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January 29, 2008

Note to self:
Posted by Patrick at 09:19 PM * 19 comments

Never, ever annoy James Wolcott.

[…] Doris Kearns Goodwin, who has become a major irritant with her girlish enthusiasm and goody bag of presidential anecdotes that she dispenses to humanize everybody on the same glorious continuum, as if the crimes and calamities of Vietnam and Iraq were crucibles of character-building for our chief executives, the crowded backdrops to personal tragedy and greatness. (So many faraway nobodies have to die so that History can come alive.)
Comments on Note to self::
#1 ::: Constance Ash ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2008, 09:31 PM:

Wolcott's kind to whippersnappers though. At least he was to me as a green kid in NYC, workin' her first job-job, etc. That's he's unkind to those who earned it, however, well, that's another thing -- like the village idjiots surprised by anything that was last night's yawn-and-spew-ville.

Love, C.

#2 ::: Melissa (oddharmonic) ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2008, 11:17 PM:

I once found two dozen remaindered copies of her memoir Wait Till Next Year in a dollar store.

#3 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2008, 12:37 AM:

That is absolutely delicious! It's so nice to see a literate flambe, rather than the usual obstreperous invective!

#4 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2008, 01:03 AM:

I've read Wolcott: that was enough to convince me I never wanted to enter his radar as a twit.

#5 ::: Lindra ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2008, 02:06 AM:

Note to self: never ever go anywhere near James Wolcott.

#6 ::: LMB MacAlister ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2008, 04:18 AM:

I thoroughly enjoyed Wolcott's remarks on Kearns. Either learn to play with the big dogs or get off the porch. Unlike most of today's commentariat.

#7 ::: Miguel ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2008, 05:07 AM:

Yes. He *will* kill you.

#8 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2008, 07:07 AM:

I can respect that.

#9 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2008, 07:09 AM:

Lindra #5: Why? Are you planning to deliver yourself of giddy effusions about the manliness of McCain or W?

#10 ::: "Charles Dodgson" ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2008, 08:49 AM:

Why shouldn't Goodwin push this model of heroism? Hey, it worked for George Lucas.

Remember Alderaan!

#11 ::: Steve Buchheit ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2008, 09:17 AM:

Truly a wit that can cut to kill.

"Fun is where you find it." Amen and pass the ammo, please.

#12 ::: Madeleine Robins ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2008, 10:43 AM:

If you haven't got anything nice to say, give me your URL.

#13 ::: Flippanter ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2008, 01:15 PM:

Wolcott's Vanity Fair (yes, I know) essays on Michael Mann's "Heat," and actors "going ballistic," in particular, are well worth seeking out.

I like his criticism better than his attacks on the latest person to offend his sensibilities, which tend to run together a bit for me, reminding me of his description of Anthony Burgess "running his roll of syncopated erudition through the player piano one mo' time."

#14 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2008, 02:12 PM:

Madeline @ #12, That's a beautiful sentiment.

#15 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2008, 02:27 PM:

Melissa at #2 (ahem): I was recently informed by a friend that he saw about 20 copies of one of my novels in a dollar store. He bought 3.

Which proves nothing about either DKG or myself, except that neither of us is named King or Grisham. But you knew that...

#16 ::: Melissa (oddharmonic) ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2008, 03:40 PM:

@Lizzy L.: I found the cache of DKG books amusing because it was in an area not known for its baseball fans.

A few months later I found a cache of Stephen Ambrose's Citizen-Soldiers at the same dollar store. I bought them all. I gave a few to friends and resold the rest on to fund a small shopping spree at Edward McKay Used Books.

#17 ::: Lindra ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2008, 10:50 PM:

Fragano, @9:

I have a tendency to gush cheerily in all apparent seriousness about things I don't like in giddy perky Valley Girl. McCain and W's supposed manliness is on the list of things I don't like. Often this tendency is misconstrued in exactly the manner James Wolcott took issue with DKG.

#18 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2008, 11:06 PM:

Lindra #17: I see. I think. In that case, Wolcott should be avoided!

#19 ::: terrintokyo ::: (view all by) ::: January 31, 2008, 07:12 PM:

the much-missed Steve Gilliard expressed the same view, in his own blunt eloquence:
David Corn was seized by a case of the stupids and went after Jim Wolcott. Head shaking sadly, wondering why, oh, why would he pick a fight with a man who he should NEVER want to offend. I like Jim, he likes me, and I will do damn near anything to keep it that way. Why? Because, while a nice, gracious man, he's also a mean SOB who can cut you down with words like few others. Goldberg and Sullivan can attack me without so much as disturbing my tea making schedule.They mean nothing to me. Their words, as harmless as kryptonite to Batman.

But Wolcott? I would be vomiting and begging for mercy within minutes. God, I would not want that wit which could be the text book definition of rapier, and that anger, which rivals Jimmy Breslin's, turned on me. UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE. You shall see why below.
I will pray for your soul, David Corn, and hope you come to your senses......before it is too late.

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