OKAY, so I've been reading Wonkette's new novel, Dog Days, and so far I like it pretty well. I was never a cute Washington woman having an affair with a major cable pundit, but I did work in a Presidential campaign (Gore, '88) and much of that stuff rings true. The reviews say that the characterization is thin, and it is, but that may be to illustrate a point: What strikes me so far is that the strongest relationships the characters have are not with each other, but with their electronics: Their laptops, their TiVos, their Blackberries (especially their BlackBerries), etc. Is that contrived? I don't know. I was talking on the phone today to an attractive 20-something publishing PR woman who's pretty close to the demographic of the novel's main character, and she exclaimed: "My laptop is like my lover! I couldn't imagine living without it!"
Then again, maybe that attitude is explained by this passage: "During an election year, D.C.'s standards of attractiveness -- already graded on a generous curve -- tracked to availability and not physical beauty. It's like the Special Olympics of sex, Melanie thought. Everyone's a winner!"
Unlike the lovers, the laptops get better every year . . . .
UPDATE: And the entire Plame affair is explained by this passage:
"Is it plausible, though?" Melanie twirled a strand of hair, examined it for split ends. "I mean, anything this hot, would there be talk floating around by now?"
"Yes and no." Julie took on the aspect of a schoolteacher, her syllables clear and slow. "You have to remember, no one here will ever admit that they don't know something. It's considered a major faux pas to admit to being uninformed. You tell anyone here the hottest, freshest gossip you have and only the most green intern will say that it's news. Everyone else is all 'Oh, right, I heard that, too.'"
Heh. Meanwhile, Wonkette has already got a second book under contract.