THE LATE SHOW by Cynthia Andrews
The economic depression, or repression if you prefer, has brought with it so many changes in both our outer and inner lives that I hardly recognize my own neighborhood anymore. The place I speak of is somewhere in the center of Queens, New York, where it is common knowledge that it is here Yuppies are known to have bought expensive apartments, shop in expensive boutiques, and eat expensive meals in fancy restaurants and cafes. Their usual routine goes something like this: dinner at eight, shower, glass of wine and Letterman’s monologue right before lights out. The strange part about it is that even good old Dave has changed right before our eyes!
It seemed the months that followed the sexual debacle Mr. Letterman gracefully (and I’m sure gratefully) got out of with a mere apology, on the air no less, also unraveled a new perspective on sexual mores which lends itself more to the pornography of a dirty old man rather than the “average” person who does wrong and repents – notwithstanding the fact that there have always been older men having affairs with younger women since the beginning of time. In this instance, it would seem (with his sincere apology) to have given a kind of consent to an obscene immoral behavior not found in our society since perhaps (and I’m only guessing) the days of the Roaring 20’s where anything was accepted – and even then, pornography seemed only for the old and oppressed, not the unbounded sexual energy of the young.
Nevertheless, there remains in this 21^st Century a black cloud of despair and an indescribable inability to communicate in any fulfilling way, most particularly it would seem, on the sexual level where anal and oral sex take precedence over the Missionary Position, especially for first-time teenagers who may be anxious to experience sex, but not to admit having the actual experience. If that isn’t odd enough, recent newspaper headlines have “exposed” the lude behavior of twenty year old men and women who now get the ultimate thrill from wearing the proverbial trench coat and flashing their young, firm bodies in the subway! One has to ask what exactly happened between Woodstock and Now? Why also the rise in Bi-Sexuality and Homosexuality? What did I miss between Janis Joplin, Janis Ian and Katy Perry that could change the way men and women relate to such an extremity as being unrecognizable in – or out of bed?
In order to answer this one has to look back to the early 1990’s and the 20^th Century where “Free Love” and the Feminist movement was just a lead-in for a more complicated definition of emancipation, and relationships quickly adjusting to a new fluency in language and mentality called “PC.”
By the time the new Millenium arrived a spouse was now called a “Partner,” and a divorce was looked upon as the sad dissolution of what had promised to be a solid investment of “Venture Capital.” The emerging hostility from Venus now provoked a reaction from Mars which seemed to repel all attraction to the opposite sex while surpassing the “Equality” issue once won by the Baby Boomers (eg. Murphy Brown), and replacing it with a cold, harsh criticism of “male domination” and ultimately the unnecessary act of heterosexual relations in and of itself, which, in some hell of a way, gave this new generation of women both an inferiority complex in bed – and a Dominatrix complex out of bed!
Be that as it may, the neighborhood I live in remains unrecognizable today, either for economic reasons or the moral downturn of our society – or perhaps both. In any case, the next time I see three people going into the bathroom of my favorite local café and coming out of that same bathroom (in unison) thirty-five minutes later (and then going back in with one of the bus boys!) I’ll try to remember Letterman’s latest Top Ten Reasons for Depravity and Desperation right here in the heart of my own home town of Queens, New York.