I confess that I sometimes do watch ET and Extra, when the News Hour on PBS has a couple of experts micro-analyzing the lead-up to the credit crisis for the seventeenth time and I don't feel like using my brain while I eat supper.
But there's a lesson in the Jesse James/Sandra Bullock debacle that I haven't seen much mention about I thought I'd offer.
We're hearing a lot of "Poor Sandra!" and "What a scumbag he is!" Both are true, but Bullock, however her heart has been broken, isn't entirely innocent here.
As I understand it, when Sandra and Jesse hooked up, he was still married, and his then-wife was pregnant. So whatever story he spun for Bullock about how it was over and all, she knew he was cheating on his wife, and she was willing to go along with that.
Something about bad boys that draws women like a candle does moths.
Paul Simon: A man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest. Seems to work for women, too.
Here, a couple of parables and and old saw that I think relate:
A man walking on a snowy day sees a viper on the ground, shivering in the cold. The snake says, Oh, please, pick me up and warm me in your pocket, sir, else I'll die.
The man says, No. You're a viper, you'll bite me and I'll die!
I won't! I swear. Please!
So the man picks up the viper and puts him in his pocket. And after a while, the snake warms up and bites the guy.
You bit me! the man screams.
And you know what the snake says, don't you?
You knew what I was when you picked me up.
A variation of this one stars a frog and a scorpion on the bank of a river. The scorpion wants a ride across. The frog demurs. The scorpion says, Think about it. If I sting you while we are crossing the river, you'll sink and I'll drown. That'd be insane.
This makes sense to the frog. Hop on.
Halfway across, the scorpion stings the frog. Dying, the amphibian says, Why did you do that!
And the scorpion shrugs. It's my nature, he says.
Old Saw: Lie down with dogs, wake up with fleas. (Not strictly true if you use Frontline™, but you get the intent.)
Jesse was a bad boy. I dunno how much of that was part of his appeal for Sandy, but she knew what he was when she picked him up. He deserves most of the blame, of course. But she gets a little bit, don't you think? He was cheating on his wife -- and she knew it and went along with it.
Karma can be a real bitch.