Saturday, May 04, 2013

Have I Pointed Out Recently

What a terrific, hammer-into-anvil writer James Wolcott is? That he marches out into the same word-beanfields to which we all have access and somehow always manages to come back with  harvests which are not merely lush and muscular but which you can instantly recognize as uniquely "Wolcottian" from a across a fog-bound bay?


Well, then, this from "Andrew Breitbart’s Circus Maximus":
“Andrew Breitbart was the coolest thing at the first day of cpac, even though he’s dead,” reported Elspeth Reeve for the Atlantic Wire. “On Thursday, there were three events to celebrate Breitbart, the conservative provocateur who died a year ago, and they were filled with fanboys.” The National Bloggers Club touted the Breitbart Scholarship Fund, intended to encourage aspiring insurgents to pick up the torch of liberty and run naked through the lobby with it. To me, a disinterested yet completely hostile bystander, such gestures are consolation prizes that conservatives are giving themselves to sustain an illusion of continuity, a show-must-go-on sentiment. But personality cults are hard to perpetuate after Elvis has left the building. You can imitate tactics, emulate tone and posture, but you can’t inhale animal spirits from your fallen heroes and make them your own. Now that Breitbart’s metabolism is no longer exerting the magnetic force to bind everything together, the rinky-dinkitude of his school of right-wing muckraking is laid bare.

Read the rest here.


Anonymous said...

Great stuff indeed, Driftglass. You have to admire someone who writes "The circus bizarro went surreal when Breitbart hijacked Weiner’s press conference at New York’s Sheraton Hotel and turned it into his gorilla thump of triumph before an agape press."

Really? "gorilla thump" followed by "agape"? That's pretty damn good writing right there! And the opening line, expanding on veni vidi vici is nastily excellent...

Scott Ingram said...

"To me, a disinterested yet completely hostile bystander...."


The right strains to compensate for a lack of substance by going overboard on personality. The death of Breitbart displays (one of) the weaknesses of this plan.

It's like compensating for a poor architecture with many many coats of paint.

Unsalted Sinner said...

I have come to see Wolcott as something like an American equivalent of the man I want to be when I grow up: Stephen Fry. Funny, smart as hell, and equally at home among the highbrow and the lowbrow. Just good old-fashioned Wit, like Oscar Wilde or H. L. Mencken used to serve it, but Wit without snobbery or artifice. Most people have to fake that stuff, but it seems to come naturally to Fry and Wolcott.

And there's nothing better than seeing people like Breitbart and his legacy of Breibrats get roasted with equal helpings of acid and elegance. Hurts so much more than a simple "Fuck you, asshole!" (Not that the latter doesn't have its place too.)

JerryB said...

I refuse to take joy from the death of another human being no matter how repugnant, however I could not find it in my heart to mourn his passing.

I did take great pleasure in the pain of those who did mourn him, though.

Tild said...

My new favorite word of all time:


Gotta love Wolcott.

Rick Massimo said...

I don't think his operation or followers have gotten any less rinky-dink or ridiculous. What Walcoot calls Breitbart's "metabolism" and "energizing force to bind the whole thing together" is really just "Breitbart's ability to scream at people for committing the sin of pointing out that he's lying," which inspires a fear that Ben Shapiro and Tucker Carlson don't.