Current Wisdom

Current Wisdom

By From the November 2008 issue

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Larry King live

(CNN)

Joy Behar, co-host of ABC’s The View, impersonating a cute little girl for the master of the late-night interview, Larry King:

You know the one thing that I don’t think anybody’s said yet is that she’s very mean to animals, this woman. Why does she have it in for these poor polar bears and caribou? And she aerial kills wolves. That’s a very mean thing to do. I think that that’s an important point.

(September 9, 2008)

American Prospect

Good News! Sarah Posner, the American Prospect’s chief writer on theology and aerobics, finds evidence that Vice President Sarah Palin will finally bring to the White House a Kenyan witch-hunter, after all these years:

Sarah Palin’s anointing by Kenyan witch-hunter Thomas Muthee has received a tiny fraction of the media coverage heaped on the Rev. Jeremiah Wright last spring. Wright, acting in the prophetic tradition of questioning authority, was deemed to be unhinged and a threat to the Republic. Muthee, who fretted that the future governor of Alaska might need his intercessory help battling the devil, is just a funny man with a foreign accent.

Muthee may well be influenced by some homegrown superstitions, but driving out witches and demons is a hallmark of many Pentecostal and charismatic Christian churches all over the United States. Dismissing Muthee’s practices as not representative of American religion, as the usually well-informed Michael Crowley did on Hardball last week, is ignorant and naive.

(October 1, 2008)

The Progressive

Friday night among the neurotics, as reported by a heavily sedated Kate Clinton:

My head feels like the terrorists have won. Last Friday, we went to a friend’s house for dinner and the debate. My gal-pal was quickly driven out of the TV room by McCain’s smarmy opening gambit about Ted Kennedy’s hospitalization. Unable to sit still, she nervously cleaned our friend’s kitchen to a gleam it had not seen in years. Her Mrs. Clean efforts did not preclude periodic screams from the kitchen….

(September 29, 2008)

Rolling Stone

The bleak consequences of 130-degree summers in sunny L.A. as extrapolated by lachrymose Beach Boy Brian Wilson in RS, handbook for the arrested adolescent:

A few days after his 66th birthday, Brian Wilson cruises along Mulholland Drive in his black Mercedes coupe, listening to an oldies station and thinking about global warming. There’s a heat wave on in L.A., with temperatures in the high 90s and wildfires burning up the coast. “It’s not supposed to be this hot in June,” Wilson mutters. Hot wind blows through the car’s open windows, and torn-up receipts fly around the floor. “What if it gets to be 130 degrees in July? Would you consider that to be a disaster? I’d say that’s a disaster.” He sighs deeply. “It could be the end of L.A.—the end of life. This could be it! Oh, my God, it’s terrible.”

(September 18, 2008)

(Special thanks to Wayne Gibson of Etobicoke, Ontario, which doesn’t have an oldies station.)

Memphis Flyer

Someone calling himself, herself, or perhaps itself Glinda Watts sends an obvious crank epistle to the editor of the correspondence page of MF and the credulous galoot actually publishes it:

I have been intimately involved with local plant populations for nearly 20 years. I have obtained food, medicine, oxygen, and sustenance for the soul from the plants of our region. I have watched in sorrow as their numbers, their diversity, and their habitat have all declined. Whether the rest of us realize it or not, all of life is dependent on the green world. Life on this planet would not be possible if not for plants. They even learned how to have sex before we did!

—Glinda Watts, American Herbalists Guild, Memphis [Makes you want to reach for a bottle of Roundup Super Concentrate or your handy cordless weed whacker, no?—Ed.]

(September 11-17, 2008)

(Our thanks to Steve Palmer of Germantown, Tennessee, for this bouquet.)

MSNBC

Keith Olbermann leads Chris Matthews in a duet for stooges minutes after the Prophet Obama subsides at a recent reenactment of the Nuremberg Rallies:

Olbermann: For 42 minutes—not a sour note and spellbinding throughout in a way usually reserved for the creations of fiction. An extraordinary political statement. Almost a fully realized, tough, crisp, insistent speech in tone and in the sense of cutting through the clutter….I’d love to find something to criticize about it. You got anything?

Matthews: No. You know I’ve been criticized for saying he inspires me, and to hell with my critics!…You know in the Bible they talk about Jesus serving the good wine last. I think the Democrats did the same.

(August 28, 2008)

CNN

Just minutes after the Prophet Obama’s Oration in C Major at the Democratic National Convention and Séance held in Denver, Colorado, commentator David Gergen breaks into a homoerotic rhapsody:

In many ways it was less a speech than a symphony. It moved quickly. It had high tempo, at times inspiring. Then it became more intimate, slower— all along sort of interweaving a main theme about America’s promise…. Echoes of Lincoln, of King, even of Reagan and of Kennedy….It was a masterpiece.

(August 28, 2008)

The Nation

The venerable Nation’s resident Woman of the Fevered Brow, Miss Katha Pollitt, flaunts her encyclopedic knowledge of Governor Sarah Palin, mere days after that cute little number caught the eye of Senator John McCain:

Nothing would suit them [Republicans] better than for the media to spend the next two months spellbound by the wacky carnival on ice that is the Palin family: Todd, aka the First Dude, the kids, Levi the hunky bad-boy dad-to- be—well, maybe not him so much after his expletive-adorned MySpace page briefly came to light (“I’m a f--kin’ redneck”; “I don’t want kids”—whoops). The snowmobiles, the moose burgers, the guns, the hair, the glasses that are flying off America’s shelves (starting at $375 a pair, and she has seven).

(September 29, 2008)

From the Archives: Timeless Tosh from Current Wisdoms Past

(November 1988)

Washington Times

Dr. John Elvin, resident historian of the Good Times, chronicles one more high-toned yawp from Liberalism’s rightful heir to Demosthenes, The Rev. JJ:

Jesse Jackson mentioned on a recent C-Span talk show that George Bush “has this habit of name calling and cursing, whether he’s cursing Mrs. Ferraro after a debate, or calling me a Chicago hustler, [or] cursing about his declaration for Quayle. Usually when people curse like that, it reflects a kind of constipation of the brain and diarrhea of the mouth. And he ought to stop that kind of talk.”

(September 5, 1988)

New York Times

Cinematic drama as envisaged by a New Age Puritan amuck in Princeton:

To the editor: Something fundamental has been left out of the new literate movies such as “Bull Durham.” There is plenty of humor, satire, baseball and sex. The beautiful, passionate heroine says that “there’s never been a baseball player slept with me who didn’t have the best year of his career.” How come we see this role model for teen-agers going to the baseball games, taking the pitcher to her bed but never taking her birth-control pills after breakfast or encouraging the use of condoms in the bedroom? She never worries about becoming pregnant or getting a sexually transmitted disease. Isn’t it time that movie producers gave young people sexually responsible heroes and heroines who know how to avoid having unwanted pregnancies or sexually transmitted diseases?

—Evelyn Geddes

Princeton, N.J., Aug. 23, 1988

(September 4, 1988)

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