It’s never a good idea to let an avid fan get into your house or your pants, not even if they’re just folding them when they come back from the dry cleaners. Movies like Play Misty for Me, Misery and All About Eve were made to teach us this and if you don’t learn anything from a Hollywood that’s trying so hard to convey simple values, then what the hell do you expect? One’s PA should be smarter than one’s self and nothing says ‘smart’ like reserved disdain for the employer. (see Arthur’s Hobson, Wooster’s Jeeves and Blackadder the Third).
John Edwards didn’t learn from these things if the press on former aide Andrew Young (who will appear on 20/20 tonight), who comes off uncomfortably like Eve Howard is any indication. Waylon Smithers and "butt boy" are two ways he’s been described, though the scandals, of course are all Edwards fault – Young was only the messenger. There’s only so much blame you can put on the camera if you look like hell in the picture.
The countdown has begun to the launch of Young’s forth-coming tell-all book, due out February 2nd which promises more juice than there is in the juice aisle, --including, evidently not to everyone’s surprise, a possible “sex tape."
Edwards as the first government official caught in a sex tape is casting gold; most politicians you wouldn’t even want to see without a tie. I disagree with the release of these things, firmly believing that unless people are consenting, we should never get to see their O face, but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit I was curious– I voted for Edwards once and kind of feel like he owes me (maybe that's how might have Andrew Young felt).
CBS News.com’s 48-Hours Mystery website describe the alleged tape as “The Headline You Knew Was Coming” which made me feel like a bit of an idiot. I didn’t see it coming. I write a great deal about sex and the more scandalous and peculiar it is the more I’m interested, so you’d think my imagination would be vine-ripened for such a thing. But I didn’t see it coming.
The things I thought, as more dirt floated to the surface, were quite different, things like “How do you get to be a Senator and not understand how birth control works?” and “Dumbass,” and “The more famous people deny their varied sex lives the longer a standard of lifetime hetero monogamy gets upheld for everyone and that’s just stupid.” And it is. If these sex scandals teach us one thing it’s that people make marriage promises they can’t keep – so why, as a society, do we insist they make them? Why does there need to be there be only one socially sanctioned expression of love, lifetime hetero monogamy? People often do it because it’s the thing to do, but obviously it doesn’t work for all of them and the result is like putting only size 2 dresses on the rack and then bitching when almost everyone comes out looking hideous.
This isn’t to excuse Edwards’ behavior - it is to say that the kind of denial people in his position have to engage in doesn’t benefit the individuals or the public. If they were allowed to just acknowledge their affairs and move on privately - or to even have open relationships or something other than regular marriage to begin with- the ability to scandalize would decrease and with it the ability of such stories to kudzu the media, choking out real news. If Tiger had just admitted to Elin much earlier on that he was juggling dates as deftly as an airline’s booking computer, that disastrous car wreck might never have happened - nor would the media train wreck that followed. The couple might have handled their business privately, which would have been better for them and for us.
It won’t happen in my lifetime. Love and sex are the most complex part of our lives, but it's very likely we'll continue to treat them as the fashion industry so long treated variations on beauty: stuffed into the narrow confines of a size zero.
Anyway, I didn’t see the sex tape coming, but I do expect the porn parody any day now. The adult film industry has struck a lucrative chord by lampooning pop culture and current events with films like “Whose Nailin Paylin?” and ‘Barrack’s Big Stimulus Package.” An Edwards parody can’t be far away.
My title suggestion: “All About Beav.”