Friday, June 11, 2010

HE HASN'T CHANGED A BIT. Emerging from the Vale of Old Matchbooks: Jim Lileks! How I've missed him! What's up, Jimbo?
My nine-year-old daughter looked at the front page of the paper, and her eyes grew wide:
The president said “ass”?
What th-- he's actually doing this? The President swore in front of my widdle girl? It's like the Clenis, only PG!

Also, Gnat managed to make it to nine without running off to join a gang? She has guts; must get 'em from her mother.
She swallowed the A-word, because it is, after all, the A-word.
My admiration for Miss Lileks' nerve grows by the minute. What a picnic is must be at that house. Swallow your ass, young lady! Boy, when she gets to Bryn Mawr the fur, so to speak, is gonna fly.
I nodded; he said that. She was silent for a while, digesting the information. Presidents, after all, are part of the great Pantheon of Authority, standing over the school principal, teachers, the pastor, police, and perhaps the mailman. To consider them using bad words reordered everything.
"Where were you when the President said the A-word?" asks Mike Huckabee, roaming the audience with a microphone as the super reads A-DAY: THE END OF THE INNOCENCE.
Barack Obama is probably the last guy you’d think would introduce “ass” into the mainstream political discourse. It’s like Spock announcing he wants to “knock boots” — a expression both crude and banal coming from someone renowned for dispassionate cool.
Well, Jimbo, Obama was working from the original Harlan Ellison script, before that bastard Roddenberry softened it up*. Does that make it easier for you to understand?
But the idea that the president should confine himself to polite terminology is one of those antiquated chocks that prohibit true, honest expression, and if the post-Boomer culture has taught us any-effin-thing, it’s that authentic people use earthy language, authentically, and only the spats-and-monocle crowd blah blah blah
Oh no, Jimbo -- surely not the beatnilks-dirtied-up-my-TV routine again? Alas, it is: And you can read the rest to find out how the beats, led by Barack Obama, Bill Maher, and Helen Thomas, destroyed civility -- and, even worse, impeded traffic:
The hero isn’t the man who invents the traffic signal, it’s Ratso Rizzo who crosses against the light, bangs on a hood of a car that dares to nose into the intersection, and yells “I’m walkin’ here!”
Just for reference:

If you've ever laughed appreciatively at Ratso's reaction, in Lileks' world, you are Ratso, one of those 70s New York skels whom he fears will crawl out of his home entertainment center at night and Death Wish his family. That's why he keeps a go-bag at the ready, so they can escape to the tall pines and join with the guys in the tricorners, with whom he will set about remaking America out of old Sears catalogues, back into a land where no pauper can interrupt the majestic parade of gas-guzzlers.

Well, at least it's good to know he can finally stop thinking about 9/11 for a while, even if it's only to think about ass.

* If coffee isn't doing it for you this morning, try Ellison's hilariously acerbic "introductory essay" to The City on the Edge of Forever: The Original Teleplay that Became the Classic Star Trek Episode. "There's only one reason I'm doing this book: Fyodor Dostoevsky..." I bet he knows how funny he is, though.

UPDATE. I should note that the illo snatched 'n' patched above is the work of famous rock star Tom Tomorrow.

UPDATE 2. Not being a blowhard like me, commenter Christopher extracts the nub: "This sort of pre-emptive whining of 'I know you're going to call me a pussy for not getting the joke, but I'm not, damn it!' combined with 'You guys think you're so cool but you aren't!'"

No comments:

Post a Comment