Stylish New Yorkers have for years mocked D.C. for its indifference to fashion. This week is our revenge: a city obsessed with a dress. (A fashion question: Why would Monica wear a cocktail dress to work? Is that what was meant when they said she dressed inappropriately? She confused an evening out with a busy day at the office?)
When I turned on the television Sunday morning I saw, in huge white letters on a black background, “The DRESS.” Sadly, it turned out to be a Tylenol ad about a bride and her wedding dress.
Of all the salacious, disgusting, far-fetched notions I have heard about the dress, my Slate colleague Emily Yoffe has the most absurd: the Cinematic Dress. This is a three-stage excuse for Clinton, based on the plot of recent movies.
Stage 1: Primary Colors. Clinton denies that the stain is his semen. Then, as the Clintonian character did in Primary Colors, he switches the blood sample. A loyal aide like Bruce Lindsey would take a bullet for him. Surely he would take a pinprick.
Stage 2: If that fails, Presumed Innocent, a movie in which the hero is accused of murder when his wife saves his semen and spreads it on a woman she murders. Clinton might claim that Hillary surreptitiously collected his semen and smeared it on the dress.
When that fails, Stage 3: There’s Something About Mary. This I can’t bear to explain.
A final note. The circumlocution about the semen-stained dress has been incredible. The New York Times has managed to work up the courage to use “semen,” and I heard Newsweek’s Mike Isikoff say the word on television (though not without a noticeable gulp). Most other media have resorted to “DNA-stained” or “stained with genetic material”–phrases that are magnificently vague.