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Novel Hypocrisy

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.

How do we know that? Well, an examination of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby's page on "Dkosopedia" makes this all clear as day. "Dkosopedia," for those of you blissfully unaware of it, claims to be

a collaborative project of the DailyKos community to build a political encyclopedia. The dKosopedia is written from a left/progressive/liberal/Democratic point of view while also attempting to fairly acknowledge the other side's take.

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.")


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Comments (33)

Huh? What's the problem? Wh... (Below threshold)

Huh? What's the problem? Where's the hypocrisy? That excerpt accurately describes the fiction. It makes no judgment of Scooter for writing it. It is, in fact, bizarre sexual content, and depraved. There's nothing wrong with saying that any more than one would say that Stephen King's writing contains violent content and depravity.

Ah, yet again, as with last... (Below threshold)

Ah, yet again, as with last week's post, you have deftly pointed out the hypocrisy of one person writing something from a different opinion than another person.

Next week, THQ will uncover how Hillary Clinton is a hypocrite for supporting the Iraq War when Barbara Boxer opposed it. Because when a liberal disagrees with another liberal, it's hypocrisy. When conservatives do, it's the "big tent".

Don't you idiots have any other tricks? This one is tired hackery.

You just can't make this st... (Below threshold)

You just can't make this stuff up.

The really funny part is that Brian and mantis are perfectly serious, and in fact believe they have made some point.

mantis and Brian, why waste... (Below threshold)
Tony Snow:

mantis and Brian, why waste bandwidth? The "crack young staff" at THMQ have never gotten it, and will never get it. It's like trying to teach logic to a jellyfish.

And of course had Allen pen... (Below threshold)

And of course had Allen penned the objectional Webb words (LOL)who thinks we would have heard any complaint from the masters of moral rectitude aka the Hatemongers Quarterly? Their point, if any, seems to be that KOS has hack writers. Duh! There's a hot flash. That's about as newsworthy as saying HMQ's writers are hacks.

Anyone care to detail the v... (Below threshold)

Anyone care to detail the vehement violations by vituperate verbosity that "An Inconvenient Truth," a recent example of fiction that rapes the minds of innocents around the world? Well, how about Ann Coulter's new book? She leaves no virgins behind either. Then there's Jimmy Carter's whining distortions...

I think its safe to say that fiction presented as fiction is fiction: examples of an author's imagination attempting to capture the audience's attention. It speaks more of the author's perception of the intended audience than the author.

Now fiction presented as non-fiction, THAT's a defilement of thought intended to poison and self-replicate worthy of outrage. Both sides in the current political climate attempt to prove such claims against the other. This blog is replete with such efforts from both sides.

But all this nattering about fiction: bleh!

Wow.Brian, your complete an... (Below threshold)

Wow.Brian, your complete and utter lack of comprehension continues to astound me.You too mantis but I don't see you post as often.Let me attempt a brief summation of this that may be easier for you to understand.Leftists note a Republican has done X which they then announce is terribly wrong and evidence of sinister depravity.Republicans then later note leftists also commit X-which immediately enrages leftists who shreik that Republicans noticing that leftists commit X is terribly wrong and evidence of sinister depravity.For example Bob Packwood was tossed out of the senate for sexual harassment-but later the folks most angry at him were hardcore Clinton defenders.Clinton-in case you've forgotten-was endlessly getting caught commiting sexual harassment.In this case leftists dug through a novel to discover bizarre sex and then posted what they found to slam Scooter Libby as a pervert.Now some Republicans have dug through James Webb's novels to discover bizarre sex to slam him as a pervert.Leftists are now shocked-shocked!-that anyone would think bizarre sex in a novel is anything more than fiction-that's just crazy! If leftists really believed that they should never have bothered with Scooter Libby's obscure novel.They are defending Webb who did exactly what they slammed Libby for.That's where the hypocrisy is, Brian.

Every time I read about thi... (Below threshold)

Every time I read about this upcoming election, I am more disgusted with all involved. Every one of them is the same - a grown man tattling about how naughty his opponent is, and at the same time asking the public to give him a job. A position of authority even.

I keep thinking that they are just like little kids in the back seat of a car on a long trip, who won't stop poking and pestering each other. Except instead of reaching back and slapping them, the better solution is to just open the door and push them out on the freeway.

not-so-smart guy -... (Below threshold)

not-so-smart guy -

IF i lived in Tennessee, I'd want to know about Ford's sick character because after "Klinton" I've had enough!! What an embarressment to the US!

If it's FACT, it's NEWS.

Now about fiction novels...... (Below threshold)

Now about fiction novels....

Anyone that WRITES pedophile material, THINKS like a pedophile.

"And the job of a film make... (Below threshold)

"And the job of a film maker, a writer, an artist, or a journalist who has experienced that hell is to depict it - realistically, surrealistically, whatever way they feel they are best able to describe their experience.... Which is exactly what Jim Webb.... has done...."


WOW!! Mr. Webb - the candidate - IS history now!!!

Another point: Libby wasn'... (Below threshold)

Another point: Libby wasn't running for office. Webb is. Does his fiction matter to his soundness for office? That's up to the voters to decide.

Hey steak11111, you imbecil... (Below threshold)

Hey steak11111, you imbecile, is Nabokov a pedophile? Is Lolita indicative of a sick mind?

You are a moron. Do not discuss literature, because you are beneath the subject.

The criticism of Libby's pr... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

The criticism of Libby's prose was coming from literary editors..which seems to be fair comment. I don't see the hypocrisy after all, they were reviewing the content and style of the book...The sad thing, as Carlos Vargas the Peruvian writer ex- candiate for Peru1s Presidentsy discovered, (when he was denounced for the TV adaptation of some of his literary character's agnostism) is that "literary creation and politics are incompatible" in the Americas..Better to remain silent and not a leave a paper trail such as Robert Bork found out, when he was vetted and vetoed by the Senate. Many of our politicians speak at best halftruths, which are really fictions, while the few that dare write fiction have their fiction judged as if it were non-fiction or truth.

"imbecile" "moron"... (Below threshold)

"imbecile" "moron"

I'm always proved correct with literary writings in truth and find I am 'above' the subject of literature when those I prove wrong [via my scholastic skills] resort to name-calling....

I've been called MUCH worse. Is that the best you can do? Try refuting the truth....

Beat it, shoot it, Stab it,... (Below threshold)

Beat it, shoot it, Stab it, Hype it. Forget the novels by Webb. What Webb said about the women at the Naval Academy and the Tailhook scandal are revelent today because he was in a position of power over 'women' at the time. Several people had their lives ruined by the tailhook scandal, which I personally thing was a farce, but Webb is being given a pass. Why? Because he's the dim's fair haired boy? BS. Tie it to his tail and run him throught the streets like a dog with a can tied to it's tail.

"A botched internal investi... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

"A botched internal investigation and the ongoing revelations of inexcusable harassment of women . . . have also left in their wake a witch hunt that threatens to swamp the entire naval service."Webb about Tailhook
Scrapiron, I'm not following this race closely and I'm not sure why your real animus is directed aginst Webb other than it is a case of 'Naval Hypocrisy' rather than 'Novel Hypocrisy'.

I've noticed lately that th... (Below threshold)

I've noticed lately that the right wing has nothing to say about the issues facing us in the upcoming elections. Nothing to say because their cause is a failure and it's decline and fall has begun. Nothing to do but whine about "hypocrisy", or "Clinton," or scandals from 10-20 years ago, or whine about "outings" etc as nauseum.

So, when all else fails just YELL hypocrisy. As if that means anything today. As if yelling HYPOCRISY is now a cause because the true cause has failed. As if YELLING HYPOCRITE will awake the electorate who will then go and vote on the "hypocrisy" issue or against the "hypocrite."

Geez, you folks really need to get a life. Why not vote the bastards out and try again?

Hugie here is a note for yo... (Below threshold)

Hugie here is a note for you: Demo plan--Hate Bush--he he.

if Webb was a republican ca... (Below threshold)

if Webb was a republican candidate the very liberals who know support him would be calling him a war mongering, woman hating, rascist, gun nut..it is very funny to see liberals supporting Jim Webb. Here is a great article in the Weekly Standard detailing the irony of it all.


Hugh - Simply brilliant.</p... (Below threshold)
La Mano:

Hugh - Simply brilliant.

I'll translate for Hugh (ag... (Below threshold)

I'll translate for Hugh (again):

"My side looks bad in this situation, so let's please change the subject."

Hugh, I have an "issue" for you. The economy. Discuss.

That's where the hypocri... (Below threshold)

That's where the hypocrisy is, Brian.

Well, now let me show you where the fantasy is: your post.

You have once again filled it with suppositions of things no one actually said, just so you could respond to them with a feeling of superiority.

You really should burn all of your straw men.

gozorak, you are absolutely... (Below threshold)

gozorak, you are absolutely right. Only he is running as a Democrat and the Republicans are calling him a liberal, pedophile, woman-hating racist. Both parties are soulless. I am conservative, but I dislike Allen as a do-nothing, phony, airhead. This is the first Democrat I have found to vote for since I was a college liberal in the '70s. But in this dirtiest of campaigns issues, abilities, and genuine records are lost in the muck. Allen has also been smeared. To pretend there are good guys here is ludicrous.

it's fine if your "crack yo... (Below threshold)

it's fine if your "crack young staff" never wants to read a word of webb's writing, but then again i guess the author of the post isn't aware that webb's novel "fields of fire" is on the marine corps professional reading list for the ranks of corporal through sargeant.

or how about what these "pinkos" think of it:

NAVAL WAR COLLEGE REVIEW: "The sound and smell of combat permeates FIELDS OF FIRE with a completeness that is extraordinary and a realism that is almost eerie. ... at the end the reader is disappointed only because there is no more good reading. ... While the reviewer has not read all of the books about Vietnam, he has read most of them. FIELDS OF FIRE is unquestionably the best. The rest aren't even close."

SOLDIER OF FORTUNE MAGAZINE: "If a grateful government wished to extend a meaningful GI benefit to the infantrymen who fought in Vietnam, it could simply send each a copy of FIELDS OF FIRE. They would then know that their suffering, courage and seemingly limitless endurance will be forever recorded. James Webb has immortalized them. ...certainly a classic war novel, among the best of the past 35 years."

Jo:I appreciate th... (Below threshold)


I appreciate that you want to translate for me (I see you did it on another thread) but I don't really need your help. I surely don't ever need the help of a conservative right winger. The evidence? The current state of things in this country and the rest of the world. Please, please never offer me help.

The economy? Well it's great for about 10-20% of the country who are into the stock-market and benefited from the rich peoples tax cut (I did I have to confess - and yes I kept the money so one of you YELL HYPOCRITE). Other than that it pretty much sucks for the vast majority of people. Why don't you ask some of the people in Michigan and Ohio and the rest of the industrial belt. Ask the millions of folks who can't afford health insurance how they think the "economy " is. Ask folks who have to have both parents work to make ends meet how the economy is doing. Exxon makes a 10 billion dollar profit and the average joe takes it in the ass at the gas pump.

This economy is built, largely, on the housing market which is about to burst its bubble. It's built largely on refinancing of 2nd mortgages used to pay off credit card debt which then gets raised again.

I haven't even mentioned the deficit. My grandchildren will be paying for it and maybe even my great grandchildren. The billions wasted on Bush's folly in Iraq....what a waste. A sin.
That's why the wingnuts don't talk about the economy. That's why all that's left is to yell HYPOCRITE or whine that this or that isn't fair because democrats did it too -10 years or more ago.

One of the resaons I so dislike the right is the incessant whining. It's all that's left. You have nothing to stand for anymore.

I'll translate for Hugh aga... (Below threshold)

I'll translate for Hugh again:

"I still have no idea what I'm talking about."

I swear, half the people wh... (Below threshold)

I swear, half the people who frequent Daily Kos are doing so to secretly mock the leftards via imitation. That's my desperate hope, anyway.

Jo:Your response i... (Below threshold)


Your response is telling. Need a translation? You have nothing to say beyond YELLING "HYPOCRITES."

Sherwood...your attempt to ... (Below threshold)
nogo postal:

Sherwood...your attempt to blow away the mind fog of "we know what we know" mind set of some posters here with facts is admirable but wasted...

Don't forget McCain praised it but "everyone" knows he broke when waterboarded and sold out his country.

To claim that the Marines..War College..and Soldier of Fortune know more about real experiences in Viet Nam than Lynne Cheney..Fox..and of course Allen..is just moonbattery silliness...

..by the way anyone who cla... (Below threshold)
nogo postal:

..by the way anyone who claims they saw me in Saigon in 1971 at "Suzi's Steam and Cream" watching Suzi suck eggs into her vagina and then purge them broken and eaten them after they were fried and placed on rice is simply mistaken....
THERE WAS NO SEX..LET ALONE WEIRD STUFF IN SOUTHEAST ASIA...we saved ourselves for our wives and girlfriends back home...no really...at least those of us between 17 and 21..(I don't know about the older guys)

I did refute what you said,... (Below threshold)

I did refute what you said, steak11111: Nabokov wrote a story from a pedophile's perspective; Nabokov was not a pedophile; ergo, what you said was really bloody stupid. 'Kay? Got it? Good. Go read a book. Curious George would be a good start, and you can work your way up from there.

I was recently reminded of ... (Below threshold)

I was recently reminded of something else Webb wrote for the WaPo:

Other than the flippant criticisms of our "failure" to take Baghdad during the Persian Gulf War, one sees little discussion of an occupation of Iraq, but it is the key element of the current debate. The issue before us is not simply whether the United States should end the regime of Saddam Hussein, but whether we as a nation are prepared to physically occupy territory in the Middle East for the next 30 to 50 years. Those who are pushing for a unilateral war in Iraq know full well that there is no exit strategy if we invade and stay

. . . .

The Iraqis are a multiethnic people filled with competing factions who in many cases would view a U.S. occupation as infidels invading the cradle of Islam. Indeed, this very bitterness provided Osama bin Laden the grist for his recruitment efforts in Saudi Arabia when the United States kept bases on Saudi soil after the Gulf War.

Nations such as China can only view the prospect of an American military consumed for the next generation by the turmoil of the Middle East as a glorious windfall. Indeed, if one gives the Chinese credit for having a long-term strategy -- and those who love to quote Sun Tzu might consider his nationality -- it lends credence to their insistent cultivation of the Muslim world. . . An "American war" with the Muslims, occupying the very seat of their civilization, would allow the Chinese to isolate the United States diplomatically as they furthered their own ambitions in South and Southeast Asia.

These concerns, and others like them, are the reasons that many with long experience in U.S. national security issues remain unconvinced by the arguments for a unilateral invasion of Iraq. Unilateral wars designed to bring about regime change and a long-term occupation should be undertaken only when a nation's existence is clearly at stake.

It is true that Saddam Hussein might try to assist international terrorist organizations in their desire to attack America. It is also true that if we invade and occupy Iraq without broad-based international support, others in the Muslim world might be encouraged to intensify the same sort of efforts. And it is crucial that our national leaders consider the impact of this proposed action on our long-term ability to deter aggression elsewhere.

in 2002. Not quite as risque, but all of it true.






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