WELL, that's settled. Maureen Dowd does write her own headlines.
Correction: That should read Pulitzer Prize-winning author Maureen Dowd writes her own headlines.
Okay, look: we are so far beyond the point of saying Dowd is a worthless gibberer with the taste and consistency of wet cardboard that I've lost track of what exponent goes with "cliché" when describing the sentiment. I believe we may even be beyond the point of wondering whether the language of Shakespeare, Swift, and Raymond Chandler is sufficient to do her real justice, and we know the psychiatric literature avails us nothing. I believe all that's left us is to wonder how many dead hookers and live donkeys there are in her blackmail photo files. We already know it's not enough.
While we're at it someone might want to consider whether there's some set of numbers between the natural and the integers, since without occupying negative space Dowd manages to crawl under Zero on a regular basis, with room to spare, even as we reset Zero to accommodate her previous efforts. Go take a look at her freaking archive. The last time she wrote a column about anything other than Hillary Clinton was thirty-eight days ago, that one being a Thanks for breaking the story! post-mortem of the Giuliani campaign--a campaign she'd covered in a single column to that point--that mentioned "Clinton" nearly as often as "Rudy". Is there another columnist anywhere with that sort of record? Is there anyone who's been so completely left in the dust by this internets thing? The worst Clinton-bashing bloggers I know occasionally write about something else--even if they seem to share the notion that Senator Clinton ought to avoid saying anything that supports her own candidacy--and they turn out copy every day, and no innocent trees die in the process. The woman is the Taco Bell of columnists, except some people actually swallow Taco Bell's stuff. Today's combination of beans, cheese, and roadkill skunk begins:
Some women in their 30s, 40s and early-50s who favor Barack Obama have a phrase to describe what they don’t like about Hillary Clinton: Shoulder-pad feminism.
Go ahead. Google it and find out how many of them aren't Maureen Dowd.
They feel that women have moved past that men-are-pigs, woe-is-me, sisters-must-stick-together, pantsuits-are-powerful era that Hillary’s campaign has lately revived with a vengeance.
Can't wait 'til "They" start callin' 'em "Mustache Petes".
Look, I'm sorry for quoting her once, let alone twice. But, one, MoDo and I are the same age. (Actually, she's two years older but looks much better, because I've spent forty-some years trying to do Math and she doesn't have to bother.) I have no idea what she was doing in the early Seventies, but I was trying to nail Feminists, which gives me a certain species of expertise in the matter. Surprisingly few of them thought I was a pig, though fewer still let me in their pantsuits. In fact, I don't remember any of them actually wearing pantsuits (which I suspect may just be anti-Hillary invective), or Zoot suits, or bustles. I think it was mostly jeans and dresses. You know, like normal people when they aren't dressing for something. I don't recall any of them demeaning entire classes of people by connecting them with some twenty-years-out-of-date fashion trend, Junior-high style, either.
I don't recall any woe, either, beyond the natural if buoyant gloominess that comes from being in your early twenties and taking a hard look at your world and your culture. Au-fucking-contraire; what I recall was a spirited determination to Call This White European Male Shit out, and an optimistic sense that a rotten structure would crumble from common sense resistance, and that any shoring up it received on the Times' Op-Ed pages from hopeless misogynists would come from men. Ah, youth.
It's bad enough that valuable Times real estate is given over to Dowd so she can work out her personal problems. But it's beyond forgivable that those problems center on the six years following and two years before the first appearance of pubic hair.
Dowd knows better, but the loss of one's mind is an absolute excuse (as well as a good excuse to stop publishing). But if any of "today's Feminists" are tempted to judge their predecessors according to hairstyle let them hang their heads in shame. The Seventies are not exactly running neck-and-neck with the Icelandic Sagas in the Mists of Time race. The evidence of how (much more) bigoted society was against women a generation ago is all around you. It still has the power to astound me, and I lived through it the first time. And the idea that we've somehow transcended it for all time, along with whalebone stays and shag carpeting, is repudiated regularly. On the pages of the goddam New York Times.