So I guess Kobe Bryant is dead. This is sad news for his family, for Lakers fans, for NBA fans. Beyond that I have little to say, other than this: I hope I never have occasion to fly in a helicopter, because those things freak me the hell out. It’ll be interesting to see who was flying the aircraft and who else was on board. Beyond that, I can only say: Condolences.
It appears his adorable teenage daughter was one of the others. How awful.
So, remember the state senator I talked about last week, the guy who was called out as handsy perv? A third woman has come forward, and said he interacted with her exactly the same way he did the second woman who reported him — hands on lower back/butt, the up-and-down body leer, etc.
And yes, the same reactions. WHERE IS THE EVIDENCE WHY DIDN’T SHE SAY SOMETHING WERE THE POLICE CALLED? NO, YOU SAY? NO? THEN SHE MUST HOLD HER TONGUE FOREVERMORE!!!!!
One day in the future, we’ll figure out how to dust a woman’s butt for fingerprints, and cross-check her story against the always-on body cameras we will all wear, Black Mirror-style. Until then, you’ll have to take our word for it. And just consider that when three separate women tell the same story, maybe there’s something to it.
(And yes, I believe the women who said Bill Clinton perved on them.)
There was a guy in Columbus, a sportswriter who was ancient 40 years ago, and is no doubt dead by now. Eddie Fisher. He was a leerer, a gross-remark maker. I don’t think he ever touched anyone that I know of, but that might be because the saliva-soaked cigar butt he kept clenched in his jaw was an effective repellant; he was hard to stand close to. But we heard what he said just fine. I think he was one of the two or three men who raced from one part of the newsroom to another to spy on a young female reporter who was committing the unspeakably erotic act of eating a banana with her lunch. Every year he would write an appreciation of Mitzi Gaynor — she passed through town in summer-stock theater — that pegged the needle for creepy old-man slavering over a woman’s legs; I think he actually typed those with his penis.
Now that we have social media, we must also not leave out an important voice from the female side of the discussion, that of the ballsy babe who insists that if anyone ever did that to her, why she would absolutely speak up, and in fact she has. (Long anecdote follows.) I just read one writer who claimed she was threatened with death — actual death — if she didn’t sleep with a male superior, and her response was to rear back and plant a high heel in the middle of his chest “so hard he probably still has the mark,” and it never came back on her and why doesn’t everyone do that? Why won’t women stand up? Etc.
OK, rant over.
All of Michigan is decidedly not like this, but I’m breaking my three-paragraph rule to bring you this anecdote from the Cletus safari to end all safaris, in Politico this weekend, datelined two counties away from me:
“It got to be so bad when Obama was in office, it felt like we were going to have a civil war,” Mike said.
In what way?
“I didn’t realize until Obama was elected that I’m supposed to be a racist,” he said, throwing up his hands.
Confused, I asked Mike to clarify.
“I’m a white man, so I must be a racist. Right?” he said. “That’s what they say about people like me. But one of my best friends is a black guy. And I’ll just say it, you know, he’s my n—–.”
I glanced around us, but Mike didn’t bother. He seemed to know what I’d already observed: There were very few black attendees to be found.
He continued, “We joke around all the time about race. We constantly tease each other. We went to a restaurant, Buffalo Wild Wings, and he asked me, ‘Mastah, can I have me some chicken wangs?’ And I said, ‘Yes, boy, you’ve been a good Toby this week.’ And the waitress, her jaw hit the floor! She’d never heard anyone joke around like that. That’s the problem. Nobody can take a joke anymore.”
Mike, by the way, is quoted by his full name: Mike Krupnek. I bet he’ll hear a few funny jokes in the next few days.
OK, then. Monday awaits, and more impeachment. But please no more helicopter crashes.