Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Writing in Wingnuttia

Jane Hamsher must be a reincarnation of Dorothy Parker. I will never get on her wrong side however divine my powers might be, because Jane knows how to shoot those little darts with curare or some of its literary equivalent so precisely that the target thinks the pain was self-inflicted:

That tears it, Ramesh. Those philistines at Regnery have made you change the title of your book (edited by BEN DOMENECH) and forced you to say, like Peter did of Jesus, "I deny thee":

*Franke-Ruta mentions my forthcoming book The Party of Death, which she describes as a "book on Democrats." The book does have quite a bit to say about the Democrats, and it's tough on them. But the book is about more than that, and the title isn't meant as a pejorative term for the Democrats. I explain, mostly in the introduction, what I mean and don't mean by the phrase. I'm not saying this to complain about Franke-Ruta. It was nice of her to mention the book, and her assumption was an easy one to make, partly because the Amazon page on the book is a bit misleading. (I've tried to get Amazon to change it a few times.)*

Do they not understand that YOU ARE AN ARTIST, RAMESH? How could they force you to utter such pure gibberish? The cynical Digby has expressed the belief that you changed the title from "The Party of Death: The Democrats, the Media, the Courts, and the Disregard for Human Life" to "The Party of Death: The Assault on The Sanctity of Life" because you "had second thoughts about spending every day for months defending that slanderous, scurrilous title." But I'm not buying it.

I smell the hand of Pat Sajak.

Even as we speak I am busy combating that big headed, pick-a-letter-motherfucker Sajak and his scurrilous attempts to appease the liberal media by making you change your title. Fear not, Ramesh! I see that after The American Prospect linked to Regnery this morning and your photo with the original title they have now pulled it. But you should always rest easy and know that I am in your corner, my brother, because I made sure to make screen grabs of EVERYTHING last night (including the Amazon cover) so that when we show up to support you at your book signings we can have flyers that will give testimony to your pure, original undying genius.

My vigilance against defamatory shit like this knows no bounds, Ramesh, no bounds:

Ramesh, just for the record: when I publish my upcoming book, The Party of Right-Wing War-Mongering Evangelical Bush-Worshipping Cocksuckers, please be aware that it is not about the Republican party.

My book does have quite a lot to say about Republicans, and I'm kind of tough on them, but the title does NOT refer to them.

Jane is one of Artemis's own. I raise my helmet to her.

Wingnuttia writing has been a hot blogging topic for some time now, what with Ben Domenech (the lying-and-stealing-one) getting a juicy job at the Washington Post for no good reason or at least for not his writing skills. He is also the editor of the book Jane defends in the above quote, the one about us being the party of death. Books like this are the bread-and-butter of wingnuttia. Just think of the names of Ann Coulter's tomes and of the latest O'Beirne which was something about the feminazis who ate Cincinnati and the rest of the universe.

These titles are an odd mixture of the long Victorian way of making up names for books (The Quaint Adventures of the Intrepid Sojourner; Being Also an Epistle of the Manners and Cannibalism of The Heathens) and of very crude name-calling. Why this combination would appeal to wingnut readers is hard to answer. I would have thought that the ones who want Victorian titles wouldn't want the smearwords and the other way round, but perhaps it's necessary to be extremely explicit and long-winded to get the Wingnuttia readers to open their pocket-books or wallets.

There are fewer good writers in Wingnuttia than on our side. I'm willing to defend this point ad infinitum, by the way. George Will, Ann Coulter and Charles Krauthammer can write (the last-mentioned only a little) but that's pretty much the totality of the wingnut talent. We, on the other hand, are drowning in a sea of unrewarded talent. Which may explain why Ben Domenech was offered a job with Major Political Influence and why it smells off. But think of the poor wingnut enforcers in the traditional media: they must hire more and more wingnuts and that means scraping the bottom of the barrel. I really feel sorry for them, having to do all this and then having to argue that it's not that their arms are being twisted to bring "balance", but only a reflection of earnest journalism and the search for impartial coverage of Truth.

The Wingnuttia blogs don't suffer from such ethical jitters. They don't want the media to be impartial; they want to take over the media. Like the cockroach that ate Cincinnati.