like Maine or Virginia, but it sure beats being in the joint. I wanted to stop my cruise blogging to comment on today's release of Martha Stewart from jail.
She's out, run for your lives!
It's kind of like the old Godzilla movies, where the monster starts stalking Tokyo and you see all the people staring with their mouths open and then running in terror (but of course the screams never matched the mouth movement). Martha boarded a private jet in West Virginia today and winged her way back to her New York mansion, where I'm sure everything was PERFECT.
Of course, now Martha has to start house arrest for the next five months, but she can receive her $900,000 a year salary, can work 48 hours a week, and can waltz around the house, which she bought for $16 million in 2000. Today she ran around with her horses.
While in home confinement, Martha can also entertain colleagues, neighbors, friends and relatives - as long as they're not criminals. Convicted felons aren't allowed to consort with other convicted felons.
Did we forget that? Martha was convicted of a felony, of obstructing justice and lying to the U.S. government about her shenanigans involving the sale of ImClone stock. And did we forget that her perfect highness was once a stock trader herself?
But now, the media predictions are that she will step in crap and come out smelling like a perfect tea rose cut from her immaculate garden. Why? Because she has two TV shows (including a new version of "The Apprentice" on NBC) and her multi-billion dollar housewares and clothing empire to run. And she still faces an SEC hearing on her ability to run a publicly traded company.
But isn't her story uniquely American? Michael Milken bilks people in junk bonds and he gets a light prison sentence and rebuilds himself; Bill Clinton gets some head from an intern in the White House, and now he's an author, a heart by-pass survivor and is co-leading Tsunami relief; this writer does his best to screw up his life, and yet is forgiven and redeemed. So there's hope for Martha, too.
Maybe prison was a little humbling for her. Maybe she realizes how fleeting prosperity and riches can be. In her statement after getting out of the joint, Martha echoed Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, saying "there's no place like home."
I personally like Oscar winner Morgan Freeman's statement in The Shawshank Redemption: "Everybody's innocent in here; didn't you know that?"
Maybe Martha has learned something. Or maybe she's putting a happy face on the same stone-cold opportunist she was when she went to prison. Let's hope not.