Tuesday, May 17, 2011

"You can't call it cheatin'/Cause she reminds me of you."

The Song: "Cheatin," Gin Blossoms. Words & music by Jesse Valenzuela and Doug Hopkins. Track 12 of New Miserable Experience, 1992.
When/how acquired: Purchased CD, 1992.
Listen/watch here.

It's shaping up to be a good week for tabloid reporters, as powerful men are forced to deal with the consequences of their actions. These situations are often more complicated than we want to admit, though these complications never reduce anyone's personal responsibility. No, there's no excuse for a man who simply takes what he wants; but how many people had to conspire, for how long, to make him believe that he could?

The most troubling part of the news about Arnold Schwarzenegger's secret child is not the child, but the secrecy. This was a secret that he and the child's mother kept for a decade, possibly even from the child. How could any marriage survive its revelation?

We all keep secrets, sometimes for very good reasons. I know a bit about that. I'm not someone who believes that honesty is always the best policy. But except for sociopaths, what secrets do is divide the self into pieces - the part the world sees, living the secret, and the part that remembers the truth and hides it. The more secrets, the more pieces, until it becomes harder and harder to keep track of who knows what and what the truth actually is.

Which is why it is literally true, sometimes, that the truth can set one free. I don't expect or want any more information about the Schwarzenegger family than we've gotten. But I hope that the revelations set at least a couple of people free.

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