Friday, July 17

More Buttery Goodness

• I don't check in on Slate's now-spun-off-or-something Double X very often. Here's why:

Tina Brown's Clinton Chronicles
Posted: July 17, 2009 at 8:00 AM By Sara Mosle

Jess, Emily and Dayo, I saw Tina Brown's column on Hillary through a slightly different lens. Brown is writing The Clinton Chronicles, a book about Hillary and Bill, reportedly due out in 2010. The subject makes sense after Brown's terrific, dishy bio of Lady Di. The Clintons, after all, are our messy royalty. (The book deal was announced in January 2008, back when it must have seemed like Hillary would still be crowned our next Commander in Chief.)

Look, Sister: we threw the fucking royals out of this country in 1783; you, and everyone else who imagines this as a sadly missed opportunity to revel in the glittering excesses of Prince This and Her Royal Swellness That are strongly urged to move to the British Isles and help support the World's Oldest Operating Human Inbreeding Experiment. Or shut th' fuck up about it. You, by the way, matriculated at Oxon. Why did you ever leave?

Like tens, maybe hundreds of millions of Americans, I don't give a fuck about the Clinton's personal lives, and, like billions worldwide, I think one of the few things worse than Tina Brown's habitual oxygen use is the people who write about her like she was something to write about. And whether or not anyone else agrees with me I maintain that the most generous appraisal of people who remain obsessed with Bill Clinton's dick, Hillary Clinton's mouth, or That Spencer Dame, or who, in mid-2009, anticipate, let alone welcome, yet another book about any or all of them, are emotionally crippled, mentally incompetent, or, most likely, both.

By the way, Just Who Is It to whom it must have seemed, in January '08, that Clinton would be "crowned" (stop it!) Commander-in-Chief? People to whom Gallup polls and Maureen Dowd columns have predictive value? That shouldn't include Tina Brown, at least not if she had half the brains some people ascribe to her. Though in that case she wouldn't have started Another Fucking Clinton Book at all, would she? I'm going to climb out on a limb here to say that, even had Hillary Clinton been anointed Grand Military Parade Reviewing Poo-bah as expected by dozens, the taste for Tales of Clinton Reproductive Systems and Endless Need For Power would have proven close to satiety thanks to the four million titles already in print.

And while we're at it, could you pack up "Commander-in-Chief" and take it with you when you leave for Blighty? Maybe they'd like to bestow it posthumously on Mongomery.

• Speaking of Clinton Obsessives, consider one Christopher Hitchens. He comes to this country as a Euro-Trotskyite, which, unless it be followed by "and awesome guitar shredder" is not generally a path to riches and fame. For whatever reason, Hitchens appears to have conflated the American "liberal" party with European Social Democrats, perhaps justifiably, but at the same time he seems to become convinced that American "conservatives" are the sort of eccentric but basically harmless inbreeds on display in Kind Hearts and Coronets, rather than full-on raging religious psychopaths. He disgraces himself in L'Affair Blumenthal (in case the genuine crimes of the intervening years have clouded your memory: Hitchens swore in a deposition to the Republican impeachment managers that his friend Sidney Blumenthal had described Monica Lewinsky as "a stalker" while the two were at luncheon, in contravention of Blumenthal's sworn testimony. The Empire tottered, but did not Fall), something all too familiar to the disciples of Johnnie Walker, before discovering that, in fact, it was nearly impossible in late 20th Century America to disgrace oneself at all, certainly to the extent that there wasn't someone around to front you some big money in appreciation. Nine Eleven must've looked to Hitchens like the Golden Calf had twinned. Religious fascism was a venerable target; the Taliban, and then Saddam Hussein, would fall easily; America was in full-throated roar, and his newfound "Conservative" benefactors were the new permanent majority.

He was fortunate or canny in his choice of surroundings, since the Slate war toads were also in full croak, and since they, unlike he, would jump the minute the waters got rough, and the teevee monkeys were, well, monkeys. Though what this cost Hitchens in Ego or Liver function we cannot know. Still, the law of diminishing returns got him, even if the easy allure of denouncing Bush as the agent of your own failure did not *; the last time I bothered to read one of his defenses of Our Iraq Adventure it seemed little more than gibberish.

If I succumbed to yesterday's headline, "Did We Take a Wrong Turn in Afghanistan?" it wasn't with any false hopes, just the sort of primate curiosity that makes you open that baggie of forgotten, uncooked tilapia before you run it to the trash. The Wrong Turn in Question, of course, being our mismanaged attempts at nation-building, not everything that has occurred since our surrogates took Kabul and/or we ran out of #2 al-Qaeda lieutenants to waterboard.
I haven't been in Afghanistan for some little time, but it is getting harder to avoid the impression that some kind of wrong turn was made quite a long way back on the road. Or perhaps a series of wrong turns—at any rate, some combination of losing the "drug war"; over-relying on airstrikes that frightened and harmed the civilian population; ceding many border zones to the Taliban and their Pakistani backers; and failing to check corruption, jobbery, and apathy in the ministries of the Hamid Karzai government, which is now slouching toward a re-election that seems to inspire nobody in particular.

Now, maybe it's just me, but if so could someone please explain Why th' fuck anyone would have expected anything different? We've been at this sort of thing since the Maine blew up, and it's never turned out differently.

• Carl Brizzi, the Marion County Prosecutor who remains incognito in news reports when this sort of thing happens, will not be pressing charges on the couple arrested late last Friday in the Arby's drive-up line after a fast-food worker smelled the odor of marihuana and called 911. The couple's 19-month-old son--described by the teevee hairdos as "one year old"--was in the back seat, prompting initial charges of felony child neglect in addition to possession. However, the search was from Queer Street, apparently--no one's really explaining much, though they were really, really interested in the story when it broke--the neglect charge wasn't met, and the amount of weed was "small".

Now, a couple things, kids: don't smoke pot in a moving vehicle: you'll drop a goddam roach or exploding seed onto the upholstery every fucking time. And don't smoke anything around children; they're already crazy enough. And if you work the late-night window at Arby's, fill the fucking order and shut up.

But mostly, if you're a crusading moralizer and professional teleprompter near-reader, do us all a favor and stop to consider: a contact high for a nineteen-month-old child is a potential felony, but taking the little snot-nosed screamer inside and feeding him that crap is considered perfectly acceptable parenting. This stuff has to stop somewhere; why not with you?
* Read, or don't, his denunciation of magical thinking as a cleverer version of Bush Let Me Down; if he were actually cleverer it wouldn't be necessary.


R. Porrofatto said...

Aside from the lunatic obsession, what on earth is the marketing rationale for yet more Clintonalia? In an age where even the NY Times writes entire articles on B&H's sex life as campaign wonk, is there still milk in that cash cow's dessicated dugs? Will Brown uncover a surprising new distinguishing characteristic of Clinton's penis that will cause the the TV hairheads to gush and burble and rocket her tome onto the bestseller lists? Is there actual money in this?

With such madness, the sloppy boozer and the kiddie contact high, methinks your hodgepodge has method t'it.

Jaye Ramsey Sutter said...

I like Bill and Hillary and I don't give a rat's ass if they both have carnal knowledge of a McCormick reaper (to quote Gore Vidal's The Best Man.) The problem with the Clintons as far as Washington, D.C. is concerned is "They are not our kind, dear." Well, la de fucking da. I don't give a shit. I love them both and the rest of that company town can kiss my white trash ass. Have you ever really liked anyone that Washington did like?

Porlock Junior said...

Ratting out a couple smoking a joint at Arby's? Lemme tell ya about the real thing, Mill Valley KFC.

Seems a guy went got his meal at the Kentucky Fried drive-through one evening in our nice woodsy town, got to his destination, took out the stuff he had ordered, looked for the extra biscuits he had ordered, and found a nice little bag of weed.

I'm afraid that instead of just happily smoking it, he reported it to the cops, who broke up a dangerous gang that was using KFC as a distribution point, with that little-ordered delicacy "extra biscuits" as a code word.

guitarist manqué said...

One small anachronism DH, kids these days have never seen a seed and can't roll very well so they've got no roaches to drop. You'd need to work in the hand-blown multi-colored glass pipe.

I've IDed most of your icons, even Pynchon, but who is the guy with the seaweed?

Anonymous said...

pynchon's the one warming his underbelly right?


mndean said...

Well, in Tina Brown's defense I can categorically state that she only started the deterioration of the New Yorker. It took other, more skilled hands to derail it into a strange curio I can't stand reading in toto anymore. It's like a Vanity Fair without so many celeb pics. I never thought anyone could really make me miss William Shawn, but she made me miss even Bob Gottlieb.