Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life!


Pardon us for dredging up Peggy Noonan again, but something has gone unremarked about her appearance last Sunday, and it’s really nagging at us.

It’s not what she said. It’s how she said it.

First, let’s get to the quote itself, starting around 2:50:

Sometimes in life, you want to just keep walking… Some of life has to be mysterious.

Peggy’s plea for proactive ignorance aside, watch her delivery — the sincerity, the earnestness, the empathy. Yes, we know the Wronged Woman shot the bastard, but he was a bastard, and sometimes we have to take extenuating circumstances into account. Doctor Phil, your comment?

Except she’s talking about — how to put this delicately — drowning people. Slamming them against walls. Starving them. Stuffing them in boxes. Keeping them awake until they hallucinate. All under the careful supervision of — let’s not forget this part — trained doctors.

And not even to protect us, but to gin up an excuse to invade a foreign country. You provide the false confessions, we’ll provide the war.

Peggy quickly takes back the “mysterious” line — too late, of course — but even if she found just the right word to express her delicate sensibility, her manner remains. It’s the manner of privilege, the plantation belle who would prefer not to know what’s heppening in the fields, the kinder, gentler Republican who cares about image, but let’s not trouble ourselves with substance.

It’s a great shtick. And thank god it never caught on.


May I share? There is a point. Sort of.

I once was auditioning for a voice over for an Elizabeth Taylor scent called, as I remember, Slut. So I go to the office and meet the producer and she starts telling me how the copy I am about to read is not copy but a pome. How the copy writer is a poet and such as. And I’m like, well OK. SO I read this piffle to myself and then aloud. Since I have a Limey accent and am naturally effete she is impressed by my sensibilities. So she goes and calls in the poet so she can hear me read this pome. Only this time they will do it while running the spot for me to see! so I can appreciate just how extraordinarily wonderful it all is and how not like a commercial but like Art. So the copy writer enters: a short, stout woman (Roseann before she got glam) in black leggings and sweat shirt with appliques whose breasts look like luggage. She was modest about her work (with good reason) and bucked at the poem description preferring instead to say that it was merely ‘poet-ic’. So I read this trash again while images of Elizabeth Taylor, at her most immense, rising from a pool of water are being run. (Maybe the stuff was called Whore of Babylon or Orca) The disconnect between what was happening and what they semed to think was happening was so immense that I only barely made it out of there alive. Needless to say, I didn’t get the job.
Peggy Noonan always makes me think of those women. With her ‘lady poetess’ air and abilities which she has parlayed into an extravagant income and reputation. She is also, I think, quite an intelligent woman – in a Barbara Cartlandish way. Imagine how much Nancy Reagan must hate her.
My little commercial experience is the farce equivalent of the malign lack of perception displayed by these people. They seem to have no conception of what they do and have done. They use language to hide the truth and prettify reality. With her patience and gentility and eloquence…! These people used all the same language to describe Vietnam and the horror we unleashed there. Sitting around a table deploring the New York Times for wanting to disturb their dreams.

Never though I’d butcher a Sarah McLachlan song but here goes…

They come out at war
That’s when the water drops
And the dark side’s joy
And the doctors roam
They strap the prisoner in
Place the water hose
And drown screams of those that died
Before the questions start
But Peg just sees a mystery

Peg lives in New York
Where you sleep with blinders on
And you won’t give up ignoring
All the ghosts in the halls
You wear high heels in the snow
And a smile that won’t wash away
Can you look out the window
Without old reality getting in the way?

Pegs’ so ignorant
With an edge and charm
but so blinded
When seeing reality

Cause they’re torturing
Peg wants a mystery
Holding on and holding it in
Yeah they’re torturing
Peg wants a mystery
And choosing so carefully

Peg wakes up screaming aloud
A prayer from her Raygun god
You feed into our fears
And just ignore their tears, oh
Give us a tantrum
And a know it all grin
Just when we need one
When the beating’s done

Peg’s so deluded
So fucked up woman
They’re setting up your
Water hose shrine

Cause they’re torturing
Peg wants a mystery
Holding on and holding it in
Yeah they’re torturing
Peg wants a mystery
And ignoring so carefully

Ooh they’re torturing
Peg wants a mystery
Holding on and holding it in
Yeah they’re torturing
Peg wants a mystery
And ignoring so carefully

I suspect it is a psychological defense mechanism. Some people really can’t handle the truth.

My mom has her Peg moments, too. From time to time, I’ll visit and she’ll ask me how work is. Most of the time I just say what is going on in the most bland way possible. Once in a while I’ll ignite napalm as I unload about the stupidity of work and my mom will shriek she didn’t want to know which will of course lead to this conversation ending dialogue:

Mom: Why do you say such awful things?!? I didn’t want to hear that!
Me: If you didn’t want to hear it then why did you ask?
Mom: I only want to hear about the good things.
Me: You can’t hide from reality. Sometimes it really sucks. (Rolls eyes.)
Mom: (Rolls eyes)

To this day, I am glad that I didn’t inherit my mom’s blinders.

@ManchuCandidate: @Benedick: This makes me want to do my song and dance routine of ‘You can’t handle the truth!!!!!’ from my loving musical tribute to A Few Good Men.

Aah, sweet Nooners. The empire will always have its faithful defenders.

Bill Maher’s op ed in the LAT that the GOP is divorced from reality is on point to the story of the Nooners.

@homofascist: For realzz? I would pay money to see that.

@Benedick: Goddamn, that was funny.

@ManchuCandidate: I can’t watch her “save the poor widdle fuckin’ dogs” PSA without thinking about how she stole her best friend’s bf/husband (the drummer in SML’s band) and married him herself.

@Benedick: Classic.
I find it hard to believe that Noonan is from Brooklyn. That’s a Blanche DuBois level of delusion and willful ignorance. I never know the New Yawk girls could pull it off so well.

@Mistress Cynica: She’s like Madonna going to London and coming back talking Brit.

@redmanlaw: I sometimes will think of that crew and start to laugh.

@homofascist: A musical version of A Few Good Men? Maybe Mel Brooks will do it, with Nathan Lane (In the Jack Nicholson role) and Matthew Broderick in for Tom Cruise.

@homofascist: @WaltTrombone:

Lane: You can’t…

Courtroom chorus: He can’t…

Lane: You can’t…

Chorus: He can’t…

Lane: handle…


(Applause. Beat.)

Judge: Encore in the courtroom! Encore!

Lane sings the showstopping “You weep for Santiago, and you curse the Marines” which segues into the duet “Did you order the Code Red?”

Sometimes she needs to keep walking ….

Sounds like she once killed a male hooker in Tijuana on Spring Break …

redmanlaw: Every time I see Sarah’s Save The Puppehs Ad, I can’t get over how orange her skin is.

Your story about her bagging the drummer is better, though.

[BTW: Her ad was cut for the ASPCA. Last time I checked, she’s very, very Canadian. What — not enough dogs up in Canada City to protect from the cruelty? Nationality FAIL.]

Oh, and ManchuCandidate’s song parody is, surprisingly, not up to code. No “yearning,” no “hunger,” no “comfort” anywhere in the hacked-up version. Thus: not genuine Saint Sarah of the Lonely. I expected better. Shame, Manchu.

nojo / WaltTrombone:

Jessup —

Why, you are not worthy… to be scraped off a hull!

So I shall rip out your fucking eyeballs and piss in your dead skull!

[jarring chord as they tackle Jessup]



@All: well I guess I’m a sucker, because whenever I see the ASPCA ad with Sarah MacLachlan’s song and the sad little puppehs and kittehs I start crying and try to resist the urge to make another donation.
One of my favorite charities is the Louisiana SPCA, especially after reading The Great Deluge by Douglas Brinkley [if you haven’t read it, click on the Stinque Amazon kickback linque and order it] and how organized the LSPCA was compared to the leadership of New Orleans pre-hurricane. The LSPCA’s facilities were completely destroyed, but they’ve rebuilt.

@Benedick: BTW, I’m still laughing about your Liz Taylor perfume commercial story, hours after first reading it.

Not terribly on topic, but I liked it anyway — from Naked Capitalism, a blog that I read: “If Team Obama will give torturers a free pass (a very small group that has nevertheless done tremendous damage to America’s standing in the world), there is absolutely no way it has any appetite for exposing the massive fraud in the financial system. Obama does not do conflict, and his “Let’s not dwell on the past” is tantamount to appeasement of the oligarchs and coddling of the worst practices of the Bush regime.”

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