Remember the cartoon about the kid with the football-shaped head who faced adversity on an almost daily basis and somehow managed to triumph? Arnold Swartzenegger is not he.
Reports of the Terminator's (or the former Governator's) clandestine affair and the subsequent confession that he fathered a child with a member of his household staff has obsessed the media and pushed real news off the front page. Sarah Palin and Snookie must be pissed. Arnold and his dalliances, Arnold and his impending divorce, Arnold and his love child are not the stuff of great journalism. It is nothing more than a blip on the news cycle and, once upon a time, would only have been mentioned if the Lusitania had not sunk or the Hindenburg had not burst into flames. In other words, if nothing else had happened. The only real story is how cliche Arnold choose to be. I mean really: a member of his household staff! Did he insist on a "French Maid" outfit? People want to know.
In a nation where 50% of married partners (men & women) cheat, have an affair, slip, lust, diddle or canoodle I am amazed by the incredulity. How could this happen? Well, let's see: boredom, intrigue, adventure, opportunity, stupidity, revenge, stature (personal, not physical) or just plan want it, need it, can't live without it. One former employer once described it as nothing more than friction. He should know; he was divorced more than once. This is not the stuff of great tragedy. No one poured poison in the king's ear. Star crossed lovers didn't allow their hormones to get the better of them. Arnold is not Othello. Maria Schriver is not Desdemona. It was an affair, just an affair; even the fact that he got caught isn't news (though getting away with it for 14 years might be!).
One final fascination: the need for a public mea culpa. Arnold is putting his movie career on hold to deal with the impending divorce. The world will have to wait for yet another Terminator movie while he gets his proverbial house in order. Someone should point out how well that worked for Tiger Woods.
I am told the world will end at 6 PM this evening. I saw it on the news. (Guys, think of the possibilities: Honey, I know we don't have a lot of time but I can't face eternity without sleeping with you.") I'm not sure if 6 PM is Eastern Time but, if it is and it does, I should point out that the announcement met with less media attention than Arnold's own rapture. If you are reading this on Sunday, Monday or beyond, I guess that too was another oops moment.
[Post Apocalyptic Comments (that have absolutely nothing to do with this blog): 1) I cannot fathom being so dissatisfied with life that you rejoice in the extinction of everyone - whether we want to go or not and 2) I cannot understand why some people give away their earthly possessions. Aren't we all leaving at the same time. That ring you wanted. Here. Enjoy. For the next 10 minutes. Gotcha!]
[Since the story won't die: Early morning radio is reporting a second Arnold "love child". CNN is running a video: How to Tell If He will Cheat. Maybe someone should publish a list of what not to do - a Cheating for Dummies manual. You know, things like, don't have the maid clean your room three times a day, don't leave your best videos in the DVD player, close your email and IM accounts and don't (please!) have your secretary bring you chicken soup - at home - when you're sick.]