Thursday, June 17, 2010

Gore Lore

The much respected New York Daily news, relying on a story in Star Magazine, reports that “Al Gore's surprising split from wife Tipper was prompted by an affair he was having with Larry David's environmental activist wife…

“David divorced her husband, the "Seinfeld" creator and star of "Curb Your Enthusiasm," in 2007 amid reports that she was cheating with the married caretaker of their Martha's Vineyard summer home…”

Speaking through a spokesperson, Gore refuses to comment on the “stream of stories about his separation,” which has opened the door to some wild speculation.

Al’s take is that his marriage went flat after four decades.

The split with Tipper is amiable and mutually beneficial: Apart from each other, the two can grow; and no one should have to tolerate a flat marriage any more than one should tolerate flat champagne.

Unsatisfied with this account, the Globe, a British organ, speculated that Gore has a gay monkey on his back, but you have to buy the nose rag to get the complete story. There is, however, a teaser:

“Former Vice President Al Gore is caught up in a sensational gay scandal after announcing he is divorcing Tipper, his wife of 40 years. In a must-read world exclusive, GLOBE rips the lid off all the eye-popping details that have Washington, D.C., insiders buzzing. Don't miss a single word.”
National Inquirer magazine, surprisingly accurate in the case of other political scandals, says – naugh!!!.

Actually, the problem is that Tipper has gone mad, possibly from reading accounts of Al’s sexual preferences in the Globe. Tipper is insanely jealous, says NI, and Al ain’t gonna take it any more.

What to make of all this?

Some provisional theories:

1) Ever since the Marilyn Monroe thing with John F. Kennedy more or less forced the news media to abandon ancient strictures that prevented the tribunes of the people from dilating on the eroto-political scene, it’s been a wild ride. And scandal sells. Hollywood is everywhere, most especially in the congress and the White House.

2) The breakdown of mores – the secular equivalent of morals – has let the erotic dogs out. Is it possible that the elimination of religious proscriptions, one of the consequences of the desacralization of Western culture, has had something to do with the near total breakdown of what G. K. Chesterton used to call the little battalions of democracy: church, home and neighborhood?

Ya think? If you do think, you are likely to be reviled with a velvet glove by the media folk who produce the Globe, the Daily News and even more respected organs of public propaganda such as the Hartford Courant.

3) In a neo-pagan universe, it should not be surprising that the inmates begin to behave like pagans. The problem is us, as Pogo says. Go to confession more often; repair the spiritual holes in your private universe with something other than neo-paganism. Repent, as Jeremiah says.

4) We are not neo-pagan enough. We have not fully embraced Wicca, Sadism, Earth Worship, Yoga, the Hollywood busting out in all our souls.

Somewhere up there between 1, 2, 3, and 4, lies the solution to our long winter of discontent.

Sometimes it helps to remember that it was not always like this.


Fuzzy Dunlop said...

As far as your second theory, I would highly recommend two nonfiction books: (1) A World Lit Only By Fire and (2) The Way We Never Were. The first is an examination of society from the Middle Age through the Renaissance, and the second is an examination of American society in the 1950s.

Both make fairly clear that we were never quite as moral or centered as we would like to believe. Medieval popes were generally about as sexually chaste as Wilt Chamberlain, and common folk were no better; typically, when a villager became pregnant, the paternity question was an open question and the familys of soon to be mothers would essentially bid, in the form of a dowry, for a man to, rightly or not (more usually not) accept responsibility. As for the 1950s, had June Cleaver gone to her doctor for a case of melancholy, or "exhaustion," like many other housewives she would have been prescribed some uppers (amphetamines)... a few weeks later when, shockingly, she found it difficult to sleep, she would have quickly been prescribed some downers (barbituates), likely washed down with a Manhattan or an Old Fashioned.

There are also popular examples that I can think of off the top of my head but not covered in the aforementioned books. Take for instance Ronald Reagan who, despite extolling the virtues of a Christian nation, rarely stepped foot in a church on Sunday. Looking further back, we have the example of Ben Franklin, well known for his love of whores, and Thomas Jefferson who, well, you know...

Anyway, pretending like society has only recently lost its moral compass is quaint, but almost willfully ignorant. The human condition being what it is, he past cannot be relied upon as a valid model for the way we wish were.

Don Pesci said...


As a student of the popes, I get'cha.

When news of Cardinal Richelieu’s death was brought to the pope of his day, he was asked to comment. He said, “If there is no God, Richelieu will have lived a successful life; and if there is a God, he will have much to answer for.”

So with all sinning popes.

June Cleaver would have blushed at their grosser sins. Luther did.

But we must not reason from the exception to the rule. Most popes were cloyingly Cleverish.

“Leave it to Beaver” may have painted an overly bright picture of life in the 60’s. But the Hollywood of that day was morally a step up from the Hollywood of our time; I think you will admit the institution of marriage has taken some hard knocks since then.

Knowing human nature as we do, it would be pointless to expect a heaven on earth. In fact, most people who have tried to drag heaven to earth have made a botch of it. I’m thinking of Danton & Stalin, neither of whom were overly religious.

However, a little shame is always a useful emetic. I see little of it in congress – and I’ve been watching studiously for signs of Cleverism there – still less of it in Hollywood.

The way to correct all this is not to deplore the excesses of the past.

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