Sunday, January 13, 2008


The humor site Sadly, No! is simultaneously doing us all a favor and turning itself in to the "All Goldberg All The Time" website. Like TNT broadcasting A Christmas Story over and over again on Christmas Day, the site has become dedicated to poking fun at Jonah Goldberg's ridiculous book, Liberal Fascism (I'd include the subtitle, but the question is begged - why?) It might be tempting to simply dismiss Goldberg as an ignorant crank who refused to do any research; or perhaps as a poor logician, falling in to fallacy after fallacy; perhaps one might even suspect that, in the end, he has no earthly clue what he's talking about.

The nice thing is, dedicated as they are to making sure we all keep our perspective on the basic hilarity of some parts of our public discourse - its pretensions, its nonsensical ad hominem attacks, its complete ignorance of any decency or sense of proportion - we are all saved the conscience-troubling decision of deciding whether to buy Goldberg's 500-page pile of refuse, thus contributing to its nominal success. Along with the accompanying book tour, and a recent interview in Salon, Goldberg actually manages to kick himself while he's down (not quite as hard as kissing one's elbow, but for one of Goldberg's physical proportions, still quite a feat), providing more fodder for the contributers at Sadly, No!

There is a part of me - a small part, but it is still there - that is frustrated by all this. I know I could write a better book than Goldberg; hell, I could write a better bad book than Goldberg, without farming research out to readers of a magazine. But, I know that envy is an ugly emotion, so I try not to let it intrude upon my criticism of what is, in fact, one of the silliest "literary" offerings that has appeared in many a year.

The one service Goldberg has rendered is proving it is possible to be a worse writer than Ann Coulter, or have a worse ghost-writer than Rush Limbaugh.

Virtual Tin Cup

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