Thursday, May 19, 2011

Maria and Arnold and, Oh Yeah, The Mildred

What I don’t get is why so many people are expressing their shock that Arnold would choose a Not Gorgeous woman for such a long-term schtupping assignment.

Are these people morons? Virgins? Naifs? Have they never had, or known others who’ve had, or even read the odd novel wherein certain characters have had crazy, schadenfreude-fueled, right-down-the-hall-from-my-stupid-wife sex?

Let me just bring up two points here: Willingness and Proximity.

Okay, four points: Perversity (Mildred evidently wants to be Maria, or at least wear her clothes, the better to mock her) and, oh yeah, Plantations. 

Remember plantations? Where the white slave-owners raped their slaves every minute and, being no more concerned with birth control than was Arnold, sired vast numbers of these slaves' children?

Well, they might have wiped out working plantations, but plantational thinking still rules the whole world—that’s what I said, Bub, the entire wide world—only now the Plantation is known as the Compound. 

Or, in some cases, like if you are French, the $3000 a night but oh-so-worth-it New York hotel room.  Just as rich (or poor) white men of old could do anything they liked to a slave without facing one single unpleasant consequence, rich white men of today can pretty much do the same thing. Maybe not with literal slaves, since we seem to have wiped out literal, that is to say legal, slavery, but certainly with women who, unlike Maria, enjoy neither money nor status, and especially woman of, no kidding, color.

Getting back to Mildred’s not looking like the young Ava Gardner, might I just point out how much money it takes to look any good after, say, forty? Do you know how much it costs to get those stupid streaks in your hair? To keep lifting your face off the ground and hiring surgeons to deal with those facial skeletal issues which, left unattended, will keep on making you look just like Eunice?

If you feel bad for Maria, let me just remind you that she knowingly married the son of a Nazi. I mean, really. Even the odious Joseph Kennedy might have chosen not to do that. Also, let’s ponder for just a moment her money. I dare say she will never have to work as a maid, nor will she ever have to live even one hour without squadrons of maids at her slightest command, washing her sheets and cleaning her toilets.

Is Mildred vile? Well, obviously. But she’s also Not All That Stupid. By making sure she had Arnold’s son, she’s achieved her own financial security (including a four-bedroom house with a pool, thanks) which should last her the rest of her ill-advised life. 

Which might be the best part about the death of literal slavery and the birth of the tests that prove DNA: Even a working woman of color can, if she’s lucky, get a hold of some kind of recourse. And I really hope that Jeffrey Shapiro gets to kick Monsieur Strauss-Kahn’s ass and win his client billions of dollars.  Dollars with which she too can hire squadrons of maids: all of them white, and of course male, and also completely, indelibly French.