Skip to comments.Harper's Ben Metcalf Throws Hissy Fit, Spits Up(Major Bush derangement)
Posted on 05/23/2006 7:22:23 PM PDT by Pikamax
May. 22, 2006 - 3:40 PM Temper Tantrum Harper's Ben Metcalf Throws Hissy Fit, Spits Up Felix Gillette Would somebody please give Harper's literary editor Ben Metcalf a back rub? Or maybe pour him a cup of sleepy-time tea? Or buy him a gift certificate for some yoga lessons?
After all, it's difficult for an editor to write a readable magazine column when he's hyperventilating with anger -- which seems to be exactly what's ailing Metcalf in his current "Notebook" column in the front of Harper's.
In the column, Metcalf ostensibly sets out to write a lofty, literary essay about the limits of free speech in this country. Is it legal, Metcalf wants to know, for him to write about his desire to strangle the president?
"Am I allowed to write that I would like to hunt down George W. Bush, the president of the United States, and kill him with my bare hands?" writes Metcalf.
"In truth, I bring neither a message nor a promise of violence," he adds. "I seek only to gauge what level of discourse is still acceptable in this country by asking, in the hope that I might someday participate in that discourse, whether I am free to posit that it would probably be great fun, and a boon to all mankind, if I were to slaughter the president of the United States with my bare hands."
Having posed the question, Metcalf half-heartedly seeks an answer.
Along the way, he reveals that in 1917 Congress passed legislation making it a federal offense for anyone who "knowingly and willfully deposits for conveyance in the mail ... any letter, paper, writing, print, missive, or document containing any threat to take the life of, to kidnap, or to inflict bodily harm upon the President of the United States ... or knowingly and willfully otherwise makes any such threat."
The upshot, according to Metcalf, is that somehow George W. Bush has taken advantage of this not-exactly-new restriction on free speech. According to Metcalf, the president's "free ride on our backs was made possible" by Congress' 1917 decision.
How is the president getting a free ride on our backs because it's illegal to make threats against his person? How is that different than any other president since 1917? What does that have to do with the current tension between the White House and the reporters who cover it?
Metcalf never explains. Instead, he haphazardly vents his pent-up anger, and the column soon breaks down into a four-alarm hissy fit against the president.
"I hardly mean to imply that George W. Bush is a delusional party hack whose aim is to rob and mislead us for the benefit of his friends," he writes. "That idea deserves to be stated outright: George W. Bush is a delusional party hack whose aim is to rob and mislead us for the benefit of his friends."
Just in case that was too subtle, Metcalf reiterates the point.
"True, George W. Bush is an ignorant, cruel, closed-minded, avaricious, sneaky, irresponsible, thieving, brain-damaged frat boy with a drinking problem and a taste for bloodshed, whose numerous crimes have been abetted by the moral corruption of his party cohort and whose contempt for American military lives alone warrants his impeachment, but what has it ever won us to say so?" he adds.
In the end, all of Metcalf's rage adds up to quite a spectacle -- like watching a toddler in the midst of a temper tantrum, clenching his fists, and smashing at his tinker toys with his favorite Tonka Truck. Several thousand words in, we found ourselves thinking, "Go ahead Big Guy, keep going, get it all out of your system..."
Not that Metcalf's column is without its merits. Along the way, he succeeds at the previously unlikely feat of making his "Notebook" predecessor, Lewis Lapham, sound like the soothing, moderate voice of reason.
No doubt, many Harper's readers who share Metcalf's insatiable rage at the president will embrace his wild child routine as a daring bit of truth telling. But, at the same time, Metcalf's pompous personal attack on the president will also provide some great fodder for anyone looking to dismiss the legitimate investigative reporting and well-reasoned political criticism found elsewhere in Harper's -- that is, the type of writing that keeps us picking up the magazine.
Heck, all you have to do is read the first paragraph and you get a whiff of the stench.
That should be enough to get him a visit by some Secret Service agents....
WTF has he mistook for Harper's?
Followed by the guys in the white coats. This fool is nuts!!
"...George W. Bush is an ignorant, cruel, closed-minded, avaricious, sneaky, irresponsible, thieving, brain-damaged frat boy with a drinking problem and a taste for bloodshed, whose numerous crimes have been abetted by the moral corruption of his party cohort and whose contempt for American military lives alone warrants his impeachment.."
Since Metcalf enjoys taking potshots at his superiors, perhaps he'd like to explain why GWB got better grades than John F'n Kerry, why Algore couldn't get a degree in Divinity School after flunking out of his first college and why both Algore and John F'n Kerry were able to spend only four months in Viet Nam while regular people such as myself spent up to 18 or so months. Metcalf might also clue us in on why 200+ of John F'n Kerry's cohorts in the Swift Boats (including the guy who was right behind and above him)have tagged him as a coward, braggert and liar while only about 11 support him. This is not to mention, of course, his murder of a wounded 15 year old in VN.
It's also interesting to note that such an ignorant Frat boy could nonetheless get a bachelor's from Yale, then an MBA from Harvard, then qualify as a fighter pilot. Last time I checked that resume beats Algore's, beats John F'n Kerry's and beats Willie BJ Klintoon's.
Little known fact: It was actually Karl Rove's grandfather who got that 1917 law introduced and passed.
Forget the cup of tea,smack him behind the left ear with sock full of wet sand.
Bush is safe, the Left's girly men only attack women.
While the USAF was teaching Bush how to pilot a multi-million dollar, nuclear missile armed, supersonic fighter to defend the US against Soviet nuclear bombers, the Army was teaching Gore how to type and Kerry how to steer a boat.
While the USAF was teaching Bush how to pilot a multi-million dollar, nuclear missile armed, supersonic fighter to defend the US against Soviet nuclear bombers, the Army was teaching Gore how to type and the Navy was teaching Kerry how to steer a boat.
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