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Downtown View: More Sex Scandals, Please

After Hurricane Sandy, bruising presidential and senatorial campaigns that lasted far too long, and a continuing hospital watch over Mayor Menino, fatigued Bostonians needed a good sex scandal.

Our prayers were answered, courtesy of CIA director David Petraeus, General John R. Allen, the financially-challenged Tampa twins, and biographer and upper-arm specialist Paula Broadwell. Of course, there is still much to learn—or maybe we already know too much—about the goings-on and who did what to whom, but we have a few questions.

Mr. Petraeus, shouldn’t a CIA director be the first person to understand that emails can be traced and made public?

And General Allen, you are supposed to be prosecuting a war. How did you find the time to exchange hundreds of emails with the Tampa twin? The rest of us can’t keep up with our email even though we have nothing of consequence to accomplish. No wonder Afghanistan is a mess.

The most important thing now, however, is that the American nation be entertained for awhile, at least until we fall off that fiscal cliff in January that we don’t want to hear about.

Here are some possibilities. Marijuana. Now that we have declared grass a legal antidote to Massachusetts residents’ medical problems and Coloradoans have legalized the whole blessed plant and its use, we’re going to have to see how it works out. Will we have weed shops on Causeway Street? Will we go to Colorado just to experience what newspaper reporters are calling a true Rocky Mountain high? Can we now grow marijuana in our back courtyards if our doctor prescribes it? (I don’t know about you, but I don’t have enough sun.) How does that fit with the federal law making possession of marijuana a crime? As we work this out, there will be many strange occurrences, and surely some of them will be diverting.

And it looks as if we still have Romney to entertain us. In the fantasy life he revealed on a phone call to donors and other friends, he lost not because he was the lesser candidate, but because Obama bribed people of questionable American values with health care and college loans. The best morsel from this drama, though, was the disclosure that a disgruntled donor apparently invited a New York Times reporter to listen in on the call. That must be what sweet revenge feels like if the candidate to whom you’ve given a few hundred thousand dollars messes things up.

I might speak for all women when I say that we’re really going to miss senatorial candidates like Todd Aiken and Richard Mourdock. They’re the young men you went out with in college for only one date before you realized they got a D in biology. They are, however, worth a laugh. And heaven knows, we need laughs.

We might get them. After all, we’re proceeding into the season where buyers get trampled on in what some people, not me, call “black Friday.” Now they can get trampled on even earlier in Massachusetts, on Thanksgiving Day. And it is certain that we’ll hear from some complaining commentator again on how the word “Christmas” is disappearing from our vocabulary through the substitution of the word “holiday.”

So let’s hope for another juicy sex scandal to divert us from all our woes.


Downtown View is a regular column by Karen Cord Taylor who founded The Beacon Hill Times weekly newspaper in 1995 and served as its editor and publisher until late 2007. She also founded and served as editor and publisher of the Charlestown Patriot-Bridge and The Back Bay Sun weeklies. Her column appears in those newspapers as well as the Regional Review, which serves Boston’s North End. These weeklies are now owned by the Independent Newspaper Group. She is the author of “Blue Laws, Brahmins and Breakdown Lanes: An Alphabetic Guide to Boston and Bostonians” and the co-author of “The Lady Architects,” a book about three women who practiced architecture in New England and elsewhere in the early 20th century. She lives in downtown Boston and blogs at