOKERS!!
Geeez. Poor kids.

Tai said...

OH! And HAPPY (belated) BIRTHDAY!

Carie said...

HAppy Belated Birthday :)

I am not a fan of the brothers busch's but man can they drive...its crazy how they can find a line in places no one else can lol...

I always feel bad for the family of the people who get busted so publicly like that...especially the kids because other kids can be so cruel and seeing your parent in a different light changes your whole world

CrackerLilo said...

Okay, we're big on school dances in the South. And I went to a rich school, though I wasn't part of a rich family.

Winter formal is one of many dances (as opposed to homecoming and prom). I never went. However, a lot of my classmates did. Inevitably they would be told that the first dress they chose was way too expensive, especially in light of the fact that there would be more dances. So they would have to go with their second or third-choice winter formal dress.

Which is okay, but not if the reason is because your dad, um, grossly (and I do mean *grossly*!) mismanaged his money! :-)

cats said...

happy belated...

but are you ok? were you anywhere near that crane collapse today?

Barbara said...

Hey there Happy Birthday! And at 34, you're still a "kid". Heck I'm older than you and still don't know what I wanna be if I grow up. (grin)

Nice to hear you had a good B-day.

Daisy said...

Happy belated birthday!!! (((kiss)))

Sorry I missed it and hope it was happeee! :)

queen emily said...

Pandas? Curry? Sounds like a genius birthday :)