Friday, August 31, 2007

Meanwhile, back in the men's lavatory with Senator Craig and Officer Karsnia...

The GOP said Craig is resigning. The AP posted transcripted excerpts from the police interview with Senator Craig after his lewd conduct bust.

It's very sad. The dialogue is as if Samuel Beckett had written an ABC Afterschool Special especially targeted at closeted gay Senators.

Craig insisted then, as he insists now, that he is not gay. Sergeant Karsnia, on the other hand, insists that Senator Craig is lying to him about his behavior in the stalls.

KARSNIA: Have you been successful in these bathrooms here before?

CRAIG: I go to that bathroom regularly.

KARSNIA: I mean for any type of other activities.

(You see here? This is the "Theater of the Absurd" aspect of the interview. Karsnia is asking Craig if he has had "success" in these bathrooms before--in the sense of "success in picking up guys for assignations." But Craig chooses to interpret Karsnia's use of the word "success" as signifying "success in taking a dump"--the "Borat" sense of the word "success." ("Great success!") Here we see again the poverty of words as a means of communicating truths, the near impossibility of real communication between two alienated human beings. Very "Godot", very Ionesco. Let's go on.)

CRAIG: No. Absolutely not. I don't seek activity in bathrooms.

KARSNIA: It's embarrassing.

CRAIG: Well it's embarrassing for both. I'm not gonna fight you.

KARSNIA: I know you're not going to fight me. But that's not the point. I would respect you and I still respect you. I don't disrespect you but I'm disrespected right now, and I'm not trying to act like I have all kinds of power or anything, but you're sitting here lying to a police officer.

CRAIG: I, I, I ...


(Another "Beckett" type moment--Craig, an articulate man, reduced momentarily to incoherence by "l'absurd.")

KARSNIA: I am trained in this, and I know what I am doing. And I say you put your hand under there and you're going to sit there and ...

CRAIG: I admit I put my hand down.

KARSNIA: You put your hand and rubbed it on the bottom of the stall with your left hand.

CRAIG: No. Wait a moment.

KARSNIA: And I, I'm not dumb, you can say I don't recall ...

CRAIG: If I had turned sideways, that was the only way I could get my left hand over there.

KARSNIA: It's not that hard for me to reach. (inaudible) it's not that hard. I see it happen everyday out here now.

CRAIG: (inaudible) you do. All right.

KARSNIA: I just, I just, I guess, I guess I'm gonna say I'm just disappointed in you, sir. I'm just really am. I expect this from the guy that we get out of the hood.

(Why doe Sergeant Karsnia expect "this" from "the guy that we get out of the hood?" Why does he expect "more" in the way of "truth", from a US Senator, from an Idahoan, than "the guy that we get out of the hood?" Once again we see the poverty of human communication...)

KARSNIA: I mean, people vote for you.

CRAIG: Yes, they do. (inaudible)

KARSNIA: Unbelievable. Unbelievable.

(Now it is Karsnia who has been reduced to "a dead end." Zis is l'alienation...ze policeman who has seen ze meaninglessness of ze social order, where ze high official is ze same as ze guy from ze hood...)

CRAIG: I'm a respectable person, and I don't do these kinds of ..

KARSNIA: And (inaudible) respect right now though.

CRAIG: But I didn't use my left hand.

KARSNIA: I thought that you ...

CRAIG: I reached down with my right hand like this to pick up a piece of paper.

(And now we are at ze "single bullet theory" diagram phase of zis interaction. Les sujets attempt to confer meaning on their isolation in ze stalls, which eez of course alzo ze isolation of all l'humanite. We, ze audience, are placed liked birds above ze stalls, watching ze occupants beneath us. Like gods who see all but are powerless to intervene, we are asked to interpret ze scene below, where ze hand of ze Senator reach out beneath ze stall--in ze hope of human contact? For uzzer, more profane purposes? Which hand does ze Senator use? Ze right hand, to signal loneliness, ze lack of papier de lavatoire? Or ze left hand, to signal the willingness for ze assignacion?)

KARSNIA: Was your gold ring on your right hand at anytime today?

CRAIG: Of course not. Try to get it off. Look at it.

KARSNIA: OK. Then it was your left hand. I saw it with my own eyes.

CRAIG: All right, you saw something that didn't happen.

KARSNIA: Embarrassing, embarrassing. No wonder why we're going down the tubes.

(Ze gendarme's final statement is one of la resignacion, of hopelessness. He wants to laugh; at the same time he feels ze tears welling up in his eyes, ze ache in his soul.

C'est l'asbsurde.)


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