Research for my hagiography-in-progress of Eliot Spitzer continued last night with a screening of Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer, a companion piece to The Inside Job, which I blogged about in an earlier post. Regardless of its sensational title, Client 9 isn’t really about hookers and the politicians who love them. It’s about the worms at the heart of the recent financial crisis, which is now clearly as much of a scandal as it is a crisis, and one man’s crusade to try to eradicate those heartworms.
Spitzer ferreted out the corruption at AIG early on, forcing the ouster of the execrable Hank Greenberg. It would seem from Client 9’s narrative and timeline that this began the process of Spitzer’s own demise at the hands of a cabal of venal old Wall Street and Albany Repubes, who are so unbelievably American Gargoyle that if I cast them in a fictional film about themselves, I would be hauled up by critics for not understanding the nuances of performance, for having brought to the screen unbelievably contrived, Silent Era performativity of nefariousness.
I cannot describe in a blog such as this, which aspires to be as light and fluffy as a Galliano tulle ball gown, just how hamfistedly Machiavellian, how egregiously mendacious, how plain physically repulsive these crotchety codgers are. You just have to see it yourself. As for their minions … my landlady, the Wicked Blais, would be envious.
The hero himself admits right from the start that it was hubris that brought him down. He compares himself to Icarus. This is no delusional Charlie Sheen narcissist, nor does he possess that most nauseating of personality traits, false humility. For a man like this — brilliant, successful beyond most people’s wildest aspirations, did I mention sexy? — to own his hubris is humility enough.