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So What’s Wolcott’s Point?

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Reading James Wolcott is like watching someone who just swallowed a can of drain cleaner and is in the process of vomiting up a lung, the errant kidney, and the entire contents of his lower intestine. Well, maybe that’s a little strong. Actually, Wolcott isn’t as funny. In his article from the July 2004 issue of Vanity Fair Magazine, it’s clear why Wolcott has earned the title “acid-tongued.” The thing is, he’s long on the acid and short on a point.

It’s difficult to grasp what exactly Wolcott’s point is in his “The Bush Bunch” diatribe against the women who voluntarily spend time near George Bush. It’s clear from beginning to end that if one is a woman and if she puts Bush somewhere above pond scum, that is definitely NOT a good thing. But just in case one is dumber than a post, Wolcott makes it clear that women who actually like Bush, like his mother, his wife, or his advirsors, are large-footed, unattractive, stupid, murdering, George Washington look-alikes. The thing is, most of this is not original. The point has been made ad nauseum that some believe Barbara Bush looks like George Washington, and it’s even been included — while he was crossing the Delaware. (Washington must have looked different while he was crossing the Delaware than he did at any other time.)

I did not know, however, that Karen Hughes wears size 12 shoes. I also did not know that while she can take out entire ant colonies is a single step, she is also a psychological lunatic who has lost touch with reality but who has retained a shrewd “devious intelligence”. Now THAT’S quite an accomplishment!

I just wonder what happened to the days when it was supposed to be a good thing to be a strong, intelligent woman. When did that become an object of derision? In one fell swoop Wolcott takes down Barbara Bush for being a feisty outspoken woman, Laura Bush for having no mind of her own AND being a librarian, Condoleeza Rice for being a well focused, respected, intelligent career woman, and Karen Hughes for being a Christian AND for having the audacity to have big feet.

Well, that’s not 100% true. In addition to playing on the chauvanistic drivel of the macho man threatened by any female no matter what her shoe size, he’s really doing his hatchet job because all the women he mentions support George Bush, so that automatically makes them suspect. And evil. And high maintenance fashion accessory drains on the family budget.

But there are two exceptions to whom Wolcott cheerfully assigns a far better status. First daughters Jenna and Barbara Bush. It’s his view that these two young women are outside the box of Bush influence, so in spite of the “fact” that they’re both spoiled brats, they rate better overall scores for intelligence.

It should be noted that daughter Barbara Bush gets higher marks than her sister Jenna because Barbara is against capital punishment, and she was particularly against the execution of Karla Faye Tucker. Karla Faye was executed in Texas because she brutally killed two people. It didn’t help her case that she admitted to having orgasms as she struck the fatal blows to her victims. But, see, Karla found God AFTER her conviction and sentence, so it doesn’t matter how Karla got herself onto Death Row. Karla’s sorry now; ergo, ignore the law and the finding of the jury and believe that she isn’t making any of this up to save her sorry ass from extinction. Bush did not order a stay of execution for Karla, and she was executed. This makes him a cold hearted bastard because he didn’t allow his daughter’s difference of opinion to decide legal matters in the state of Texas.

I must admit that Wolcott’s article did give me some food for thought aside from noticing how acerbic it was. When he mentioned Laura Bush’s incident when she was 17 years old in which a man was killed, and no charges were filed against her, I was reminded of the Daddy of all vehicular man-slaughter, Teddy Kennedy, who to this day sits in the Senate of the United States.

Laura Bush became a librarian after her experience. Teddy Kennedy became a huge canker on the butt of the US Senate. When Wolcott finds fault with First-Mother, Barbara Bush’s comments, I’m reminded of Lillian Carter’s famous words which ended up in a popular trivia game, “Sometimes when I look at my children I think I should have remained a virgin.” When Wolcott points out the differences in politics that the Bush Twins have with their parents, I’m reminded of Amy Carter who kept getting herself arrested, Patti Davis who chose a very public way to grind her axe with both her mother and father, Ruth Carter Stapleton who aligned herself with Larry Flynt to stomp for Jesus, Billy Carter who relieved himself on a wall in Libya, Al Gore’s son who got himself arrested for pot possession, Howard Dean’s son who was arrested for burglary, and John Kerry’s daughter who gave us a wicked look at some pretty nasty Jahoobies. The point is, lay off the family stuff, Wolcott, because you have no point to make that’s worthwhile hearing on that score.

In spite of all this, I am glad I read Wolcott’s article. He’s convinced me that I’m correct about the agenda writers like him adhere to in this election year. It’s not important to folks like him to base what they have to say on points of logic or sound conclusions. The important thing is to keep repeating that message… I Hate Bush, I Hate Bush, I Hate Bush… and so should you.

Sit down and shut up Wolcott. You’re making a fool of yourself, and you don’t have big enough feet to stand on.

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  • Eric Olsen

    excellent job Punditz: well-written, amusing, apt commentary on pointless commentary – thanks and welcome!

  • Shark

    “…Bush did not order a stay of execution for Karla, and she was executed.”

    Bush said his favorite ‘philosopher’ was Jesus.

    Bush professes to be a “born-again” Christian (just like Karla Tucker) who believes in the Ten Commandments, one of which is:

    “THOU SHALT NOT KILL”.

    “…This [no stay of execution] makes him a cold hearted bastard because he didn’t allow his daughter’s difference of opinion to decide legal matters in the state of Texas.”

    No, it doesn’t make him a cold-hearted bastard; it makes him a raging fucking HYPOCRITE.

    (Interesting to picture Jesus administering the lethal injection.)

    A Faith-Based execution?

  • Shark

    re: Classic openings

    “…Reading James Wolcott is like watching someone who just swallowed a can of drain cleaner and is in the process of vomiting up a lung, the errant kidney, and the entire contents of his lower intestine.”

    This is right up there with:

    “”It was the best of times. It was the worst of times…”

  • http://punditz.journalspace.com punditz

    “No, it doesn’t make him a cold-hearted bastard; it makes him a raging fucking HYPOCRITE.”

    I beg to differ. I think it made him a Governor who abided by the law of his state, and one who adhered to the verdict of Tucker’s jury.

    Imagine if he’d caved to Born Again pressure. He’d have been branded a religious nut, Bible deliveries to Death Row would have increased 400%, and the press would have lost its mind crucifying him. Tucker herself said she was ready to meet her Maker. But the bottom line is, Justice was served.

  • Shark

    Better yet, imagine Jesus not doing the right thing because he gives a flying fuck about what others [the press] think.

    State Governors can and HAVE stopped executions in the past. (Check the Republican Gov of Ill. who put executions on hold due to the high percentage of innocent people MURDERED by the state.

    Bush is still a fucking hypocrite.

    And a Murderer.

  • Shark

    But I do have to admit: the women in his life are some hot babes.

    Condi and Karen Hughes in a threesome; I get excited just thinking about it…

    but then again — I’m attracted to men.

  • http://punditz.journalspace.com Punditz

    “Better yet, imagine Jesus not doing the right thing because he gives a flying fuck about what others [the press] think.”

    Are you seriously suggesting that there’s a comparison between George Bush and Jesus?

  • Shark

    Yah, they both had an intimate knowledge of Satan.

    just kiddin’!

    Look, Bush said his favorite philosopher was Jesus. He could have said “Adam Smith” or “Thomas Jefferson” or “C.S. Lewis” or any number of other answers. But no. He didn’t. He was on stage speaking into a microphone, and he said, “JESUS”.

    I’m trying to understand what that means for the leader of the free world.

    Want would you say, in a nutshell, was Jesus’ philosophy?

    What I’m saying (is it clear yet) that Bush is a grandstanding, blathering, pus-filled, lying, manipulative, semi-literate HYPOCRITE.

    HYPOCRITE: “…one who plays a part on the stage, a dissembler, feigner. One who plays a part; especially, one who, for the purpose of winning approbation of favor, puts on a fair outside seeming; one who feigns to be other and better than he is; a false pretender to virtue or piety; one who simulates virtue or piety.”

  • Shark

    BTW: Punditz, I visited your web site. It holds the indoor record for the worst web site ever.

    Shark’s Rule #1:

    “The world is overdesigned and under-edited.”

    Your site epitomizes the breaking of The Rule. Read it. Memorize it. Understand it. Use it.

    Just tryin’ to be helpful.

  • Oyster

    Shark, You have appropriately named yourself. However, even a shark knows what to bite and what to leave alone. I suggest you spit this one out and go after easier prey. I think you missed the entire point here by grabbbing one statement and creating an entirely new argument, not once but twice. Resorting to petty, personal insults in the end only proves the point Punditz was trying to get across. Let’s stick to the subject. Memorize that. Understand it. Use it. Just trying to be helpful.

  • Shark

    I usually eat oysters raw, but I’ll be quiet and listen while you talk about “The Subject”.

    I’m all ears, Shelly.

  • http://theapologist.blogspot.com CW Fisher

    What was the subject?

    Had to look. Yes. The subject is: What is the subject of somebody named Wolcott’s piece in some other magazine.

    Should I comment on a comment on a post about an article?

    Nah.

  • mike

    James Wolcott is a genius, probably the most brilliant prose stylist on popular culture alive. His language skills are matchless.

    Wolcott’s coverage of pop culture for the Village Voice in the late 1970s/early 1980s is a neglected masterpiece, worth trudging on down to the library for.

    An interesting aspect to his writings is that he was once a neoconservative, and has steadily moved to the left in recent years, especially since 9/11. He has publicly reputiated his post-9/11 attacks on Susan Sontag and Edward Said.

    And he is well compensated for his work. Columnists for Vanity Fair are rumoured to earn at least $250,000 a year.

    I haven’t yet read this piece, but I’m sure it’s as brilliant as the rest.