In the light of recent events, maybe revising the calendar so that Presidents Day and Valentine's Day fall on the same weekend was a mistake. On the brighter side, you now can purchase gifts appropriate for both holidays at the Pleasure Chest.
At any rate, it's now day whatever of everybody's favorite presidential hoo-ha, and the name "Monica Lewinsky" is still on everyone's lips, causing me to wonder whether Monica's mom, sometime-journalist Marcia Lewis, would've thought twice about changing her last name if she'd known her daughter was going to be so famous.
Meanwhile, slick Willie seems to have squeaked by for the moment, with his approval rating at an all-time high after his moving State of the Union address in which he boldly endorsed educating our children, taking care of old people and not letting Saddam Hussein spit on the American flag.
Polls seem to indicate that most people think the prez probably did more than exchange hugs with little Monica during her stint in the halls of power. Polls also indicate that most people don't care.
I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, I don't want to see President Clinton impeached simply because he may have felt more than Monica's pain--and, incidentally, neither do many Republicans, who then would be faced with the prospect of unseating President Gore in the next election. After everything Nixon, Reagan and Bush pulled on the American people, it would be sad to bring down Bill Clinton just because he didn't have the smarts to say "I don't recall" when asked the really hard questions, like "Did you and Monica ever fool around in the Oval Office?"
On the other hand, I ask myself, why do guys always get away with that crap? There's Hillary, the wronged party, going on TV at the crack of dawn, looking great in a flattering hairstyle for a change, not just one but two days in a row, being photographed kissing babies all over Harlem and covering his butt.
And Bill's approval rating goes up! It's just not fair, it's not fair, as I said to myself in grade school when I spent all of art period making a valentine for the boy I had a crush on and then didn't get one from him. (OK, I'll admit to some bias in this, and if you want to call me an angry feminist, go ahead, I can take it, I'll only cry in the ladies room, which, thank God, is still off-limits to men except on that stupid "Ally McBeal" show, I mean how believable is that, a bunch of lawyers all peeing together, not to mention her skirt length?)
People are busy excusing Bill's alleged behavior on the grounds that "he's only human." Then they're reaching into the animal kingdom for analogies about the alpha male and old bulls and new cows or whatever. The hip new excuse for men behaving badly is that it's genetic.
Isn't science wonderful? In the past 20 years, we've gone from "Hey, I'm a Scorpio" to "It's in my DNA, babe." Recently, the New Yorker, which I find almost as good as Vogue when I'm seeking the latest medical info, tipped me off to some relevant data:
I quote: "On several college campuses, researchers hired attractive assistants to approach students of the opposite sex and proposition them out of the blue. What proportion says yes? Of the women, 0%; of the men, 75%. (Many of the remaining 25% ask for a rain check.)"
So this is the kind of "scientific" research our institutions of higher learning are endorsing these days? How come I had to go to college in the bad old days when the science nerds I knew were still cutting up frogs and testing mascara on rabbits?
Still, this project raises a few questions, besides how can I get a similar grant? Who was in charge of selecting the "attractive assistants"? A man, probably. Which means the female assistants may very well have been selected from that prevalent-on-TV-movies subclass of students working their way through college as exotic dancers.
Meanwhile, did any of the male assistants look anything like Daniel Day-Lewis? I doubt it. If they were even halfway to being Brad Pitt wannabes, they'd have been in Hollywood having a latte and hoping to be discovered, not running around on college campuses pestering strange girls to sleep with them.
Also, to maintain scientific accuracy, both male and female research assistants would have been compelled to use the same script. And no woman is going to melt when a guy, even a cute guy, nods at her and says, "Nice pants." I may not know everything that's in our DNA, but I know that isn't.
A little more subtlety is required. I mean, even guys who hit on women in gourmet supermarkets know that you can't just pick up a zucchini and ask, "What's this?" with a stupid grin on your face.
Well, in the interest of pure science, I pulled off a little research project of my own. I hired attractive top models to approach heads of state of both sexes and proposition them out of the blue.
I think you can guess the results. Only the Canadian premier refused, and then he remembered he was French-Canadian and changed his mind.
Czech President Vaclav Havel accepted the proposition and then read poetry to the researcher for hours afterward, causing her to relocate to Czechoslovakia or whatever the hell it's calling itself these days. The couple plans to winter at Mick's place on the island of Mustique.
As for our own beloved president--I'd say more but I'm under subpoena. All in all, I'm pleased with the results. I think they provide the important revelation that, male or female, those who can, do, as long as they think they can get away with it and they're not late for a comparative lit final at the time, which hardly any of the world leaders were, except for Vaclav Havel, and he was giving the exam.