It might be the year of the snake, but it's been the month of the pig. And the theme, ladies and gentlemen, of this sad story of American life, grows increasingly clear every day: survive!
Survive, say the sadistic savages on the Survivor series. To hell with the elderly. Screw the women. Kill the pig. I am reminded of the vulnerable character of Piggy in Lord of the Flies. A boy, struggling to hang on to his humanity, in a world hell bent on destruction.
Savage or sensible? To hunt or to kill? Is that what the question has become? And have we, in our mad quest to be millionaires, become savages, one and all? Last week, the bloodthirsty matrimonial Mafia came out in all their full regalia, lusting after winning the prize of scoring Tom Cruise or Nicole Kidman as clients. And, there was one of the kingpin peacocks, the avaricious lawyer Raoul Felder, mouthing off about the break-up of Tom and Nicole. "I find it very hard to believe." he said, "that there was no pre-nup. If that is true, they should be seeing a psychiatrist instead of a lawyer."
Now, we need medical intervention if we don't cynically run to a lawyer's office to sign a pre-nup? You can't just say "I do" and mean it? No, you need to survive. To hell with love. Who needs love when you can be a millionaire? Ka-ching! Ka-ching! I could hear the cash register whirling in the matrimonial Mafia's head. Legal fees! Legal fees! Is life getting more bizarre, folks?
I started this week, after my Sunday morning coffee and prayer, reading the latest "Mea Noa Culpa" stance of our Lord of the Flies, ex president, King Bill, in the form of his own op-ed piece in The New York Times.
It's not my fault. I read between the lines. It's my right. I am legally correct. I am legally entitled. I am king. Screw you and you and you. I don't care what you think. I don't have P.R. people anymore. I am O.J. I am on the phone with Geraldo. I am unprotected. I don't have speechwriters and producers and makeup and hair professionals. I don't have pollsters and advisors putting up the screen between me and you. I don't have anyone. No mother. No father. Where's my wife? I am all alone in New York City, the city where my mistress Monica sleeps, the city where she loses weight and looks better and better everyday and I am alone, alone with the sound of my own fame and fortune. Adrift in a land bewitched by the pursuit of wealth and pleasure. I am like my cat Socks, let go after his tenure in the White House, having served his purpose, the accouterment for the family photo. I have no family. I am Bill Clinton. I am king.
And like the rapper, Eminem, I have my own fatherless rage. Like me, he has no daddy to call his own, no mother left to call. He is alone with his rage, embracing Elton John at the Grammy's. They are two lonely boys. And I make three.
And everyone is screaming and yelling about Eminem's words. Scream and yell about the deeds. Scream about the deadbeat dads and the never-home moms, and their little Peter Pan boys who go to sleep scared and lonely and afraid. What do you think made Eminem so sad and lonely that he wants to kill and hurt? But I'm not hurt anymore because now I am king and no one can touch me. I make the rules. And I can get money anytime. And money, we all know, will hide my loneliness. Money and fame will get the girls. And the girls will love me. And they will fill my empty heart and cover the dread of all those lonely nights I cried as a little boy. And all those smiling girls will tell me I am a king. And as king, I pardon rich people who will invite me to their parties and make me feel more loved and more powerful and like a man. Because I am not a man. I am a king. And as king, I read the law. The law is mine. And I did nothing wrong. I win. I am a master of the legal talk. I can jive and rap my legalese just like my brother Eminem raps his rage around a murderous thought.
And what of Hugh Rodham? This is the year of the snake and we are the squealing pigs, feeding at the trough of my pardons and I am rich, rich, rich and I am getting richer because I make the rules! And you will love me because I am king. I am a king man. Hear me Roar! See me survive.
That is Bill Clinton's vision, and I, Judith Regan, also have a vision. I see Socks, the castaway Clinton cat. He is thin and weak and holding a tin cup. He has traveled thousands of miles and half his life, as cats will do, in search of his elusive home. He is standing in Harlem on 125th street, with his cup in hand, and there is a moment when their eyes meet. The old man, known as Bill, and the bedraggled cat. And suddenly, they are one and the same, two drifters without a home, and the lessons they have for each other in this, the year of the snake and the pig and the rat and the ugly war torn Survivor are lessons for us all.