High caliber and low farce

Feb 10, 1999 at 12:00 am

“I’m not exactly sure where I’m living right now.”
— Monica Samille Lewinsky, testifying under oath, Feb. 1, 1999

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it goes on still. Long ago forgotten by humans who have jobs and relationships and responsibilities, or at least remote controls with batteries, the trial of the century drones on in the chambers of the United States Senate.

Thwarted in their goal of cheapening our government further by making Monica testify live in the Senate about cigars and coming in the sink, the House mismanagers have sworn to bore the nation to death instead. Senate Republicans, however, seem less suicidal, and so the comedy’s end is starting to be dimly visible.

So ... incidentally, what is happening elsewhere in the news? Since many of you undoubtedly spent last week at Metropolitan Beach, I thought I would respond to my many requests to give you a unique and brain-filling week in review.

First: Jordan’s King Hussein is still dead, and the world’s media still has failed to explain what a “Hashemite” is. Otherwise, not to be paranoid, but daily events apart from the impeachment follies seemed carefully calibrated to enrage the seven authentic communists left in these not very united states, one of whom is, of course, me.

My fondest boyhood memory is that of Nikita Khrushchev pounding his shoe on the table, bellowing that he would bury us. I quivered with anticipation; my own communist plot. I could almost taste the borscht to be ladled out in the work camp.

But communism fizzled, alas; a casualty of computers and cash flow. What would visitors from outer space make of the last remaining superpower at the millennium’s end? I fantasized presenting a Martian with our highest literary art form, a week of Detroit’s daily newspapers. Naturally, the moral is obvious, even to earthlings: Guns and gun violence are always appropriate responses to any situation. Any attempt to curb the power of the gun is by definition bad. Sex, on the other hand, is twisted, illegal, and at best dubious, though it may be politically correct among homosexual or lesbian consenting adults, especially activists, or heterosexuals married to each other, though this last form appears to happen very seldom.

Everyone, except for a few mentally diseased liberals, knows this. For example: Last Friday, the Detroit police, bored because there’s no real crime in the city, had nothing better to do than try to entice someone to break the law by persuading a policewoman to pose as a prostitute. Sure enough, she was hailed by two men in a truck. When cops approached, the 21-year-old passenger (who had no police record) panicked, whipped out a gun and ventilated two gendarmes, killing one, badly injuring the other.

The shooter was then blown away by surviving policemen. Fortunately, our civilization has reached such a high level that no one dared suggest that maybe, just maybe, a panic-stricken man-child ought not to be allowed to tote a hand cannon.

Nor has anyone admitted that prostitution can no more be prohibited than alcohol, or that the cops might have better things to do than trying to entrap young guys into chasing a street whore. Interestingly, the heat apparently had nooooo interest in going after the 20,000 presumably better-heeled customers of the Huntington Woods madam.

New York’s finest, on the other hand, proved their greater sophistication by pumping 19 shots into an unarmed West African immigrant before he could even ask for the address of an escort service (another 22 slugs missed), apparently because he vaguely fit the profile of a rape suspect; he seems to deliberately have been black.

Meanwhile, in tamer news, the Free Press spent American dollars on a research poll that found — gasp! — many Detroiters don’t think their public schools work very well. That was the headline; the hidden shocker was 56 percent of the hoi polloi gave the schools a C or better. Naturally, there was no sign any reporter actually had entered a school and gathered data by the now-discredited method of direct observation.

Down at the Rouge, a boiler blew up in an ancient power plant, terribly burning more than a dozen victims. Curiously, no one seemed interested in what, if anything, OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, thought.

The news was not all bad. Bill Gates, computer god, gave $3 billion to charity. Well, not quite to Mother Waddles, but to the William H. Gates Foundation, which refused to deny rumors it would build rest homes for abandoned 386 SX units.

Mattel put in a serious bid for attention by unveiling a “Butterfly Art Barbie,” complete with tattoos.

In the latest sign that Dennis Archer’s troops have their cufflinks on the pulse of Detroit, the Heidelberg Project was savagely torn down by officials who could find no other abandoned or “blighted” structures anywhere in the city more deserving of destruction. (Ve at the top vill tell you vot is art, comrades.)

But though the nation’s media set new standards for getting it right, they did miss one of the most beautifully subtle sendups of the age, namely, Monica’s tribute to Lesley Gore. “I mean this is — this is my relationship,” she said. And we can cry if we want to, or maybe whether we want to or not.

Well, will write again when I find work. Best and cheers.