A Working Writer on Webb

Friday, October 27, 2006
AmbivaBlog: Damned if You Don't . . .: "If you didn't know anything about books, writing, or fiction, you might naïvely believe that those passages reflect badly on Webb as anything other than a writer. Do the Republicans really think their constituents are that ignorant? What's more elitist than assuming and cynically trying to exploit such naïveté?"

9 comments:

terrye said...

I don't think thayt is the point here. I think the point is that Webb's campaign was making issues of all kinds of ridiculous nonsense and now they are getting some of it back.

chuck said...

What I don't get is that everyone is assuming the lines are fiction. Shows a certain lack of imagination, I think.

Rick Ballard said...

I'm sure that an artiste of Webb's stature will provide an illuminating explanation of his rationale for inclusion at any moment. Everyone will immedately recognize the brilliance of his thought process and the little kerfluffle will be gone and forgotten in an instant.

I hope someone posts about it immediately after he makes the statement - just in case I miss it.

Barry Dauphin said...

I think that fiction should be expected to disturb at times and that a writer is not necessarily a practicer or supporter of what is written. But I essentially agree with terrye. I don't think this will bring out Republicans to vote against Webb. I think the ironic effect (and intention) is to supress the Democratic support for Webb. It's intended to make Webb supporters hesitate (essentially say "yuk" when they think of Webb). The irony is, if that strategy works, it will be the "open minded" folks that won't go to the polls.

Rick Ballard said...

Barry,

I dunno. Here's Webb's "illuminative" response to having his work read aloud on radio:

"I don't know why you're reading that on WTOP," Webb told host Mark Plotkin. "I think it's a little bit inappropriate."

Plotkin was reading an excerpt from Webb's novel "Something to Die For," in which Webb describes a female stripper performing sexual acts with a banana.

"I don't think that's appropriate for you to read on WTOP," Webb said again as Plotkin finished the excerpt. (Washington Post Radio is WTOP's sister station.)"

If he's gonna keep diggin' the hole is just gonna get wider and deeper.

Is he going to conduct a public course on literary criticism over the next eleven days? He might be better off with "Hell, I write for the dough and everybody knows smut sells." He's shooting a little high with "illumination" with regard to the average voters proven intelligence.

I agree that the intent is to drive down participation on the Dem side. I don't think that Webb will succeed in regaining much ground with his illuminative response. He needs to get a little closer to planet Earth and I don't think he knows the direction.

terrye said...

We have been hearing all manner of outrage over Allen saying the n word 30 freakin years ago, but this is off limits? pot meet kettle.

Seneca the Younger said...

Rick, unless you've read the book, you have no idea what to think about it. From some of what I've read, it may be that this is a ritual that is done by Vietnamese peasants for some traditional reason; Webb is an expert in Vietnam (speaks the language, has traveled extensively there during the war and after). As Chuck says, what if he's describing something that's really part of the culture?

Not everyone is a Protestant, or even a Christian, and similar things show up in various animistic religions all over the Far East.

After all, is it that much more unreasonable that our own ritual cannibalism?

Or maybe Webb is describing an action taken by an evil abusive character? As I noted below, a writer of fiction has to write about the bad guys too; you can't even write a Harry Potter without danger and evil. But the fact that Jo Rowlings wrote it doesn't mean she approves of keeping young adopted boys in a cupboard under the stairs.

I understand the desire to win; don't let that become a reason to abandon your reason.

Seneca the Younger said...

s he going to conduct a public course on literary criticism over the next eleven days? He might be better off with "Hell, I write for the dough and everybody knows smut sells." He's shooting a little high with "illumination" with regard to the average voters proven intelligence.

So you'[re saying that in the interests opf winng this election, it's all right to give up our own ethics.

Not me, bro'. And using it this way is a lot more repugnant than the fact that he described the hoary old banana act, but didn't want to read it on the public airwaves.

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