The Rant 

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There's a reason men reach their sexual peak at 18 while woman don't get there until age 40. It gives men a quarter-century or so to calm down and take the edge off of their sexual frenzy, so that when the time comes for mature sexual activity, they will supposedly have enough self-control not to act like a Shih Tzu in heat.

Comedian Eddie Griffin stated that a man's sexual organ is designed to last about as long as the speed limit. (It's a good thing Jimmy Carter's not still president or we'd all be driving 55.) This bizarre rash of post-"manopausal," paunchy, middle-agers participating in sex scandals and fathering love-children well into their 60s, however, illustrates that certain men never outgrow their jackrabbit, youthful ways. And while the cornucopia of pills for erectile dysfunction is succeeding in making their penises harder, they are simultaneously making their brains softer.

I usually try to abide by that "judge not" admonition and avoid commenting on the private lives of celebrities. I've lived a rock-and-roll life, and while most people have a skeleton or two in the closet, I still have red meat hanging in there. But this latest rash of high-profile sexual atrocities is giving all men a bad name, and in the words of Paul Newman as "Hud": "Don't go blaming all the dogs just cause one of 'em has fleas."

Last week's arrest of International Monetary Fund director Dominique Strauss-Kahn illustrates the audacity of certain powerful men who have become so used to abusing women with impunity, they feel entitled to act as they wish, consequences be damned. Strauss-Kahn, or DSK as the media has dubbed him, allegedly committed sexual assault on a maid in a pricey New York hotel with a recklessness and aggression too nasty to describe outside a court of law. His first defense was to say that the sex was consensual. The maid walked in while DSK was naked, so he had no choice but to assault the woman. In the hundreds of hotel rooms I have stayed in, I have never felt the desire to grope the maid who comes to clean the room. But, of course, DSK is French, and they don't look as unfavorably on sexual "dalliances" as we unsophisticated provincials in the U.S.A. When an old, wrinkled, horny man forces himself upon a servant, we still tend to call it rape.

At first, they put DSK in Rikers Island and strapped him into an anti-suicide vest to keep him from harming himself. A man with an ego so large he thought he could take one to go and get away with it is not about to kill the person he loves most — himself.

Strauss-Kahn made bail and received one of the sweetest house arrest deals ever. He's in a protected Manhattan high-rise with an ankle bracelet while awaiting trial. However, he will be permitted to attend religious services and doctor's appointments, and in addition to family members, he is allowed up to four visitors at a time. He is also restricted from being out between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. This is punishment? It sounds more like my everyday waking life, minus the ankle bracelet. DSK's lawyers insisted he was not a flight risk, despite the fact that he was sitting on a plane when arrested. This is obviously a job for the Law & Order Special Victims Unit. On television, at least, they aren't so lenient concerning rapists' accommodations.

So while DSK sits in a penthouse professing his profound love for his wife, the tabloid media has staked out the residence of the maid and has kept her under virtual house arrest as well. A bidding war has started for photographs of the alleged victim, and her neighbors have been bombarded with questioning "journalists." Wasn't there a time when the identity of a rape victim was kept confidential? I suppose with TMZ, Access Hollywood, and other programs devoted to celebrity gossip, that has become a quaint notion from an unenlightened age.

TMZ went wild over the Arnold Schwarzenegger revelations that he fathered a child with the family housekeeper and kept it quiet throughout his tenure as governor of California. Even in a state accustomed to electing movie stars to public office, this was beyond the pale. TMZ accused the housekeeper of "pursuing Arnold," as if he were just too alluring to resist, but the tawdriness of his "any port in a storm" mentality and the massive deception perpetrated on not only his wife and family but the California electorate is repugnant. Arnold may have considered himself a Kennedy, but at least JFK had Marilyn Monroe and left the help alone. Schwarzenneger left office with a 20 percent approval rating, so it's a safe bet to say he won't be back.

The outpouring of sympathy toward Maria Shriver, who had to live a decade with Arnold's love child hanging out at the governor's mansion while the housekeeper continued to work for 14 more years for the family, has caused Arnold to rethink his current plans. Confident he could return in Terminator: The Geriatric Years, all movie projects have now been put on hold, including an animated series called The Governator, in which Schwarzenneger was to be portrayed as a superhero living a double life. His partners at Archie Comics and Stan Lee Enterprises felt that this particular "double life" was too unbelievable even for a cartoon.

By now, the list of politicians from both parties involved in marital infidelities or reckless sexual conduct has become common knowledge. Beginning with Bill "Elvis" Clinton, the current list extends from whoremongers like David Vitter and Eliot Spitzer to homewreckers like John Ensign and John Edwards. And let's not forget Governor Mark Sanford's stroll down the Appalachian Trail.

My favorite excuse comes from serial philanderer Newt Gingrich, who said his love of country caused him to cheat on his wives: "Driven by how passionately I felt about this country ... I worked far too hard and things happened in my life that were not appropriate."

A statement that absurd gives me cause to worry about his "passion" for the country. Should he receive the Republican nomination for president, it sounds like he plans to screw us all.

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