Monday, August 16, 2004

Washingtonienne Won't Die

Steve Gilliard has a post up about Jessica Cutler, a.k.a. Washingtonienne, How to be sad and pathetic without even trying, that isn't very useful. I tried to post this in his comments, but Blogger's not being helpful this morning:

In order to be punished, you have to have some sort of sense of right and wrong, of fairness and unfairness. She doesn’t. She’s not being punished, because there’s nothing that she’s getting that she doesn’t want and that she hasn’t wanted all along. Her tenure in the offices on Capitol Hill is a footnote. She never had political ambitions, or at least not serious ones:

"I HAVE A 'GLAMOUR JOB' ON THE HILL. That is, I could not care less about gov or politics, but working for a Senator looks good on my resume. And these marble hallways are such great places for meeting boys and showing off my outfits."

This is Jessica's very first blog entry, posted at 5:32 p.m. on Wednesday, May 5.
She wanted attention and presents. She got them. And she wasn’t slapped down for wanting them, she was slapped down for not being sufficiently discreet about it.
As for herself, she tries to look on the bright side. "I was only blogging for, what, less than two weeks?" she says. "Some people with blogs are never going to get famous, and they've been doing it for, like, over a year. I feel bad for them."

Now she’s got reporters following her around, asking her for interviews. Publishers are offering book contracts. Playboy is taking her picture. She’s become infamous, but all that matters is the “famous” part. Some of us may cluck our tongues and shake our heads, but what registers for her is that still more people are telling her how pretty she is and offering her bigger and better things than political wonks ever could. She’s enjoying the fifteen minutes, and we’ll be treated to many attempts to extend them into something more substantial.

She’ll show up on TV, probably participating in some reality series, maybe even hosting one, and when people ask why they should know her, they’ll just be told that she had some affair with some politician or something. (Monica Lewinsky hosted one of those things, for God’s sake.) She’ll even become a feminist icon in some small circles, celebrated as a martyr for being punished by the patriarchy for embracing her sexuality for her own pleasure and purposes. The thing is, you can say anything you want about her, but she’s pure Teflon; nothing sticks.
There are certain shades of limelight that can ruin a girl's complexion," she says, quoting the book she read in high school. [Breakfast at Tiffany’s] "That's how I feel. Can't get a job. Can't get a boyfriend. And this did ruin my complexion because I'm dehydrated."

While Jessica was on a recent stroll with girlfriends, some guy recognized her and yelled, "Hey, Washingtonienne." That was kind of cool. In bars, men ask her if she's Jessica Cutler, then give her their business cards and tell her to call.

Jessica has an agent. She's busy writing her novel. "It's kind of 'The Devil Wears Prada,' only set in Washington," she says. "I can't say how it turns out because my agent would kill me.

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