In the gossip-driven feeding frenzy that keeps alive the tawdry tale of rising and declining wannabe John Edwards (now with video), the New York Daily News wins quip of the day :
Hunter had been hired by the Edwards campaign to videotape the candidate’s movements, but this one is said to have shown him taking positions that weren’t on his official platform.
The commodification of sexual scandal is nothing new, of course, and in times like these more than ever the media are motivated to regard as "news" whatever will maximize sales. Thus, there's a regrettable tendency to spew rather than eschew.
What's cheapened in yellowing press, beyond the players' tattered reputations, is a factor arguably worth conserving: the vitality of sexual allusion as a literary device.
For some of their puissance, these worthy tropes depend on indirection– a wink, a nod, a knowing glance. But in a cultural milieu where everyone seems to say entirely too much altogether, and where even the king is in the altogether, it's hard for prose to play allusively without seeming turgid.
Continue reading News, nihil obstatrics, and gynecommodity