One thing I bet the [Clinton's] book won't say is, "I was wrong. I'm sorry." For eight years, he felt everything... except for guilt. But why should he? In our therapeutic society, "guilt" has become a dirty word.
Now, I don't want to get off on a rant here, but guilt is simply God's way of letting you know that you're having too good a time.
In the elaborate wardrobe of human emotions, guilt is the itchy wool turtleneck that's three sizes too small. Guilt may be difficult to articulate, but when it surfaces, it's as unwelcome and distinct as Jethro Bodine in the lobby of an Ian Shraeger hotel.
What is guilt? Guilt is the pledge drive constantly hammering in our heads that keeps us from fully enjoying the show. Guilt is the reason they put the articles in Playboy.
Some experience guilt as the voice of their better natures, while for others, it's the voice of an authority figure like a parent or a teacher. For me, the voice of guilt, interestingly enough, is Jimmie Walker with a slight head cold.
Contributing our recurrent feelings of guilt is the fact that, in our day-to-day lives, we consistently overcommit ourselves, so there is always something we're failing to do. The average American's dayplanner has fewer holes in it than Ray Charles's dartboard. It's gotten to the point where I don't even have time to feel guilty, unless I multi-task by also using that time to feel vaguely lackadaisical and kind of twitchy.
It's harder to hide guilt than it is to hide an order of bananas flambee from Al Roker when he's wearing infrared goggles. And I think the reason is, people secretly want to be caught, chastised and punished, in order to subconsciously prove to themselves that there is indeed an order to the universe that transcends their flawed, limited selves -- or at least, so you can pull down a cool million spouting that line of bullshit in the book you're plugging on "Oprah."
There are many different types of guilt: healthy guilt, unhealthy guilt, Catholic guilt, and, of course, the newest entry, Condit guilt... Representative Gary Condit is a good example of a person who should be racked with guilt about impeding the investigation of a missing woman. But he is somehow able to speed by the photographers with a smile so big, you would think he was attending his movie premiere at Mann's Chinese Theater. Hey, Gary, make sure to keep that smile on down there when Mephistopheles is rammin' that pitchfork handle up your ass for the rest of eternity.
Ironically, guilt is most likely to visit the people who deserve it the least. Trust me, the only thing that keeps Slobodan Milosevic awake at night is puzzlement over why nobody's nominating him for sainthood, but I can't look at my dog Mr. Tingles without cringing at the time two years ago, when I accidentally stepped on his tail just as he was leaping at a Frisbee, and he screamed like a Backstreet Boy taking a polo mallet to the nuts.
There are some people so predisposed to guilt, when they're born, the first thing that comes out of their mouth after being slapped by the doctor is "Harder! Harder!"
I still feel pangs of remorse over an insidious habit I've had since I was a teenager. About three times a week, I attend estate auctions and make insulting, lowball bids for prized heirlooms until I'm asked to leave. Point me to the shower, I'm a baaaaaad man.
Many people feel guilty about masturbating. I celebrate it. I say, "Harder! Harder!" What's there to feel guilty about? It's a natural way to relieve stress. Okay, maybe not when someone cuts in front of you in line at the supermarket, but certainly when you get back out to your car.
I've actually written a book about guilt, entitled "Fuck You, I'm Sorry."
Hey, for a long time, I felt tremendously guilty about things that were not in any way my fault, but with the help of an excellent therapist, I have finally accepted that there are things beyond my control. Now I simply breathe deep, release them into the cosmos, and move on. Poverty in distant lands, injustices that were committed long before I was born, that brand new Mercedes that I rammed repeatedly while trying to wedge my massive, gas-guzzling SUV into a handicapped parking space - Dennis just can't be held responsible for the entire world.
Invented by religion, enforced by the state, and cashed in on by the psychiatric community, guilt is what keeps society from completely unraveling. Yet our culture is rife with politically correct apologists telling us to let go of the shame that binds us, and to treat our mistakes as learning experiences that we have to "heal" from and "put behind us" as quickly as we can. Well, that's just bullshit. If you do something wrong, you should feel guilty about it. Guilt is the pruning shears that society developed to prevent you from growing into an even bigger asshole than you already are. Sorry, I feel bad that I said that.
Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.