The Current Wisdom

THE CURRENT WISDOM Boy, is this a relief. We'd been starting to worry whether there would ever be a last word on the late great national obsession. Then along comes Our Monica, Ourselves: The...

...Although differences between the president and the slave girl are vast, in both narratives spatial confinement makes the impact of social systems material...
...Whitman has been used as a shibboleth for nonnormative sexuality since his first writings...
...Sometimes I bit my hand so that I wouldn't make any noise," adds Monica...
...she was "ambitious...
...She led a weak Christian man astray...
...There's a moment in the Barbara Walters interview where Monica relates that he Clinton would always leave his shirt untucked because of his belly, and you just feel that...
...A popular Chinese magazine proposed, in a plot not unlike The Manchurian Candidate, that Lewinsky had been sent to Washington when she was a child as a Cold War agent on a mission to entrap the president and destabilize the government...
...Published by NewYork University Press, at this writing, it's on five-week back order at Amazon.com...
...inquired the headline...
...She was sexy and seductive, "the femme fatale in the soap opera of sex and betrayal...
...Actually, I think this is also related to the place of orality in this scandal...
...Maijorie Garber, William R. Kenan Jr...
...If the right wing in this country is still really moralistic about sex, the left is moralistic about food, that's where the new style of moralism about control is...
...Well-educated, liberal people are supposed to be in control of the amount of body fat they have...
...Monica Lewinsky is a youngJewish girl that Mossad hired and pushed into working as an intern in the White House...
...Micki McElya, Doctoral Candidate in American History, New York University Something about the Clinton-Lewinsky relationship is definitely queer...
...She was rich...
...Professor of English, Harvard University and Director of Harvard's Center for Literary and Culture Studies When Toni Morrison suggested in The New Yorker that Bill Clinton continued to hold the support of African-Americans throughout the unfolding of the Lewinsky scandal because they understood him to be America's first black president, she provoked significant controversy...
...Both prison and freedom, the garret spa tializes slavery and thus provides a graphic representation of its effects...
...Morrison asserted: "Clinton displays almost every trope of blackness: single parent household, born poor, working-class, saxophone playing, McDonald's-andjunk food-loving boy from Arkansas...
...Spatially then, the relationship is confined to the interstices of a public building, and the hallway in which they meet is not unlike the bathrooms and parks where gay men have public sex...
...She was physically mature for her age...
...Ann Cvetkovich, Associate Professor of English, the University ofTexas at Austin White Trash, Body Fat & the KGB 98 THE AMERICAN SPECTATOR SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2001...
...Jane Gallop, Distinguished Professor of English, University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee The fact that Monica was Jewish-something she herself was frank and joyous about in many of her comments, both to the president and to her biographer was largely ignored by the American press and politicians...
...Then along comes Our Monica, Ourselves: The Clinton Affair and the National Interest, a collection of 100-percent bias-free, gender-neutral and cross-cultural scholarly essays on our formerly favorite subject, edited by Lauren Berlant and Lisa Duggan...
...Tyler Curtain, Assistant Professor of Critical Theory and Cultural Studies, Department of English, University of Carolina at Chapel Hill Confined to the hallway between the Oval Office and a more private study, Monica and Bill were unable to lie down, unable to take their clothes off and forced to remain silent...
...she was "zaftig ";she was "typical Beverly Hills...
...A number of people seemed to think so...
...If, as Toni Morrison has argued, there is some truth to the claim that Clinton is our first African-American president, then I want to pipe up: he's ourfrst queer one as well...
...Similarly, Clinton's hallway demonstrates the constraints of the presidency...
...Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan appeared on NBC's "Meet the Press" and declared that Monica Lewinsky might be part of a Zionist plot to undermine the Mideast peace negotiations...
...The hallway is also reminiscent of Harriet Jacobs c "loophole of retreat," the space between the roof and the ceiling of a small shed, in which she spends seven years watching her family while waiting for a chance to escape safely to the North...
...Really, really and truly, we're not making this up...
...Monica's famous navy blue dress from The Gap was stained on a day that included the bestowal of a copy of Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass by William Jefferson Clinton on Monica Lewinsky...
...While doing this important work, however, she woefully misnamed this construct as `blackness.' Far from being a black president, the boy from Arkansas she described is best understood as particularly white...
...Meantime, the Syrian defense minister, too, announced that the affair was a Zionist plot...
...Too much eating, talking and then oral sex...
...Was Monica a spy...
...Is Lewinsky with the KGB...
...it was one of the ways where Monica and Bill get connected...
...She was "pushy...
...Ignored-or displaced into other frames of reference...
...He is, in fact, a white trash president...
...Her signifying traits were distributed across a whole spectrum of discussions...
...She had designs on a political or policy role...
...She lacked moral gravitas...
...The people who are disgusted by Clinton's fat and by Monica's aren't the right wing, they're the ones who want a yuppie president with the right amount of body fat at the helm...
...Capitalizing on the trash tropes of uncontrollability and excess that have circulated throughout the Clinton presidency, Starr and his team presented the case that Clinton 'c sex with Lewinsky amounted to an extreme trash act...

Vol. 34 • September 2001 • No. 7


 
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