Thursday, June 3, 2010

Coffee With Tipper Gore

Tipper Gore and I first began seeing each other in the mid-80s after I was the only major music journalist in America to endorse the Parents Music Resource Center. Even though I thought their name needed a lot of work, I — who’d become a dad myself mere months before — honestly believed it perfectly reasonable that potentially objectionable music should be labeled. I wrote a column to that effect in Creem, America’s only rock and roll magazine that billed itself as such, and Tipper wrote me a letter thanking me for my support. I’d have been more impressed if she’d written it by hand on posh official stationery of some sort, rather than printed it out on a primitive mid-80s printer, but was grateful nonetheless.

Thinking they’d publish it in the Letters to the Editor section, the boys at Creem marked up the original, and that rather pissed me off. Would it have taken them more than nine seconds to make a photocopy? My blood really came to a boil after Al was elected vice president three years later, as I imagined that the letter in its pristine form might have been worth countless tens of thousands to a collector. There was no eBay yet, at least that I knew of. I don’t think there was even an Internet.

When Tipper and Al and the kids visited San Francisco for a family vacation in June 1991 (some place for a family vacation, what with homosexuals brazenly sodomizing each other right out in the street, but judge not lest ye be judged, and it wasn’t as though I wasn’t raising my own daughter there, albeit in the sleepy, fog-shrouded Sunset, where nearly everyone was heterosexual and Chinese), Tipper phoned to ask if I might enjoy meeting for “coffee”. I was in a committed relationship with the koala keeper at the San Francisco Zoo, but my thinking was that if she could spend a weekend with Jon Bon Jovi, I could have “coffee” with Tipper Gore. Her nickname notwithstanding, I never saw her leave a server more than 15 percent, and it was commonly closer to 10.

She wasn’t really my type. You have read here many times that, while most of my friends have thought in terms of debauching large-breasted cheerleaders with dimples, I have traditionally wanted my gals pre-debauched-looking, without dimples, but with lavish eyeliner. Tip, as she encouraged me to call her, positively exuded wholesomeness. She reminded me of the sort of girl back at Santa Monica High School who was forever whining at you about your deficient “school spirit.” But she was a little hellion in the sack, and for the next couple of decades, we enjoyed long afternoons of joyful depravity together whenever we could sneak a few hours in each other’s cities.

She confided, during the 2000 presidential campaign, that Al was every bit as boring as he appeared, but good-hearted, and I’d have voted for him if it hadn’t been quite fashionable at the time to vote instead for Ralph Nader. After the Supreme Court installed George W. Bush as president, Al apparently staved off despair by hurling himself body and soul into researching and writing about climate change, and I began seeing more of the lonely Tip, at least until I relocated to the outskirts of London in mid-2002. She was beside herself with jealousy, though she’d made clear she had no intention of ever leaving Al publicly, and railed at me like a woman scorned in a succession of emails I am considering publishing in an ebook, but not until you’ve bought more of the already-published ones, depicted above. She began seeing an aide to the Undersecretary of Health, Education, and Welfare — a much younger man — and wrote me emails in which she reveled, to make me jealous, in how he didn’t yet have a single furrow in his forehead, and how virile he was.

I suspect that by now, what with the social problems that our country faces, her handsome young aide’s brow is no longer so pristine, his testes so prolific. I wonder what part he played in her and Al’s breakup. In any event, I wish them the best, every one, even Ralph Nader. I am not now, nor have I ever been, Chinese.

[Many of my books are now available for download from Amazon. They include The Total Babe & Other Wine Country Yarns, Lentils on the Moon (aka A Message From Jesus in Braille, aka A History of the Jews in the Hudson Valley, Self-Loathing: An Owner's Manual, Third World USA, The Mona Lisa's Brother, and, for baseball nuts, Foul Balls and Alpha Males. You need neither a Kindle nor an iPad to enjoy 'em; simply download (free) Kindle software for either Mac or Windows, and enjoy them on your laptop or other computer!]

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