Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

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.

13 Comments / Post A Comment

KarenUhOh (#19)

Constipancy is the ass-goblin of little behinds.

So true. The cheap vulgarity DOES get in the way of truly vile and shocking vulgarity. Cheap vulgarity is UGLY and infantile and it blunts his delivery. Does anyone want to follow the rhetorical train of a garbage truck?

We are vulgarity snobs here.

BillyMilder (#723)

Fucking fun killers.

other stuff that makes me feel old:

i generally HATE the use of FML.

#56 (#56)

Wanna feel old? All I can think of when I read that title bar is: THE SHADOW KNOWS! augh.

"Tom Scocca: Also, be faithful to your metaphors! Is it a blowjob or is it an act of ass-kissing?"

I think when one is done subsequent to the other it is called "around the world". I could be wrong though.

grandpa27 (#804)

Balk/Sicha – again
1) When you put quotes around something, spell out the author in question.
2) The use of casual four letter expletives reveals a paucity of thought and is off-putting,
3) The everyday shop talk between men (and women now) often is laced with expletives, but they should not cast in the blog. Unlike paper, blogs and other internet writings seem to remain forever. They sully your professional status and will haunt you in the days to come.
4) Cursing is an art, use it to good effect and you will be rewarded.

bettyblack (#829)

Open Letter to Matt Taibbi:

You are not Hunter S. Thompson.

Now go away.


Abe Sauer (#148)

I agree. But at the same time I wonder if Matt maybe isn't trying to appeal to a demographic that… let's say would find the "Shadow Editors" (or The Awl in its entirety) boringly un-fucking-readable. Lets say a demo that thinks because they watch Stewart/Colbert they are on-top-of-it and tuuuuuned-in to the hypocrisy and the Way Things Are Fucked Up(TM). These crass colloquialisms are essentially the same selling point Bush used as the "wanna have a beer with him" thing.

Also: Taibbi lives to play the outsider banging away on the corrupt establishment. The establishment that has to bleep out naughty words, and in doing so creates a massive paradox in not allowing foul language t pollute its foul acts.

Patrick M (#404)

FYI: The WSJ just printed a correction: it should have been spelled ass gobblin'.. not sure if that changes anything..?

spanish bombs (#562)

I don't think criticizing bloggers counts for the Shadow Editors. It is much more endearing when you go after things The New Yorker or Vanity Fair or something. What the hell is TrueSlant, and who the hell is Matt Taibbi? Unimportant things, is what, and whom. Can you please pick on Malcolm Gladwell again?

Seeing "-30-" made me feel old; it reminded me that it's nigh 15 years since I graduated Journalism school.


FML: time is an ass-goblin.

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