As you probably know, Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett have both died today. They were both iconic in their days in their own ways, and, apparently, the whole country is mourning. I say this with minimal snark because death is sobering. However, I question the reaction of everyday people to these deaths, especially to Jackson’s. I’m listening to Keith’s show right now, and he’s doing a piece on Jackson. Keith had a woman on who gave a hagiography to Jackson, talking about how celebrities deserve all the adulation because they bring together multiple generations.
To that I say, what the fuck ever. Look . Michael Jackson was a talented singer/dancer who had a shitty childhood that resulted in him being a fucked-up adult. I wasn’t particularly fond of his music, but I could at least recognize that he was amazingly talented. However, why does that make him worthy of the throngs of fans who burst out onto the streets today in angst and anguish? I’m not even talking about the pedophilia accusations. Just, as a person, why is he so mourned? I felt the same way when Princess Di died. I just didn’t get all the hoopla. I mean, I understand that they are the symbols of something bigger. I understand that people invest emotion into their celebrities. I just don’t know why. I mean, I will be very sad when, knock on wood, Alan Rickman dies. I probably will shed a tear or two, but then I will move on because as much as he plays a huge part of my fantasy life, he is not a part of my real life.
Just to be even weirder, I visit TheCatSite.com every day. I mainly like to look at the pictures of other people’s cats. Well, there was one set of black long-haired babies that really caught my eye. I followed their posts, and the name I suggested (Pax) even got used for one of the kittens. He died today. His human posted about it, and I was crying. I felt more emotion for little Pax dying than I did for the King of Pop. Why? Because Pax was more real to me (and not because I named him). If, again, knock on wood, one of my online friends died, I would be shattered. Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett dying? Not so much. I mourn the passing of an era and the fact that I’m getting goddamn old. I hope that Michael Jackson has found the peace that so eluded him during his life. I hope that Farrah Fawcett is resting in peace as well. Beyond that? I don’t feel much of anything. And that makes me feel like a jerk.
Ok. Last post on Sanford unless something drastically changes. Turns out, wife kicked him out of the house because he was still carrying on with mistress. He booked a ten-day flight to Argentina, and then cut it short when it turned out he was in deep shit. Then, he said he was alone when confronted by a reporter at the airport. He also said he’s going to reimburse the state for his trip, which means he used state funds to go. What am I getting at? I’m getting at that no matter how sincere he was in his presser yesterday (and I think he was as sincere as he could get), it’s clear that had he not been caught, he would have kept going on as he did.
You know what’s weird to me? Ok, not weird, but telling. All the male pundits and bloggers that I have read, with the exception of TBogg and Steve Benen, have given Sanford kudos for being truthful and a stand-up guy about what he did. John Cole even posts a piece from a guy scolding the rest of us for self-indulgence in our glee at piling on Governor Sanford. Over at Talking Points Memo, Dave Kurtz quotes one of the readers who thought that Sanford talked about both the women in his life with respect or something like that. On the other hand, the vast majority of female commenters were much more harsh on Sanford. They said that he was basically having his cake and eating it, too. Several pointed out that Sanford only had to go up there and resign, but instead, he was the one who went on this rambling discourse about his inner turmoil. One said, “I’m not your therapist, Sanford.” His wife found out about the affair five months ago, and he was still seeing the mistress up until this last time. Honestly, I don’t think he intended to break it off, but he had to if he wanted to at least attempt to save his political career.
It’s been fascinating to see the men stand up for Sanford. I think some of them identify with him to some extent, and some are probably secretly envious that he had a hot Latina on the side. One woman noted, “She (the mistress) looks like a younger version of his wife. Why do men do that?”
It’s bothersome to me that the fact that Sanford seemed sincere in his apology has morphed into, “He’s repentant, so shut up now!” “He was a mensch!” “He owned up to it!” Yes, because he was fucking caught. Look, I still have some sympathy for the man, Mark Sanford, because he’s caught in the strictures that he himself espoused. However, he still was trying to play it both ways. I can grant that he loved his girlfriend. I am not so cynical as to think she’s just a piece of ass on the side. By the way, I am more curious as to what she saw in him, but that’s a whole different issue. However, he bragged to her that he had been on the short list of VP choices for McCain. He is probably not going to resign. He loves his girlfriend, but I think he loves his political life even more. It’s purely speculative on my part, of course.
Oh, and for all the men who are saying that Sanford is such a stand-up guy for being sincere, really? Is that how low the bar is for politicians now? I also wonder if these same men would be as sanguine if it were a woman pol who cheated. I mean, I shudder to think what some of them would write if, say, Nancy Pelosi was caught canoodling in Jamaica with a Latino Lothario. I somehow doubt they would be as sanguine, no matter how much she apologized sincerely. Anyway, no matter how sincere Sanford is, he did a shitty thing. That should not be forgotten. He left his state in the lurch, and while some people think that’s not a big thing, I do. If he’s such a man, such a mensch, he would say, “I did a shitty thing. I was reckless, and I hurt the state of South Carolina. Therefore, I am resigning.” Somehow, I don’t think it’s going to happen.
One last thing. He’s a grown man. No matter how much in love he is with his girlfriend, he still has his responsibilities. Those who are so quick to let it go don’t seem to understand the latter part. He fucked up. Now, he needs to make it right. Come on, Governor, be a real man and resign.