[As a courtesy to our guests, please keep comments to the book. Please take other conversations to a previous thread. – bev]
On September 29, 2003, several months after the launch of the Idiot King’s Great Debacle, a fresh, loud and rather impudent voice interrupted the hand-wringing fatalism infecting the left side of the blogosphere. Lee Papa, better known to the world as The Rude Pundit, had arrived to give our rage ventilation and civility the finger. His manifesto reads in part:
The Rude Pundit is left. You are wrong.
The Rude Pundit owes you nothing. He is free from all obligations. Unlike you, he can say whatever he wants. He will always speak the truth. He will always try to make you uncomfortable.
The Rude Pundit knows that the majority of the country believes in liberal policies. They just don’t know it. Yet.
The Rude Pundit believes that the reason the left has failed to get an open following is that it has allowed rudeness to become the language of the right. Thomas Paine was rude. W.E.B. DuBois was rude. Abbie Hoffman was rude. The Rude Pundit could list more people, but he doesn’t want to waste time on your history lesson. Go read a fucking book.
The Rude Pundit takes no prisoners. If something pisses him off, he lets you know in certain and often x-rated terms. He delights in taunting the “civility” trolls, prudes who blush at his exotic prose and dismiss his foul-mouthed arguments as unserious, probably because they (1) hate that he’s right and (2) are secretly turned on by him. Amidst the gray tut-tutting of the “sensible” pundits and bloggers, Lee’s posts are a rainbow of neon lights.
More importantly, reading one of his diatribes provides instant catharsis. The Rude Pundit is like our collective id, if it were on four tabs of acid, a whiskey chaser and five days without sleep. Civilized conversation? Fuck that. We want payback for the eight years we sat horrified and helpless as the Dicktatorship trampled all over the Constitution, or, as The Rude One might say, “used the Constitution as a jizz rag after a coked-out Bush watched Condi fellate the dead, bloated worm at the bottom of a tequila bottle.” We are thinking it, but just don’t know quite how to express the depth of our anger. The Rude Pundit does.
Lee hasn’t let up in all these years, thank god. He has no reason to. The Obama Administration has proven itself no better than the Bush Syndicate when it comes to protecting the rights of citizens whose last names aren’t “Inc.” Instead, he has gotten stronger and louder, a more visible presence in the world outside political blogging. His latest book, The Rude Pundit’s Almanack, is a delicious collection of profane, insightful observations, with some graphs and charts for the stats fans in the audience. He recalls his life in “the swamps” of Louisiana, and juxtaposes these very funny tales with heartbreaking vignettes about the devastation wrought upon his beloved New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina and human WMD, George Bush. Interspersed throughout are scathing and laugh-out-loud funny analyses of the current group of Republican rodeo clowns hoping to smear the walls of the Oval Office with elephant dung in 2012.
In the spirit of full disclosure (yeah, I know, what’s this “transparency” thing, amirite?), Lee and I have worked together in meatspace, writing for a weekly live comedy show called “Wake Up World”. I’ll probably embarrass him by saying that in real life, he is a mensch. And yes, he is as fucking funny in person as he is on your computer screen. His wit is not rapier-like; it’s a white hot, sand-lubed, jagged-edged poker with which he is all too happy to violate the morons he thinks deserve the treatment. And with that gentle and demure image, I am thrilled to welcome Lee Papa, the Rude Pundit, to Firedoglake.