By Randy Cohen
"I think you've really paid way too much attention to it. I pay very little attention to it. This is a media creation more than anything else." Who said this about what?
by noon ET Wednesday to e-mail your answer (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Responses to Monday's question (No. 96)--"Debasement":
U.S. intelligence agencies have detected a vast secret underground complex. What is its terrifying purpose?
"To transport citizens around New York City for $1.50."--Larry Amaros (Dan Simon had a similar answer.)
"Monica Lewinsky's walk-in closet."--Beth Sherman (similarly, Barbara Lippert)
"It's no big deal, really. A vacationing CIA agent spat on a Disneyland sidewalk and got taken on a little trip to 'Securityland.' "--Andrew Solovay
"Getting young musicians to worry Lou Reed would hate their music; wait, that's a Velvet Underground complex."--Colleen Werthmann
"North Korean Starbucks."--Sam Coppersmith (similarly, Danny Spiegel)
Click for more responses.
Underground. What we want here is the moral high ground, not the bad altitude of anything underground. Choose wisely, Grasshopper: underground or aboveboard? Underhanded or above reproach? Sub rosa or Superfly? OK, maybe not that last. And maybe not consistently. Underground railway, good; above ground pool, not so good. Understated, good; overbearing, bad. Underwear/overcoat? Who knows? To navigate that terrain you'd need a reliable moral compass, like the one Paul Scofield had in A Man for All Seasons. His Thomas More made responding precisely to the letter of the law a profound act of principle. But now we have "While my answers were legally accurate, I did not volunteer information." I think we know how Robert Shaw (Henry VIII) would have responded to that. But I didn't know how Modesto, the day elevator guy in my building, would respond: "I think Starr wants to do to Clinton what Monica did to him. That's why he is so interested." There's a Freudian interpretation unmentioned on CNN. Going down?
Make atom bombs.
According to the New York Times, spy satellites photographed a site 25 miles northeast of Yongbyon where North Korea may have created enough plutonium for six bombs prior to a 1994 agreement to freeze its nuclear program in exchange for billions of dollars in aid. While there is concern that weapons development may have been revived, there is as yet no violation of the agreed framework, because Pyongyang has not poured cement for a new reactor or a reprocessing plant to convert nuclear waste into bomb-grade plutonium.
Many parents wrestled with the problem of exposing children to last night's TV news. I refer, of course, to Sam Donaldson's terrifying haircut. And to Orrin Hatch's fulminating--there were moments when his spontaneous combustion seemed imminent. But even if you fled to Colonial Williamsburg, you'd find no sanctuary from lurid display. Below, three programs being presented this evening.
Affairs of the Heart, at 7 and 8:30 at the George Wythe Property. A gentry couple's marriage affects the slaves of the household. Includes mature subject matter.
Dance, Our Dearest Diversion, at 7 and 8:30 at the Capitol. Experience a favorite 18th century pastime.
Cry Witch, at 8 at the Lodge Auditorium. Participate in an intense and dramatic trial. Not suitable for young children.
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