you know you do 1.26.99

You know you want to see her testify.

Oh sure, it's best for the country to get this thing wrapped up. Sure, there are pressing matters to be discussed on the floor of the House and the Senate. But you know you want it, baby. You want to see Monica sit there with a big knobby mike floating there right in front of her supple pouty lips.

"Could you speak into the microphone, please, Ms. Lewinsky." She'll lean in. And so will you.

You will look at her chin, and imagine.

You will scrutinize the expression on her face the first time a legislator utters the word "cigar" and remember how the President's face got all squirmy when it was brought up at his deposition.

You want to hear Strom Thurmond ask about the dress. You want to see Johnnie Cochran come bursting into the Senate chamber as the newest member of the Clinton defense, to shout "If the dress does not fit, you must acquit." You want to see her wriggle into it and have it turn out to be too tight.

You know you do.

You want to see Geraldo play back key portions of her testimony in slow motion.

You want an answer to the question of why Henry Hyde and Barbara Bush are never seen in the same place at the same time.

You want to see Ken Starr wearing bright red lipstick, and Orrin Hatch in stiletto heels.

You know you do.

I know I do. After all, this country is based on the premise of television of the people, by the people, and for the people. And we want what we want when we want it.

* * * * * * *

In other news, I'm watching the Pope getting off the plane in St. Louis, and jeez but he's got a helluva nice coat on. White. Double-breasted. Is that wool? Very natty.

The commentators on the Catholic Channel are complaining that Lindy Boggs is the only woman who is wearing a hat in the presence of His Holiness, a custom, the pundit/priest says, which has sadly fallen out of practice. Boo-friggin'-hoo. So have Inquisitions, buddy. The commentators go on and on about how animated, how lively, the Holy Father looks. It comes off sounding like PR after an all-night session on how to spin the doddering Pontiff.

Anthems are played, distinguished guests welcomed, and soon, I'm sure, someone will declare these games open.

The Pope and the Catholic Church are easy targets for cynicism, jokes, and satire. It's an organization with a long history and a presence which has done much good. It has also been a force of incredible destruction and caused immeasurable human suffering. With such a paradoxical presence, I can't make fun of it without feeling the need to acknowledge its acts of charity. But to honor its good works is, for me, like praising Mussolini for making the trains run on time.

In the Pope I see a man who has dedicated his life completely to something he believes in, and I have to honor that even in the face of an infectious and sometimes lethal psychological mindset that has influence and reign over great masses of people. How can I help but have mixed feelings when a church that helps to bring literacy to people also inspires them to go ape-shit when a muffin comes out shaped like the Virgin of Guadalupe? And I'm not even going near the sexual repression part of this equation. That's the kind of thing you want to leave for Orrin Hatch.

You know you do.

today's music:

"Pasties And A G-String" -- Tom Waits -- SMALL CHANGE


today's wisdom:

"Democrats say, 'We like television. We watch a lot of it.' Republicans say, 'We hate television. We watch a lot of it too.'"

- Andy Rooney