The Spectacle Blog

Re: Shamelessly Yours

By on 9.8.06 | 5:32PM

Hey, Jed, pass the box of Kleenex, if there's anything left of it by the time your sobs are stanched. An apology to Mr. and Mrs. Wilson? You mean Mr. Wilson and Madame Plame? An apology for "blowing her cover" -- by which you mean blowing her like a curbside leaf through the covers of Vanity Fair -- in which Agent Plame's fashion kitsch managed the unintentional laugh riot of resurrecting Madeline Stowe's blonde-on-the-lam-and-in-sunglasses getup in 12 Monkeys -- a film ten times more serious than The Dreadful Leak ever managed to be? Or maybe the apology intented is for Joe Wilson's blow-dried monstrosity -- an act of desperate "virile" hubris that only foreigners like Koizumi and de Villepin can pull off -- sorry, Sen. "Other Joe" Biden...

No, Richard Armitage's apology is meant to be blanket enough to cover everyone but those who were actually damaged by his Offhand Remark, and the cloying treacle of his cufflinked, knit-browed, and obsequiously tardy martyrdom operation is designed to satisfy the final sexual urge of American politics -- guilt, confession, emoting on a Clintonian scale, an elegantly public act of "coping" that suggests "no closure" and tugs at the hem of empathy with all the bathos of the world's most expertly self-effacing beggar. "He's so sorry I feel bad for him" -- that's the ticket, boys and girls, contrition as absolution, the staged self-abuse of the ego; eventually this spectacle rises to the level of embarrassment, and the thought that our public officials are actually stooping this low on the scale of psychological propriety finally unleashes a tide of wilful ignorance. Get them off the TV (the whole point in the first place) -- people are dying on planet Earth!

And so they are. Welcome back to the real world, ladies and germs, a land where, apology accepted, neither Plames nor Wilsons have place nor purpose.

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