Vidal on Buckley, RS on racists, Chris Martin on breasteses and Topless Ladies Futbol (with photo)!
If it's the goal of some writers to be loathed, even after death, by their profession's peers, this is the late William F. Buckley's lucky week. Check out this nugget from the Sunday New York Times Magazine's "Questions For" ... Gore Vidal:
How did you feel when you heard that Buckley died this year? "I thought hell is bound to be a livelier place, as he joins forever those whom he served in life, applauding their prejudices and fanning their hatred."
Makes me look forward to 2048 to figure out who I'll hold a 40-year-old grudge against...
Oh wait, I know exactly who I'll hold a 40-year-old grudge against. These kinds of "people," as portrayed by Rolling Stone's excellent Matt Taibbi in all their too-common-racist glory, talking about Obama and the coded language explaining why they'll never vote for his kind.
Even the briefest of surveys of the supporters gracing McCain's events underscores the kind of red-meat appeal he's making. Immediately after his speech in New Orleans, a pair of sweet-looking old ladies put down their McCain signs long enough to fill me in on why they're here. "I tell you," says one, "if Michelle Obama really doesn't like it here in America, I'd be very pleased to raise the money to send her back to Africa."
The diminutive and smiling old lady's friend leans over. "That's going a little too far, dear."
"Too far?" says the first. "Farrakhan is saying they were brought here against their will, and their bodies are still feeding the sharks at the bottom of the sea! I mean, really!"
"OK, sharks still eating bodies," I say, writing it all down. "Could I have your name, ma'am?"
"Janice Berg," says the first old lady. "And lest you think I'm Jewish, the name comes from Norway. Berg is 'mountain' in Norwegian. I'm part German, part French myself."
Oh Janice, Janice, Janice. Don't worry. Nobody thinks you're Jewish when you're wearing your hood.
But wait, there's more...
A few paces away, I catch up with a man named Ron Saucier and a woman who would only identify herself as Mary. Ron says his problem with Obama is the integrity thing. "He exaggerates too much," Ron says. "He's not honest."
"OK," I say. "What does he exaggerate about?"
"Well, like that time he was saying he had a white mother and a white grandmother," he says.
I ask him how this is an exaggeration.
"Well, he was saying . . ." he begins. "As if that qualifies him to . . ."
Despite my repeated prodding, Ron seems unable or unwilling to say aloud exactly what he means. Finally, his friend Mary, a grave-looking blonde with fierce anger lines around her eyes, jumps in, points a finger and blurts out one of the all-time man-on-the-street quotes.
"Look, you either are or you aren't," she says.
"And he aren't," Ron says, nodding with relief.
And finally, in the same Rolling Stone, Coldplay's Chris Martin -- who is on what seems to be an endless loop of media appearances to drum up sales of their new album, which would sell just fine without all the non-stop beg-adry -- speaks truth to power in a way that has me heading to Center City in a few to pick up said album on account of his truth-telling. (The full interview, including this nugget, is not in the online version so I had to transcribe from the issue itself.) ...
Rolling Stone: I guess something convinced you finally that you were, in fact, straight.
Chris Martin: Well, I was swayed by boobs. Let's face it. They're fantastic.
No question, a solid theory. But [REDACTED: question as to whether Gwyneth is closer to "fantastically" endowed or carpenter's dream]. Fine, editor, you can take that one. So allow me to rephrase. If she wasn't a smoking-hot movie star, would she be invited to play in these games?
As an "appetizer" for last night's Euro 2008 games in Vienna, Austria and Germany fielded women's soccer teams with six on a side.
Austria won, 10-5, over their larger neighbor, but at the end of the game, they had to forego the traditional shirt swap. The reason? Both teams were clad only in thongs.
Judging from the pictures (which men worldwide were poring over last night) the "uniforms" were very tasteful.
The thongs were accompanied by white paint that looked like shorts, and everything above the waist was painted to look like a jersey.