OMT One Man's Trash...from Norman Leahy

Monday, October 16, 2006 :::

Knee-Deep in Foley

Christopher Hitchens turns both of his gimlet eyes toward the Mark Foley matter and wonders where's the crime?

When I finally took a look at what we are all now doomed to call the "sexually explicit" emails between Rep. Mark Foley and the young male page, I found that I had an immediate difficulty in following the exchange. The congressman's side of the correspondence was denoted by his online name, while the page's name was asterisked to protect the innocent, but they both seemed to be talking about the same thing, or things. And it read for all the world like a chat between two dirty-minded adolescent boys. How often do you do this or think about that? How long is it? Material of that kind or "stuff like that," as we might say. Perhaps I have become jaded, or perhaps I lack some crucial moral element, but I could not see what was criminal about it, and I laughed when I read the solemn announcement from the FBI, promising to investigate whether an email could possibly have crossed an interstate line and thus aggravated the gravity of the offense. Our guardians never sleep . . .

They certainly don't. Whether it's wading into the instant messages of horny old men, hunting down online gamblers, or waging the Sisyphean struggle against drugs, contraband cigarettes, moonshine, gun dealers, price gougers, and unlicensed yard sales, the many-headed hydra of the state is tirelessly working to save us from something.

Really, they are.

But there are other juicy tid-bits in the Hitchens piece that ought to give some people pause:

Have we not learned by now that the propensity of politicians to rave on about morality is often in direct proportion to their hypocrisy on the point? "Why dost thou lash that whore?" is the pertinent question asked of the lasher in "King Lear," and the answer comes plainly -- he hotly wishes "to use her in that kind" for which he whips her.

Anyone who has studied the fate of leading gay-bashers in American politics will know that the danger-signs are there from the start. Set your watch, and sure enough that fervent campaigner will be arrested kneeling abjectly on the men's-room floor. If the campaigner is an evangelist for purity and abstinence, he is booked to keep an early and certain date in a dreary motel, beseeching a drab hooker with an expired MasterCard.

That does seem to happen. Perhaps not with great regularity, to be sure. But when it does, the irony is rich indeed.

But the Hitchens' op-ed is not the only bit of Foley-age in the Journal today. On the front page, there is a profile of the blogger who unearthed the name of the page involved in the affair. And it isn't pretty:

It has been a heady time for the unemployed Mr. Kerr. He says he had been fired from several jobs over the years -- installing car radios, working for a call center -- and was discharged from the Navy in 1993 after faking a suicide attempt. He volunteers that years ago he was arrested for burglary. These days, he is a stay-at-home dad, taking care of his two sons, the younger of whom is 3 years old. Mr. Kerr's wife supports the family with her job at a call center here. Mr. Kerr says he has never met a famous person or a member of Congress. "I need to get out of the house more," he says.

He spends most of his days looking after his kids, working on his blog and doing an online radio show. He hosts it three times a week from his bedroom, hoping to break into conservative talk radio.

All that's missing is the parental basement and a teetering pile of empty pizza boxes.

Though I would be surprised if this character sketch didn't generate a few life-affirming guffaws in newsrooms across the country.

::: posted by Norman Leahy at 10/16/2006 0 comments


"You know what the fellow said: In Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they also produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love -- they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock." -- Orson Welles, The Third Man

"The graveyards are full of indespensable men" -- Charles de Gaulle

"Oh, so Mother Nature needs a favor? Well maybe she should have thought of that when she was besetting us with droughts and floods and poison monkeys. Nature started the fight for survival and now she wants to quit because she's losing. Well I say, hard cheese!" -- Montgomery Burns

"Don't pretend that you know me...cause I don't even know myself" -- The Who

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