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October 27, 2006

Mirror Mirror on The Wall, Who's The Most Perverted of Them All?

The fine chaps (and chapettes) over at The Corner are aghast, astonished, and outraged over scenes from an old Jim Webb novel depicting various sexual acts, including one in which a man fellates a boy. Naughty stuff, to be sure. Reminds me of another author. This one slightly less reviled by conservatives. Scooter Libby, in his old novel, wrote:

At age ten the madam put the child in a cage with a bear trained to couple with young girls so the girls would be frigid and not fall in love with their patrons. They fed her through the bars and aroused the bear with a stick when it seemed to lose interest.

Elsewhere, his characters fuck a deer. What is it the kids say? IOKIYAR?

October 27, 2006 | Permalink


Ooh, or Bill O'Reilly has some great fiction. His alter-ego goes around violently murdering people or some such? There was a New Yorker article about it a while back.

Posted by: Sam L. | Oct 27, 2006 12:28:08 AM

What is IOKIYAR? That link doesn't work.

Posted by: Ashish George | Oct 27, 2006 1:07:48 AM

What about Lynne Cheney and her novel Sisters?

Posted by: Quiddity | Oct 27, 2006 1:39:15 AM

I've said it before, and I'll say it again:

Exit, raped by a bear.

Posted by: Brian Cook | Oct 27, 2006 1:43:31 AM

Yeah, great. Too bad Scooter Libby and Bill O'Reilly aren't in this race. This doesn't seem good. What's the context, anyway? Why does this dude flip his son over and start fellating him? Not that it matters much. This is bad.

(By the way, did they really just find this? It seems incredibly unlikely that this is the first time anyone in the Allen camp got around to doing oppo on Webb's novels. Seems more like something they held off on until close enough that they can hope it doesn't blow over.)

Posted by: Christopher M | Oct 27, 2006 2:25:08 AM

He doesn't fellate his son, he kisses his son's penis (which is not uncommon in that part of the world), As is shown a couple of pages later

Do you have any questions, Mister Trong?"

"Why did he kiss the little boy's penis?" wondered Dzung.

"I do not know," said Manh. And then he shook his head, amazed at
Dzung's serenity.

Posted by: Jeff | Oct 27, 2006 3:05:05 AM

"This doesn't seem good."

You, sir, are correct.

"By the way, did they really just find this?"

Of course not.


There's always the possibility of volatile things like this playing out in unexpected ways, but at first glance, this looks quite hellish.

And it's really too bad. Up until this point, I've felt oddly confident that we were going to pull out this race.

This is a very unhappy moment on the road to 51 in the Senate. We might still win TN, but I've never felt as good about that race as I did about VA.


Update after checking the web before hitting post:

There's a very clever dKos diary offering a smart way for Webb to hit back that could well be effective. This is well worth checking out.

And I find it difficult to believe the Webb campaign hasn't known this was coming. Vetting the candidate's published writings isn't an obscure step to take. So, I'd expect a competent campaign to have an already thought out method to strike back on this.

Like I said, volatile issues can play out in unexpected ways. Campaigns can be funny, funny things.

Tomorrow ought to be interesting.

Posted by: Petey | Oct 27, 2006 3:07:34 AM

300,000,000 people and the best we come up with is Bush and perverts.

Posted by: Tony | Oct 27, 2006 3:44:50 AM

I've got to think that most people can distinguish between writing about a situation in a fictional context, and approving of it. This should and may still be of no consequence.

Posted by: idlemind | Oct 27, 2006 3:56:48 AM

Funny how to a significant number of people the fact that George Allen spent his formative years as a wannabe redneck in Southern California a sign of "authenticity" while the fact that James Webb described a common Southeast Asian cultural practice in a novel he wrote a sign of "perversion".

Posted by: Matt S | Oct 27, 2006 3:57:54 AM

"This should and may still be of no consequence."

If "should" had a significant impact on campaign outcomes, the GOP would have 5 Senate seats instead of 55.

Posted by: Petey | Oct 27, 2006 4:19:30 AM


The authoritative Growing Up: A Cross-Cultural Encyclopedia covers 87 cultures in which it says there is no incest, just adults playing with, stroking, masturbating and sucking their baby's genitals: "Truk adults play with an infant's genitals...In China, Manchu mothers tickle the genitals of their little daughters and suck the penis of a small son...in Thailand, a Banoi mother habitually strokes her son's genitals."

Posted by: Christopher M | Oct 27, 2006 4:35:45 AM

See also the first sentences of this book, apparently a well-known Japanese novel: "The woman pushed on the baby's stomach and sucked its penis into her mouth; it was thinner than the American menthols she smoked and a bit slimy, like raw fish. She was testing to see if the baby would cry..."

Posted by: Christopher M | Oct 27, 2006 4:37:20 AM

When I was a little kid it was not uncommon for older women in Korea, including the stewardesses on Korean Air, to grab my mini-package.

Posted by: Kim Chee | Oct 27, 2006 4:47:23 AM

there are actually quite a number of medieval paintings in which mary is diddling the baby jesus' penis around. nursemaids in medieval europe used to do it to keep babies quiet, apparently.

Posted by: belle waring | Oct 27, 2006 7:20:14 AM

Well on the plus side, the GOP candidate for Governor of Nevada is simultaneously exploding in a giant fireball...

Posted by: Petey | Oct 27, 2006 7:25:28 AM

"there are actually quite a number of medieval paintings in which mary is diddling the baby jesus' penis around. nursemaids in medieval europe used to do it to keep babies quiet, apparently."

And far less usefully, politically, Squeeky Fromme was noted within the Manson family as being the go to girl for performing fellatio on infant boys to keep them calm.

Posted by: Petey | Oct 27, 2006 7:27:12 AM

If Webb wins this race, he's gonna have to have something really sly up his sleeve today.

Posted by: Petey | Oct 27, 2006 7:28:57 AM

I will go on record here and say that whatever Libby is running for I hope he loses as badly as Webb.

Fair and balanced I am I am.

Posted by: Guy Montag | Oct 27, 2006 7:44:42 AM

Politically, of course, this hurts Webb. But the hypocracy is worth harping on because some of the people making these charges are from National Review. Back when Webb was a Republican, National Review ran at least one, possibly more, favorable review of his novels.

Anyone interested in conservative sex novels should also look at the fiction of William F. Buckley (which includes the ultimate anglophile dream of making out with the Queen of England), Richard Greiner, D. Keith Mano, and Guy Davenport. (Mano and Davenport both wrote a great deal for National Review in its early days and are among the only really good prose writers they've ever had; much of Davenport's fiction is heavily erotic, involving scenes of the first awakening of young boys).

My favourite romantic scene in a right-wing novel? Richard Perle's The Hard Line (1992), where the hero has to grapple with a faltering marriage while trying to keep the USA from signing a bad treaty the Russians: “Now, he looked at his marriage in much the same way he had examined the intermediate-range missile question.”

Posted by: Jeet Heer | Oct 27, 2006 9:10:47 AM

The shocking story has been up on Drudge — for a whopping 14 hours! — and we're already getting stuff like "If Webb wins this race, he's gonna have to have something really sly up his sleeve today?" I don't know, maybe I'm too optimistic — I haven't been following Webb's race too closely, except to the extent that Felix's slapstick comedy has been entertaining — but I'd say, at the very least, it's too early to say this is very bad.

A Cornerite's e-mail correspondents are aghast and outraged at a Democrat. Stop the presses! Allen just happened to release selective quotes from fiction which are in some cases decades old... and NO, no one thinks it seems calculated or manipulative at all!

A stopped clock is right twice a day and all that, I agree with Lopez's initial reaction: "How long can it take for Webb to turn it around, into an attack on "the Mark Foley Republican Congress"? Lame, but tell me an Allen line of attack on fiction isn't."

Don't get me wrong, you never know, maybe Webb will lose. If he does, though, this will have been just one straw on the camel's back.

What is IOKIYAR? That link doesn't work.

Posted by: Ashish George

IOKIYAR = It's OK If You're A Republican. I could follow Ezra's link to corrente, which said that atrios started it (but I couldn't follow corrente's link any further, so if that's the broken link you're talking about, I'm not telling you anything you don't know, so never mind), and the example given was Henry Hide treating his own affair as a youthful indiscretion but Clinton's as grounds for impeachment.

Posted by: Cyrus | Oct 27, 2006 9:51:27 AM

I will go on record here and say that whatever Libby is running for I hope he loses as badly as Webb.

One does have to wonder why on earth you would hope that Webb loses to George Allen.

Posted by: Ahem | Oct 27, 2006 10:09:17 AM

Ahem, I am now on record hoping that Webb wins by the same margin as Libby.

My moral suppoort was against Webb before I supported him.

Posted by: Guy Montag | Oct 27, 2006 10:17:50 AM

Fictional kid touchers are just as bad as real live Republican kid touchers? Please. Make. It. Stop.

Posted by: blogenfreude | Oct 27, 2006 10:48:30 AM

I found this bit from Radley Balko on Matt Yglesias's sight, and I think it's perfect.

"Let's summarize: While George Allen was discovering his love for the Confederacy in Southern California and at the University of Virginia, Jim Webb was fighting the war in Vietnam, finding himself wholly immersed in a completely foreign culture. Webb was obviously rather profoundly affected by that experience. Because he chose to write about it, in a series of books that have won widespread praise from politicians, from fellow Vietnam vets, and from literary critics.

But war-loving, flag-waving George Allen has decided to hold all of that against Jim Webb. Tonight, Allen took what was clearly a scene-painting, cultural passage from one of those books, grotesquely took it out of context and sexualized it, then slapped it on a press release in an attempt to cheapen Webb's well-received books as cheap porn with hints of pedophelia.

This isn't just a political attack. It's an attack on art. On writing. On expression. Hell, it's an attack on knowledge and learning. It's cheap and tawdry and cynical."

Posted by: david mizner | Oct 27, 2006 10:50:22 AM

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