Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Sanford and the Son

sanford n jesus

Mark Sanford: OK, I'm not going to say, I don't know what the big deal is, because I know it IS a big deal. Cheating is wrong, darn wrong. I let my wife down, I let my adorable children down, I let the employees of the state of South Carolina down, the voters, even the reporters who heard about the emails but were forced to behave as if they didn't know where I was. I let all of you down, and I'm sorry.

Narita Barnswell(AP): Governor, how do to intend to show the people that your no-good South American hussy meant nothing to you, and you mean to move on?

Governor Mark: Narita, I'm not going to say that, because I still love Maria. I don't want to be a hypocrite.

Bing Mathers(Fox News): Governor, are you saying you don't care what the South Carolina voters or even Fox News viewers think, that you are going to choose love over propriety and your miserable career? Is that what you're saying?

Jesus(suddenly appearing): Bing, I think the governor has spoken from the heart. Like me, he values love, and understands its transcendent quality. Mark, I love you, and if you really love your antipodean floozie, I want you to know I support you, as long as your heart is true and your kids don't have a problem with it. Have you asked them?

Gov. Mark: huh?

Jesus: I've noticed that kids from wealthy, loveless families often figure out pretty quickly if mom and dad don't love each other, and if they're good kids the hypocrisy usually gets to them. Or they grow up to have problems with booze and prescription drugs, or maybe betting on the horses. It's a toss-up.

Lori-Ann Santoro(CNBC): Jesus, if that's really you, are you saying the republican party should stick by the governor?

Jesus: Honestly Lori-Ann, I couldn't care less what the republicans do. They're mostly a bunch of soulless weasels, just like the democrats. I'm just here to support Mark, because I believe in love. Does anybody have any pertinent questions?

Dennis Perrin(suspicious character): Hi Jesus. Dennis Perrin here. My question is: will the Lions ever have a decent team again?

Jesus: Man, I don't know. They really ticked the Big Guy off when they refused to trade Barry Sanders, and I don't mind telling you He was hoping for a chance to see Barry play in the Super Bowl, just once. There was a time, they could have gotten an entire defensive line for him, but they decided they'd rather hold him back and sell tickets.

Gov. Mark: Wait a minute. Jesus, are you saying you couldn't care less about my career?

Jesus: Yes. Don't you already have enough money, and didn't you say this Maria is your "soul-mate"?

Gov. Mark: I'm sorry, but I'm confused. I'm doing the right thing, by sticking with my marriage. It's what the voters want.

Jesus: Oh, me. It's what this crowd of moralizing drunkards wants, because they want to scold you on the television and feel powerful when you subsequently toe the line. As far as I can see your marriage ended a long time ago, when you and the missus stopped loving each other. You don't even know or care what the voters want. Maybe you don't even care about what you want. I remember whispering in George Junior's ear a few years ago, about how he needed to take that wad of money his parents gave him and go open a video store in Houston where he could spend the rest of his days harmlessly ogling Rice co-eds renting R-rated movies, instead of running for congress. Because I knew his thwarted desire would keep screwing itself tighter and tighter, and maybe someday he'd kill thousands of people. But he didn't listen either.

Look. Some people in this world have a buffet of choices and others don't, but you seem to think you deserve some kind of credit for pretending you belong in the latter group. A waitress at the Waffle House who's boyfriend is in jail and can't get help raising her kid falls in the no choice category. You don't. Maybe you were so deliberately clumsy about ducking out of the country because you wanted to be caught, you wanted your hand forced so you could come clean and stop being a hypocrite. If that's the case, why are you back-tracking now?

Gov. Mark: I want to do what's right.

Bing Mathers: Jesus, doesn't the governor deserve credit for trying to set right his life, even under such intense media scrutiny?

Jesus: Even under-- do you hear yourself? Bing, neither you nor any of these other characters give a damn about the governor's life, let alone the well-being of his soul. You're just peeved because Fox wouldn't fly you to L.A. to cover Michael Jackson's death.

Helen Thomas(important old lady): Jesus, if we could back up just a bit please. Are you saying weasels don't have souls? What about otters?

Jesus: Hey, Helen. No,I'm not saying that, I just didn't want to call them a bunch of soulless jerkwads, because it doesn't sound like something I'd say. So I tried to put it in terms most of you could relate to. Weasels are OK, and so are otters. Anyway guys, I got other stuff to do. Let he who is without sin, etcetera etcetera. I'm outta here. (Jesus leaves.)

Gov. Mark: What about me?

(a far away clap of thunder is heard. The reporters all go "ooh" and move to the windows of the conference room to look. It starts to rain.)

cross-posted at Hugo Zoom.

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At July 01, 2009 2:46 AM, Blogger Mimi said...

Oh, you bad, Jonathan--funny!
What kinda gets me is how common this thing is becoming. There seems to be an actual scenario for cheating on your spouse, complete with true confession, abject humbling of self, and noble wife, present or not at news conference. Women haven't starred in any of these productions--lesser libidos, maybe? But imagine Hillary tearfully explaining her surrender to the temptation of that sexy pool boy. Now that I'd like to see.

At July 01, 2009 9:31 AM, Blogger Charles F. Oxtrot said...

closing stab at Republicans without assailing Democrats?

the whole thing fell apart right there.

is anyone at Dead Horse willing to criticize Democrats with the same vigor as they criticize Republicans?

never mind. you don't need to answer that.

At July 01, 2009 1:19 PM, Blogger Jonathan Versen said...

Thanks Mimi.

CFO, your criticism is just on form, but way overblown in spirit. I was trying to wrap it up without being too verbose, and you way overreact with respect to your false attribution of my intention.

Based on the evidence of this one comment, the moment people fall out of the CFO circle of Orthodoxy, they are vile apostates. With all due respect, get a grip.

Anyway, your fundamental point is correct in spite of your vehemence, so I will correct it.

At July 01, 2009 1:35 PM, Blogger Charles F. Oxtrot said...

Jonathan, you are overstating things while ironically accusing me of overstatement.

I'm saying that if you're going to pick sides, you're undercutting your strength of argument. Who can deny this?

What purpose is served by sniping at the Republicans, while not taking similar shots at Democrats? Was it mere oversight? Did you intend to also take Democrats to task, but simply ran out of space? Or thought?

It's a bit weak-kneed and escapist for you to go off on a tirade because of my legitimate observation. If you can demonstrate how taking sides doesn't undercut your argument, then please do that.

At July 01, 2009 3:49 PM, Blogger rob payne said...


A great post, I really enjoyed reading it.

At July 01, 2009 3:50 PM, Blogger rob payne said...

Whoops, sorry about the spelling, I'm getting used to a new keyboard, sort of.

At July 01, 2009 5:30 PM, Blogger Jonathan Versen said...


you write:

"If you can demonstrate how taking sides doesn't undercut your argument, then please do that."

Why do I need to? I already said I felt your initial argument was valid(I used the word "just"), but that you were way off-base in deciding that this one point of disagreement suddenly means that therefore the writers of "Dead Horse" need to justify themselves on all particulars. That's still my position.

I agreed with your criticism in my 1st comment, but I guess you weren't through criticizing me!

For what it's worth, as I was rewriting the post I initially had Jesus repeat all of what he initially said, then cut it a bit to make it less wordy, and probably forgot that I wasn't through with that passage, since I was also dickering with a couple of other items.

My main concern in the rewriting, and adjusting and readjusting the piece was to try to show Jesus as against dead marriages and soul-destroying hypocrisy without being against marriage itself, but also to avoid making him seem wooden or ideologically stuffy.

I was also concerned with the general flow and brevity of the piece, so other concerns did indeed run out of my brain, as you put it.

But jeez, how am I going off on a tirade because I objected to your deciding that one slip means you need to attack the whole blog and everyone associated with it?

One of the things I wanted to convey, and I don't really know if I did, was my sense of the the twisted passive-aggressive meanness of Sanford, telling the whole world that he doesn't love his wife the way he loves his mistress but means to work on his marriage.

If I was one of his boys I think I'd want to tell him that he had no business putting that guilt trip on my shoulders, of how he was sticking with a loveless marriage for the sake of my brothers and me, when he's really concerned about a financially ruinous divorce and kissing his career goodbye.

Sanford's public statements suggest that he resents his wife, his sons, and "the public" for "making" him stick with his marriage.

Maybe Freud or the ghost of Wallis Simpson showing up at the press conference would have made for a better sketch. Or all three!


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