Calhoun’s Can(n)ons, The Bay News, Tolosa Press, SLO, Ca., for March 27, 2008
Mother Calhoun Explains It All To You Some More, Again, Redux
The very purpose of existence is to reconcile the glowing opinion we hold of ourselves with the appalling things that other people think about us.
Clearly, you didn’t listen to Mother Calhoun years ago when she explained it all to you and now we have Politicians Behaving Badly Again, so take your hands out of your pockets, sit down and listen up.
1. If you’re the Commander in Chief and you lie a country into war, and your soldiers are dying daily in the streets of Baghdad, do not, under any circumstances, put on a funny hat and attend a Gridiron Dinner and sing off-key little musical ditties that make fun of your ginned up WMD lies, a get-out-of-jail card for your crony, Scooter Libby, and other assortments of your appalling bungles. Such a performance surely goes beyond the matter of mere Bad Taste and enters into the realm of Sociopathy.
2. If you are a Senator, you need to know that tap dancing is not appropriate behavior while in airport bathroom stalls. If you want to tap, take dance lessons. If you want sex, get a motel room. Do not try to combine the two activities in a public toilet. And when caught, don’t bother to claim you’re not “gay.” It’s not relevant. Nobody cares. They just don’t want their Broadway musicals combined with “wide stance” lower abdominal digestive problems.
3. When it’s time for you to do your perp walk to the microphones, paper bag on your moronic head to publicly atone for your Bad Behavior, leave your wife at home. Mother Calhoun is sick of seeing that blank, upside-the-head stare from The Humiliated, Betrayed Little Woman. If you were man enough to blow $4,500 on hookers, you’re man enough to stand up before your constituents alone. Dragging along The Wife isn’t a demonstration of Family Loyalty or Family Values. It’s simply another manifestation of your enormous ego, in all its malign glory, humiliating your wife (again) by using her as a convenient prop for your pathetic public mea culpa.
4. If the public is tired of all this bad behavior, then Mother Calhoun suggests a New Law: Every person holding elected office shall be required to actively participate in a weekly 12-Step Program of some kind throughout their tenure. There is nothing better for keeping the ego in check than a 12-Step Program. And that’s the problem here: Ego.
Eliot Spitzer, for example didn’t get into a mess because his testosterone level was too high. He got into trouble because his false, unchecked ego gave him a mistaken sense of entitlement. He thought he was “entitled” to $1,000-an-hour hookers, and was “entitled” to be above the law, and when perp-walked out on stage, was “entitled” to use his wife as a humiliated prop to shield his ego from its richly deserved comeuppance. In short, he was caught “Walking While Stupid” because he didn’t understand that as an Office Holder, he wasn’t “entitled” to hookers and VIP Kitty-Kat Klubs, or the Best Seats In The House. Instead, he was “entitled” to thankless hard work, endless headaches and snotty letters-to-the-editor from his constituents telling him to “Get Over Yourself.” A good 12-step program would have daily reminded him of that hard fact.
Mother Calhoun can only hope that so many chickens flying home to roost is a signal that the time for Karmic cleansing is at hand – things ending badly because they were started badly – and before renewal, the old must be swept away.
It is always odd that we never seem to understand that all actions do have some kind of consequence no matter how much we wish to deny that fact. While sexual hypocrisy is a stock item in the human comedy, an army foolishly wasted and bleeding in foreign lands, a nation driven into financial meltdown by incompetence, lies and dangerously reckless, Kool-Aid-drinking ideologues, a public now paying a high price for its apathy and inattention -- none of this is comedy, no matter how many funny hats a Commander in Chief puts on or how many satirical ditties he may sing.
And most important of all, The Piper is never amused. Of all the players, he alone is “entitled,” and he will be paid.