An old friend and foil of LI wrote us an email the other day, asking how we were doing and whether we were still lobbing insults at the president.
The question made us hang our head in shame. In fact, a quick survey of LI backpages lately will show an astonishing paucity of commentary about that human equivalent of the green garbage fly, the POTUS. President Backbone. Or, as he was known to the prophet Isaiah, a drunken man who staggereth in his own vomit.
We might as well confess: we’ve reached the limit with the old pissingpost.
The burden of the torchsinger’s song needn’t be some magnificent object, nor does it need to arouse the deepest sentiments. A song I learned as a lad and could still sing for you on a long car trip, as my friend D. can testify, commemorates a bad day at the races for some slack rounder who didn’t bet on Old Stewball, but took the odds on favorites, the gray mare and the bay. Now, this isn’t the kind of news that should lend its impress to the collective memory of all mankind, but – conveyed by Peter Paul and Mary and then distributed a thousandfold by humdrum strummers in every weekend pizza joint in suburban Atlanta, when they weren’t building a staircase to heaven, Old Stewball has refused to be dislodged from my braincells, and will probably still be ghosting me when, in some public charity ward, I’m trying to figure out where my penis is so I can piss out of it or at least know my I still have my valuables about me.
Yet here I am with one of the great subjects. A rich and semi-educated Republic. A population reveling equally in short term memory loss and its dream of f/x military action, with Doby surroundsound. A man whose sum total of talents would gain him only sporadic employment as a second rate golf pro at country clubs in midsized Southern cities, who descends, fortunately enough for him, from one of those families wealthy in exact proportion to their worthlessness. A suspect, not to say sinister elevation; a lack of interest by our crowned golf pro in leadership so incredible that he simply waves away warnings of an attack that does come because they interrupt his cypress trimming and sleep – besides which, they challenge him to do something, and he has never and will never know fuckall about doing anything; a senseless, vain, cruel war, in which gradually every member of the said yo yo Republic becomes complicit – all of these are surely themes for a satiric epic, an unending Dunciad. Yet LI has eaten the ashy fruit of this for six years, and we have finally had enough. What new insults, shocks, jeremiads can one haul out of the cellar? Isaiah only had to do with uncircumsized armies worshipping Baal in the place of the Lord. He never had to confront the deadly horror of modern mediocrity riding in its nasty little triumph (o, the moralizing of the well fed!) over the necks of taste, sense, sensibility, reason, truth, and the hardwon virtues of the little humanity we might have gained to get us through various bilious nights of the soul – if that is we can’t find sleeping tablets.
So LI has broken the covenant of perpetual abuse which we once pledged to our readers. Cursing and shrieking bores the fuck out of us.
The witch of Endor is dead.
The earth mourneth and fadeth away, the world languisheth and
fadeth away, the haughty people of the earth do languish.
The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof;
because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance,
broken the everlasting covenant.
Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that
dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the
earth are burned, and few men left.