« Killing for kindness | Main | Long shot »

From zipless fuck to life of the mind

By Michael J. Smith on Friday June 20, 2008 09:04 PM

I don't read the Huffington Post often enough, apparently. I missed, until today, a hilarious exchange between second-wave 70s feminist Erica "Zipless Fuck" Jong and Matt Taibbi, now in its fourth iteration.

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....

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.

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?

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.

Comments (4)

So, while we're on the subject of physical mockery, Smiff, where'd you get that foto of Jong? Maybe it's just the lighting, or the makeup, but she really does look like a female impersonator in that shot.

I noticed that too, Mike. Which reminds me of Tina Fey's retort to Limbaugh's argument, while HRC was still in the race, that Americans didn't want to watch their President turn into an old woman in the White House. "Why not? It didn't bother them when Ronald Reagan did it."

I hope that Fovver Smiff's arms aren't flabby. But as with flag pins and the pronunciation of the word "nukular," it's a distraction and indicates that the critic has nothing of any substance to say. Like comparing Obama to Zeus raping Ganymede. I'm so glad to find the lib blogosphere so much more concerned with substantial issues than the MSM (that's Men Who Have Sex With Men).


"Lib"? Us? Them's fightin' words.

Anent Reagan, you remind me of Gore Vidal's observation that Reagan was popular because he was "simultaneously boyish and grandmotherly."

Son of Uncle Sam:

Yeah, she looks like a Johns Hopkins success story. Wouldn't critique on physical appearance bother you if you were trapped in a womans body? Or just absolutly hiddeous? If she were better looking I might take her side but I think that collar hides an adams apple.

Post a comment

Note also that comments with three or more links may be held for "moderation" -- a strange term to apply to the ghost in this blog's machine. Seems to be a hard-coded limitation of the blog software, unfortunately.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on Friday June 20, 2008 09:04 PM.

The previous post in this blog was Killing for kindness.

The next post in this blog is Long shot.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Creative Commons License

This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
Powered by
Movable Type 3.31