Tag Archives: alex pareene

Richard Cohen knows nothing. Others, too.

This caught my eye:

School yearbook lists Bush, Cheney among the worst people ever
By Stephen C. Webster | June 3 2011

Officials at a middle school in Arkansas are investigating how a list of the worst people of all time came to be published in their recently-released yearbook.

They’re investigating namely because former President George W. Bush and former Vice President Dick Cheney were included on the list.

They placed fourth and fifth, respectively, right after Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, terrorist figurehead Osama bin Laden and Charles Manson.

Reminds me of the time the venerated historians at Right Wing News polled their fellow intellectuals to determine who were the Worst Americans Evah. The second most vile, most disgusting American in all of history turned out to be President Obama. Jimmy Carter came in at Number One. Missing from the list: Lee Harvey Oswald, James Earl Ray, Ted Bundy, and pretty much every other bad person you could think of.

The razor-sharp historians were exposed to much heat and laughter, so they changed the post. Then they deleted it. Boo hoo. It’s a difficult thing, coming to terms with your entertaining lameosity.

But that’s not always the case: for WaPo’s Richard Cohen, it was a piece of cake. That’s probably why he bragged about it. Alex Pareene’s got an hilarious post on Cohen in Slate. Poor Richard knows he no longer knows anything about, well, anything.

Cohen says he now lives in a strange and bewildering place called “Xanadu” where he no longer understands anything. Like, what is Twitter, and why do people “follow” members of Congress on it?

“I have seen this Weiner. He is a homely fellow, certainly not handsome and not what you would call a hunk. Yet this college student all the way on the other side of America follows him on Twitter? Why? What does it mean to follow someone on Twitter? Xanaduns (Xanadunians?) apparently do it, but I don’t know why.”

Laughter.

But this is perhaps the truest paragraph Richard Cohen has written in many years:

“I don’t remember moving here, a country where I have never been before and where I know nobody. I don’t even know why I think I am in Xanadu, except that the name just came to me. It seems to make sense, which is more than I can say for anything else. I used to understand everything. I was even paid to explain things. Now I understand nothing. I live in a strange place and understand just a piece of what’s going on. At the moment, I am hungry and going across the plaza to that cute outdoor café. I think I’ll have a Kardashian.”

Have you ever seen anyone so fully embrace his reputation? Good for you, Richard. Now send me your paycheck.

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