Yeah, Right, Dog-Boy

Goldberg and Orlean

Yeah, Right, Dog-Boy

Goldberg and Orlean

Yeah, Right, Dog-Boy
An email conversation about the news of the day.
Jan. 28 1999 10:19 AM

Goldberg and Orlean

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Dearest Papa,

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It's over, isn't it? I can tell by the tone in your e-voice: friendly but not intimate, briskly businesslike, 20 degrees below normal daytime temperatures, very neck-up. Oh sure, now let's talk about the impeachment, which is in my opinion code for "I just can't deal with the emotional underpinnings of this being our last day, and like the passive-aggressive impacted empathetically-stunted individual I am, I will pretend to be too busy thinking about politics to really address the tumult in my heart." I know this routine, mister. It reminds me of how my dearly-departed dog used to act when she would accidentally slip or fall: She'd pretend she had intended to, so she didn't have to confront her embarrassment! Like, sure, someone's going to believe I'm a dog and I just feel like slipping off the front step and landing in an uncomfortable and awkward position!' Yeah, right, dog-boy.

Thank you for letting me vent. Like a double-crusted pie, don't you think?

The recklessness issue is a good one, especially because for ever and ever and ever it has been the justification for why it was so "dangerous" to allow homosexuals to hold office, namely, the blackmail factor. I have to assume the Most Powerful Man on Earth did not do a security check on Ms. Lewinsky, I mean, above and beyond whatever is done with usual white house interns, so yes it is entirely conceivable that she was a spook. Or at least would be spookable. Frankly, she strikes me as the kind of girl who would cry uncle if you just threatened to take away her subscription to Allure and her favorite tube of Maybelline Great Lash mascara.

I'm of the mind that this is the biggest junior-high-school level feud in the history of the human race. You've got your embittered woman (Linda) who is the kind of girl who always befriends the cheerleaders, who allow her to befriend them because by contrast she makes them feel that much more attractive and desirable (Monica being, in this scenario, the cheerleader-equivalent) and the embittered woman-friend-to-cheerleaders is compelled equally and tragically by the urges to nurture and to destroy (I think Kim Delaney said that in her work A Reading of Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit, right?) and then you have the student council geeks who are bonded through their geekiness and thus enraged when one of their fellow geeks turns out to have a neat hand with the ladies, so they turn against him (MPMOE) with that supercharged geek rage and the special engorged fury of geeks betrayed by someone they thought was a fellow geek but turns out to be ... Don Johnson.

Term of the day that is stimulating a new round of head-spinning here in apartment 9C: Exit strategy. Isn't that what doctors say when they've seized your appendix with their clamp-thingy and want to figure out how to get it out of your body? Or am I thinking of an exit wound?

Look, I think we can work this out. If you were only more in touch with your feminine side.

In pain,

S

Jeffrey Goldberg is a contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine and Slate. Susan Orlean is a staff writer at The New Yorker and the author of The Orchid Thief, which was published this month.