And They Think I’M Nasty?

My high school graduation photo.

I have a reputation, in certain quarters — carefully nurtured and cultivated by a number of my critics — for being ruthless, unprincipled, cruel, and mean-spirited.

But I doubt that even my most hostile and spin-adept enemies can find anything in my literary oeuvre that is anywhere near as nasty as this passage, written by Los Angeles Times columnist Burt Prelutsky:

“Frankly, I don’t know what it is about California, but we seem to have a strange urge to elect really obnoxious women to high office. I’m not bragging, you understand, but no other state, including Maine, even comes close.  When it comes to sending left-wing dingbats to Washington, we’re Number One. There’s no getting around the fact that the last time anyone saw the likes of Barbara Boxer, Dianne Feinstein, Maxine Waters, and Nancy Pelosi, they were stirring a cauldron when the curtain went up on Macbeth. The four of them are like jackasses who happen to possess the gift of blab. You don’t know if you should condemn them for their stupidity or simply marvel at their ability to form words.”

I don’t think that I would ever write such a passage, but I do admire it, in a certain way.

(My thanks to Stan Barker for bringing this item to my attention.)

Edited to add:  Subsequent to my posting of the item above, Stan Barker (my source for it) called to tell me that he hadn’t verified the quotation, and I’ve since found out that it’s actually from a blog, not from the Los Angeles Times, and that its author, Burt Prelutsky, hasn’t been a Times columnist for a number of years now.  Although this information doesn’t affect my point at all — which was, pretty much, that I’ve never written such an insulting passage and would never write such an insulting passage even though I think it’s somewhat funny in a very insulting sort of way, which seems to indicate that I may actually not be the nastiest person now writing in English — I note it in passing.

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