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July 25, 2005

Respect for the Office, If You Please

You know, there was a time when the media and the public actually had some respect for the office of the president, even if the president wasn't popular in some circles. While obnoxious political cartoons have always been part of political discourse, outright parody is usually considered to be tasteless.

Until now.

A scathing parody that likens President George W. Bush to the "idiot" in William Faulkner's novel "The Sound and the Fury" has won this year's Faulkner write-alike contest -- and touched off a literary spat.

And, the Faux Faulkner competition organizers are upset with the contest's sponsor, Hemisphere (the United Airlines magazine), for only posting it on their website and not printing it in the magazine.

Remember how the press used to not publish photos of Franklin D. Roosevelt in his wheelchair because Roosevelt was sensitive about it? What happened to those days? Now, aspiring writers feel free to compare a sitting president to a mentally retarded (not the official PC term, I know) literary character, and he not only wins the prize but considers the comparison to be a favorable one.

[Sam Apple] set about trying to write in Faulkner's style, he said, the same way a novice guitarist tries to imitate a pro. Another character's observation about Benjy made him think of Bush, and Apple has Cheney echo that line in the parody: "'He know lot more than folks think."'
Isn't that just peachy keen?

Y'know, if someone had done such a thing while Clinton was in office, I think there would have been a bit more of an uproar by not only the press, but the literary "geniuses" who put on the contest. I doubt it would have won the big prize, either.

Again, you may not think Bush is the right man for the job. But like it or not, he's the president. Show some respect.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 09:49 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
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