« January 2008 »

Memo to Roger Simon: YOU ARE DUMB.

I am, by no stretch of the imagination, a fan of Hillary Clinton. I resent that we live in a political climate that makes it likely I'll vote for her in November, I resent her and Bill's role in creating that political climate, and I resent the freakish dynastic turn America has taken for two decades now.

So under normal circumstances, I would not waste a column defending her when some right-wing scatmuncher goes out of his way to call her a cunt. Is it classy? One could argue that it is so not classy that if it ever touched classy, they'd annihilate each other and power a starship. Is it accurate? I don't think there's been a set of objective criteria established.

However, the criteria for being an unfunny douchebag have been widely explored in this space over the past four years, so I can say with authority that while calling Hillary a cunt may not be very nice, the precise way Roger Simon went about it does in fact make him an unfunny douchebag.

You may be unfamiliar with Roger Simon. I certainly was. Since I think it would be stupid to put their faces and names on a deck of playing cards, I have no real means of keeping track of all the second- and third-tier GOP character assassins that pop in and out of jobs and administrations, a rotating cast of assholes with hair helmets embodying everything that's wrong with the system. Simon's been in the game longer than most, I'm told - he started with Nixon when he was 19, and has taken that role model to heart.

Simon is the assistant treasurer of, and assumed motivating force behind, a new 527 group whose mission statement is to "educate the American public about what Hillary Clinton really is". In case the "what" instead of "who wasn't a big enough tipoff for you, the group's sole activity is selling T-Shirts with its name and logo. That name? Citizens United Not Timid.

Get it? It's like how they say "FUCK" stands for "For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge", except that the fuckronym actually makes some goddamned sense. And that's what really pisses me off about Simon's little venture. Not that he thought it was clever to have the group's name spell out "CUNT", even though it's the kind of "comedy" even Dane Cook wouldn't steal if he saw it on a middle-schooler's notebook.

And it's not that the "logo" is a crude vector drawing that's supposed to look like an envelope for plausible deniability purposes and a crotch for puerile sniggering. These things are damning, but from a group of people who consider P.J. O'Rourke and Dennis Miller their two top comedic voices, hardly unsurprising. But that acronym is a fucking crime against humanity.

Citizens United Not Timid? The fuck? The comedy acronym is an ancient and venerated staple. It's a classic go-to for a cheap laugh. "Citizens United Not Timid" not only bends the form of the comedy acronym until it snaps like a dry twig, it doesn't even cop out correctly! Let's assume that after three days of brainstorming, the absolute four best words you can come up with that start with C, U, N, and T are these four. Given that, we must also assume that upon realizing these are the best four words you can come up with, you don't immediately abandon your project and apply for a job at Hardees.

But no punctuation? No comma or colon or dash to make the two completely disparate halves of the name seem slightly less awkward? Not even the customary lower-cased word like "and" thrown in to help fake your way through your incredibly awkward construction? Comedy acronyms with lower-case, ignored prepositions have been with us since the dawn of time, but Roger Simon couldn't be fucking well bothered to toss one in. Instead, he just left us with a grammatical monstrosity that rolls off the tongue like a peanut butter brick.

There's a word for people like that, but I'm damned if I can think of what it is.