One of those must-read pieces

Thanks to the Longbow Papers, I came across an article by E.L. Doctorow that performs something of a miracle. It seethes with anger and yet it is restrained and poetic. It shouts out at the reader, yet the language is soft and gentle. While you can sense the raw emotion underneath, the style and tone are immaculately disciplined and perfect.

I’m going to give a small sample, but you really should read the entire piece at Joseph’s site.

But this president does not know what death is. He hasn’t the mind for it. You see him joking with the press, peering under the table for the weapons of mass destruction he can’t seem to find, you see him at rallies strutting up to the stage in shirt sleeves to the roar of the carefully screened crowd, smiling and waving, triumphal, a he-man.

He does not mourn. He doesn’t understand why he should mourn. He is satisfied during the course of a speech written for him to look solemn for a moment and speak of the brave young Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

But you study him, you look into his eyes and know he dissembles an emotion which he does not feel in the depths of his being because he has no capacity for it. He does not feel a personal responsibility for the 1,000 dead young men and women who wanted to be what they could be.

Sometimes the use of a clichee is justified: Read the whole thing.

The Discussion: 5 Comments


Thank you for spreading the coverage of Doctorow’s stunning prose in protest of a man who is incapable of leadership because he does not feel, he only reacts, on cue, mechanically, to a “higher source” that is not human.

Keep up the good fight,


September 22, 2004 @ 9:25 pm | Comment

I’m all out of eloquence, but thank you so much for leading me to this piece.



September 23, 2004 @ 12:44 am | Comment

Richard, chile:

What else can ah say??

It brings tears to ma eyes…don’t git mad, but it just presses all ma buttons for another Nancy-gazin’-adoring-at-Ron moment.

Now ah gotta find that book Ragtime al’ over agin….it’s Ragtime, ain’it???

September 23, 2004 @ 3:41 am | Comment

I’ve always thought Li’l George was a sociopath, so it’s nice to see someone as eminent as E.L. Doctorow agreeing with me.

September 23, 2004 @ 10:39 am | Comment

Vaara, honey!!!

Thank u for prompting!! Well, ah ain’t American,and ah don’t no Richard or Li’l George fr’m Gawd-nos-who.

But ah rushed 2 da dictionary n checked that big word:sociopath. Honey, if we ALL ain’t sociopaths of some sort, we wun’t be blogging, right?

Ma way of saying things, and having fun, are about meself…just like your MISGUIDED views about Tibet and …phhew….environmental pollution.

September 23, 2004 @ 9:49 pm | Comment

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