From zipless fuck to life of the mind
Seems that Jong took exception to Taibbi mentioning that Hillary Clinton had "flabby arms." She offered a bit of free and fairly shallow psychoanalysis suggesting that Taibbi really wanted to fuck his mother. (Well, duuhh, who doesn't?)
Taibbi responded by quoting a number of much worse things he's had to
say about the physical appearance of some men in politics. At this point
the suddenly intellectual Jong made a quick dash for the high ground:
What exactly is the point of talking about body deformity rather than ideas? We live in a time when... people are being tortured despite our heritage of the Magna Carta and the Constitution....One can't help wondering whether Jong has many writing students, and if so, what they're getting out of the experience. One hopes they're learning, from someone, to cite old texts to more effect than Jong's puzzling references to the (US?) "Constitution" and -- stranger still -- the Magna Carta. What on earth does she think the latter document is about? Are these scraps of World History 101 just emblems of some vaguely conceived tradition of high ideals?
If you were my writing student, I'd challenge your reliance on physical mockery and ask you to find better ways of arguing your points. I'd try to engage your brain not your spleen.
Fear of Flying was terrific fun -- but Jong is no Susan Sontag. One wonders whether she's ever read any of Milton's polemical prose, or Swift's, or Martin Marprelate's. For savage personal abuse of their targets, these gods of the canon make Taibbi look quite moderate.
But of course the real oddity in this schoolmarmish lecturette is the assumption that there were any "ideas" to talk about in the Clintonobamamachia. As far as ideas went, the two were always utterly indistinguishable -- try asking a fan of either candidate to attribute random quotes correctly. The contest was always entirely about appearance, demeanor, charm, and the capacity of various demographics to "identify" (horrible word) with the handsome, cool young black guy or the frumpy old free-alterations feminist(tm).
Flabby arms, flag pins -- might as well talk about one as the other.