I am disgrac'd, impeach'd
And baffled here,
Pierc'd to the soul
With slander's venom'd spear.
— Shakespeare, Richard II, 1, 1
EVERYBODY loves a good piece of juicy gossip, a good scandal, even if it's slander, especially if it's of a sexual nature. Sexy, syrupy, salacious slander is music to the ears of the listener, and joy to the mouth of the teller.
It doesn't even matter if it's true or not, as long as it's sexy and sleazy, it's great news. But guess what, if it's true it's not slander, even though we love to use that word loosely to describe any gossip of a sexual nature that affects people, especially people of repute. That's why those tabloids sell so much, as people just love to get their noses into other people's business.
What a scandal has erupted with arguably the most powerful military man in the world, General Petraeus, a man who has had an extraordinary and exemplary military career, but suddenly brought down to earth because of his confessed infidelity. One act of indiscretion and poof, he's thrown from his horse, hoist on his own petard, disgraced and drummed out of the corps as they say in the military.
What a scandal, as we would say in Jamaica, and we all are glued to what news that keeps on being unearthed every day. But what's the big deal, it's only another sexcapade, an escapade of sex, that mankind is prone to commit, as we'll find out right after these comments replying to 'Substitute lovers'.
I think what is missing from a substitute lover, whether it be sex toy, pooch, gambling or drinking, is the display of affection from a lover, to be touched and caressed by another human being, feeling that warm body against yours, those moist lips parting, that heaving chest... oh, got to go, something just came up.
A substitute lover is necessary when you cannot find a suitable person to fulfil your needs. Nothing is wrong with it, as we all need to feel fulfilled in our lives emotionally. Men have failed me all of my life, from my father to my countless boyfriends, so I have taken a substitute.
Oh yes, my dog has taken that place and loves me without question I do not agree with your term lover though, but prefer substitute companion. The friendship that he offers is unwavering, and he's always happy to see me come home. Lover, no, substitute for a worthless man, yes.
Men need substitutes because one woman cannot fulfil all that we want. If you try one and she doesn't work out, then move on to another model. If she fails too, then try, try, try again, until you succeed. It's simple really, and that's why we have choices.
So another great man has bitten the dust, brought to his knees by the pleasure of the flesh. But what's the fuss about? This has been going on from the dawn of time, and there are countless stories in the Bible of great men whose lives were ripped apart or they were made to pay for scandalous affairs. Nothing is new under the sun and men do old kinds of sins in new kinds of ways.
There was Samson, the world's strongest man, undefeated in battle, yet destroyed by a woman who is reputed to have cut off his hair, resulting in him losing his great strength and rendering him helpless. Trust me, it wasn't his hair that was cut, but you know that the Bible speaks in metaphors from time to time. She got close to him, slept with him, and the rest is history.
Then there was King David, who sent Uriah the Hittite, to the battlefront, hoping that he would be put in harm's way and perhaps killed, so that he could have his wife. What a plot.
Then in more modern times there was the scandal that rocked the House of Commons in England, as Lord Profumo was disgraced because of an affair with a woman of questionable repute, Christine Keeler. Even royalty wasn't exempt as King Edward lost his throne because of a scandal with a divorced woman. "Love love love alone, made King Edward lose his throne," were the words from the calypso song of the day.
Fast-forward to just a few months ago, when Jerry Sandusky of USA Penn State fame was sent to prison for sex scandals. His was allegedly with young boys, but a scandal knows no gender. The head of the BBC is also under question for alleged sexual indiscretions. Even Elmo from Sesame Street was under the microscope for allegedly having sex with an underage boy.
The man who's the voice of Elmo is a self-confessed gay, and admits to having sex with his accuser, but insists that the lad was of legal age and it was consensual. The accuser has since recanted his story and Elmo is smiling again. But as you can see, even Sesame Street is not exempt from sexcapades.
But this modern-day sexcapade with the general is something else to behold, as fiction is indeed stranger than fact, and no movie couldn't match this scenario. I recently saw Skyfall, the new James Bond movie, which, as all Bond movies are, is full of action, intrigue, mayhem and passion. But even Ian Fleming, the author of those James Bond epics, could not have come up with the sexcapade that is now rocking the world, even as the participants had their world rocked.
This great general admitted to having an affair with this woman who was also in the army at one time, rising to the rank of Lt Colonel. She wrote his biography and so became very close to him. Very close. Not only that, but she's married to a doctor and has two young children with him. The whole story buss out because she e-mailed threatening messages to another lady who she thought the general was just too close to.
Sketel behaviour from a woman who is bright and educated and with a military background too. The aggrieved lady reported this harassment to the FBI which conducted their investigation to find the source, and the whole can of worms opened up. To compound this, the same FBI agent who she approached for help, is alleged to have had the hots for her too, and sent her topless photos of himself.
Then to add to the mix, this other four-star general and said lady, exchanged over 20,000 pages of e-mails between them and are being investigated also. You can't make up stuff like this, and because of CNN, BBC and other world news organisations, it's brought right into our living rooms.
Reactions vary to this current sexcapade, ranging from disgust by some ladies, to contempt, but sympathy and approval by some men. "Man, when you see the man's wife, then see his mistress, you can't blame him," said one man. "Imagine, she leave her two young kids and nice doctor husband at home and give him bun with the soldier," said another.
Some ladies had sympathy for the wife, "Imagine how his poor wife must feel after so many years of marriage," said some women. One guy cynically said, "He's married for 37 years and his mistress is 37 years old, the man is a military/mathematical genius."
But let's not get our knickers is a twist. It goes with the territory and is part of the trappings of power. Many great men fall prey to this, as even US President JFK had his fair share of dalliances, and more recently, Bill Clinton was almost impeached because of his roving eye. Both presidents are still loved by the American people.
Let's not forget US governor Spitzer who was also caught in a sexcapade but went on to have his own TV programme. Closer home, we have had our fair share of prime ministers and other politicians who have had their gamut of sexcapades. They are the most loved and respected. Go figure.
People love people who have sexcapades. In the broad scheme of things, it ain't no big thing, and goes with the territory. In fact, it's almost expected. My my, how remiss of me, how could I forget to mention Tiger Woods, who is alleged to have shot more holes in not only ones, but twos, threes and up to over 120. He couldn't keep his putter in his pants, they say.
Some people may condemn, even as others approve, and I was very surprised to hear the comments made by some ladies following the Petraeus scandal. One told me, "What's the big deal, women love power, and this man had power, so allow him his fling." Another one said, "All people like President Obama should have all five wives or more to satisfy him and take away the hypocrisy of society." Wow, all this from women too.
Maybe that's why some societies and cultures allow great men to have multiple women. Kings, sultans and emperors of old had their harems, and even in modern times, many Africans, Moslems and some sects in the USA allow polygamy to be practised. By doing so, the element of hypocrisy is eliminated, and there is no scandal, no sleaze, no sexcapade. If that was practised, then General Petraeus would not be in the pickle that he's in now, and lose his work.
Imagine, after all his military campaigns, his genius, his brilliance, he's brought to book and stripped because of a little dalliance. The man is a warrior and a lover. Can you imagine if the world's historically great leaders were fired because of their sexcapades? Ghenghis Khan, Attilla the Hun, Marco Polo, Shaka Zulu, General McArthur, all stripped of their positions because of a likkle p.. p..m?
But still, we love to read about it, watch it on TV as it unfolds, and either cast judgement or approve. Many men secretly wish that it was them, when they saw the accused mistress, saying, "Man, she hot." Many women would love to have a piece of the power, if they could get away with it. Hey, it's just a storm in a teacup, and it will pass, until the next sexcapade jolts us and rocks our world. More time.
Footnote: They say that you should make your words soft and sweet, in case you have to eat them. I had to eat mine, as I had protested against the inclusion of women to the Annual KC Old Boys Dinner. I was so wrong. Their inclusion was a Godsend, as the overflowing attendance was extraordinary. I took my wife and she enjoyed it thoroughly, as did the other ladies present. So nuff apologies to organisers HG Helps and Charlie Grant, with whom I argued strongly against this change. It was the best Dinner ever.
When is it too early to educate children about sex and sexuality? Many old school persons are still resistant to the idea of teaching children sex education and will chide schools for attempting to do so. But the experts advise otherwise. As we can see, children nowadays are more exposed because of cable TV and the iInternet, but what they're digesting is not necessarily the right thing. The rest of the information they get from their peers and on the street.
Many adults take advantage of this, and of the children. Gone are the days when you should only protect your daughters, now your sons are also at risk from predators. Parents, speak to your young children, tell them about sex, what's right and what's wrong. They're never too young to learn.