Wednesday, November 1, 2017

House of Cads

We are sometimes a little late, but we eventually get around to things.  Only a couple of days ago we watched another Netflix episode of “House of Cards”.  It’s at a point in the story where President Frank Underwood, having recovered from being shot, is now threatened by serious competition from a charismatic Republican candidate named Will Conway.  We find this series pretty gripping, but it had been a very long time since we last watched an episode, and maybe we slept through part of it or something, because we didn’t actually remember this Conway fellow or how he had gotten into the plot.  But as his first impression in this episode was rather striking—he was having calisthenically challenging sexual intercourse with his wife on, so far as I could tell, the living room wall—we shall probably remember him now.

Anyway, the next morning’s paper brought the news that Kevin Spacey—he’s the actor who brilliantly plays the sinister President in “House of Cards”—had just been accused of having thrown himself upon a fourteen-year-old boy on a bed.  A bed is not a wall, which is good, but this was in real life rather than in make-believe, which is bad.  It was supposed to have happened about thirty years ago, and Mr. Spacey didn’t actually remember the episode, but he nonetheless wanted to apologize just in case that, you know, it had offended anybody or anything like that.  This news report was not all that edifying in the long run, but there was one thing about it that made me happy.  Well, “happy” is not exactly the right word; but it was at least satisfying to me that I knew who Kevin Spacey is.

You see the thing is for the last month, though it seems more like a decade, I have been reading about this man Harvey Weinstein.  I know it’s my own cultural limitation, but I had never heard of Mr. Weinstein.  I did not know that he was a Hollywood mogul, or even that Hollywood mogul was an actual trade or profession recognized by the Department of Commerce and the Census Bureau.  I thought it was a figure of speech.  It really makes one feel out of it never to have heard of the most famous man in America even at the moment he is transitioning to most infamous.  I now learn that this guy was a huge mover and shaker, though how his daily exertions of satyriasis left him with the energy to move, let alone to shake, is beyond me.  I had never heard of most of his female victims either, though I did a little better with the list of his unindicted male co-conspirators as they manfully if tardily twittered out their repentance for not having “spoken out” earlier.  But Kevin Spacey: him I have heard of.  It makes me feel more in the American mainstream.

Though there is nothing funny about this sexual harassment stuff, there is plenty that is ludicrous.  While we are talking mainstream, come now before the court young women complaining of former President George Herbert Walker Bush, who likes to “cop a feel,” as he wittily puts it, during photo ops in which he finds himself in proximate situations with attractive females.  One Internet neurologist I have seen suggests a possible connection between this behavior and frontal lobe disturbances associated with Parkinson’s, but the ex-President’s spokesman’s view is that he gooses girls “to try to put people at ease.”  I do know that men and women are very different, but just speaking personally, I never have found this sort of treatment from my urologist all that relaxing.

Last night this patrician groper invaded my dreams.  Though I really prefer it when I dream in Middle English, I don’t actually have the slightest control over it, and this dream was more Joycian, and specifically Molly Bloomian and sort of, like, all runtogether and stream of consciousness, so anyway Bush Forty-One but aged Ninety-Three rolls up to this babe in his wheelchair and he asks her can he take a selfie with her and she says fine go ahead and he asks her do you know who my favorite lyricist is which might seem a little random but she says it’s gotta be Cole Porter on account of his great song “Did You Evah?” which sort of throws him because she was supposed to say no who is your favorite lyricist and so he  says how does that song go again and she starts singing Have you heard that Mimsie Starr …(what now?) She got pinched in the Astor bar And did you know that old George Bush…(what now?)  He grabs young ladies by the tush--and by the way what’s your favorite Dickens novel and he says well it used to be David Coppafeel but now I think Dumboy and Son is even better and she says Well I nevah…

And then I awoke to a morning paper announcing that Kevin Spacey is so deep in Weinsteinian doodoo that Netflix is cancelling “House of Cards,” meaning I may never find out the story about this fellow Will Conway, in which case Weinstein is going to have to answer to me.