Matt Taibbi Has A Bad Pottymouth

Shadowey EditorsesTom Scocca: Am I the only one who sort of wishes that nice Matt Taibbi wouldn’t use all those swear words?
Choire Sicha: YES.
Choire Sicha: I FEEL THE SAME.
Choire Sicha: I was like, “You wrote a letter to the Wall Street Journal saying ‘fellatio’? Ugh!”
Tom Scocca: Right? The letter needed not to say “fellatio.”
Tom Scocca: (Why does iChat not recognize “fellatio” as a word? What is chat software FOR?)
Choire Sicha: HAHAHDFDSf
Choire Sicha : But yeah. He needs to grow up
Tom Scocca: Am I still connected? I can’t really imagine my terrible Comcast modem and terrible AirPort, both or either of which tend to crap out because of normal midmorning ennui, are going to keep working through these pre-apocalyptic power flickers.
Choire Sicha: Wow, you are in “The Road: Silver Spring” edition.
Tom Scocca: See, it’s not even that he needs to grow up. He needs to stay just as irresponsibly and appropriately vicious and furious as he is.
Choire Sicha: Okay, true!
Tom Scocca: But it reads like he’s slashing away at somebody with a machete, then laying the machete down to smack the subject with a Wiffle bat. “Craven, bumlicking ass-goblin” is fine, although I do not love the use of “bum” in the context of furious invective in American English.
Tom Scocca: “Are you fucking kidding us?” is fine, too, in context. It is a familiar and appropriate idiom, rendered completely.
Choire Sicha: My complaints about this make me feel old! But I do believe them.
Tom Scocca: It’s more in this: “Remember how he said all that shit, Evan, just about six weeks before the world exploded?”
Choire Sicha: That’s juvenile.
Tom Scocca: And “a generation of toxic assets that all of the rest of us will be paying for in taxes (instead of, for instance, a health care program, which we can now no longer afford) for the next fifty fucking years.”
Tom Scocca: See, I’m not really interested in the juvenile / non-juvenile value judgments. I just think those are ineffective as intensifiers.
Tom Scocca: Just as the fellatio reference in the actual letter to the Journal seems distracting and an invitation to the Journal to ignore the very substantive complaint in the letter.
Tom Scocca: Also, be faithful to your metaphors! Is it a blowjob or is it an act of ass-kissing?
Tom Scocca: “Ass-goblin” works because it is an elaboration of the idea that this writer is actually engaged in licking the anus of his former employer.
Tom Scocca: Taibbi needs to go deeper. To work the metaphor hard until it’s raw and bleeding.
Tom Scocca: The cheap vulgarity gets in the way of truly vile and shocking vulgarity.
Choire Sicha: Well, like most of us, he runs unedited.
Tom Scocca: Anyway, that’s why we’re here! Because there isn’t enough editing to go around. Matt Taibbi, edit yourself with a little more motherfucking rigor, please. Thanks! -30-
Choire Sicha: adfadsfdsa
Tom Scocca: PRINT IT.