Back in the day I knew a Washington DC publicist (I am going to call her Amy, which is not her name, but it’s brief and anonymous) who worked for a small public relations firm owned by a woman friend and close associate of Nancy Raygun. (One of the more depressing experiences of my life was meeting my friend at her bosses’ house on election night 1980. .. I must have had delusions of gloating when I agreed to the date.)
Amy’s personal history with the close personal friend of Nancy Raygun had begin some years earlier, when Amy had arrived in the city broke, depressed from a recent divorce, young and pretty. It was Nancy Raygun’s good friend’s husband who got Amy a job as a waitress in a strip joint on Washington’s notorious 14th Street. Amy explained that the first night’s tips set her up and the subsequent pay was significant.
So, kudos to these wealthy right wingers for helping out a young girl in distress? I have to say they stuck with her, and never held the strip joint job against her, as some might. Later on she became a trusted…. if exploited and abused… employee of the small PR firm with very close ties to the White House. On the other hand, I marveled then, and do now at the callous disregard for the moral integrity of a young girl stranded in the big city, not to mention the shear hypocrisy of the “family values” GOOPers who thought nothing of sending her off to a strip joint. None the less, I suspect, and this is the point of my rant, that most Americans in 1980 would have been aghast to learn that a close friend of the first lady had thought little at all of getting a young woman in distress a job in a strip joint.
Fast forward to 2011. I have become a fan of the NBC Drama “Friday Night Lights.” I am always a sucker for a good sports movie, and I am familiar with the book that spawned this particular serial, so I started watching it a few weeks ago. It is, on the whole, not a bad prime time television drama at a time when the prime time market is mostly reality crap.
So here is a recent plot line. The assistant football coach is married to a stripper. She has a baby and they have a drop dead beautiful 17-year old high school student living with them for some reason, which is still not clear to me. (I have missed some of this season and seen none of the earlier seasons.) The stripper gets pregnant, the coach’s job is in jeopardy (because of school budget cuts) and the teenage girl goes to work… waiting tables in the strip joint.
Now, what does America think of this? Not much apparently. The young girl needs money and the strip joint provides the money. The boyfriend (star defensive back) is not too concerned and an (ex-boyfriend?) and ex-con (the brother of the assistant coach… I don’t know more) was mad enough about it to punch out some innocent business man who only wanted to put money in her pants. But for the most part the American public seems to take for granted that, in these tough times, the really tough… including pretty young 17-year—olds… turn pro.
In the interest of full disclosure, I make no claim to having family values. As a young man I found Amy’s history in the strip joints of DC intriguing (and may have been more intrigued had she actually been a stripper). None the less, in a political environment where family values is still a current controversy, I gotta ask, where is Sara Palin on this question? How about that stupid Congress woman who will probably be the GOOP nominee in 2012? Does anyone care?
Even more important, I think this is the actual view that the GOOP has of our future. Poor people get along the best they can or die trying. It’s an Edwardian model that favors the very rich, honors the unscrupulous and lucky, and leaves the humble masses to be exploited.