Monday, January 12, 2009

Beastly But Beautiful

So I'm innocently surfing the Web, i.e., with no particular destination in mind--I really do have to try and curb this frivolous trolling about in electron land. It often leads to gems, but it fritters away time I should be devoting to other things, such as, working towards fulfilling one of my two stated goals* for 2009. Which are: to read at least a book a month and to get a poem published. Neither of which should be any great problem. The first goal is modest, indeed. I do that now, but by making it a stated goal, it will help me read more books and, I hope, do less frivolous trolling. Actually, I'd like to read a book a week, but I'd be happy, given all my other distractions (magazines, limited TV, the Net) and duties (yes, teaching, church, being a husband, writing assignments), to read a book every couple of weeks.

As I was saying," . . . with no particular destination in mind," I stumbled across this marvelous screed entitled "The Beast 50 Most Loathsome People of 2008." It's a feature story from what I take is the underground paper of Buffalo, NY. [Actually, it's a magazine, as I discovered.] Even if you don't agree with all of the choices--even at #50 I don't think Obama belongs--you'll love the rich, rollicking, positively evil (in a good way) metaphors that skewer so many, many deserving people. You can guess the big ones: Bush--"brutally stupid narcissist", Cheney, Palin (#1), Paulson, McCain, Limbaugh--"the father of modern stupidity", Lieberman--"a fickle, flabbery fiend reviled by both parties", Hannity--"relentlessly repugnant McCarthyite tool", John Edwards (#12). Other second tier type choices, such as Phil Gramm, David Addington, Rod Blagojevich--"some things are worse than being bald", Ted Stevens, Joe the Plumber are nice surprises that make you say, "Oh yeah, how could I forget him/her?" But there are a host more, all of them more or less (mostly more) deserving: O.J. Simpson (#42)--you have to ask yourself how this scumbag got to be so low on the list. The only possible explanation is that there were a whole bunch of more deserving scumbags--Keith Olberman, Jeremiah Wright, Antonin Scalia, the Clintons, and others.

And then there were the ones I didn't even recognize or know about, and from what's said about them, it's probably a good thing: M. Night Shyamalan, Michele Bachman, Thomas S. Monson, Mark Penn, Joe Scarborough, and more.

Other people, even Republicans, liked this stuff. The prose samples should whet your appetite. Enjoy!

*Stated before all members of the immediate family in a Christmas Eve ritual. What a surprise . . . I can't remember anyone else's goals at all, other than my wife's whose goal--to go to Austin and San Antonio was universally pooh-poohed as not worth of the title "goal."
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