The Breakfast Table

All Monica, All the Time

Aha, Charles!

You have caught me in error and unmasked me for the dilettante that I am.

First, I apologize. I had the mistaken impression based on a conversation with a Slate person that you had a relationship with this publication that parallels mine with Vanity Fair. I grovel at your toes for forgiveness.

You have further forced me to admit that I am a high-tech ignoramus, using a prehistoric program (remember Xywrite?) who has dodged and weaved all these years to avoid learning too much about the Net wars out of pure, stubborn intellectual laziness and a dash of technoterror! There. That’s my tell-all. I haven’t read the influential essay on the Church and the Mall, or whatever. Father Ignatius, forgive me. I guess that’s why you work for Reason magazine (I’ve got that part right, don’t I?) and I scribble for another magazine that displays Monica at Malibu. But I do know this: That judge is pissed off at Microsoft in a big way. Inelegant but at least accurate, I think. It wasn’t just the doctored video, either. What the impact of his verdict will be, if there is one, I don’t know. I am still reeling from the breakup of Ma Bell, truth be known. Which kind of dates me, now, doesn’t it?

Since I’ve admitted to general worthlessness, I suppose we must not let the day pass without some little word on the Monica kickoff. I feel so cheap. But there is a rather disheartening piece in this morning’s Left Coast Times describing the “blitz worthy of Patton” that has gone into marketing this young woman. An exhausted publicist is quoted: “I’m beginning to think I really should have gone to West Point to really do this the right way.” Really.

We are also treated to the spectacle of Judith Regan accusing “these people … of pimping this girl, and it’s disgusting.” Of course, Judith bid big on Monica and lost. Now she says, “She’s an adulterer and she should be walking around with a scarlet A.”

Regan aside, here’s my question: Is this porn? I guess not. Apparently at this point in the decline of Western civilization, it meets community standards. Does it have redeeming social or literary value? Perhaps as a cautionary tale? If you become a White House intern and start rolling around with the president, don’t tell bitter gargoyles–especially not on the phone? But then again, isn’t the real moral that crime pays?

I also query: Are you aware of Monica viewing parties this evening in my hometown? Are you going to watch?

Need to know,