Rants and Raves

Opinion, commentary, reviews of books, movies, cultural trends, and raising kids in this day and age.

Friday, June 26, 2009


Boy that got your attention didn't it?

It seems to have everyone's attention these days. At the latest count there are two political sex scandals in the news, one writer humiliating her soon-to-be-ex husband in print, and 24/7 coverage of the death of an accused pedophile pop megastar.

To wit:

- Senator John Ensign (R-NV) revealed he had an affair with a staffer - and was by the way cuckolding another staffer.

He came clean after they pulled what looks suspiciously like a Badger Game on him.

Anyone else remember that idiom? Its' an old con: woman seduces man, her husband walks in...

No less a politician than Alexander Hamilton fell for that one.

Ensign's wife issued a statement, "Since we found out last year we have worked through the situation and we have come to a reconciliation."

Since "we" found out? Was Ensign sleepwalking during this affair? Perhaps he had amnesia?

Of course liberals are ecstatic about this one. Oh the hypocrisy! Ensign is a born-again Christian and got awful holy about Clinton's adulteries a while back.

Leftist politicians are by definition not hypocrits about sex and extramarital affairs. It's only hypocrisy if you believe what you're doing is wrong.

The likes of Bill Clinton and Ted Kennedy are not hypocrits, merely opportunistic liars. Their only regret is getting caught.

The hypocrits are the feminist leadership who make excuses for them when they treat women as disposable conveniences to be used and discarded, sometimes in shallow bodies of water.

Ensign showed a measure of backbone by refusing to be blackmailed.* Like the Duke of Wellington when a would-be blackmailer threatened to publish some damaging correspondence.

"Publish and be damned!" Wellington replied.

Of course, by that time the Iron Duke was in the House of Lords and didn't have to stand for no steenking election.

The Ensigns have three kids.

Note: remember that I foretold you here: http://rantsand.blogspot.com/2008/10/perfect-storm-of-left.html

Starting I think a year after Obama takes office, if there is a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, it's going to get very bad.

If the Republicans succeed in keeping a one or two-vote filibuster number, how much do you want to bet the news media can find a scandal or two to knock at least one Republican politico out of congress?

Told you.

- South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford (A Republican with a libertarian bent) fessed up he's been having an affair for, evidently a while now. His wife kicked him out of the house a while back, and more importantly didn't stand up with him in public while he made his obligatory public abasement. (Good for her!)

The thing that makes this scandal actually, you know... interesting, is the sheer airheadedness of the way Sanford sent emails which wound up in the hands of a local paper for months before the scandal broke, and left the state without doing his constitutional duty to turn the office over to the Lieutenant Governor during his absence.

By now EVERYONE knows emails should be considered about as private as a postcard. His ineptness in covering a flight to Argentina**, where he spent five days crying in homage to Evita, suggests that on some level Sanford wanted to be caught.

Governor Sanford's public confession was a weird mixture of painful and kind of sweet to watch.

It's always painfully embarrassing to watch a man fall apart in public. What was kind of sweet was, as he was maundering on about his Argentine inamorata, it became plain the guy's in love with her.

This isn't a Bill Clinton/Ted Kennedy-style conquest f**k, Sanford plainly adores this woman. Can you doubt this after reading the emails?

Lust can make you do extremely stupid things, but it takes true love to really motivate you to screw your life up.

He could have pulled a Sarkozy, divorced his wife, and married the exotic hottie. Liberals are always going on about how the Europeans are so much more sophisticated about sexual matters than we grim American puritans, they'd scarsely be in a position to kvetch* - but he's got four young boys.

If you think they're not going to hurt for a long time over this, maybe forever, you're fooling yourself. That goes for you too Sandra.

- Tsing Loh, sweet chariot...

Sorry, couldn't resist.

Well, as Paul Harvey used to say, "After all guys, it is their turn."

Sandra Tsing Loh, writer and performance artist (with a B.A. in physics, I'm impressed) has a piece in The Atlantic here:


that has a fair number of conservatives in a twitter. (Oh wait, that means something different now. And BTW, Sandra makes puns on her own name as well. She once had a radio show called, "The Loh Life," which I thought was pretty clever.)

"Let's Call the Whole Thing Off"

The author is ending her marriage. Isn’t it time you did the same?

Sadly, and to my horror, I am divorcing. This was a 20-year partnership. My husband is a good man, though he did travel 20 weeks a year for work. I am a 47-year-old woman whose commitment to monogamy, at the very end, came unglued. This turn of events was a surprise. I don’t generally even enjoy men; I had an entirely manageable life and planned to go to my grave taking with me, as I do most nights to my bed, a glass of merlot and a good book. Cataclysmically changed, I disclosed everything. We cried, we rent our hair, we bewailed the fate of our children. And yet at the end of the day—literally during a five o’clock counseling appointment, as the golden late-afternoon sunlight spilled over the wall of Balinese masks—when given the final choice by our longtime family therapist, who stands in as our shaman, mother, or priest, I realized … no. Heart-shattering as this moment was—a gravestone sunk down on two decades of history—I would not be able to replace the romantic memory of my fellow transgressor with the more suitable image of my husband, which is what it would take in modern-therapy terms to knit our family’s domestic construct back together. In women’s-magazine parlance, I did not have the strength to “work on” falling in love again in my marriage. And as Laura Kipnis railed in Against Love, and as everyone knows, Good relationships take work.

The rest is rather rambling and disjointed. In the middle it reveals that she finds some of her friends are thinking of doing the same, claims her two daughters are just fine, and ends with a rousing call to... what? Get rid of marriage?

Not quite, in spite of the title and subtitle. She does point out that marriages over time tend to get almost intolerably dull.

One is tempted to congratulate her on the triumphant discovery of the obvious.

She says the company of a good man who is a great father was ultimately never going to be as heart-poundingly exciting as trysts with her lover.


Although, there is curiously little about her lover in the piece. He, like her husband and even children, appear briefly onstage as curiously two-dimensional characters. The only people in the piece who appear fully fleshed-out are her female friends, who seem to stand in as extensions of herself and her need to gas on endlessly about her favorite subject, herself.

And though her encomiums to her husband abound in the article and the videolog she's keeping about the divorce process, one has to wonder what he did to her to piss her off so much that she should humiliate him in public?

Oh, she never meant to do that when she implied, or actively stated that she found him a bore in bed and cuckolded him with someone so much more exciting?

And no doubt her children will never get it back from their schoolmates because little kids don't read The Atlantic, and their parents would never talk about that kind of thing in front of them.

But do read the article, she does in fact have some interesting things to say. Also a great many misleading ones, such as the prevalence of divorce in America.

"One in two marriages ends in divorce," is true but does not mean that most couples are going to get divorced. Most people do in fact wind up in stable, long-lived marriages.

What the statistics (and observation) reveal is that the divorce average is inflated by 1) people who have one early marriage that fails, remarry and stay married the next time, and 2) a much smaller number of much-married relationship junkies who raise the average way high all by themselves.

(An ex of mine had just divorced husband number five last I heard. Which was some time ago, she may have done even more to raise the average by now.)

Loh discovered that living with the same person for a long time can become, we shall say routine, and going to bed with a good book and a glass of Merlot is what she looked forward to every day.

This, as I mentioned, is not news to the vast majority of married couples. So what is to be done?

There's good old-fashioned cheating of course. But that involves deception, which Loh evidently couldn't live with.

For Christ's sake, even Dear Abby (the original, not her daughter who took over the family business) said, if you slip; bury it, live with it, and don't burden your partner with it.

Open Marriage*** has it's advocates, though Loh admits the concept is kind of icky.

It is indeed, and I would point out that over thirty-odd years, couples I've known with open marriage agreements have had a 100 percent failure rate. Making "open marriages" far less stable than merely adulterous ones.

Listen, I understand, really I do. The desire for sex with someone new is a drive probably hard-wired into our brains by evolution, and I'll deal with that in a subsequent post.

Perhaps even more than the discipline of fidelity, the responsibilities of marriage with children weigh upon one. No matter how happy or content you are, from time to time you are going to be tortured by the possibilities that would lie before you if you didn't have the responsibility of caring for little persons who would be helpless without you.

I don't mean the freedom to tom-or-tabbycat around. I still dream of building that oil-drum raft and pushing off into the Pacific ocean like that 70-year-old man I read about in my youth.

Maybe I will someday - but that day is not yet. Not while there are little ones relying on Daddy to be there for them.

- And then there's Michael Jackson, the celebrity death that surprised me least.

I really can't bring myself to say much about that sad, pathetic person-of-male-gender.

Was he an active pedophile? So far all we have is a Scotch Verdict, "Not proven."

De morituris nihil nisi bonum est, but...

1) Paying a multi-million-dollar settlement is not the behavior of an innocent man. On the other hand, after paying once and realizing it really encouraged others to make the same accusation, he did fight tooth and nail the next time it happened. On the other hand, the behavior of that "welfare mother" Geraldo Rivera so plainly despises looked a lot like a greedy mother getting a kid to "take one for the team" - shades of The Godfather!

2) The saddest thing of all is that he hired women to create children for him, to be his playthings. Anyone want to take bets on how their lives turn out?

3) If he wasn't an active pedophile, his behavior with little boys was still mega-creepy.

Rest in peace Michael. Sadly, this is probably the only peace you've ever known.

* I'm going to say this again. The leftie sophisticates' claim that sophisticated Europeans see nothing wrong about this kind of thing is misleading at best. True, many cultures European and non-European like the Philippines, allow a man to keep a querida on the side, but the rule is you do not let it affect your marriage and you DO NOT humiliate your wife.

** It has however, produced one really great joke. His staff misheard when they said he was hiking the Apallachian Trail. He actually said he was tracking some Argentine tail. Thanks Gov.

*** 'Open Marriage' was the title of a book published in 1973 by anthropologists George and Nena O'Neil that quickly entered the language as a synonym for what the Brits call a "relaxed marriage."

The book was basically about marriage where the couple were comfortable enough with each other that they didn't feel the need to live in each others' laps, gave each other their space, etc. Stuff that sounds pretty orthodox now.

In precisely one short chapter they discussed the possibility of non-monogamous relationships - which were seized on by bunches of readers as permission to cat around.

They came to bitterly regret this, and Nena specifically argued for fidelity in a subsequent book. Largely because every one of the couples they knew with 'open marriages' got divorced in the interval between the first book and the second.

Previous posts on marriage, sex and relationships:



UPDATE: That article where Tsandra Tsings is evidently striking a chord. The morning after this was posted I opened MSN to find the article in full and a video interview of Sandra, with the obligatory defense of marriage shrink by her side.

Sandra's argument is weak, though to be fair she probably had all of 90 seconds to make it. The interviewer paraphrased it for her first: marriage is an invention of agrarian societies because intact family units were needed to work the farm.

No, marriage predated agriculture. It is a universal feature of hunter-gatherer societies as well.

Sandra made a revealing statement before the video cut off, "I decided I had better things to do with my time than over-parent my kids."

So is she divorcing her husband or her kids?

* UPDATE: Nope, it now turns out Mommy and Daddy were paying off the couple to the tune of $96,000 - so far as of the time of this update. That's not bad for pimping your old lady. The payments were explained as "gifts" to the wife, husband, and children.

I hope she was good John, that is one expensive piece of tail.

Hey kiddies, Mommy's taken an extra job to earn your college money.


  • At 2:56 PM, Blogger dchamil said…

    Mark Sanford apppeared at the press conference without his wife, as you noted. I hope she told him,
    "You had your affair without me, you can face the press without me!"

  • At 6:53 PM, Blogger Steve said…

    I wonder how many people who watch the press conferences with the forgiving wife by the side of the philandering politician ever look at the face of the wife?

    A montage of stills from these media circuses would be an interesting study of shame and pain.

  • At 3:57 AM, Blogger Galt-in-Da-Box said…

    Expecting honesty and integrity from politicians, preachers or propagandists...I mean "media personalities"...is kind of like anticipating Niagra Falls will run backward at some point in time:
    Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.
    Always has and will; deal, already.


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