Friday, January 16, 2009

I was reading a couple of magazines recently and ended up paying attention to the subscription inserts they're always pummelling you with and realised that if I just paid for a subscription I wouldn't have to actually go and GET the magazine because it gets posted to you and also, you save like a million percent on magazines. As a result, I now get all these magazines every month and so, now I can write things about what's in them after I've gone through them. I mean, it sounds like the bleeding obvious but it's really surprising what you figure out when you really think about the small things. Like, just as an aside - it took me ten years or something to figure out that CC's, the packets of corn chips you can buy in Australia, were named CC's because it stands for fucking "Corn Chips".

But, better late than never.

So, to my genuine, unadulterated delight, one of my favourite non fiction writers, Rolling Stone contributor Matt Taibbi has not one but two pieces out at the moment. One is an omnivorous demolition job on New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman in the New York Press which is classic Taibbi acidic conversational language assault. I haven’t followed Thomas Friedman in a while so this utter distain for him is unfamiliar to me but it’s still worth a read if for no other reason than the graph he constructs that charts the correlation between the size of Valerie Bertinelli’s ass between 1985 and 2008 and Happiness.

The other is a fictionalized interview with George W Bush in Rolling Stone, written entirely by Taibbi where, apart from making Bush apologise, he delivers a stunning, laser sharp summation of the Bush administration in one hard paragraph.

If you go to Rolling Stone online they won’t give you the final paragraph so I’m going to graciously type it out right now:

Matt Taibbi: I think there are a lot of people who feel that way.
President Bush: Really, what do they want to say?
Do you really want to know?
Ok, here it is. You’re the child of two emotionally absent aristocrats who denied you any kind of love and affection from an early age. You grew up resentful and lacking completely in natural gifts or curiosity and by early adulthood found yourself desperate to fulfill the expectations your parents by then mostly only had for you much more competent brother, Jeb. You failed every test you ever faced as a young man and were unable to hold any job at all until the age of 45 or so, at which time you decided to try to win some self respect by going into the family business. You were aided in this quest by a bunch of narrow-minded lackeys and holdovers from your father’s administration who every step fo the way manipulated your obvious Oedipal resentments to their advantage, enriching themselves and their friends. All you wanted was a pat on the back and a few accomplishments of your own to hang your hat on, but instead you’re about to spend the rest of eternity pondering your now official legacy as the worst and most pigheaded leader in the history of Western Democracy, a man who almost singe-handedly sank the mightiest nation on Earth by turning the presidency into a 50 trillion dollar therapy session that ended in two disastrous wars, a financial crisis that threatens the entire system of international capitalism, and a legacy of corruption on a scale not seen since the Borgias or maybe Nero.
That, Mr. President is what they’re thinking and not saying to you.

Jeez, I thought you were a music magazine.

[source] [source]

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