Sex is the American ‘opiate of the masses’

Karl Marx spoke of religion as the “opium of the masses.” In order for the ruling powers to keep people in line, he thought, religion did the dirty work of the government and the rulers. Religion instructed people to obey their leaders. Of course, I have some problems with Mr. Marx, but maybe he was on to something. Those in power need something to divert people from concentrating on what is really going on.

Take the case of that other Carl, state Senator Carl Kruger. Kruger and his alleged accomplice, Richard J. Lipsky, were recently arrested by the FBI for taking massive bribes. What we learned from the FBI tapes and other police intelligence was that 1) people give large campaign contributions when they want something from the government and 2) when given a chance, people will bribe politicians with what looks like a lot of money to get something that is worth a lot more, a whole lot more. This is nothing new. This system is in place virtually anywhere in the world, from Russia to China to this great country. There are many examples of legislators who get tons of money for “helping” someone after receiving a campaign contribution. We all know how it works. You could make a lot of lists of such arrangements but if you didn’t say, “I’ll do this for you if you do this for me,” you are home free.

Every once in a while, the authorities catch someone who has gone over the line and gotten really greedy and has been either stupid enough or careless enough to say something into a phone or a microphone that will land them in jail. They know the rules, but only a fool like Carl Kruger would break them.

No sooner did the Kruger allegations come to light than the American version of the opium of the masses began. In America, nothing, but nothing catches the reader’s eye like the greatest opiate of them all — that’s right, you guessed it — sex. We Americans, who read Playboy and Hustler and Penthouse by the millions, just can’t get our minds out of the gutter. Sure Carl Kruger may have taken money. Sure, Richard J. Lipsky may have arranged things for Kruger, but that’s just boring stuff. Same old, same old. The question is not whether Kruger did it the old fashioned way which may land him in the pokey. Nope, the question is who his boyfriend or girlfriend is. You see, he bought this mansion built by someone who may have had a bent nose (if you follow my direction here) and poured tons of money into it. His alleged girlfriend had two grown sons. Like those famous bears, they all lived together. The girlfriend has taken some exception to the innuendo that Kruger didn’t have a girlfriend but had a boyfriend, one of her sons who lived in the family compound.

Now that’s a scandal and it’s gone viral. Even the top newspaper in America, the New York Times, knows how to sell those papers. That’s a public opiate. That’s something that the people can sink their teeth into. That’s something that will make people talk on their daily commute, on the train and in the subway.

The U.S. attorney had it right when he said that we keep indicting them but they keep on misbehaving. You’ve really have to admit that’s old stuff. Boring, but when sex is involved we really get interested. When Client Number Nine had to resign his position as governor for consorting with prostitutes, it really didn’t matter that he promised to clean things up, take names and make significant changes.

Nope, the real question was whether he did the dirty with his socks on. Whole careers were born out of that story. Hookers were writing columns and running for public office. Good stuff. Hotchacha. Yep, sex is our opiate. Can’t get enough.

Originally published in the Legislative Gazette, 3/21/11

Explore posts in the same categories: Uncategorized

3 Comments on “Sex is the American ‘opiate of the masses’”

  1. We had a case in our county (Columbia) where the assessor of the town of Taghkanic used a slur in a meeting “jewed” someone down. This story took off like lightening. But the assessment in Taghkanic never got any scrutiny. They are rife with bias against New York city residents… some Jewish. And they are also just plain bad. Unfair to new residents. I can go in and FOIL the stuff and prove it but I have a lot of other scandals to cover on my blog.

    I think it’s like the sex aspect of the story you write about. Routine bad assessments affecting almost everyone, never mind the scandal that a town this small has a paid assessor despite study after study calling for consolidation of these redundant services: that is ignored because it is not news. But it is a huge problem. The news is a slur. Or a sex aspect.

    Do you see how these two cases are related? The easy story leaps off the page.

  2. Harvey Says:

    How’s this you’re right and wrong at the same time? Eliot didn’t go down because of his propensity for sex because of an frequently unavailable wife leading a professional career. There is interesting evidence that Eliot went down because of what he tried achieve especially with Wall Street. let us consider the ramifications if he was treated like Senator neil Breslin instead of being tossed about by those he exposed. Would he has actually stopped the Wall Street meltdown since he was stopped when he took on Goldman and Sachs? Breslin has an obvious problem with excessive use of alcohol, and in fact was televised several times looking rather inebriated and when questioned by the media even forgot what he was doing. Yet Mr. Breslin remains part of our dysfunctional State Senate. Sex today is available to responsible couples regardless of age from the pharmacy after suitable examination by a physician. There is more than a double standard when it comes to politicians and their unusual sexual appetites like the analogy of Mr. Breslin and Mr. Spitzer. Alan, it has something to do with effectiveness of the politician. I worked for an Assemblywoman named Gerdi who was censured by the Assembly for have no-shows on her payroll. She was actually an excellent legislator but her association with Donald Manes caused a magifying glass to be placed on what could have been a magnificant career. If we look at Krueger it was obvious that this was a blowhard and ineffective legislator. There are quite a few like him as we witnessed during the Aqueduct scandal, like Malcolm Smith that seem to be getting a free ride from the media. Thus forget about Marx and Dupont and let’s focus on the whys of the media’s behavior.

  3. Harvey Says:

    There is time for new discussion. This one is about japan and the knee jerk reaction from many good-thinking people like yourself. Basically we have a national Government and the National Government has provided an entity to manage national man-made and natural disasters. This group of folks are called FEMA. I have a problem raising money as you do for a nation that holds $billions in United States Dollars. Instead I don’t have but demand that our national Government provide FEMA assistance to Japan. If FEMA is good enough for the United States isn’t it good enough for Japan? Now my next problem is that the area of Japan subject to this natural disaster is also a majot manufacturing hub. This manufacturing is mostly designed for export and not domestic consumption. An example is that the Preus manufacturing is located there. I support without question humanitarian aid usintg FEMA and the NRC but why are you raising moiney for Japanese export manufacturing. In the 1970’s Japan actually waged economic war upon the United States. Hopefully these comments will wake you up and start this thread into one of your blogs. I know that WAMC likes to think of itself like the BBC but isn’t this the time to promote innovation like the Volt and not help the competition continue to destroy American manufacturing? Once again I demand that our national Government provide FEMA and the NRC to provide humanitarian aid, what I don’t want to see is rediculous fund raising for a country that can afford but apparently to everyone’s surprise lacks the disaster relief capacity that the United States has. Alan, enjoy the nice weather it’s beatiful in Manhattan today.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: