The Post with the Leastest (UPDATED: Now with Even Less)
The Washington Post Opinions section doesn’t insult your intelligence so much as challenge your intelligence to a duel and then shoot your intelligence in the back three paces shy of the number agreed upon in advance. Dana “I’ll Stop Simpering when You Pry the Smug Look from My Cold Dead Face” Milbank:
To see Romney, in his Gap jeans, laughing awkwardly at his own jokes and making patently disingenuous claims, brings back all those bad memories of 2000: “Love Story.” Inventing the Internet. Earth tones. Three-button suits. The alpha male in cowboy boots. The iced-tea defense. The Buddhist temple. The sighing during the debate.
OH MY GOD HE’S STILL BITCHING ABOUT WHAT A LOSER GORE IS. I knew Milbank was an asshole, but I didn’t realize this level of petty spite was even possible. And I’m drawing a blank on half those memes, should I know what the hell the “iced-tea defense” is? Or is that the sort of detail you’d forget if you had better things to do than sit around stewing for 11+ years about how totally lame it was that your boss made you ride the same bus with that gaywad? This guy’s “reporter’s notebook” must be a Trapper Keeper.
An actual hyperlink for the jeans “story,” for crying out loud. Mortal Kombat characters aren’t as eminently punchable.
Let’s turn to a different WaPo columnist, maybe it’ll be a little less, how you say, “likely to suck my soul out through my left nostril and squeeze it into a microdot of hopelessness.”.
Mitt Romney is starting to get on my nerves.
Phew! Yeah, I can relate to that. Never was much of a Richard Cohen fan, but if that first line sets the tone, looks like I’ll be able to get through the whole thing withou—
He reminds me of Reggie, the rich, handsome, athletic and effortlessly superficial character in the “Archie” comics.
That’s not quite what I was, um… ‘scuse me a sec.
(drives to Tiger Schulman’s, enrolls in class, breaks board with head)
Ahhhh, that’s better.
He does almost everything well, and he looks like a million bucks (leveraged for much more), but he rings hollow, like the class president who would bring glee to all of Riverdale High by slipping on a banana peel. I’d kill for that.
You’d kill for… what? To look good and have innate talent, the trade-off being an air of inauthenticity? Or you’d kill to see Romney slip on a banana peel? Christ, man, if it’s worth murdering someone for, it’s worth taking a second pass at the paragraph for the sake of clarity!
(UPDATE: Wait, how is that like Reggie? Aren’t class presidents usually apple-polisher types? Damn it, Cohen)
Aspiring editorial writers take note: a man with a cushy spot smack-dab in the middle of some of the most desirable media real-estate in the world can’t get through seventy words, many of them articles and conjunctions, without making a hash of it. So your take-away should be to stay in school, learn to network, and don’t write too good.
Oh, another thing: As a writer, chances are you weren’t popular in high school. Maybe you dealt with this by currying favor with your social betters, resulting in a lifelong tendency to crave approval from the in-group and a deep-seated drive to identify and punish other betas like yourself. Or maybe you went the opposite route and internalized your status, cultivating your resentment to the point where even today you can’t see a handsome man without reverting back to an awkward, lonely child inside.
Either way, take it from well-paid, influential columnists Dana Milbank and Richard Cohen: Don’t get the fuck over it.
Above: Time-traveler Christian Slater attempts to free up future space for Eugene Robinson