Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Sarcastic liberals prove how they hate family values by mocking conservative NRO columnist Meghan Cox Gurdon's reports on raising her children. Her March 19 column, "Big Sleeps", was about terrorism's disruptions of our lives, causing little girls to oversleep and pets to fake death to escape their cages. Snarky leftists attacked her again, especially her title and closing lines which refer to the classic movie and novel. World O'Crap paraphrased Chinatown in "The hormonal tide that leads, ultimately, to coffee", while TBogg did a full-scale detective parody in "I, the Mummy".

Frankly, noir is not Gurdon's medium. Her columns are more like a poorly written version of Shirley Jackson's droll child-rearing tales in Life Among the Savages. It is certainly possible to find politics in Jackson's work, like her classic story "The Lottery". But if Gurdon really wants to use a family saga as a vehicle for political sniping, her model should be one of Jackson's novels:

(A massively condensed summary)

My name is Mollie Coxe Gudron. I am eighteen, and live with my sister Violetta. All the other Republicans in my family are dead. I have to go into the village, to the library, and the grocery; Violetta never goes past the garden, and Uncle Thomas can't. When I do, the gossips make bitter remarks, just loud enough for me to hear, hoping I'll carry their words back home. The subtle ones ask each other if they remember how great a steak or a pork chop used to taste. Most of them aren't subtle.

Last week I came home to find that our irritating Democratic next door neighbor had come over for tea. Martha is still on parole, so she has to wear an ankle monitor that keeps her close to home, but our log cabin is within range so she pesters us with visits. Those always intimidate Violetta into getting out the good china, and being obsessive about how the napkins are folded. This time she brought along a guest, a reporter whose name I couldn't understand, something like "Baba Wawa". She wanted to ask Uncle Thomas about the tragedy. They always do.

She began by buttering him up, saying how many people considered him a hero for the way he adopted and raised us after everyone died. Uncle Thomas said it was the least he could do for the orphans of a fellow conservative columnist like Meggie (that's what he calls mummy). He admitted it was more expensive than he expected, which is why he had raised extra money by selling a kidney, then both legs, one arm, and a lung, and now had to use a wheel chair.

Did it bother him, she asked, that even though Violetta was never charged with a crime, lots of people still blamed her for the federal ban on meat? No, he said, he just couldn't understand why so many refused to believe his articles proving she wasn't responsible. Yes, Meggie had punished Violetta, after her excess zeal as a new PETA member led her to pour red paint on mummy's fur, but Vi was always non-violent. It was inconceivable that the pacifist little girl would have put massive amounts of anthrax in the food at the annual bipartisan Al Smith Dinner that October.

Uncle said the deaths of Meggie, her husband, and another daughter, were only footnotes to that dinner's hundreds of corpses, including all of that year's Presidential candidates except one. You might as well blame him, since Dennis Kucinich, the Green Party candidate, survived because, like Violetta, he was a vegan who didn't eat meat. The culprit must have been a terrorist, not a vengeful child. She certainly was not at fault for the prohibition of meat imposed by President Kucinich as an anti-terror measure. After all, he won because he was the only person on the ballot who was still alive.

The TV snoop then went over the line, asking if Violetta and I weren't "closer than normal". I was proud of my sister for responding "Are you asking if we have sex with each other?" Martha got in a tizzy of embarrassment and hurried Baba out. As they were leaving I heard the reporter say "I should have known better. On the old Today show I got caught the same way by Shirley McClain, when I asked about her and Warren Beatty."

Later we had an even less welcome visitor, our estranged black sheep Democratic brother Parsi. He claimed to know that mummy had stashed away lots of money in the house, and he wanted his share. Uncle demanded that he leave. Parsi showed how vindictive he was by going straight to the local Clear Channel radio station, where he appeared on the call-in talk show of former Senator Santorum. He told the listeners that my sister and I were planning to get married, which would be not only lesbianism but incest as well. This stirred up an angry mob which came and tried to burn down the house. Uncle Thomas died before the flames were put out by the firefighters.

We hid in the woods from the mob and watched the fire burn. I told Violetta that I really would be happy to marry her if she wanted. She said "Molliecoxe, forget it. Not even Massachusetts lets sisters get married."

I was feeling very close to her then, so I said "You know I didn't really add the anthrax to kill those candidates. I just wanted to get back at mummy for letting my pet rabbit loose in the woods to punish me, after she caught us kissing."

"Don't worry, Molliecoxe," she replied. "They have no proof. Let them suspect me all they want. We can just stay here in the log cabin and live off my garden." Then she hugged me hard. And that's how we've carried on ever since.

Recently Martha visited again, having been pardoned by the Democrats. She says the country is healthier now, since no one eats meat, and it's a lot more liberal, since Texas seceded from the union rather than stop raising cattle. She understands that Bush's brother Jeb moved there and became President. He's now talking about a preemptive invasion of Costa Rica, an easy mark since it has no army. I just went on pulling weeds, telling her "Cela est bien dit, mais il faut cultiver notre jardin."

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