Oh, Jessica, I wanted so much more
Jessica Cutler, oh how I loved thee, let me count the ways. Prior to reading JC’s book, The Washingtonienne, I was quite confident that if she and I ever grabbed a drink together, we’d be BFF. I find something so refreshing about people who love themselves enough to be cognizant of their flaws and yet embrace them at the same time. The sluts who love being sluts because sex is fun and has many benefits. The bitches who love being bitches because it allows them to get more shit done than your average passive aggressive.
So on my plane ride from Washington, D.C. to the buckle of the Bible belt, I was quite disappointed to learn that everyone’s favorite slut bag is as uninspired as your average DC intern. And, it still hurts.
She is vapid. Heartbreakingly vapid. Her 291 page novel proves to be nothing but a laundry list of regretted choices and over-the-top behavior for the sake of excess. I suppose it is my fault because I pictured something else. I pictured the female Valmont of Les Liaisons Dangereuses or Dangerous Liaisons or Valmont or Cruel Intentions…the idea that a character would be self-admittedly “bad” but have few regrets because he or she cared little for social convention and in fact abhorred it altogether. But that’s not our JC. She rebelled to be rebellious, not because it’s what she believed. And that’s just as boring as anything else, whether or not she’d snort coke off a dick.
There are a couple of really sad moments. I would like to ask JC if it was her publisher that pushed redemptive themes into the novel. The blaming her noncommittal behavior on her mother (SNOOZE, pg. 229) or realizing due to a few sessions in therapy that she’s acting out due to depression and dysthymia, not true self-awareness (DOUBLE SNOOZE, pg 259).
Do you know what makes a novel good? It lets you glimpse something you could never see before—so far beyond your sphere, your touch, your experience. And, particularly, novels with political themes set you up for something incredible. While I was thinking The Washingtonienne would be Primary Colors meets Sex and the City, all I got was Primary Thinking meets Sex in the Pooper…and I couldn’t give less of shit, if you will.
Maybe I should blame it on JC being a Taurus. I have had many important Taurus folk in my life, and they are all so goddamn self-loathing and narcissistic that you can only take it in small doses. This novel is exactly that—JC tries to love everything about herself, but all you get is a repentant coward who may have the cojones to take it up the ass in a boardroom, but she doesn’t have the courage to really look at anything more than the societal niceties of my mother fucked me up and I really, really want to be in love (SNOOOOOZE, pg. 291). And, I quote: “Because as much as I hated those desperate women who chased after love, I finally had to admit that I was one of them. But then, that’s just between us girls.”
HOLY FUCKING JESUS, yes, she said that. As if it’s not hard enough to be happy to just be who you are, you had to want to be in love to be a normal girl, even the cum sucking, ass fucking, snorting coke off dicks republican intern won’t just be happy that she can do what she wants. But, that’s just it, she doesn’t do what she wants. She does what she thinks is SHOCKING, what people don’t think she should do. Free will my ass.
See, I can sympathize with her. When I am real drunk, I like to look at who I am around and think of the most destructive, inappropriate thing possible and then say it. Not because it serves any purpose or is something clever or worth remembering, but because at heart I am a drunk teenager who wants to shock me, shock me and shock me. Fucking pathetic. And it breaks my heart because my heart was set on JC being so much more.
Little insight, little reflection makes Jessica Cutler a dull girl. She did nothing with nothing…maybe I shouldn’t blame her for that self-fulfilling prophesy.
God, I just wanted her to own it. To look deep within and see she was in control. She loved her life and was making choices according to a self-awareness that is evaluative and true. In DC’s endless blasé she was a spark that took DC’s power scene for a ride.
But she didn’t. She fucked some guys. Some Cap Hill guys. It’s pathetic on both sides. Just as JC didn’t play them for much more than your minimal K street hooker, these gents let her command much more than she was worth. JC’s fame is more indicative of how pathetic DC really is—that this moderately intelligent, moderately attractive girl could get everyone’s panties in a wad.
After reading this book, I felt embarrassed for everyone involved and particularly, those people like me who thought Jessica was more than just your average slut.