November 14, 2012

And the Thumbsucking Begins

Behold the majestic self-examination of our noble ruling class and its indispensable subsidiaries:
Contemporary biography has always been a tricky balancing act, even before Paula Broadwell demonstrated with her book about David H. Petraeus how the scales can tip decisively the wrong way.

The challenge of writing a biography about a person who is still alive is that an author must first establish trust and a comfort level with a subject, to get access and a free flow of information. But the biographer is still expected to evaluate and expose unsparingly. [Ed. That is remarkably unfortunate phraseology.] ...

Even in the wake of revelations that Ms. Broadwell was having an affair with Mr. Petraeus, then the director of the Central Intelligence Agency and the subject of her biography, “All In: The Education of General David Petraeus,” editors and biographers alike were loath to condemn the book outright because the rules in this area are so hazy.

“I suppose it ultimately depends on the book,” said Stephen Rubin, the president of Henry Holt, “though I would prefer if they didn’t have sex, because you lose a sense of perspective [and] objectivity when you are romantically linked."
Ah, he "would prefer if they didn't have sex." I see his nose wrinkle in ever so tasteful disapproval, as he contemplates the tortuous road of proper behavior. And, as in the case of the impossibly virtuous John Brennan, we must always follow the rules. As long as we follow the rules, we are good and virtuous people.

It is deeply inspiring to see the dedication of our betters in their endless search for the slightest deviation from proper modes of conduct. After all, book publishing and government service, and especially military service, are renowned for the ethical purity of those who toil so ceaselessly in such endeavors, all to provide a world free from sin for the rest of us slime-spotted, maggot-infested lower beings. (It may be the case that such miraculous purity falters now and then, but those of us who are no better than hulking beasts are not to wonder about that.)

As I recently noted about the Petraeus affair, this little episode in our national psychodrama is comedy gold. I am loving this shit.

Just don't think about all the people being slaughtered, or about how you might be murdered any day, any time, any place, by your neighborhood drone patrol. In any case, if you should be murdered, we are assured that the rules will be followed down to the smallest detail. The blood will flow in only the most respectable manner. Even the primmest of fictional spinsters will nod in decorous acknowledgment of the superlative execution of the execution.

More like this, please.