“McGovern Backer No Longer Thinks Sons, Daughters Should Kill Parents”

Posted by on August 29th, 2010 at 9:12 AM

Onion before there was an Onion. A Republican Party magazine used the above headline back in 1972. Pure Onion and almost completely factual. Jerry Rubin did indeed support McGovern for president, and he had walked back some of his wild-and-crazy statements from Yippie days. The only quibble is that “backer” often implies financial support; in that sense Rubin would have been no more of a backer than anyone else who might have given a small contribution to the campaign. But, as noted, that’s a quibble.

The headline is so cutting and sly, and so fair, that it’s elegant. I don’t know how long the American right has had the advantage over the left when it comes to sure-handed use of language. But this throwaway demonstrates how pervasive that advantage is. This one line stacks up very well against all the Kennedyesque rhetoric unleashed during the miserable decade of the 1960s. (Headline quoted in Nixonland by Rob Perlstein.)

Positive thoughts. Mel Gibson’s dad wrote a book with the greatest Catholic schismatic title ever: Is the Pope Catholic? … Kristen Wiig is so good! … Cheeseburgers and pickles — always a winning combination … My yoga teacher cured my sinus problems, or just about.

Self-portrait. I did this collage in Photoshop. It represents my mental state around 14 and 15, and thus is supposed to be funny. Back then I was cut off from standard youth pastimes, such as rock music, and had dumped my early adolescent lust onto the various light histories I read about the 18th and 19th centuries. Franz Liszt had lots of sex, therefore I had something to think about.

© Tom Crippen

The painting is of Vienna, the photo of New York City’s Flatiron Building as it was around 1900. There’s no connection between old New York and the rest of the collage; I was just using what was at hand.

Ken Mehlman sums it up. A comment by the ex-RNC chair crystallizes a tendency of modern Republican thought:

He said that he “really wished” he had come to terms with his sexual orientation earlier, “so I could have worked against [the Federal Marriage Amendment]” and “reached out to the gay community in the way I reached out to African Americans.”

The amendment would make it impossible for gays to get married in America. In ’04, George Bush came out for the Federal Marriage Amendment and ran on it; Mehlman was his campaign chairman. So, to paraphrase Mehlman: “I wouldn’t have shit all over that minority group if I had known I was part of that group.”

Like most people, apparently, I think he’s full of it when he says he just figured out he’s gay. (Allahpundit: “I guess you were the last to know, Ken.”) But the point is that he considers the above to be a plausible argument. He figures that heads will nod. “Oh yeah, well, of course. If he didn’t know he was gay, why wouldn’t he do his best to make gays second-class citizens?”

Or, to epitomize Republican thought by another notch: If it ain’t you, shit on it.

Did you know? Don Ameche directed an episode of Julia, the Diahann Carroll sitcom from the late 1960s … Mighty Mouse was originally going to be a fly, namely “Superfly.” Paul Terry changed him to a mouse … The guy who played Biff in Back to the Future was the gym teacher in Freaks and Geeks.

Sedaris moment. To tell the truth, I love “SantaLand Diaries” and Naked but find everything since to be pleasant but routine, often flimsy. Too many essays are wrapped around nothing much and do little to cover it, and at the end Sedaris lobs in a bit of tremolo to let people know the piece is done. Yet this piece of tremolo strikes me as very moving:

The car light was on and I wondered what the passing drivers thought as they watched my mother sob. … Did they see us as just another crying mother and her stoned gay son, sitting in a station wagon and listening to a call-in show about birds, or did they imagine, for just one moment, that we might be special?

That’s the finish to “Hejira,” from Dress Your Family in Denim and Corduroy. Sedaris is 20 or so, a college dropout, and he’s been lying around his parents’ house like a stoned idiot. His dad kicks him out and his mom drives him to whatever shit apartment he will now be living in. Sedaris thinks his dad kicked him out for being a screw-up; his mother knows it was because her boy is gay.

Marvel kicker. One of their bottom-of-the-page blurbs, from May 1975:

Daredevil! Luke Cage! Son of Satan! A gala guest-star extravaganza in Giant-Size Master of Kung Fu #4!

Be Sociable, Share!

Comments are closed.