Oh my gawd, did I just write that? OMFG LOL.

Better yet, let’s turn the question around on one of my fellow chubby-chasers; nay, not just any chubby-chaser, but the eminence grise of our dubious fraternity; and ask: did Bill Clinton actually do this?

I found Monica Lewinsky quite attractive back in the day. Lewinsky came across as a bit ditzy, to be sure, a Valley Girl misplaced in the hills (albeit far from the basest erratic to stray upward in the antigravity of the LA celebrity funhouse), but still, pleasantly plump, smitten and emotionally available, which made her a huge improvement over the stone-cold cutthroat bitch that the Big Dog brought to the White House as his erstwhile co-president. (For those of you who were too young to follow the Clintons at the time, or were too busy following Boyz 2 Men and Hansen, I should mention that Hillary has mellowed out tremendously since being appointed Secretary of State as a way of keeping her inside the tent pissing out. Rush Limbaugh wasn’t entirely in the wrong; during Bill’s first term in particular, she was a downright scary harpy.) True, the Bitch rained marital hellfire down on the Big Dog for betraying her in favor of a naive, younger, less manipulative woman, but it well may have been worth the trouble for Bill.

Mind you, I mean that in a narrow, personal sense for a married man. Having a smirking, sanctimonious doofus like Kenneth Starr and proper Christians like Newt Gingrich barge into the fray complicated things. Nor did all the cigar play do Clinton any policy favors. To wit:

“One of the little known political stories of the late 1990s is how Bill Clinton tried to work with Newt Gingrich to cut Social Security for recipients and pour some of the Social¬†Security trust fund into the booming stock market. Clinton was willing to oppose the liberal wing of his party to cut a deal, and accept Republican demands for private accounts and a higher retirement age. Gingrich was willing to let Clinton succeed at doing so….But then Monica Lewinsky happened, and Clinton had to take refuge with the liberals, who might have abandoned him during his impeachment had he cut entitlements.”

At least that’s what Matt Stoller claims. It’s certainly consistent with the rest of Clinton’s record on economic policy: NAFTA, the repeal of Glass-Steagall, his whip-wielding “welfare reform,” his currying favor with the more sociopathic elements of the financial sector. To grasp Bill Clinton’s sheer capacity for coldblooded treachery, just remember that it was he who took time off the campaign trail to preside over the execution of Ricky Ray Rector, a man so retarded that he saved the dessert from his last meal for afterwards. For a man who did that, throwing his country’s poor under the bus by making a corrupt and stupid change to the pension system would have been child’s play.

Reread the excerpt two paragraphs above, and meditate on it. The political calculus that it describes is one of the most scathing indictments of American politics imaginable. To understand how bad things were, and still are, it’s crucial to define politics broadly. The problem lay not merely in our elected officials, who were nightmarishly corrupt, but in the mainstream press, which was of practically the same moral turpitude, and in the voters, who were too crass, self-absorbed, disengaged and voyeuristic to demand better.

I might as well rephrase that in the present tense, as these estates have not improved substantially in the meantime. We still need to look at ourselves in the mirror as an electorate. We still don’t. Those who despise Bill Clinton usually point to his private sexual behavior (which Hillary cravenly endured for decades, driven by her own ambition), rarely mentioning the open official depravity that made his trysts, especially the one with Monica, look like models of personal decency in comparison; meanwhile, much of the country still idolizes him as a great leader. Though hated on the left, George W. Bush is admired on the right as a beacon of righteous and courageous Christian leadership, despite having the aura of a man who spent his youth torturing cats, and perhaps prostitutes, and despite in turn cynically manipulating his base of “values voters” and being a blatant pushover for Cheney and his faction. Barack Obama is mistrusted and hated by elements of the paranoid right for being a black man, a Muslim and, bizarrely, a socialist, while much of the left joins the worst elements of the right in refusing to consider how uncannily he resembles O’Brien, the calm, cool, sadistic party leader in “1984.”

I could go down a rabbit hole after evidence that the American electorate is a bunch of horrific specimens from “The Hunger Games” and “Fifty Shades of Grey,” but for the moment I won’t. Suffice it to say that a frightening swath of American voters are models of Calvin’s total depravity and that another large swath is too apathetic, foolish, self-absorbed, stupid, disengaged, greedy or cowardly to take a stand on behalf of common decency or sound policy.

All that sickness aside, it’s striking just how lucrative corruption in American high office has become. Stoller argues that the ultimate goal of these craven presidents isn’t to be elected and reelected, but to become filthy rich after leaving office. Clinton and Bush II have both done so, Bush having already been cosseted his whole life by Yankee old money, while Obama assumed the presidency already wealthy from a combination of his wife’s mercenary legal work and the proceeds of his own wildly popular memoirs. Come to think of it, since he was a twice-published memoirist under fifty when he was elected president, we might do well to call Barack Obama a premoirist.

What we have are the craven, cynical wealthy gravitating to more wealth and privilege like moths to a lamp. Their own financial backgrounds as rich boys or poor boys seem to make no difference, nor do their avowed politics as populists or friends of business. These are sick, immoral, disordered men with an insatiable appetite for more money and prestige. People who behave as they do have neither perspective nor gratitude.

If there’s a silver lining, it’s probably that their incessant social climbing offers a chance for lesser social climbers with more modest goals to ride up on their coattails. This is a pretty wide, diverse group, the difference between campaign lackeys and the press being approximately the difference between inside sales and outside sales. A rising tide may not raise all ships, but it certainly raises the barnacles attached to the hulls of seaworthy ships, as well as the lampreys in their bilge water. If you think about it, the courtesan who ingratiates herself to Bill Clinton and uses his largesse to pay off the loans on her doublewide in Little Rock and save up for a shabby Victorian in a middling part of town is probably happier and more content than the Big Dog himself. Then again, I may be thinking too much like old money. Many of Slick Willie’s bimbos would use any proceeds to buy themselves new trucks, and maybe buy their relatives new trucks, before plunging back into credit card debt. Maybe that’s why Bill keeps pretending to be such a do-gooder and keeps working the high-end rubber chicken circuit; it could be that where he comes from, folks don’t hold on to their money when they have any. Likewise, pretending that money might someday get tight is a plausible affectation for an aw-shucks blue blood like W. There’s no way in hell he didn’t learn from pops how to manage his wealth, as we say in those circles where it’s considered imprudent and shameful to blow it all in one place.

Come to think of it, Bill Clinton and his ilk creep me out a lot more than Lindsay Lohan, plus the weather’s nicer in LA. I could probably make a decent living taking pictures of starlets stumbling around in a Sunset Boulevard gutter or buying tampons at 7-Eleven. Hell, I could probably make a better living writing about the same, since writing doesn’t necessitate all that damn equipment. I’m a good photographer, but I don’t want to buy lenses and shit.

Maybe I can write a weekly epidemiological report for Seventeen on the prevalence of Bieber Fever. I figure it’ll be easier to cover if I think of it as a disease; it obviously is one.

The main thing is that I need to figure out how to take some sort of interest in these idiots. It’s probably doable. Scarlett Johansson definitely is.

I realize that I’m standing on rather amoral ground, but if you want to cast stones, tell me this: Where the fuck are the jobs in the reputable parts of the press? All I’m finding on Craigslist are SEO gigs and freeloaders looking for unpaid help. Celebrity press copy is actually fairly intelligent by comparison. Hey, it’s all relative.

And it’s lucrative; not as lucrative as being Bill Clinton, but lucrative enough. Maybe even lucrative enough for me to buy my little piece of the American Dream, namely, a seedy little West Adams bungalow with an orange tree and some cacti in the yard, within walking distance of the Expo Line. Since I’ll presumably have work in Beverly Hills, ideally the connecting bus service won’t suck ass, but barring the opening of the subway to the sea, it probably will; you’re letting me down, Antonio.

Whatevs. That bungalow will give me space to entertain some chubby chicks. It’ll be a bitchin’ bachelor pad. All right, I’ve nothing against skinny girls in principle, either, but please, no Paris Hilton. No Playmates (TM), either. I don’t like dipshit stupid. I’m looking for smart girls. A little cushion for the pushin’ is cool, but above all I want to be able to carry on an intelligent conversation after the proverbial pushin’.

I’m not a tenth as insane as our politicians.

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