Why is hyperbole so tempting to people writing about political figures they despise? Even talented writers. The novel I was reading yesterday (It Happened Here) has a character who is noted as having a sarcastic, comically exaggerated take on a major political figure, but the handful of times examples crop up the text, it's so over the top as to be neither funny nor insightful. In a book peopled with realistically-drawn characters, it's especially jarring.
This weakness for wild insult instead of solid criticism has become annoying to me -- given a notably pedestrian Democrat President who has trouble getting bills through Congress, people who didn't vote for him tell adult-diaper jokes instead of criticizing him for ineffectiveness. Given an outgoing President who spins fantasies of voting irregularities, people who didn't vote for him talk about what a horrible fellow he is instead of picking the falsehoods apart. Out on the fringes of political debate, it's all Italian spy satellites and politicians returning from the dead, or tall tales of a tightly-coordinated far-Right cabal plotting a takeover (while the alleged perps can't even get on the same script). The Birchers and student protesters of my youth look like quaintly rational stalwarts of a vanished age of reason in contrast.
With steak and potatoes on the menu (and the roast zucchini for you, mister?), people seem to have a marked preference for hot-take plates of steaming bullcrap instead. I don't get it. I just don't get it.
With Rome ablaze, everyone gets out fiddles instead of buckets and improvises tunes on the theme of Them Other Guys Is Awful Stinky. Well, good luck with that.
BUILDING A 1:1 BALUN
3 years ago