Subject:      CODY: COLUMN #5: REWARDS
From: (Mithryl)
Date:         1997/07/30
Message-Id:   <5rodjm$>

                         COLUMN #5 (tm)

                   The Language of the Reward

                      By Cody Ann Michaels
                     c. All rights reserved.

	If anyone has any illusions about the integrity or word of Rudy
Guilliani, ask Fernando Carreira, the 71 year old workman who tipped cops
to the man the Miami Beach police chief said was subjecting Americans
everywhere, including, I suppose, New York, to "a reign of terror". 
Guilliani was apparently so scared out of his wits of Andrew Cunanan that
he offered $10,000 of the city's money to anyone who brought him down. 

	This is his explanation now that Cunanan is dead why Carreira
isn't going to get the money. 

	"On three grounds...: the Miami (Beach) police said his call was
not significant; there was no arrest and conviction, and third, he was
supposed to use the TIPS hot line and he didn't." [NY Times, 7/28/97]

	Oh well, of course.  Carreira came to work at the houseboat he
caretaking, found Cunanan there with a 40 calibre handgun, ran out the
door with the sounds of shots in his ears, told the cops; the cops found
Cunanan dead inside the boat, and Guilliani is whining that Fernando
didn't follow procedure.  He didn't call the right number!  Hello. 
There's a murderer in my houseboat.  Oh, I'm sorry.  Wrong number!  And
they're using me in university seminars as an example of twisted logic.
Come on, already!  What happened to honor?  Oh.  I keep forgetting.  This
is Guilliani, who lets kids starve to death in the Bronx and makes slaves
out of welfare recipients who then put people making real salaries out of
work.  (Would you pay someone $9 an hour when you can get a welfare slave
from the state to do the same thing for $2.50?)  What was I thinking? 

	I've got to stop going to restaurants.  Because I invariably come
home with a bag of stuff I rip out of newspapers that other people have
abandoned -- I never buy them.  That only encourages them.  So tonight,
I'm shuffling through this garbage.  The sti ffing of Fernando Carreira is
at the top of the pile.  Because, well, I hate to sound maudlin, after
all, the honor of the city where I live is at stake here.  Not that I
believe in that kind of bullshit, but I guess, at some gut level I do. 

	Let's leave aside for now the fact that Guilliani did not offer
his reward until Cunanan shot Gianni Versace, the multi-millionaire
designer.  By then, Cunanan had already obtained a degree of fame from
offing four other people in Minnisota, Chicago, and Jersey over a two
month time span.  But they obviously weren't rich, famous or significant
enough to merit the posting of a reward.  There was also the possibility,
among all the other hysteric bullshit flying around, that Cunanan might
come north, so ma ybe Rudy... maybe he had it at the back of his brain
that said, if Versace, why not me?  Okay.  That's pretty funny.  But if
you read his reasoning on not paying Carreira, you can get some idea of
the way the man thinks.  Which basically means, by extension, that
Carreira saved Rudy's ass. 

	Here's another example of Mayor-speak from today's paper: "If you
fit the language of the reward, you get one.  If you don't, then there is
no discretion to give you the reward."  Guilliani's up for re-election
this fall.  Consider the rewards. [NY Post, 7/29/97]


	What else?  America's dad is going to take a paternity test.  Skip
that.  Why do I have these bits and pieces of paper?  I'm becoming a
freaking newspaper bag lady.  My God.  Here's one on Hale Bopp.  You
remember that?  Ancient history.  Here's one on B ob Dole's acceptance
speech.  Let's see.  What for?  Oh yeah.  William Weld.  What is it about
this guy?  That he wants to go to Mexico so bad?  I mean, come on.  Why
would someone quit being governor of a state so he could be Bill Clinton's
ambassador to Mexico?  Okay.  The state is Massachusetts.  But you still
get free rides and a police escort.  Weld, who's a Republican, wants Bill
Clinton to face down Jesse Helms, who's also a Republican, to get him the
ambassadorship.  Let me explain something: Lani Guiner.  Marilyn Elders. 
Susan MacDougal.  Millions of welfare kids.  The U.S. Constitution. 
Hillary... oh.  Not yet.  But her time is coming.  Just wait. 

	Okay.  Bob Herbert's column about a guy Texas zapped for a murder
he couldn't possibly have committed.  [NY Times, 7/28/97] Why do I save
this stuff?  Nothing I say or write is ever going to change the fact that
Texas runs our native Auschwitz.  It's ju st a given.  Nat Hentoff's
column.  The KKK has a new way of functioning in Georgia.  It's called the
Department of Corrections.  They have this swat team that dresses in
black, goes to prisons in the middle of the night, beats the shit out of
the cons, a nd leaves.  Their leader is the department's commissioner. 
Hentoff didn't actually link these thugs with the KKK, but it sure sounds
like what they were traditionally known for, especially since most of the
people in Georgia prisons are black.  The only difference is they've
changed their costume.  Good column.  [Village Voice, 7/29/97]


	All I know is what I read in the papers, someone said.  What about
tv?  But you can't clip tv.  You can video it, but then it gets to be a
pain, trying to find the exact item that made you mad.  How about this: is
there anything more pathetic than a domi natrix being shot dead in a
housecoat?  Other than Bill Clinton asking a woman in a culotte for a
blowjob, that is?  Is there left no sense of style with which to confront
the millenium?  There was this 58 year old s&m queen who they found with
four bulle t holes in her body.  This was after Andy Cunanan shot himself,
so it couldn't be him.  Her address book was filled with cop names.  Other
dominatrixes said that a man posing as a cop had been trying to shake them

	One said, "I don't know if it's the same man, but if he is, he ...
tries to get money or sessions for free."  God, you would have to have
guts to blackmail someone and then ask them to beat you up.  The woman,
named Dawn, added, "He's never bothered anyo ne, as far as I know.  He's
never been violent."  [NY Post, 7/29/97]

	It sounds like a case Inspector Maigret would have loved.  The
dead woman, Nadia Frey, "was born in Paris -- to a family of class and
money.  She was a stunning blonde and talented dancer....  In her teens,
she danced the cancan at the Lido...toured Euro pe with a cadre of
glamourous showgirls.  Soon, though, the ravishing beauty fell in among
the glitterati of Europe and the Middle East -- as a high priced call
girl...  The dominatrix boasted that the Shah of Iran and ... Charles de
Gaulle were among her clients."  And it goes on.  "...her career (in
America) spiraling slowly downward... Still, there were senators and
congressmen..."  These are the Post's words, not mine.  "And," a friend
said, "she told me that the politicians were the kinkiest of them all." 
Kinkier than deGaulle?  Come on!  That's hard to believe.  With that nose? 
In New York, she reportedly had the brother of a very famous actor as a
client.  And one newscaster.  "He likes to dress up as a woman."  So? 

	As a dominatrix, she was famous for her nurse costumes.  One of
the last things she said -- again, I'm quoting -- was "she felt life had
dealt her a bad hand, and that there was no escape.  She felt she was only
given a single card -- heartbreak and fail ure."  You see?  You just never
know what is on the other end of the whip, do you? 


	Finally, there is "Air Force One".  Let us skip over the reviews
and images of Kelly Flinn getting revenge on an adulterous commander in
chief, and proceed to the real question: can we imagine Bill Clinton
fighting off a gang of terrorists from the back seat of the presidential
air lift?  No.  Well, then, how about George Bush?  Jimmy Carter?  Well,
then, who?  Woodrow Wilson?  Thomas Jefferson?  Millard Fillmore?  I know
most of these names don't have much relevance to many of you high school
graduates.  How about Andy Jackson?  Definitely.  Teddy Roosevelt would
have loved it.  Beyond that, I don't see much right stuff.  FDR probably
would have charmed the pants off of his captors.  No doubt they wouldn't
even have realized he was in a wheelchair.  Zac hary Taylor?  Maybe. 
Lincoln?  What would Lincoln have done?  Nixon?  No need.  He had his own
goon squad.  Reagan?  Come on.  Oliver North hijacked his whole
administration and he never noticed he was missing.  John Adams would be
my candidate.  I know just the actor to play him, too.  John Thaw, the
British actor who stars as whiny Inspector Morse in the PBS Mystery
series.  He is so good.  The actor who plays Maigret, Michael Gambon
(correction please) would have been good, too.  (If this sounds far
fetched, remember that Adams, like our five other first presidents, was a
member and leader of a terrorist organization: the Continental Congress,
and even helped write its manifesto: The Declaration of Independence.  He
was the Che of his day.  Or was that Jefferson?)  Naturally, my movie
protagonist would not have to be Adams.  It could be a modern president
with his characteristics:  short, fat, balding, stuffy, intellectual.  But
then, I suppose the idea of having a movie in which real actors play real
people is the real summer fantasy. 


	"Now we shall eat bread like Americans.  We shall have one goat
for one person.  Even one cow for one person, like America!  We shall be
very full -- like Mike Tyson!"  -- Jeff Ngazi N'sila Lissa, following
Laurent Kabila's overthrow of Mobuto in Kinshasa; NY Times, Issue 50,809.