With the midterm elections around the corner, the usual odor of political hypocrisy grows all the more mephitic. Why, just take a gander at this little tidbit:
…does writing about something in a work of fiction mean that the writer/artist APPROVES of the act in question? Let’s just put it this way; if that were true, than I’d hate to run into the author of “Silence of the Lambs” or, God forbid, Steven King in a dark alley! And I certainly wouldn’t want to run into Joseph Conrad, Elie Weisel, Vladimir Nabokov, or any number of authors who have written about terrible or taboo subjects.
Thus does Iowkell, a “weblogger” at the Daily Kos, defend Jim Webb, the Democratic candidate for Senate in Virginia. As is well known throughout Al Gore’s World-Wide Web, Senator George Allen, Webb’s political opponent, recently exposed some choice quotes from Webb’s novels, which feature bursts of pedophilia, incest, and misogyny.
Iowkell, who elsewhere in his “post” labels Webb “nearly beyond reproach as one of the greatest living American Heroes,” in this case offers a reasonable defense of Mr. Webb’s writings. Quite frankly, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” never plan to read a word Jim Webb has committed paper, but we’re inclined to dismiss this brouhaha as insignificant.
Ah, but if our pals at the Daily Kos weren’t inveterate hypocrites, they’d be up in arms right now about the dastardly prose of Jim Webb. Far from offering a defense of Mr. Webb’s purple passages, they’d be appalled by the moral turpitude his writings display.
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Since “Scooter” Libby composed a novel with some racy bits, we wondered how the Daily Cossacks, ever-sensitive literary critics, would deal with it. Here’s the answer, under the fair-minded heading “Author of Bestiality and Pedophilia Fiction”:
In 1996 Libby wrote The Apprentice: A Novel.
Lauren Collins of the New Yorker sums up its bizarre sexual content:
“The main female character, Yukiko, draws hair on the ‘mound’ of a little girl,” Collins reports. “The brothers of a dead samurai have sex with his daughter….certain passages can better be described as reminiscent of Penthouse Forum…Other sex scenes are less conventional.”
A direct quote from the novel: “At age 10 the madam put the child in a cage with a bear trained to couple with young girls so the girls would be frigid and not fall in love with their patrons. They fed her through the bars and aroused the bear with a stick when it seemed to lose interest.”
British Literary Review editor Nancy Sladek, who oversees a Bad Sex fiction writing contest, tells Collins: “That’s a bit depraved, isn’t it, this kind of thing about bears and young girls?” Never mind the passage concerning sex with a deer.”
Huh: In regard to Libby’s opus, we don’t see any concern for authorial intent. Rather, we see the cheap use of glib summations and an incriminating out-of-context quotation. Gee, isn’t that exactly what Iowkell criticized George Allen’s campaign for doing?
(Note: The crack young staff usually “weblog” over at “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” where they are currently writing a suggestive roman-a-clef featuring Markos Moulitsas Zuniga and Jim Webb. We’ve tentatively titled it “The Greatest Living American Heroes.”)