Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Here's what someone's husband emailed me from Italy after reading my blog post about Ahnold's travails:

"I think you give guys too much credit.  When they are thinking with the big guy, there is no
guilt or shame. ;-)"

Didn't Lance Armstrong warn guys over 30 NOT to use emoticons? ;) And yeah, maybe there's no guilt or shame during and immediately afterward, but what about when it's Father's Day unexpectedly? Don't you think they'd have some regrets?

"Also, what about these women teachers who are caught having sex with students?  You should include them in your list of naughties - it's not just men."

Uh, huh. YOU include women who sleep with their students on your list of naughties. Did you click on the NPR link on my last blog post? There was a mention of an Irish MP, Iris Robinson, who was found out to be boinking a 19-year-old. (What an unfortunate, unfortunate name for a political fornicator, by the way.) I believe incidents like these are comparatively rare because unlike our Irish Mrs. Robinson, who is past menopause, women can get pregnant and they can't hide a goddamned thing!

"But your overall point is good. There's lots of needless pain and suffering that comes from these

Thank you to the critic whose head rests on the pillow beside me.

The Power of Recklessness

A high school classmate's Facebook status read simply, "Arnold You are a jackass."

That could have beautifully summed up any sentiment anyone outside the Schwarzenegger-Shriver family is allowed to have. This morning I made the mistake of reading an AP account of the story. I also dipped into an NPR analysis of politicians and affairs, which was disappointingly cliched. I never ever want to hear another news analyst describe power as an aphrodisiac.

It's about power, all right, but it's also about recklessness. Ahnold is in the same club as John Edwards, Tiger Woods, Hugh Grant and possibly IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kohn. Recklessness usually describes someone who's completely out of control. Perhaps the only thing out of these guys' control is their sex drives. They were willing to risk everything, even their self-respect, on sex. It's possible these guys get off on being naughty boys, and their wickedness is even more scintillating because they get away with it for so long, maybe even forever. Getting away with it feeds their sense of their power and reinforces the idea that they're a law unto themselves. That they're able to compel the silence of those who know about it is another sign of their power.

As someone who has had my fair share of doubt and pain, it's hard for me to imagine that these guys didn't occasionally suffer through sleepless nights, wondering what would happen when their covers blew. They had to have known that their wives or girlfriends, and the public who thinks they know them, were not going to take kindly to betrayal of this magnitude. They must have thought they could control it forever.

I almost wish they had. The suffering this has created for everyone involved is unspeakable. I'm thinking particularly of the son Schwarzenegger bore with a staff member. All of Arnold's money and power can't buy that boy the trust of his parents.