Thursday, March 13, 2008

Of Lust, Stupidity and Testosterone Suicide

Lust can be instantly fatal to your political career, as now-resigned New York Governor Eliot Spitzer has discovered. So can acts of incredible stupidity. Score a big one there for Spitzer, as well. He scheduled one of his high-dollar hooker trysts on the night before Valentine’s Day.

To his credit, at least Eliot Spitzer did not try to claim he was conducting a secret, undercover investigation under the covers at several hotels.

Former President Bill Clinton still remains America’s all-time champion bonehead, of course. He presided over strong prosperity and a balanced budget, then got hauled into Congressional impeachment hearings for playing tawdry tiddlywinks with a 22-year-old unpaid intern, Monica Lewinsky, inside the supposed sanctity of the White House.

President Clinton’s testimony to the effect that “I did not have sexual relations with that woman… (she merely had sex with me)” will long linger as an idiotic stain on what could have been a much grander legacy. Ms. Lewinsky, meanwhile, went on to sell handbags and have a brief TV career. More recently, she earned a master’s degree in social psychology from the prestigious London School of Economics.

In Spitzer’s case, a key to his downfall turned out to be a 22-year-old prostitute from New Jersey who was trying to earn enough money to stay in New York and make it as a rhythm-and-blues singer. By making it in a different way, of course, the infamous “Kristen” now likely will get a recording deal, as well as a book contract and movie offers. Entertainment moguls and publishers are quick to see the dollar signs where others just see sin and shame. (And, yes, we’ll probably buy her recordings, read her book, watch the made-for-TV movie and tune in once she starts showing up on Oprah and the late-night TV talk shows.)

Spitzer himself will go away in disgrace for a while and likely will face a ton of legal, family and marital troubles. Eventually, however, he may be back with his own tell-all, confess-all book, plus a movie deal and TV talk-show appearances—though probably not a recording contract.

Put lust and stupidity together, and you have dramatic downfalls stretching back through the entire history of human leadership. Senators, televangelists, judges, police chiefs, sheriffs, mayors, prosecuting attorneys, ministers, priests, star athletes—the list goes on and on.

Yeah, we men supposedly have been in charge during most of that time. And too often, we do a few great and noble things along the way, and then, seemingly at the peak of success, wake up one morning and can’t get our brains out of our boxer shorts.

Is social and political self-destruction somehow hardwired into our testosterone? Perhaps astute researchers can read all of the tell-all books and watch all of the tell-all movies and talk-show appearances and draw some scholarly conclusions.

Or maybe, we can just start putting more women into high office and see if they get caught with any boy toys.


1 comment:

Si Dunn said...

A day after my posting, CNN is reporting that her career prospects are soaring.