Am here skiing or, more correctly "avoiding skiing" --one of those activities, like golf, that didn't turn out to be a great marriage enhancer for us, showcasing, as it does, significant differences of ability and inclination. So now, like Bartleby the Scribner, I choose not to. I check the children into ski school from 9-3, and choose to snow-shoe, cross-country ski, but most of all, I just enjoy agenda-free time, to drink coffee, read a newspaper and write.
Have lately been amused by the Eliot Spitzer brouhaha. Nothing like that after dinner mint of political scandal, to entertain and distract from the depressing and tedious reality of the economy and the war. What does surprise me is that this sort of activity shocks anybody. Reminds me of my very Catholic, French-raised grandmother who declined to watch some Life-of-Christ inspired movie on the premise that she "knew the story." She did, however, watch "Emmanuelle," a soft-porn of the late seventies, presumably to stay abreast of what the young were up to in those days and was known to loudly and publicly remark afterwards, "___, ___, ___, doesn't anybody f... anymore?" Or maybe it's like the old joke "Why do women watch porn? To see if they get married at the end."
At any rate, politicians, prostitutes and crimes seeming to be linked from time out of mind, it's the petty details that interest me. The more unctuously sanctimonious, full of self-righteous cant the public persona; the more entertaining the skeletons likely to be clangoring about their closet. This is why, for those who have ever had to answer to the finger-wagging and opprobrium of others, it's expedient to ascribe to those voices of outrage the most deviant behavior imaginable, which works pretty well...if you've got a dirty mind.
What iconography, what "bons mots" will come to be associated with these stale lusts? What contradictions are offered by the public posturing and the private perversions; what legal terminology and period details will be used to define their crimes--"Back to family values," a taste for asphyxia, call girls and Russian spies with Profumo; the mass-market blue dress from the Gap added a de Toquevillian touch to the Clinton era, "Not a penny more, not a penny less" came back to haunt novel-writing Lord Archer, in this case it's the anti-terrorism laws governing financial transfers and the Mann act for Spitzer. I was reassured to learn that a top-drawer whore still earns more than the equivalent industry consultant, although they both are limited to selling their time. Ultimately though, based on who was writing the checks, it would appear, for those who successfully overcome certain constraints involving time and reality, there's still more money to be made f--ing with people's minds.
Personally, my favorite detail was the name Q.A.T. Consulting. It's exactly the kind of acronym-based, pretentious little name an Internet-related company would choose for itself, yet possessing exactly what most of those names lack, a dash of delightfully sardonic and self-aware humor--not always surprising for those in the business of catering to more literal or littoral humours. Sort of like the Cheetah's credit card signature being "Alluvia," or a company with a human resources incentive program called "Brave New World," or the little chuckle elicited by the Latinate name of a short-lived software consultancy called "Ars Digita."