Plant You Now Dig You Later

Goldberg and Tarloff

Plant You Now Dig You Later

Goldberg and Tarloff

Plant You Now Dig You Later
An email conversation about the news of the day.
Aug. 27 1998 10:39 AM

Goldberg and Tarloff

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Dear Erik--

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Thank you for not rising to my Clinton digs. They are not worth the uphill climb. It is a reflex by now--sort of a political Tourette Syndrome born of more than six months of fighting media fueled by misinformation. You called it right--it has given me a set of savage breasts even the Schumann's won't sooth. Perhaps, as this whole scandal dies away, I can put my dukes down and think of other things--namely "the profession." That brings me to a term of art I found in this morning's Washington Post "Style" section in a essay by Henry Allen entitled "The Monica Contradiction." The lead sentence is as follows: "It's as if America got jealous watching England create Diana." Allen goes on the say Americans wanted their own princess and have turned to Monica Lewinsky, a weight-worried rich kid. He assumes that it is only natural that she will someday be the subject of books and/or movies except for one fatal flaw. Her life story has no "arc." He explains "arc" as a word that movie people use. This term is new to me here in the middle of a world that looks for "plot" and "story line." I like new words fraught with meaning and possible commerce. Had you heard "arc" before? I am willing to be hopelessly out of touch but I don't think so. Does Monica's story lack an "arc"?

Anyway, we are stuck with more slow times in the news racket. The New York Post that splashes its front page with dead cops, broken fireman and cheating spouses has been reduced to a big black headline regarding a new report that blasts "Our Failing Schools." The Daily News warns us off Hurricane Bonnie. No one here cares. The New York Times and Washington Post have "distant rumblings" stories: Janet Reno, the Judicial Inchworm, takes another tiny step toward the inevitable investigation of Al Gore by ordering a 90-day investigation as to whether to investigate. The second big story of the day is whether Clinton should make Mea Culpa 1 spun to sound like a Mea Culpa 2 when everyone who works for him must know he does not know how to do the Mea Culpa at all.

The story I find getting short shrift this week, however (and I truly am interested in your take on it) is whether or not you are a bonafide record breaking pitcher if you have taken little green pills from the health food store that promise to make you stronger. I'm only a sports fan in order to have something to say to a few depressed and blocked male clients, but the case of the buzzed hitters interests me. Both Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa take some kind of probably worthless and legal enhancer and are being hung out to dry and threatened with asterisk humiliation when they finally break Roger Maris' 61-home-run record. My feeling is that they are getting a bum rap. On the other hand, I think women who take fertility drugs and whelp six or seven babies shouldn't get the credit that drug-free mother of triplets deserve. The difference is that we know fertility drugs work, and we don't know the pitchers' health food stores' pills do. Maybe their strength is all in their heads. I know two women who choke down huge St. John's Wort capsules for mild depression. After a month one of them was dancing in the street with euphoria. The other couldn't leave her room. An editorial on the subject in the Times suggests that "it would be prudent" to ask McGwire to stop using the stuff. Then Sosa beats him. Then whom does McGwire sue?

What happened with the campus rally yesterday? I asked my husband what he thought of the situation and he posed another scenario. Perhaps the student was involved in some violent way, saw what was happening and split so he wouldn't get arrested. Any word on that? Did the kids throw stuff? Was anyone hurt? Did it make the 6 o'clock news? Our local papers are so provincial they never tell us this stuff.

By our second go-round WJC will have made his little talk in the utterly surprised town of Worcester, Mass. The press is hyping the possibility that he may say something about his affair in front of a bunch of school children. I don't think so. I did notice, however, the Joe Kennedy somehow had other things he had to do today and would not show up. I like Joe Kennedy. Joe Kennedy is smart.

Oops. Sorry about the dig. I just can't help it. It's a twitch. A tick. Is this fatal?

Lucianne

Lucianne Goldberg is a New York-based book agent. Erik Tarloff is a writer based in Berkeley, Calif. His novel, Face-Time, is forthcoming.