Ed Driscoll and I mix it up on his PJ Media podcast here. Talking Breitbart, Hollywood and the new nihilism.
Not sure which of the above is me, but here we are together on last year’s National Review Online cruise.
Life circumstances have kept me from writing my usual Monday blog on time – sorry about that. But here’s what I want to say.
I want to comment on the commotion over Rush Limbaugh’s use of the word “slut” to describe law student Sandra Fluke. Fluke, as you know, argued before a house congressional committee that women need taking care of. That is, if they should take it into their fluffy little heads to have sex with someone, they can’t be expected to manage the consequences all by their little selves. Someone else has got to pay for their contraception – preferably a big strong man like Barack Obama. Barack Obama has lots and lots of money. Chicks dig that. In fact, he’s so powerful, he just took the money from other people. What a turn on for girly girls like Sandra!
Anyway, Rush called her a slut, probably hoping that that sort of ungentlemanly behavior toward women would land him a show on HBO like that super cool Bill Maher, who called Governor Sarah Palin the c-word (whatever that is) and entertained guests who fantasized about raping Michele Bachmann. If only Rush could get a show like Bill Maher then he could be bitter and irrelevant too – probably the only things missing from Rush’s life.
So now the left is calling for Rush’s head and the right is arguing hotly that the left says equally misogynist things and even sometimes dumps their women into the water and then leaves them there locked in a car to drown while they go back to their hotel to chat with their friends and call their lawyer. And yet a leftist killer of women can go on to become the Lion of the Senate, and even a piece of work like James Carville who implied one of his boss’s sexual harassment victims was trailer trash gets a network gig. Hey, maybe Rush was trying to get a network gig like James Carville!
Ever since I heard about Andrew Breitbart’s death, the poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay has been running through my mind:
My candle burns at both ends
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends -
It gives a lovely light.
Andrew’s was a lovely light indeed and did not last half long enough. Here are my memories of him in City Journal:
I wrote somewhere once that Andrew Breitbart was “bizarrely lovable.” Andrew called that same day to confirm my impression. “I am bizarrely lovable,” he said. “I don’t know what it is about me.”
It was, in part at least, his solar generosity of spirit, an energy that poured out of him in every direction at once, whether for feud or friendship, conversation or work. I think he sometimes experienced this ambient vitality as a lack of focus. But for his friends and admirers, it was a delight and inspiration. It was also the power source behind a truly noble act of revolutionary mischief: his lifelong battle against the conspiracy of silence and lies that is mainstream American journalism.
I got a glimpse of his kinetic nature the first time we met—which was on the air, appropriately enough. He was sitting in for a talk show host and interviewed me over the phone about politics and the arts. Though many of Andrew’s most glamorous successes were in the arena of political journalism, the culture was his first passion. And as we grew excited discovering our shared convictions, we began to sound—as we both remarked later—like two stoned college roommates talking philosophy at four in the morning: “Yeah, yeah, yeah, man, that is so, so true!” In the midst of this, Andrew began to fire instant messages at me over my computer, insisting that I join him at meetings with other Hollywood conservatives. For me, who can only focus on one thing at a time, exchanging IM’s while talking on air was like juggling axes while playing piano. For him, who had to focus on everything at once . . . well, I’ve sometimes wondered what else he was doing at the time.
Read the whole thing here.