Saturday, November 14, 2009


It's a burlesque act in which a performer removes her/his clothes, piece by piece.

Andre Agassi, a tennis hero whom I've admired for years (for the way he plays, the way he looks, his wildness, marriages, and things he's blurted out) -- takes off his clothes in his autobiography, "Open," and reveals sad, unpleasant things about himself and what he achieved.

He tells us he can't live with his lies, untruths, the misconceptions about himself as a hero -- implies that the only way he can enjoy his life and what he's achieved -- is by stripping away the lies.

At first, I thought, "He's doing it to sell books, gain notoriety, and attention for himself and his projects. Then, I found myself wondering if he's trying to grow up all over again (play it again), and win -- be a hero without his daddy's dreams, his daddy's energy turning him into a winning tennis machine.

Hmm ... This guy is a grownup, and wise -- he knows what it means to be in the center court, with thousands of eyes watching his every move, judging everything he says and does. Andre Agassi was the number-one best tennis player in the world.

Well, he shopped the book in 2007, so it's been brewing for a long time -- this desire to tell the truth and put an end to the lies.

But gee ... lies have roots -- roots don't get destroyed -- even if they're dug up, they generally just spread. A naked Agassi is out there, revealed.

Hey -- what about his family -- his kids, Jared Gil (lovingly named after Agassi''s trainer, best friend, Gil Reyes), and daughter Jaz El -- how's the truthful version of Andre's life going to affect them, and his wife, Stephanie Graf?

(It's a little like the unfaithful husband, who tells his wife about some passionate love affair, after it's over. His conscience is eased -- it's over and done with for him, but not for her. Will she ever be able to trust him again? How can she forget how well he deceived, put on a act, and brilliantly lied, about that other woman?) Oh sure, time will pass, and we'll hear more about the great things Agassi's doing with his projects for young people, his foundations and schools, but the hero -- the great things we remember are ... well ... kind of messed up, out of focus now.

It brings to mind Elizabeth Edwards' book, "Resilience" -- our view of John and Elizabeth during the campaigns. He's out there, naked -- selfish, cruelly disloyal, sex life exposed, side-by-side with the altruistic, interesting, charitable ideas he sold us on.

Well, Elizabeth needed to express what she expressed, but they're both out there now ...

Hmm ... They may put on a devoted couple act again, but we won't believe it -- the "Loving Couple" was a lie.

What about Jenny Sanford , the wife of Governor Sanford, who droned on and on and ON about his love affair with an Argentinean lady? Jenny doesn't sound as if she's going to write a book, but publishers are seductive. With the help of a ghost writer, lots of money, and lots of sexual specifics , lots of money can be made.

Can Governor Sanford be more naked than he already is?

Hmm ... Maybe he'll resign and the Lt. Governor (whom sanctimonious Sanford loudly claims is gay) will run things, sanctimoniously affirming his masculinity. .

Madoff's mistress, Sheryl Weinstein, took off her clothes and Madoff's clothes, and her book is selling its way into bestseller-dom.

Hey, that could mean a movie ... though ... gee, would Redford want to play the part of a small man, with a small penis, who had a tepid affair with 16 years ago? Maybe Dustin Hoffman?

Hmm ... I don't think there's going to be a movie sale of "Bernie Madoff's Other Secret, Money, Bernie and Me."

Maybe Ruth Madoff will do her strip routine, and tell her story -- lawsuits are pending -- she wants to keep her two-storey penthouse -- she's lonely, alone. Everyone's dying to hear more ugly stuff about Bernie, and more-more about him suffering -- maybe another prisoner, a burly brute will beat him up! And prison sex?

I can't see Madoff being the honey-bun of some other guy ... but ... who knows?

Maybe the sons, Andrew or Mark, or niece Shana, or brother Peter, or former accountant Friehling will strip away their inhibitions? Or one of the six lawyers? Or the widow of Madoff's dearest business pal, who died in his Palm beach swimming pool -- maybe she'll take his clothes off?

I hope not.

I am sorry Agassi had to write his book.

I wish Elizabeth Edwards hadn't done hers.

It' ain't good, all this strip teasing ...

I've done it. In my dancing days, I wore naked-looking body suits, even one with yarn strategically placed that suggested private hair. NO, I wasn't really naked, but wearing those body suits ... it wasn't fun -- I covered myself with a robe whenever I was off stage.

Of course I know that these days, dancers, singers, painters, writers, plain ordinary people are showing, telling exposing themselves more and more -- you have to, I guess – the world's more crowded, more people are competing for that 15 minutes of fame.

Okay -- maybe you'll read those books, but I won't. As I get older, I'm getting more prudish. And prudent -- selective about how I spend time. Stripteasers, doing their thing, are mostly, about ninety-percent ho-hum, BORING.
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