Thursday, February 18, 2010

Some Ideas, Vomited

Game Change, by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, is a bad book, a meretricious book, a book with questionable sources, a book that cannot be trusted, a small-minded book, a substance-free book, and a book that is -- above all -- deadly dull for anyone who actually covered the events of the 2008 campaign without spending the bulk of their time jacking themselves off. And yet, while all of this is true, it really glosses over the fact that it is one of the most poorly written books you will ever read, in your life.

Over at The Awl, Ana Marie runs down a shit-ton of the awful word-farts that the reader encounters as you descend, downward, into this wreck of the soul. She picks out many of my favorites. "The unfolding scene was a semiotician’s fantasia," for example. Also: "But the truth was, dangling over his head was a sword of Damocles invisible to almost everyone, if no less menacing for that. The blade was in the form of a newspaper article that was threatening to drop any day." That sentence should never have happened, in the 21st century. Go read them all.

And yet, I have to say, my favorite worst sentences in Game Change are not included. Let me rectify that.

from page 37:

"It would be many months before the Clintons gained any awareness of the incipient betrayal of Hillary by her colleagues in the Senate. And then it would hit them like a ton of bricks in their psychic solar plexus."
Yes, well. First, of course, since the second idea doesn't follow from the first, logically, you want a "but soon" instead of an "and then." But that's the least of this sentence's problems. Wouldn't it be sufficient for this betrayal to have merely hit the Clintons like a ton of bricks. But for some reason, something called a "psychic solar plexus" is invented.

This raises questions:

1. What, in the name of all that is fuck, is a "psychic solar plexus?"

2. Why would an extra-cognitive adaptation be located in the abdomen?

3. How could it get hit by a ton of bricks? You would have to be laying under a ton of bricks, or standing in front of some sort cannon, which flings tons of bricks at you.

4. And just so we're clear...it's PSYCHIC?

5. How come your psychic solar plexus didn't forewarn the Clintons of the incipient betrayal? Did the message get lost in the lesser splanchnic nerves on its way to their pre-frontal lobe?

6. Oh, and just so we're clear: ALL OF THE CLINTONS share a SINGLE psychic solar plexus?

7. Did the ton of bricks damage the psychic solar plexus' psychic abilities? And did they even notice, given that they don't seem to have been aware of the psychic ability of the solar plexus they were collectively sharing?

Anyway, this sentence in particular took a steaming shit on the xyphoid process of my mindgrapes. The book should be shot in its dumbassed face.

5 comments:

Hambric's Curve said...

You brilliant motherfucker. You rarely disappoint, which I find somewhat disheartening, d'une certaine fa├žon.

Anonymous said...

Um, actually, one would have to be lying under those bricks.

Alex said...

I laughed at work so hard that I had to play it off like I was coughing. Halperin is an embarrassment, his website on Time Online looks like a 7th grader wrote most of it.

Ray said...

Laughed so hard that I ended up in an actual coughing jag. Need a cup of tea and two Advil - former for blog post, latter for "Game Change."

Bram Reichbaum said...

"what, in the name of all that is fuck". I see myself stealing that, I don't think I can help it. Just like some kind of magnetic moth to what is literally the flame of your reason magnet. Modus Vivendi.