Bugging Panchito

Bugging Panchito

by digby

Boy blogging has really gone downhill lately. Evidently the new breed doesn't understand the rule about drinking and posting (or smoking and posting.) At the very least don't hit "publish" until you've slept it off:

DID insects hire a new publicist for the summer of 2011? Or have I scrambled the question, and should I be asking if they lost the publicist who had shielded them until now?

Either way, seemingly everywhere I turned, I was being told to eat them. An article in the New Yorker floated the notion, framed as easy on the budget and good for the overstressed environment. So did a piece in the newspaper you’re reading now. Before this odd, disquieting season, cicada banana bread wasn’t in my vocabulary. Time magazine put it there with a story dated, fittingly, the very first day of summer.

I begin with bugs partly because some levity is in order, given the gloom to come. But more than that, mealworm pilaf as an answer to our dwindling resources strikes me as a reasonably apt metaphor for these last few months. It suggests a decline in our lots, a reckoning with our limits, a grasping for solutions and a humility in the absence of truly palatable ones. And that’s what the summer of 2011 has been all about.

Bugs and mealworms as a metaphor for our times. Wow.

You do realize that this is the new New York Times op-ed columnist, right?

Eric Alterman had a good time with this fellow a while back:

Bush knew a good thing when he saw it. As a candidate, he put his arms around Bruni, whom he nicknamed “Panchito” Bruni, and cooed, “You know we love you.” Later, Bush looked across a crowded room at Bruni and mouthed, “I love you, man.” Bruni did not mention whether he told Bush that he loved him back, but in relationships as in literature, it is always better to show than to tell. Either way, Bush sure knew his man. Bruni went over to the Gore camp one day and found out, to his apparent horror, that Al Gore not only did not love him; he did not even bother to come up with a nonsensical nickname for the writer.

Gore, Bruni complained, “made no effort. His energies were channeled into his campaign trail remarks, so dense with knowledge, so showy with digressions. He sweated the big stuff and muffed the small stuff.” To Bruni this was unforgiveable—the idea that a potential president thought it worthwhile to focus on issues rather than declaring his love for reporters—and Bruni more than made him pay for it.

Once the U.S. Supreme Court decided to hand the election to Bush, “Panchito” Bruni continued to treat the presidency as a sitcom he happened to enjoy, like “Friends” or “The Cosby Show.” On a presidential trip to Mexico, for instance, Bruni professed to spy Bush's boots “peek[ing] out mischievously” from beneath his trousers. How do boots “peek” and why would such peeking imply mischievousness? Bruni did not bother to explain. But he sure liked the word. Upon meeting Tony Blair, Bush, Bruni wrote, “indulged a mischievous impulse” when he shouted out “Hello, Landslide!” to the British prime minister. Despite the fact that Blair had actually won his election in a landslide, Bruni explained Bush's comment as “an irreverent, towel-snapping one at that-to Mr. Blair's recent re-election, and it recalled the playful dynamic ... when he cracked during a news conference that he and Mr. Blair liked the same brand of toothpaste.”

It was a low point. Which they are, apparently, working hard to beat.