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Thursday, July 02, 2009

Limbaugh: Grace of a Jungle Cat 

I used to read James Bowman's movie reviews with some interest, until I realised that he seemed to suffer from a sort of indefinable neurosis. Almost every review, no matter what the subject, excruciatingly turned on some rusty blowhard's axis about patriotism or good manners or some damn thing. American Beauty, American Psycho (“Of course the media and the critics in general just love this stuff because it plugs into their two favorite pastimes: feeling superior to Republicans and feeling miserable and alienated about the state of the nation. It is all a pose, of course, but then Ellis's book and Ms Harron's movie are poses too.”), Angela's Ashes (“As a result, there is too much of the besetting sin of Hollywood, which is an appeal to self-congratulation.”), all found to be unmanly and therefore inimical and possibly harmful.

I wondered, how does a normal person get this way? Did something happen to him? A disappointment? A bitterness? Some rancune?

I don't know. But here he is, back in 1993, writing a puff piece about Rush Limbaugh in National Review:

Yes, but . . . Is Limbaugh really an homme serieux, a man with the gravitas to be a - let alone the - republican leader? [“]A lot of very wealthy Republicans consider themselves sophisticated beyond the Limbaugh types,” Bennett goes on. “They miss the point. Rush is extremely sophisticated, extremely smart. The great thing is that, never having been through a university, he is not complicated with pedanticism. He's very serious intellectually. He knows how to frame an issue, how to debate an issue, how to argue ad finem and ad absurdum. He does both. But he is larger than a leader of the political opposition. He represents a shift in the culture. Another ten years of the political change he stands for will take us beyond Republicans and Democrats.” ...

Famous for being fat, he comes across in person rather as an imposing presence: big, but with the grace of a jungle cat - a quality that goes with his yellow-green, cat-like eyes.

He goes on in this vein, practically swooning as he bathes in Limbaugh's cigar smoke, excited, truly enthusiastic.

I become sad thinking of the many assholes in this world.



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