"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 18 September 1998. Updated every WEEKDAY.






On the question of perjury, the cigar was probably the best thing that ever happened to our two Starr-cross'd lovers. The cigar is a symbol, undeniably, of something too funny, too absurd to be taken seriously, of an act that escapes any definition of "sexual relations" yet devised, but most important, of an ultimate token of affection passed from one lover to another, a fetid smoke signal of intimacy foiled by fate. In short, a symbol of a beautiful, tragic love that was destined not to be.

On the question of their love, whose heart cannot break in sympathy? To think, long before Monica Lewinsky became a pinup in Kenneth Starr's locker, these two crazy kids had said their farewells, knowing that theirs was a passion the world (and White House staff) could never abide. Which makes the headlines of the past eight months a cruel reminder, and the Starr report's persecutorial narrative the unkindest cut. We believe it can be different, that beauty rather than ugliness can be found in this tale, that a little tenderness can be found where others might only seek DNA evidence, that the stirring words of these besieged sweethearts can inspire a nation to open their hearts, their trousers, and maybe, just maybe, even their wallets. In short, we propose a symbol of beautiful, tragic sentiment for the 21st century: Starrmark Cards.

Next ... Close your eyes.

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