Monday, April 14, 2008

Idle threat of the week

Depending on who you ask, America is every day reaching a new low in either moral turpitude or government malfeasance. But sometimes we get a reminder from the real-life past that this might not be the case.

Last week word came in that a long lost 50's era sex tape involving Marylin Monroe was sold for 1.5 million dollars. The tape was discovered after a former-FBI agent tipped off a memorabilia dealer to its existence. The agent knew of the tape because, during the sixties, J. Edgar Hoover had his men thoroughly and repeatedly examine it in an attempt to prove the man on the receiving end of the act -- and who cleverly hid his face from the camera -- was either John F. or Robert Kennedy.

Allegedly J. Edgar was able to keep his job as FBI head for an unfathomable 48 years because he always had the goods on the current administration. And, allegedly, the mob was able to avoid serious scrutiny during the later parts of Hoover's reign because they had the goods on Hoover and his closeted homosexual, cross-dressing ways.

So there you have it: A half century ago straight laced G-man were forced to spend weeks doing a frame-by-frame analysis of what used to be called a "French" film in hopes of discovering the kind of blackmail material which would help keep their increasingly paranoid, senile and mob-indebted boss in power indefinitely.

And the popular notion that the good old days were this great summit of virtue and transparency is the Idle Threat of The Week for April 7-13.

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