Friday, June 01, 2007

FINDING HIS LEVEL. Jonah Goldberg on Fred Thompson:
And Fred Thompson just seems so darn competent. Whether he’s the ideal president or just plays one on TV remains to be seen. He’s certainly typecast himself as the cocksure, wise, hands-on type in almost every movie role he’s had and as the district attorney on Law & Order...

We don’t know the man very well, but we know the character. And as long as he stays in character, it’s unlikely his ratings will drop anytime soon.
When I read this it struck me: Though Goldberg the Public Intellectual is by now a widespread joke, the guy has real promise as a copywriter. The prose is imbecilic, yes, but purposefully imbecilic -- like the yammerings of a carnival barker or the mumblings of a priest who walks condemned prisoners down the Last Mile, it overrides thought and keeps the line moving.

While an obvious embarrassment to the pages of an allegedly serious political journal, it could serve with real distinction as copy for a Thompson pamphlet handed out at fairgrounds, or as the speech with which some local alderman introduces Hollywood Fred at a Kiwanis dinner. Trust me, in my twenty years of paid freelance hackery, I've done much worse.

The thought makes me almost sorry for the guy. I imagine it was the desire of his mother, a down-and-dirty political operative, to see her son rise to a station grander than her own, that forced Golderg into his current role, to which he is clearly unsuited. Perhaps, while pretending to take notes at National Review meetings, he dreams of a life he should have had, churning out cracker-jack copy for cryptofascists, then running out and knocking over mailboxes!

On second thought, if you put Goldberg out in a meadow with a bell around his neck it would probably not alter his level of contentment.

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