I think we can all agree that these are terrible times. I react by muting the screen whenever Trump appears, but that reflex, although necessary for survival, gives little positive gratification. It simply reduces the pain. Into my blighted life has come a savior, a reliable source of pleasure, an analgesic for the aches of the spirit. His name is Michael Avenatti, the attorney for Stephanie Clifford, also known as Stormy Daniels, the very first porn star to become a media darling. [To be sure, when I was an undergraduate at Harvard, an enterprising member of the football team brought an Old Howard burlesque queen to dinner one evening, but her act would not even get an R rating today. Times have changed.]
In Avennati's first media appearance, he claimed to be working pro bono for Ms Clifford, and I have been wondering ever since who is paying his bills. Today, I learned the answer: crowdsourcing. If you will go to this website, you can watch the money roll in from around the world in ten, twenty, or even five dollar increments. As I write these words, the amount raised stands at $474,095. Earlier this morning, when I first checked the site, the amount was in the high $472 thousands. I gather that during one of Avennati's cable news appearances, one can watched the counter tick upwards steadily.
I am old enough to remember when black and white TV sets were a rarity, and I tend, like most old men, to insist grumpily that things were better in the old days. But this phenomenon is unsettling that conviction. [whoops, the total just went up to $474,145.]