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June 12, 2009

Pauline Turns 90

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

I just noticed that, if she were still alive (she died in 2001), the movie critic Pauline Kael would be turning 90 in a week. She was quite a cultural figure once. Here's an interview with her from the late 1980s; here's one of her best essays, a long profile of Cary Grant. Charlton Griffin points out that Wikipedia's entry on Pauline (everybody thought of her as "Pauline") is awfully good. I hear that Brian Kellow -- a biographer and an editor at Opera News -- is preparing a biography.



posted by Michael at June 12, 2009


Two classic Kael performances, one from 1963, the other, 1968. And last, a less than idolatrous appreciation.




I love Kael's criticism at the same time that her taste often befuddles me. De Palma, Blowout and great don't belong in the same universe I live in. I never shared her affinity for Altman and Scorsese, fully realizing I'm in the minority on the whole the'70s were the second Golden Age meme.

A biography of Kael written by Susie Linfield was announced in 2001 but still hasn't appeared. Here's Linfield's review of Kael's book length interview, Afterglow.


Posted by: Peter L. Winkler on June 12, 2009 6:14 AM

When I was in college, I read the New Yorker and Kael, and I thought both were quite witty.

She will always be remembered for her comment about Richard Nixon which went something like this: "I can't imagine how he got elected. Nobody I know voted for him." This comment became almost the definition of the snobby, insular Manhattan leftist.

I watched Dick Cavett on some TV show last night. I remember that, when I was in college, I thought that he was quite witty. He was being interviewed about the current tiff over Letterman vs. Sarah Palin.

Cavett had nothing to say except that he lives in Manhattan and that therefore he's incredibly smart. He told "joke" after "joke" about what a piece of white trash Palin is. Cavett isn't funny. He's an asshole.

Not only is he an asshole, he's a fucking coward. He kept trying to justify his asshole remarks by claiming that he's just incredibly smart... way too smart for those white trash fools out in the boonies. I noticed that he doesn't tell jokes about those funky little Pickaninny Obama girls. In other words, he's also the usual asshole. His clever ethnic humor only goes one way... attacking the favored PC target... rural, religious whites. Takes a lot of courage to do that in Manhattan, doesn't it?

So, I wonder... what would I think of Kael now? I'm pretty tired of that Manhattan snob asshole routine. Well, I've been tired of that snob asshole routine for 30 years.

There are certainly some great things about Manhattan. The New Yorker isn't one of them. I admit, I haven't read it in decades. Its formula of leftist articles in favor of power to the people juxtaposed against ads for $10,000 watches strikes me as pathetically absurd... and, also, the perfect symbol of the knucklehead stance of the snobby, insular Manhattan leftist.

Posted by: Shouting Thomas on June 12, 2009 7:12 AM

Wonder how to fit Cary Grant into alpha/beta? I think it's been talked about over at Roissy's, but Kael's superb essay on CG: "he must be the most publicly seduced male the world has known", does raise interesting questions about how supposedly beta traits, like diffidence for example, can in fact be deployed to devastating effect by a man who was clearly alpha to the max.

Sure, it helps to look like CG and dress like CG (something he apparently learned to do, rather than have it come naturally), but to be able to make women not simply let you in, so to speak, but to actively pursue you? That is genius.

The essay itself is superbly written and full of so many insights into Grant that I lost count after the first section. I wish I could write like PK, but even more, be able to think like her (not politically! She didn't think politically at all).

Posted by: PatrickH on June 12, 2009 9:09 AM

The whole discussion points up how much our culture has changed over the last thirty years. Can anyone imagine a film critic ever being that influential again? I sure can't. And personally, I've always found both Letterman and Cavett monumental classless bores. I mean, Jack Parr was unbalanced, Steve Allen was an egomaniac, and Johnny Carson was, according to those who worked with him, a pretty nasty piece of work, but I can't imagine any of those guys making a joke about someone's daughter being raped. And for what it's worth, I can't see Conan O'Brian doing it either...



Posted by: tschafer on June 12, 2009 11:40 AM

Re: ST's New Yorker comment.

When you get past The New Yorker covers by Sempe (should be an acute accent over the final e but I don't know how to do that on this computer) there's not much there.

Posted by: ricpic on June 12, 2009 11:47 AM

Tschafer, For what it's worth, Letterman did not make a joke about rape. Stop getting your "news" from Hannity. The bubble is bad.

Everyone else - never pass up a chance to make ad hominem Culture War attacks! Never! Everything is partisan! Everything you hear on the Michael Savage Show (and never research yourself) is true!

Posted by: Ray Butlers on June 12, 2009 1:15 PM

"She will always be remembered for her comment about Richard Nixon which went something like this: 'I can't imagine how he got elected. Nobody I know voted for him.'"

That story's apocryphal. A reporter asked her what she thought of Nixon's re-election, and trying to avoid the subject, she said simply that she was the wrong person to ask, because she didn't vote for him.

Plus, she was never a snobby, insular Manhattan leftist.

Posted by: Steve on June 12, 2009 1:57 PM

"she was never a snobby, insular Manhattan leftist."

Like ST, I doubt I would find Kael's politics sympathetic, but I was impressed by, and rather envious of, her life story as it was revealed in that interview.

She lived for a long time in the "Real World" (an expression I dislike; which part of it isn't real?) - the world of commerce and getting by and making do - for a long period of time before she became influential or famous. She doesn't seem to have been primarily career-oriented - another loathsome expression from the 1980s. She ended up writing about movies because she loved them, not because she'd made it her life's goal.

Very different from the kind of life story that most up-and-coming youngsters have today. The competition they face is so intense that they decide on their goals at an early age and won't stray unless they're forced to by failure or lack of funds. As a result, ambitious media boys and girls will remain in media circles from the moment they get a foot in the door at age 24 or so. If they ever leave, it's to do high-profile charitable work for a non-profit, or to go back to academia to upgrade. But they don't get that everyday interaction with flyover country, and as a result tend to despise those who live there with that intensity that so often hits people who have escaped from their own provincial backgrounds and hate everyone who has not.

Posted by: aliasclio on June 12, 2009 3:49 PM

Pauline Kael had an impact upon me as well, as I think she did on most boomers of an at least somewhat intellectual bent during their college years and soon after.

The essence of Pauline Kael I always thought was a combination of fresh girlish enthusiasms for lots of things well into her forties and fifties (Cary Grant among them and way up amongst them) with enormous amounts of film knowledge and sophistication, and cultural sophistication more broadly.

First and foremost, as she herself like to say repeatedly, she just loved the movies. Lots of different kinds of movies for lots of reasons. She tried to find what was good in a movie more than what was bad in one, thought she always got around to both.

Posted by: doug1 on June 12, 2009 4:20 PM

Ah! ¡Yo soy Paulinista! (to borrow from David Edelstein)

Posted by: Whisky Prajer on June 12, 2009 4:57 PM

Ray Butlers,

Your comments are some of the most inane I've seen on this site.

This is not a conservative site. The proprietor, Michael Blowhard, is really quite liberal. He's just a non-PC liberal.

Perhaps you might try to actually respond to the content of this site. You've got a burr up your ass that has nothing to do with this site.

Why you've got that burr up your ass is anybody's guess. I'd guess you're a dumb kid fresh out of college.

Posted by: Shouting Thomas on June 12, 2009 5:53 PM


Your points about Michael Blowhard and his politics are irrelevant to this comment stream, as he hasn't commented on his own post.

It was you who initiated the turn fom a consideration of Kael's criticism into the usual exhausted attack on supposedley snobby, insulated urbanites.

Also, as usual, when called on it, you respond with irrelevant, presumptuous name calling about someone's age and experience. Man up and start owning your responsibility for your words.

Posted by: Peter L. Winkler on June 12, 2009 7:12 PM

Peter, haven't you heard? ST is a irascible rapscallion with life experience and lessons to teach us? He is scruffy, grizzled, possibly huggable, and speaks from the hip. He is a treasure that must not be muzzled.

Posted by: JV on June 13, 2009 11:57 AM

Loads of fun thoughts and reflections, and thanks to PLW for the priceless links.

A propos of some of what's been raised (and of course FWIW) ...

* Kael was definitely leftish/boho in her politics and her general views but she was verrrrrrry irreverent about the left too. It's funny that that comment she never made (Steve's right about that) about Nixon has become such a landmark for the rightie talk-radio set because she was anything but a standard-issue Manhattan media elitist. She was a California farmgirl and a San Fran boho, and she never in fact lived in Manhattan for very long. She was also always ticking off the usual NYC media set.

* A. Clio's definitely right about Kael and life-experience. My impression was that Kael never really aspired to be a movie reviewer. She stumbled into it, it worked for her, and she went with it. That's unlike today's young media-set wannabes, who tend to target media positions at a very young age and wind up knowing about little but the media world. Kael had her zaninesses and eccentricities, but she was also very down to earth.

* tshcafer's right too -- Funny to think now that a movie critic should have been such a big cultural deal, and it certainly seems unlikely to happen again soon.

* Kael was part of a bunch of a few different cultural phenomena, it seems to me.

1) One was the era of the Great Critic. Post-WWII, people like Leslie Fiedler, Norman O. Brown, Paul Goodman and Alfred Kazin -- cultural intellectuals -- were influential cultural deals who had impacts that weren't just specialized or academic. Today's equivalent might be Steven Pinker or ... or ... Who? Any ideas? Lawrence Lessig?

2) She was also part of the impact Jews were having on American cultural life as they rose from poverty and emerged out of immigrant neighborhoods. (This is related to #1, btw.) They started out by having an impact on the "low" ends of showbiz (movies, theater owning, etc) ... But by the '40s and beyond, they were attaining more respectable cultural positions: becoming professors, artists, columnists, etc. A big wave of Jewish novelists hit in the that era as well. Kael wasn't remotely religious, but she was certainly part and parcel of that crowd. Seems to me that they made a huge change in how America sees/saw itself. As far as I'm concerned, more needs to be recognized and said about this. It really was an enormous development in AmCult. I don't think it's possible to have a good grasp on American culture without a sense of how the immigrant Jews hit it. But the "Jewish" thing seems to make people wary and cautious about making observations or generalizations about it. Too bad. Like I say, it's huuuuuuge.

3) She was by no means a New Journalist, but ... Well, there were similarities. She valued immediacy, a vivid and personal voice, and she was open to the pleasures and rewards of popular culture. And of course as a movie reviewer she *was* a journalist.

* I always thought that a side of Kael that was underdiscussed was Kael-as-performer. She was a very sensitive and responsive audience, and a supersmart and a firstclass critic, of course. But a big part of her was also a performer -- she was a kind of standup belter/insult-comedian intellectual. (I often saw bits of Sophie Tucker, Fanny Brice, and Don Rickles in her.) Maybe you read her for opinion, guidnace, and enlightenment. But a lot of the fun of following her had to do with her verve, pizazz and humor. I often found her amazingly funny, and was bewildered that her humor wasn't recognized and discussed more often than it was. And in fact, in like many writers, she was a gregarious person. She loved appearing on radio and TV and in front of live audiences, and was a great on-her-feet yakker and joke-cracker. There was a kind of electricity about her -- you never knew what the hell she was going to say, or what her response to something would be.

* This is a little oddball of me, but I never had the impression that movies per se were the point of Kael's writing. She clearly loved them and responded to them fully. But it seems to me that reviewing movies was mainly a pretext for her to write about life more generally. Reviewing movies was her way of Being A Writer. That's one of the reasons she was such a big deal -- she was interesting, provocative and fun to read even if you didn't care that much about movies (and even if you didn't agree with her opinions). She was a working journalist with a beat (at least she was once she landed the NYer gig) but she was also a personal essayist in the Montaigne/Hazlitt mode.

* One of the main impacts of her writing had to do with her voice. Seems to me (could be wrong) that she was influential in the same way as Henry Miller, Norman Mailer, Lenny Bruce, and Tom Wolfe. They were all people who loosened up how Americans speak and put words on paper. She wanted her prose to be earthy, slangy, and direct, to have the kind of charge that live performances can have. From our viewpoint, it can be a shock to go back and read a lot of American writing from the '20s and '30s and '40s -- how genteel it is. American writing has been a very thing since Miller, Wolfe, Kael, etc.

I'm hopeful about the Brian Kellow bio. He's mighty good not just at telling the biographical story, but also at situating the person and the work in various culturals contexts.

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on June 13, 2009 12:16 PM


Your points about Michael Blowhard and his politics are irrelevant to this comment stream, as he hasn't commented on his own post.

It was you who initiated the turn fom a consideration of Kael's criticism into the usual exhausted attack on supposedley snobby, insulated urbanites.

Also, as usual, when called on it, you respond with irrelevant, presumptuous name calling about someone's age and experience. Man up and start owning your responsibility for your words.

That "I'm the boss and you better do what I say" tone that you write with is amazing. How do you do it? That tone is perfectly accentuated by the inclusion of your middle initial. Formal, bossy... Jesus Christ! I'd best do precisely what you say immediately... or... or... what?

That's the funny part... or what? Except you write with that German martial style. Reminds of a trumpet instructor I had as a kid. He believed in the old style of German teaching. If I made a mistake, he gave me a whack on the hands with a ruler.

Your style is every bit as much the grumpy old fart as mine.

And, I think Michael is right. That authoritative voice from Manhattan thing is fading out.

Peter L. Winkler, you might want to go back and review what I actually said. I said I actually read and liked Kael when I was in college, and that I hadn't read her since. I also said I don't know what I would think of her writing now. When I was in college, I was a New Yorker wannabe. It's a lot different to look at the world through the lens of having lived in New York City for 30 years.

You might also remember that I did live in NYC for 30 years, and still work there from time to time.

But, I bow trembling before the awesome authority of your bossy voice, Peter L. Winkler (and I do fucking mean "L!"). I'll never do anything you don't want me to do again. Please forward a full set of detailed instructions.

After all, you are the Peter L. Winkler! Jesus Christ! If I cross you, I'm going to be in big trouble. Whew! I got away with it once! I'll know better than to every try that again!

Posted by: Shouting Thomas on June 13, 2009 12:37 PM

Jesus, Winkler, what are you talking about here? Butlers loaded another steaming pile of Butler-level nonsense into a comment post, once again contributing absolutely nothing to the discussion at hand, accused people of getting their news from Hannity and Savage with no evidence adduced at all, preposterously accused "everyone else" in the comments thread of partisanship without bothering to even read some very interesting non-political comments, in short did the standard Ray Butlers schtick of insulting leftist hackery and nothing else...

...and you jump on ST for correctly pointing out that Butlers' comments are "inane". Jeebus.

Your points about Michael Blowhard and his politics are irrelevant to this comment stream, as he hasn't commented on his own post.

This is just senseless. Since Butlers doesn't seem to feel any restraint in making (entirely unjustified) comments on people's politics, why don't you castigate him? But more than that, your own, ah, contribution, makes no sense. Anybody can comment all they want on Michael's politics even before he comments. It's not like there hasn't been oodles of discussion about politics here, with our beloved host giving at least as good, and as often, as he's gotten.

You and JV seem to have joined forces with one of the most ignorant, insulting, mindless wastes of comment space here, the utterly mechanical leftist hack Ray Butlers. Well done, since all you're doing is destroying your own credibility by jumping in to defend that parasite.

Why Michael hasn't banned that hack is a mystery to me. Someone comes in and in almost his first comment trashes the host as an [obscenity]...I'd ban his behind instantly for that. Too bad you guys have hitched your stars to the wagon of intellectual dirt known as Ray A. Butlers.

Enjoy the mud!

Posted by: PatrickH on June 13, 2009 2:39 PM

PatrickH: My point about ST's response to Ray Butler was that presumptions about his age and experience were and are irrelevant to the validity of his comments, which I happen to like, so far. I don't recall Butlers insulting MB.

ST: Jawohl, mein Herr! I actually have a middle initial and like signing my name with it. What temerity, I know. Is Shouting Thomas the name on your birth certificate?

MB: "She loved appearing on radio and TV and in front of live audiences, and was a great on-her-feet yakker and joke-cracker."

I was lucky enough to see Pauline Kael give one of her stand-up performances here in LA in 1982. For over two hours she stood on stage and responded to questions from the audience. Afterward, while signing books, I was before her, getting my book signed and speaking briefly, when someone off to the side asked what she thought of Andrei Tarkovsky. Without hesitation, she said, "He punishes you wih his greatness." Having seen the nearly three hour version of Solaris, I burst out laughing.

Re: Kael's politics. She was anything but dogmatic. I remember how she infuriated her liberal readers wih her review of the movie The Front, starring Woody Allen as a front man for blacklisted writers. Kael wrote something to the effect that the victims of the Hollywood blacklist got what they deserved, since they were apologists for Stalin.

Posted by: Peter L. Winkler on June 13, 2009 6:14 PM

Michael Blowhard--

Quite the comment on Pauline Kael. Puts the blog writer's own efforts in the post in chief to shame.

Posted by: doug1 on June 13, 2009 7:15 PM

Butlers seems to assume in all his comments (and he's made many) that nearly everyone who comments here is a "right-winger" who never veers from accepted right-wing dogma. What's more, he has left rather insulting comments, in which he made the same assumptions about the blog and its hosts, on several other posts. A few posts back, he tossed a quite irrelevant political comment on the politics of the commenters into one thread. I was esp. annoyed because I'd written a long and, I thought, quite interesting post on sexual abuse scandals to which Michael had linked, but no discussion of that link developed, partly perhaps because of Butlers' annoying intervention.

That's why ST and PatrickH responded to him the way that they did.

Posted by: aliasclio on June 13, 2009 7:43 PM

He called Michael an obscenity in an early comment.

You like his comments, do you? Which ones? The excrescence he emitted above?

Here goes....

Everyone else - never pass up a chance to make ad hominem Culture War attacks! Never! Everything is partisan! Everything you hear on the Michael Savage Show (and never research yourself) is true!

Everyone else? DId he read the comments? Most were non-political.

Ad hominem? Butlers has done nothing but ad hominem attacks since he's arrived. Same with this comment. Read the comment, Peter.

Everything is partisan? That is of course true of all his comments and of this comment of his too. Read it.

And then blatherings about people doing no research. What did you like about that? The research behind the statement? Oh, right...

And yet, Peter, it's not the partisanship, or even the insults that bother me about this worthless commenter. It's that he contributes NOTHING to the discussions. NOTHING EVER. Go back over his comments and you see NOTHING but abuse, insults, attacks.

Please note that in the comment he made that you liked so much, you will find nothing at all--not a single thing--about Pauline Kael.

And that's the way it is with him. Never anything constructive. Ever. Nothing ever. Just insults and abuse. By comparison, ST has contributed a thousandfold more insight and wit to this comments board.

I don't like Butlers one bit. I don't like people like him, and I don't like commenters like him. An entity that called itself shiva hung around here a while back. She disgraced herself by slinging ugly little cheap shot insults at Donald (!) without bothering to add anything perceptive, intelligent, even entertaining to her ugliness. I was pretty hard on shiva, and now she's rarely heard around here. Good riddance.

Butlers is the same. He gives nothing of himself but his bile. He's a purveyor of pure negativity who never responds to anyone's comments in any kind of way that furthers, deepens or illuminates any discussion in which he has participated.

His record here is one of complete failure to engage. ST was absolutely right to call him on the utter worthlessness of his comments. I'm surprised that you claim to find anything of value in them. You certainly don't operate at Butlers' low level. I'm amazed you'd defend someone who does.

Posted by: PatrickH on June 13, 2009 9:20 PM

Great thumbnail appreciation of Kael in your comments, thanks Michael. And that's one hell of an interview with her that you linked to--covers all the bases. I was on a huge Kael kick as a teenager--read everything she wrote--and got to meet her a couple of times later in life. It's funny meeting someone you feel you know so well through their writing. There's always some disconnect, though probably less so with Kael than with other writers, because as you said she put so much of herself on the page.

I certainly agree with everything you wrote, except that I personally never found her hugely funny. Just amazingly sharp and perceptive irreverent and exhilarating to read. And very sympatico to my own views of movies (and life).

Posted by: Steve on June 14, 2009 11:15 AM

Great comment, Michael, especially the bit about movies not being the main point of Kael's writing. Most people get so uptight over the liked it/didn't like it thing that it's all they they can focus on when it comes to movie reviewing.

Kael was a big deal for me when I was just getting into movies. I'd equate reading her during that time period to discovering a drug--one that helped me get more in tune with my own perceptions and feelings about art.

One of the crazier things about Kael is that she's still able to get a rise out of people, even though she's been gone for quite a while and most of what she wrote is out of print. If you don't believe me, just wait for her name to come up on a snobby movie forum--and then watch all hell break loose. Even this tiny blog post has received over 20 comments.

Posted by: Ron on June 15, 2009 8:42 AM

Shouting Thomas -
If there's a universe where Sarah Palin is NOT regarded as an asshole by normal people, I don't want to live there. Is it really such a stretch to imagine that the revulsion we feel toward her is not part of a leftist elitist conspiracy but for substantial and plausible reasons? How tone deaf do you have to be to NOT see that?

Posted by: Ray Butlers on June 15, 2009 12:51 PM

Ray Butlers,

I wonder if there is a universe where You are NOT regarded as an asshole by normal people. I wouldn't want to live there.

I'm not looking for political saviors, nor do I particularly care who occupies political office.

That said, Palin seems like a perfectly decent woman to me. The lunatic left went beserk because she is Christian, pretty, from a rural area and conservative. None of these things seem particularly offensive to me.

So, what in the hell is it that makes you act like such an asshole? Fresh out of college? Still chomping on that indoctrination you got in English lit?

Posted by: Shouting Thomas on June 15, 2009 3:04 PM

I see in your comments you hate Michael Savage and Sarah Palin. That may be enough expression for the grunting apes with whom you spend most of your life, but here, a bit more is demanded. For example, you could say Michael Savage believes A, B and C; he is wrong on A, B and C because ....

One possible explanation is that the reasons for your views are so SUBSTANTIAL that they cannot exit from your tiny fingers onto a keyboard which explains why your views that I have seen seem to emanate from your a--hole, or at least that would be a PLAUSIBLE explanation.

I will give you credit: "How tone deaf do you have to be to NOT see that?" is a line worthy of the Marx Bros.

Posted by: sN on June 15, 2009 4:13 PM

If there's a universe where Sarah Palin is NOT regarded as an asshole by normal people, I don't want to live there.

Sarah Palin is NOT regarded as an asshole here! So that means you don't want to live here!

And that means that you can go away, you waste of time and space...go away and stay away.

You have nothing to offer. You have never had anything to offer. You will never have anything to offer. So sod off. Sod off and stay sodded.


Posted by: PatrickH on June 15, 2009 4:30 PM

Steve: That story's apocryphal.

The Fates are so spiteful, to have one remembered for saying or doing what one never said or did. Being misquoted in life is bad enough.

pH: Never anything constructive. Ever. Nothing ever.

I'm not entirely convinced that Ray Butlers isn't PatrickH doing a performance art turn.

Peter - I think "manning up" and using "owning" in the therapeutic sense are mutually exclusive activities.

Flagrantly and bloviatingly OT, I remember being pestered, way back in the dark ages of Usenet, by an aggrieved sniveler demanding that I "take responsibility" for saying mean things to him. Since to the best of my recollection I had not been inciting anyone to violence, or posting anything else of similarly criminal content, I kept trying to pin him down on what he meant by "taking responsibility" in this context. It was apparent he had never given any thought to what exactly his buzzwords meant, they were apparently just something he had learned to throw around during his rigor-free therapeutic "education", with no expectation that he could be called to rationally organize and articulate his emotive objections. I told him that I was perfectly willing to accept without complaint whatever negative opinions others might form about me because of my comments; he was, however, befuddled at being presented with the view that "taking responsibility" was not universally understood to mean "apologize for hurting my (or x's) feelings and acknowledge that my (or x's) opinions are worthy of being treated with respect". His username, alas, "Legion".

I completely own my responsibility for adding nothing constructive whatever to this Kael discussion.

Posted by: Moira Breen on June 15, 2009 5:53 PM

I'm not entirely convinced that Ray Butlers isn't PatrickH doing a performance art turn.

Not sure I get the humour in that one, Moira. No doubt this will just convince you Butlers and I are the same person.

Posted by: PatrickH on June 15, 2009 7:26 PM

Alls I know is that awhile back, there was a comment from Patrick with his name linking to Clio's site. Not sure if this was new media flirting or if (dun dun DAA!!) Patrick and Clio are the same person!

Posted by: JV on June 15, 2009 7:59 PM

pH: Not sure I get the humour in that one, Moira.

Probably because it's not very funny. It's just that the Butlers boy seems a tad too screechingly sophomoric to be for real, so it seems plausible that someone is havin' a goof. You're as likely a suspect as any, no?

Posted by: Moira Breen on June 16, 2009 4:22 PM

But he writes so poorly! If I wanted to pull a leftie hachet job on everybody here, I'd do a damn sight better than Butler. Hmmm...let's see what I can assay...


I can't do it. God help me, I can't even pretend to be a leftist.

I'm guess I'm just too damn old. Saaaayyyy...

Remember that uppity pup, named what? Fred? Fred S? A couple of weeks back? He spewed useless venom at me and Michael for being too old. Worthless little snit-bursts...just like Butlers.

Didn't contribute a single bloody thing to the discussion...just like Butlers.

Didn't answer any point, any question, responded not at all to anything said to him....just like Butlers.

There's your answer, Moira. Butlers is Fred! It's all so clear now...

The whippersnapper was hurt by the thrashing he got by his elders and betters (i.e., me) and has decided to return and take his revenge.

Revenge of the Puppy. But now, he doesn't just bark...he whines. And yelps. And pewls. And soils his doggy-drawers and pees all over the floor.

Clever puppy! But now we're on to you, so you can go away now. Shoo. Scat. Off with you. Bye-bye.

And gnaw on Winkler while you're on your way out. He likes the way you nip and bark, apparently. So give him a taste of your, ah, attention.

Be careful though. He's a liberal, and they're all tender and sweet. On the outside. Take a bite. But not too deep. Liberals are soft on the outside. But inside, they're as cold and hard as ice.

So bite carefully. G'bye now.

Posted by: PatrickH on June 16, 2009 5:21 PM

Your silence on my Patrick/Clio homonculous hypothesis is deafening.

Posted by: JV on June 16, 2009 6:17 PM

PatrickH is not me. I am not PatrickH. I don't know how his name got hyper-linked to my blog, but I've seen equally odd juxtapositions come up. For instance, I know of one frequent commenter whose (hidden) url linked - when this person commented on my blog - to that of a famous...I won't say what, just in case it wasn't an accident.

Posted by: aliasclio on June 16, 2009 6:55 PM

Ray Butlers --

I wonder if there is a universe where You are NOT regarded as an asshole by normal people. I wouldn't want to live there.

I don't regard Sarah Palin as an asshole either, and I'm around here.

However, like all but one who've said one way or another, I do regard you as an asshole. Not because of your political alignment but because of your smug know it all but apparently know next to nothing "contributions". Arrogance without intelligence or sex appeal is simply highly unattractive.

I'm wondering what that tells you about your fit around here?

As for Sarah Palin, no she's not brilliant but not dumb either, and oh so easy on the eyes, and what a refreshing combination of traditional motherhood and non feminist values, and a woman who's succeeded at a serious career.

Brain power wise she's sort of like Joe Biden, only without his arrogance and without his belief that he does know everything, based heavily in Joe's case upon the love of the sound of his own voice. She hadn't operated on the national political scene before nor concerned herself much with international relations yet (nor was she adequately briefed at the beginning), and it showed in her earliest hostile interviews by feminist Katie Couric and others in the gotcha left liberal mainstream media. Those things can be and usually are picked up quickly by reasonably intelligent people who don't think they already know all that needs knowing.

Guess what? I'm not religious and I'm strongly in favor of abortion rights. (I'm so in favor of them that I think men should have them too, in a fashion, but that's another topic.) I'm not a Republican but rather an Independent, who's registered as a Democrat so that my vote actually matters in primaries in NYC, which are often the real election in that city. Unlike you I'm not an ideologue.

Ideologues aren't very common here, and have a hard time of it. Arrogant ones with no intelligent arguments about anything are likely to get run out of dodge before long.

Wouldn't it be smart to realize as you put it, you wouldn't want to live here?

Posted by: doug1 on June 17, 2009 3:33 AM

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