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Burnett's Urban Etiquette

Tuesday, April 01, 2008


Yes, that stands for waaaaaaaay too much information.

As I write this, I've just finished reading up a fascinating academic/psych paper on what has been driving the new governor of New York, David Paterson, to confess to pretty much everything.

Since the day he took office to replace Eliot Spitzer, who resigned in disgrace because he couldn't explain what exactly he was getting from prostitutes for $4,300 a pop, Paterson has been singing like a canary. From what Matt has told us a good prostitute shouldn't cost more than $200. Definitely an abuse of funds on Spitzer's part.

You realize I'm kidding, right? I mean about why Spitzer resigned.

But I'm not kidding about Paterson. In the past two weeks we've learned that he has had multiple affairs on his a Day's Inn in Manhattan. And she confessed she's had multiple affairs on him - though at what hotel is unclear. We've learned that Paterson has smoked weed. Eh. So have most of my friends and most of our parents...except mine. We've learned that Paterson has done coke. Hmmm.

A news conference is scheduled for noon today, in which Paterson will admit he once bit the head off a kitten, pulled the skin off a bucket of KFC thighs and wings and then put 'em all back in the bucket for other unsuspecting picnickers, and that he once joined Kenny McCormick in smoking dried cat pee.

Seriously, I believe the old adage that the truth shall set you free. It makes sense. Telling lies and keeping secrets is stressful. Admitting you, all of you, is like unsnapping a girdle, not that I've ever worn one.

Kudos to Paterson for admitting that he too is a flawed person and for clarifying that he hasn't engaged in reckless behavior in recent years, so his past moral lapses shouldn't affect his ability to govern.

But I'm not sure we needed to know all of that.

I have another adage for you: It's the thought the counts. Unless this guy has committed murder or some other violent felony in his past and has "forgotten" to tell people, frankly, I don't want to know anymore about what he's done outside of his office.

There is a caveat: Apparently there is some question as to whether Paterson used campaign funds for his personal romps back in the day. If he did, punish him and send him to Spitzer Island, which soon could have bars and barbed-wire around it.

Otherwise, I'm satisfied that this guy is willing to share his flaws. It's the thought that counts. Now, it's time for him to learn to keep it to more ways than one.

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  • I think he could have had a bit more fun with it, actually.

    "Also, I once killed a man. I burried him upstate in a shallow grave by a slow-moving creek. That was wrong.

    Any questions?"

    By Blogger M@, at 1:18 PM  

  • Here's another adage:

    Before you speak, ask yourself: is it kind, is it true, is it necessary, does it improve upon the silence? - Shirdi Sai Baba

    I would venture to say that silence about all the gory details should be observed in this situation and all of the others that only feed voyeurs (like me, maybe). Just the facts, ma'am.


    By Blogger Lex, at 3:00 PM  

  • I still wanted to see Spitzer's wife attack him during that press conference. Slap him silly.

    As long as Paterson isn't doing any of this stuff on the tax payers dime, right? (but - if you are in Public Service like governor, are you EVER off the tax payers dime?)

    By Anonymous Karmyn R, at 3:44 PM  

  • I'd rather admit to it freely - than have to answer to a press conference called because someone else brought it up.

    At least he doesn't have to worry about it anymore.

    By Blogger Pamela, at 5:01 PM  

  • I'll admit that it is a bit overkill, but how refreshing is it to have someone be honest (even if a little too honest) about their past failings? I just wish other politicians would follow suit.

    By Blogger GrizzBabe, at 7:10 PM  

  • It is also good for the public to know that their elected official has nothing an enemy or frenemy could use for blackmail. He's now free and clear to serve the people.

    By Blogger M@, at 7:32 PM  

  • I'd rather act astonished that hookers are $200 than think about the differences between Patterson and Spitzer. If Patterson keeps this up, Gov. Corzine of New Jersey might annex New York.

    By Blogger The CEO, at 10:39 PM  

  • M@, that would have been a good one for him today, of all days.

    Lex, "gory details?" Ha ha ha ha ha! Gory is right.

    Karmyn, that is a very good question. Are politicians like police chiefs and doctors, sort of always on call?

    Pamela, that's an interesting take - that now he's defused any possible ammo enemies could use against him.

    Grizz, the blunt honesty is nicce, I guess.

    M@, like I said to Pamela...

    Monty, if Corzine annexes New York, he'll have everyone flying through their windshields.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 11:03 PM  

  • Well done, I'm still laughing.

    By Blogger The CEO, at 8:33 AM  

  • Thanks Monty. And I got your email.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 12:30 PM  

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