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Scandals/Scandales

The thing about taking turns blogging once a week as we do here at DGLM is that you sometimes have the perfect subject to write about but it’s not on your designated day.  Then, Wednesday rolls around, you had a miserable commute into the rain-soaked city, your lower back aches and you’re walking around like an 80-year-old who’s nine months pregnant (you know how pregnant women waddle when they’re in their sixth trimester…or was that just me?), the piles on your desk are mocking you, and all you want to do is read everything you can find online about the Schwarzenegger and Strauss-Kahn scandals.  So, in lieu of something pithy and informative about publishing (e-books, the business as we know it is dying, yadda, yadda), I’m just going to ramble on about these two current headliners.

The Schwarzenegger story is tawdry and lurid in a way that we’re so used to (John Edwards is cackling madly somewhere) that it’s really just a fill-in-the-blank kind of scandal.  Doesn’t mean I’m not going to pick up my copy of Star as soon as it hits the newsstands.  The Strauss-Kahn case, however, is much more interesting because it is so multi-layered and speaks to so many different kinds of abuses and contradictions.  Arnold Schwarzenegger’s infidelity is hurtful to his family and fans in the way that these kinds of betrayals generally are.  Strauss-Kahn’s alleged actions will have an effect on the global marketplace and the fate of several countries currently facing huge financial crises.  Criminal behavior is an apt description and not just because of the appalling nature of the offense.

So, being that it’s the way my brain is wired after 150 years in the business, I see potential for books in both stories: Schwarzenegger’s would be a novel—Jackie Collins meets Dominick Dunne perhaps?  Strauss-Kahn’s a serious, non-fiction exploration of why powerful men, whose careers are devoted to helping humanity in macro ways, often turn out to be such sleazeballs and our complicity as a culture in letting them get away with it—this is more of a Michael Lewis meets Philip Gourevitch for a long discussion over coffee kind of book.

Which, if either, would you buy and read?  And why?

3 Responses to Scandals/Scandales

  1. Melissa says:

    I suppose I’d be more likely to read the novel, but only if it focused on the impacts of the revelations of the affair/child on both families. The womanizing itself, in both cases, is so common as to be passe.

    Schwarzenegger has been accused of infidelity since he and Maria got married. I don’t find this revelation especially scandalous, because it’s nothing new. I’m curious why he told her after a decade, but other than that? Same old, same old. He’s a dog and has always been a dog.

    Strauss-Kahn isn’t much of a revelation either. He’s a powerful man used to getting what he wants, and what he wants is liaisons with younger women. Imagine that. He won’t be the first powerful man to get so accustomed to getting his way that he pushes too far past “no,” and he won’t be the last. I can’t imagine how it would be an interesting book. It happens every day.

  2. I wouldn’t buy or read either one. The jails and divorce courts are jam-packed with thousands of men who did exactly the same things. Yawn.

    That said, if they were the only two books left in the world, I’d choose the non-fiction exploration of sleaze, power, and societal complicity. It would be far more interesting than yet another novel about infidelity.

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