Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Our National Paraphilia: A Proposal

Despite my best efforts to avoid listening to worthless and distracting forms of news, sometimes these things just creep into my airspace. And of course, like most people, I find some of it entertaining.
Now that I have been apprised of South Carolina governor Mark Sanford's unauthorized little trip to Argentina, where he admits to have gone in order to continue a recent affair with an old friend, I am yet again baffled as to exactly what the real news value of this information could possibly be. Politicians are constantly having sex with persons to whom they are not married--surely the American public has learned this simple fact by now--so why is this of the slightest interest unless something really startling is involved?
For example, if Governor Sanford were having an affair with an Iranian ayatollah, that would be decidedly newsworthy.
If Governor Sanford had taken up molesting kindergartners, it would be in the public interest to report it.
If Governor Sanford had turned the governor's mansion into a house of prostitution, staffed by civil servants, this would be of understandable interest to his constituency and even to the rest of us.
I am, however, tired of hearing about the run-of-the-mill personal lives of every politician in the USA. The American public, evidently, has a mysterious interest--let's come straight out and call it a paraphilia--when it comes to politicians and sex. I don't claim to understand it, because it is not a sexual interest I share, but then, I don't really understand why one of my friends has a thing about priests, either. People just have these odd interests, and most of the time it is harmless. Still, I would far rather tease my friend about her priest fantasies than endure more news items about politicians' clandestine sexual affairs.
The average politician apparently does want to have sex with more than one partner, or with partners he (it always seems to be "he") has been forbidden (interns, prostitutes, men in public toilets), but the average politician is distressed and often shamed when his behavior is outed. The politician's distress clearly feeds into the sadistic aspect of the American public's paraphilia--still, we're not dealing with plain and simple S&M here, and I don't think that most of these politicians are consenting partners in this particular paraphilia.
I believe, however, that we can fix the problem of the nonconsenting, unwillingly masochistic politicians. In fact, the solution is simple. We have already gotten accustomed to electing actors to public office (Ronald Reagan, Clint Eastwood, Arnold Schwarzenegger), so all we need do is take that further step and start electing porn stars, who can be dual-function officials. I am convinced that far more people have strongly voyeuristic interests than sadistic interests, so with the election of porn stars to public office, the voyeuristic element will become much more satisfying for a great many more people, while the sadistic part can be fulfilled by getting the right mix of porn-star politicians into office.
While some people will complain that the average porn star is unqualified for public office, I think that most people will recognize that the average porn star is sure to be at least as well qualified as the average contemporary politician.
I am sure that Susie Bright will have something to say about this shortly. And Dr. Zaius will want to update his coverage of the Sanford story.


  1. I think his disappearance is newsworthy, but it should have been of only local interest and framed as "the governor is skipping work and not doing his job--what the heck?!"


  2. Porn stars as politicians? That's crazy! What about major motion picture stars from science fiction films made in the late 60s, with orange hair? That's a category that needs further scrutiny, if you ask me!