Monday, December 14, 2009

Adultery for Dummies, 2009 Update

As Tiger Woods is pelted by wisecracks about dating women with 8X10 glossies and Gov. Mark Sanford's wife decides to divorce him over his South American travels, the year's body count is mounting for public figures brought down by failure to rein in their private parts.

Such consequences of low behavior by men in high places (gender equality has not yet evolved enough to ensnare powerful women in sex scandals, but give them time), suggest guidelines for who gets away with what these days--and for how long.

Congressmen who cheat have a better chance of career survival than governors, perhaps because of low public expectations. Eliot Spitzer, who was elected as the scourge of Wall Street manipulators, had to leave the New York Governor's mansion, but Sen. David Vitter is still legislating away after his call-girl disgrace, and just last weekend Max Baucus drew a pass for an iffy confession about juggling a wife back home and a girlfriend on his Senate payroll.

What's more, penalties are not permanent. Spitzer has reemerged as a pundit and is now thinking about running for state controller next year, while his former call girl has embarked on a love-advice column for the New York Post. Prurience conquers all.

The prospects for Tiger Woods' rehabilitation may be reflected in what happened to baseball's Alex Rodriguez this year. In 2008, both his game and reputation tanked during an extramarital affair with Madonna and charges of steroid use.

Now, after a divorce, the rehabilitated and single A-Rod entered a performance-enhancing relationship with Kate Hudson, who sat quietly beaming in the stands as he led his team to a World Series victory. At the Manhattan victory parade, fans carried signs thanking Goldie Hawn's little girl for their new, improved hero.

Celebrity bed-hopping is now so familiar that it may run the risk of become passé for a jaded public. The newest online trend is bed-jumping, which doesn't even require a partner, just a springy mattress in a hotel room and a camera to record how high the thrill-seeker can get. Too late no doubt to save Tiger's and Sanford's marriages, but so much easier on reputations and families.


Holte Ender said...

Infidelity is not restricted to celebrities, it just seems like it is. It doesn't pay to have a role model who is in the public eye. All my role models are dead, most of them for centuries, so at least they can't screw up.

(O)CT(O)PUS said...

Just curious: Do infants have as much fun in their infancy as adults have in their adultery, or are the two one and the same?