More Terrible than Fiction (update!)


What fiction writer – if any – could have conceived of Sarah Palin without completely blowing the boundaries of reality? Dickens? Shakespeare? Ruth Rendell? In children’s fiction, maybe, where a parodic lunatic still has its place. It’s not really in grown-up literatures nature to have stone cold villains, coal-black embodiments of evil. Serious literature has no shortage of killers, molesters, kidnappers, cannibals, misanthropes, black widows, bloodsuckers, pederasts and politicans…and there are plenty of literary counterparts to modern assholes (change Italy to Iraq in Catch-22, and Milo is Dick Cheney and Colonel Cathcart is George W), but of the snidleliest whiplashes ever to have bound sweet damsel to train track, has any serious writer of novels ever conjured up a sub-literate rube from a weird, frozen tundra, a vicious “hockey mom” to 5 terrible children who shoots wolves from helicopters? Or a character as farcical as “Anne Coulter”, or as grotesque as Roger Ailes?

Claudius from Hamlet by William Shakespeare and Chris Christie

Heavy is the head that wears the crown indeed. When we first see King Hamlet’s brother Claudius, he seems a well-spoken and capable ruler. He gives speeches that makes his court and country proud. When King Hamlet is killed, the people unite behind a collective suffering. Claudius diplomatically avoids war with Norway, and is respected as a leader who can take immediate and decisive action in a crisis. In private, however, King Claudius is a villain of cartoonish proportions who Hamlet’s Ghost refers to as an “incestuous, adulterate beast”, and we soon realize that Claudius is what is “rotten in the state of Denmark.” Claudius and his corrupt court bask in their power, representing the worst in human nature — ambition, lust, corruption, and excess. Morally weak, Claudis swaps his humanity for political power and and some stuff. He denies Rozencrantz and Guildenstern the knowledge of the contents of the letter to England  that would have saved their lives. He lets Gertrude drink the poison in the goblet so as not to implicate himself in the insidious plot (#Gobletgate). His sure fire plan to deal with young Hamlet completely unravels when Laertes confesses.

Considering Chris Christie’s long track record of petty revenge against his perceived enemies, and that an old lady died as an indirect result of #Bridgeghazi, he ventures into Shakespearian Villain territory. Cartoonishly large and emotive, Christie is an effective stump politician and a formidably effective communicator, famous for making the complex seem deceptively simple as well as for his withering put-downs of public service unions. Until the unravelling of #Bridgegate, Christie was arguably the most popular politician in America and a rare figure of bipartisanmanship in a party monopolized by psychopathic ideologues and Teabaggers. His public bromance with the President, wearing matching windbreakers in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, appealed to those weary of polarized politics.

We watched with bemusement as he used taxpayer dollars to copter his copious ass to his son’s little league, rather than walk the 200 yards from the limo to the field. Christie is a one-man vaudeville routine, furiously charging down the boardwalk holding an ice-cream cone after a heckler says something to him about his war on the school system, and publicly berating a pro-marriage-equality NJ Assemblyman as “numb nuts”. #Bridgegate uncovered the real Chris Christie; a roly-poly combo of entitlement, greed, treachery, trickery, callousness, and an utter void of empathy for those outside his circle, who deploys menace as if it were a form of seduction. In his public apology for #Bridgegahzi, Christie did everything he could to sound sincere and look contrite, taking questions for just slightly less than forever and managed not to physically attack any reporters with his bare hands. Then he fired Rosencrantz and Guildenstern as cover.

Hamlet finally exacts his revenge and slays Claudius by stabbing him with the sword and then forcing him to drink the very poison that he had intended for Hamlet.

Polonius from Hamlet by William Shakespeare and John McCain

King Claudius’s chief counsellor and father of Ophelia, Polonius is an old fool and self-absorbed windbag whom Shakespeare referred to as a “sincere” father, but also “a busy-body, [who] is accordingly officious, garrulous, and impertinent.”  For all of his obsequious manner, Polonius must have some abilities to have attained his present high office, but will never ascend to exalted rank.

Polonius’s oratory style is overextended confidence in his knowledge, pride in his eloquence, his dotage encroaching upon his dwindling wisdom. His pomposity comes from knowing that his mind was once strong, and unawareness that it has become weak.  He drones on, pedantically and impertinently, with artful turns of thought amidst actual serious business. He is a victim of the dereliction of his faculties; he forgets what he’s taking about; loses the order of his ideas, and entangles himself in his own thoughts, losing the thread.

Polonius poses as a wise statesman, but cannot resist childish strata­gems, seeing things in black and white, discovering coverups and intrigue at every bend and acting on unsubstantiated suspicion to disastrous consequences. Nearly every event in the play results from from his bad judgement and the blunders. Polonius likes to give “when I was your age” speeches, dishing out lame advice, overeagerly dispensing characteristic specimens of cootish pearls of wisdom. His attempts at humor are bumbling and he is inadvertently hilarious. In a dark play, Polonius is comic relief . When one of the players delivers a heart-wrenching rendering of Priam’s death and the hullabaloo to follow, Polonius interrupts to say , “This is too long.”Polonius coined the paraphrased aphorism, “Clothes make the man”.

John McCain has been called many things during his endless Washington career — “craven,” “shameless, senile”, “amoral,”stupid,” “drug addled,””pompous”,  “world’s worst pilot” and “completely full of shit”. He is equally loathed by liberals, conservatives and the people of his alleged “home state,” Arizona. He seems brain addled, mixing up Sunni and Shiite Muslims, or repeatedly referred to the Czech Republic as “Czechoslovakia”. Senator McCain routinely, manifestly loses his grip on the present, appearing not unlike a certain person who “could speak no sense in several languages.”

His apparent cognitive problems, McCain exhibits a distressing deterioration in his sense of decorum and propriety. He volunteered his wife for a topless beauty contest and jigged around singing Bomb-bomb-bomb-Iran. This loss of self-regulation, or “disinhibition”, can result in inadvertent hilarity. Who can forget “the fundamentals of our economy are strong.” Or how he was unable to tell us many houses he owns. Or when he said to his trophy wife: “At least I don’t plaster on the makeup like a trollop, you c*nt”. Or him sticking out his tongue at the end of the third presidential debate after getting confused and walking off the stage the wrong way. Or calling on an absent Joe The Plumber at a rally, accidentally endorsing Obama, calling his constituents “my fellow prisoners”, his general confusion, being less than informed and the gorilla rape joke.

McCain’s usual gracelessness is amped up by a staggering lack of self-awareness, such as his churlish whining about liberals supposedly getting favorable press coverage. His career has been unremarkable, from abandoning a seriously-injured wife in favor of a rich replacement, to the Keating Five scandal to his bone-headed selecting of Sarah Palin as his running mate, with little of real distinction to fill the gaps, except for the THREE DECADES that he has been shouting “Cover Up!” at every turn. The DC press corp’s calculated burnishing of the “Maverick” myth, puffing up his credentials, burying his scandals, and crafting a heroic public persona, made him the 2008 GOP presidential nominee, and suckered us into believing he was a “hero”, rather than an opportunistic and deeply vindictive pol who once crashed a plane. His best moment –by his own account–consisted of refusing to accept the early release offered by his Viet Cong captors. Like Polonius, McCain is a man with strong general principles who fails in application. Superannuated politicians like John McCain have few strengths to fall back upon, so default to the resources of memory. He loves talking about his soldiering days, his storied career where he routinely got in trouble with authority for crashing planes and ended up a POW because he wasn’t a very good pilot. It’s truly an inspiring tale of mediocrity and downright stupidity.

No amount of pity for the physical ordeal he endured in his youth could have compensated for the reality that John McCain is an erratic, pompous, petty and self-serving man and a notorious SOB even by Washington standards. The same man who was palling around with the rebels, encouraging them to overthrow Ghadaffi, while calling for increase support for them is now running around blaming others for the actions of his buddies in Benghazi. The arrogant, pig-headed “war hero” has managed to turn into  a lonely, sad, pathetic old man whimpering in a bitter, cold rain of his own making.

Polonius is hiding behind a tapestry in Gertrude’s room, when he gets scared and yelps for help. Hamlet draws his sword and thrusts it through the curtain. Polonius is stabbed in the gut. “Thou wretched, rash, intruding fool, farewell! I took thee for thy better”. – Hamlet

The Mock Turtle from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, and John Boehner

The Mock Turtle is a melancholy and forlorn character, pining pathetically for the days when he was once a real turtle, a normal turtle. For, some time between his childhood and his current state, something caused him to become artificial and false (in other words, “mock”). And this fills the turtle with such sorrow, he can not stop sobbing. He goes off on tangents frequently, and cries constantly. Racked with sobs, the Mock Turtle tells Alice: `Once, I was a real Turtle.‘ John Boehner, he of the quivering lip and wet lashes, claims he has spent his whole life “chasing the American dream”. His scrappy upbringing gave him the hard shell of a macho man with a deep baritone, and a chain smoking habit. He can behave in a cartoon-villain-level of evil fashion, like not bringing the Sandy relief bill to the floor. Yet – although. according to his family, Boehner’ tears were not a hallmark of his childhood – he sobs all the time now. He cries at his annual golf tournament, talking about the good old days with his buddies. He weeps when he watches a child give the Pledge of Allegiance. He sobs when describing all the bad jobs he had once. He sobbed through: “I poured my heart and soul into running a small business.” Perhaps, like the Mock Turtle, Boehner is sobbing remembering the man he once was, humble and proud, mopping beer and urine up from the floor of his father’s bar, and can not handle the pain of knowing the man he has become. The orange man, who once handed out checks from a tobacco-affiliated PAC to his colleagues on the House floor, who kicks it with K Street lobbyists, and who tops the list of Of House members who receive gifts of privately funded travel.

Alice and the Gryphon leave the Mock Turtle sobbing on a rock, full of melancholy, singing of soup.

Roger Chillingworth from The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorn, and Newt Gingrich

Roger Chillingworth is a creepy, insular, quasi-intellectual of enormous social ineptitude, unable to fit in with the physical world. Married to a much younger woman, Chillingworth is a man deficient in human warmth, unable to engage in equitable relationships, who inspires respect for his knowledge but fear for his weird, bitter moods. His crippling resentments twist his soul, mutating him into a true madman, a “…mortal who has taken a fiend’s office”. His twisted stoop, deformed shoulders that contort into a grotesque state of irregularity, his eyes burning with fiendish determination, Roger’s worth is beyond repair. Abandoning any hope of finding happiness, Chillingworth becomes incapable of feeling anything but rage, spite and revenge, seeking the deliberate destruction of others rather than a redress of wrongs.

Puffy, deformed Newt Gingrich traffics in resentment against elites, exploiting race-based resentment toward poor Americans and the peculiar rage of white males. So consumed with resentment and hate towards the president, Newt attacks the very concept of happiness, “even in victory, the candidate of gloom”. His ashen wife – 23 years his junior – at his side and wearing the A of adultery, nods Stepfordianally as her husband’s rage spews forth. “Happiness in the 18th century meant wisdom and virtue, not hedonism,” Gingrich says without a scintilla of irony. His all consuming hatred towards Obama literally deforms Newt’s already hideous self into a grotesque heaving mountain of rage. Gingrich doesn’t just oppose Obama, he resents the fact of his existence.

Chillingworth is sabotaged when the object of his rage is gone. Having lost the body on which he has preyed, and having lost his own soul in the process, his potency is vanquished and he dies, unsaved.

Brevet Brigadeer General John A.B.C. Smith from “The Man That Was Used Up” by Edgar Allan Poe, and Mitt Romney







There’s something really weird about Brigadier Brevet General John A.B.C. Smith. He’s an impressive physical specimen, 6 feet tall with jet black hair that “would have done honor to a Brutus”, lustrous hazel eyes, strong shoulders, brilliantly white teeth and the “ne plus ultra of good legs”. He also has an air distingue – an unusual, precise way of moving, and a tinge of coldness that is construed as aristocratic aloofness. He boasts of his triumphs, and babbles about the advancements of the age, like “parachutes” and “steamboats.” What is it that makes him seem…”off”? What is the secret behind his chiseled exterior? Answer: Half the General’s body is composed of shiny new prostheses, which must be put in or on every morning before he appears in public. Limbs are screwed on, a wig, glass eye, and false teeth, and a tongue, until the man himself stands “whole”. He’s a freaking cyborg.

Central Casting couldn’t have coughed up a more presidential looking candidate then Quadrennial White House wannabe Mitt Romney: tall, sharply cut jaw, gleaming chompers, a shellacked head of black hair and carefully manicured sideburns. Yet he inexplicably disturbs and repulses despite looking like the perfect candidate. It’s how we are skeeved out by automatons that – but for a slight imperfection – mimic humans. Mitts grinning persona gives way to awkward, robotic stumbling, like he is auditioning for a role of regular human, or for the part of the perfect hostess in Stepford Wives who gets her wires crossed and starts babbling about recipes. An alarmingly shameless panderer, Romney once was passionately pro-choice, pro-gay, pro-universal healthcare only to about-face for 2012 audiences. He claimed to be an avid hunter to appeal to rednecks, then fessed up to only having been hunting once -“small game” like…”rats”.  You can run the information through the Mormonian Computron 9000 that stands in for a brain and point him in any direction and he’d do exactly what you programed him to do. He’s supremely stupid, a walking malaprop; putting Castro’s words in Hugo Chavez’ mouth; calling to “double” Guantanamo; referring to Ann Coulter as a “moderate”; strapping his dog to the roof of his car; claiming his sons are serving their country by working for his campaign; openly admitting no concern for the very poor because they have safety nets – which he had every intention on destroying; slashing Medicaid; endorsing Paul Ryan’s budget which gets two-thirds of its $4.5 trillion in cuts from low-income programs (using the cuts to pay for tax cuts for the Rich); saying poor people are just envious of rich people and that tax policies ought to only be talked about in quiet rooms. He’s not a living sentient being.

The final spectacle of the cyborg’s reconstruction gives acceptance to the General’s mechanical half, forgotten in favor of a pretense of humanity. Brevet Brigadier General John A. B. C. Smith was the man – the man that was used up.

Mr Hyde From Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by R.L. Stevenson, and Rush Limbaugh.

A “nondescript yet oddly hideous little man” who leaves a “powerful impression of deformity”, Mr. Hyde establishes his evil by stamping on a little girl and caning a man to death “in a great flame of anger”. He is addicted to an illicit drug that offers him the “moral freedom” to indulge in his hideous impulses. His power grows with the more drugs he takes until he doesn’t need to rely on the drugs to unleash his raging alter ego. Eventually, Dr Jekyll becomes reliant on the drug to remain himself. When the drugs run out, Hyde makes a final recourse to pharmacology, going on nightly forays of a “lustful” nature, “abhorrent to religious morality”.

Nondescript and hideous disc jockey Rush Limbaugh, is a fat, draft dodging, college flunkee. It’s become impossible to know when he’s on drugs, or when the black president is causing him to literally lose his mind. A banally blustering powder keg bloviating that Obama has a “Messiah fixation”, that slavery had “its merits”, that volcanoes harm the ozone layer more than man-made chemicals, that environmentalists are “prophets of doom”, that low tax rates are “biblical in nature and in root”, that nicotine isn’t addictive and does not cause disease, that Dioxin isn’t harmful and that condoms do not protect against AIDS. He called a 12 year old Chelsea Clinton the “Whitehouse Dog”, and his statement likening NFL players to Crips and Bloods had him banned from buying a team. No sober human could be this inhuman. Limbaugh was arrested for purchasing prescription pills from a black-market ring, using his housekeeper as a drug mule, for 4 years of clandestine handoffs in a Denny’s parking lot. When his supply was cut off in 1999, Limbaugh allegedly went ballistic and paranoidal, patting down the housekeeper for recording devices, and hiding his stash from his wife under his mattress. Without cochlear implants, he is stone cold deaf, the probable causal effect 0f Vicodin and Lorcet abuse. The Faux xenophobia-fest (Shirley Sherrod, Ground Zero mosque, liberation theology, birther shit), would just be fringe curiosity without the psycho loop of his racially charged hysteria. And yeah, he is more than likely engaging in activities that fly in the face of his politics and “principles”, with something young and not necessarily female.

When Dr Jeckyll’s potion eventually begins to run out, he writes that even as he composes his letter he knows that he will soon become Hyde permanently, and he wonders if Hyde will face execution for his crimes or choose to kill himself….

Aaron the Moor from Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus, and Dick Cheney.

Aaron the Moor is the instigator of all the story’s carnage: killings, maimings, severed members, rapes, torture, live burials, cannibalism, all with no motive other than pure sadism. He convinces his lover’s sons to kill Bassianus in front of his fiance, simply to make her grieve (oh, and to rape her, cut out her tongue and hack off her hands). Aaron frames Titus’ sons for murder, then tells Titus that if he will lop off his own hand and send it to the emperor, his sons will be spared. Titus complies, loping off his hand, which the emperor summarily returns, along with Titus’ sons lopped-off heads anyway. Aaron kills his baby’s maternity nurse, and unrepentantly confesses everything, relishing retelling every murder, rape, and dismemberment.

Shooting his buddy in the face and going home to get loaded is the nicest thing Dick Cheney has ever done. With a sadistic passion for taking limousines to pens of hens and blowing their heads off; for maiming and killing hundreds of thousands of Iraqi women and children plus thousands of US soldiers he sent to battle based on what he knew to be a lie; for war-profiteering like it’s going out of style; for authorizing the torture of prisoners at Guantanamo, Dick Cheney belies even the basic tenets of human decency. Providing enemies with white phosphorous, concussion bombs, advanced jet fighters, any gidget or gadget of terror with the power to annihilate anything in its path, he is so evil it is ridiculous. More machine now than man, I have a feeling that the true depths of his depravity and lawlessness have yet to be realized.

Aaron the Moor is buried chest-deep and left to die of thirst and starvationHis dying words are, “If one good deed in all my life I did, / I do repent it from my very Soule” –  probably the biggest fuck you in literary history.

Iago from Othello by William Shakespeare, and Fox News.

He is the villain in a story about how one’s trust and loyalty can be used to manipulate and ruin the lives of those who are misled. Iago is diabolical because of the unique trust that Othello places in him, which he completely betrays while maintaining his reputation of “honest Iago”. He’s a Machiavellian manipulator and a pathological liar passing himself off as an objective truthteller. He’s adept at deceiving others while he himself is never suspected of anything untoward – rather he is seen as the guy most likely to be truthful. His motiveless malignity embodies mankind’s basest, immortal flaws: envy, fear, cowardice. Unable to accept that he lost the campaign to be Othello’s second, Iago destroys the lives of everyone in his midst through whisper campaigns, fear-mongering and balls-out lies. He hires the village idiot to do his dirty work, eventually driving Othello insane and causing everyone to turn on each other in a bloodbath.

Fox “News”: a televised, schoolyard bully pulpit purporting to be “fair and balanced” truthtellers while terrorizing Americans through relentless, puerile campaigns of lies and fear mongering. Borderline retarded pornography models and village idiots like Glenn Beck relentlessly promote the idea that old folks will be put to “DEATH PANELS”, that we are in the “END TIMES”, that the economic crisis and the One World Order are prophesied in the BIBLE and that our first black President is the ANTICHRIST. Blasting 24 hrs a day, lying about just about everything while passing themselves off as a “trusted news source”, they terrorize old farts, stirring up their white rage/fear so that they literally go insane and climb out of their Barca-loungers and into colonial short pants and powdered wigs.

When all hell breaks loose, Roderigo and Cassio stab each other, Iago stabs Roderigo and smothers Desdemona in her bed, and when Emilia and Othello discover everything Iago has said is a lie, Iago immediately stabs Emilia, Othello stabs Iago, Othello stabs himself.

Pap Finn from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, and The Entire Tea Party

Huck Finn’s abusive, drunken, absentee father drags his son from school, enraged by the idea that Huck might actually amount to more than he did. Violent, racist, uneducated and lawsuit crazy, Pap is white and he is angry – angry at the townsfolk for looking down on him rather than fearing him, angry at the meddling Widow Douglas for giving Huck a home and an education, angry at the law for withholding money he didn’t earn but feels entitled to. Pap despises “uppity negroes” and the “gummnint” and rants inanely over both. What really grinds his gears is not the purported social injustice which has left him ignorant and living in poverty, but rather – fueled by white panic – fear of the black man living free and better than him. Today’s Pap Finns call themselves “Teabaggers”. They are the embodiment of Pap Finn, except they are fat. Read this rant and tell me: Pap Finn or Teabagger?:

Oh, yes, this is a wonderful govment, wonderful. Why, looky here. There was a free nigger there, from Ohio; a mulatter, most as white as a white man. He had the whitest shirt on you ever see, too, and the shiniest hat; and there ain’t a man in that town that’s got as fine clothes as what he had; and he had a gold watch and chain, and a silver-headed cane-the awfulest old gray-headed nabob in the State. And what do you think? they said he was a pafessor in a college, and could talk all kinds of languages, and knowed everything. And that ain’t the wurst. They said he could vote, when he was at home. Well, that let me out. Thinks I, what is the country a-coming to”?

Pap Finn’s wretched body was found drowned in the Mississippi. Or was it…..?

Augustus Melmotte from The Way We Live Now by Anthony Trollope, and Bernie Madoff.

God may have created the evil investment banker and speculative capitalism, but Trollope was there first with his portrait of a fraudulent foreign financier who is feted by the grandees of London society until it is discovered that he’s just a swindler. Augustus Melmotte preys on dissolute nobility in early 1870s England, a society teetering on the precipice of moral bankruptcy, charming the upper crust into making foolish investments in his schemes. Melmotte is a world class cheat, yet is inexplicably received by virtually all of London society. Presumed to be trustworthy due to his influence and financial resources, Melmotte’s wealth is presumed to be bottomless.

Bernie Madoff, affable and charismatic, moved comfortably among power brokers on Wall Street and in Washington. A charlatan of epic proportions, Bernie was a winning financier with penthouses, private jets and yachts moored off the French Riviera, yet was ultimately revealed to be nothing but a greedy grifter so hungry to accumulate wealth that he did not care whom he ruined along the way.

When Augustus Melmotte’s creditors come knocking and his political reputation is in tatters following a drunken appearance in the House of Commons, Melmotte commits suicide.

Seth Pecksniff from Martin Chuzzlewit by Charles Dickens, and Donald Trump.

Seth Pecksniff is a sancitmonious English architect who has never designed or built anything in his life. Greasy and pretentious, a barbarian in a frock-coat, his blood runs so toxic that it’s been transmitted to his daughters, who share their father’s character defects and are vain to boot. Underneath his outward manner of slimy servility is a tyranncal, abusive taskmaster. A monster of self seeking, a swindler in business, Pecksniff stoops to passing off his pupil’s plans as his own. He has chimeric hair that “brushed off his forehead and stood bolt upright or slightly dropped in kindred action with his heavy eyelids”. Pecksniff wafts between comedy to tragedy, villain to clown, and his name has become a byword for hypocrisy.

Hideous, slime-bucket birther and new-money vulgarian, Donald Trump is the fake-wealthiest man in the world, his bravado about his wealth and business acumen flying in the face of the reality of his record. The, racist, chauvinistic, capitalist pig openly admits to using bankruptcy laws as a financial planning tactic to further his personal ambitions while evading responsibility for his fiscal failures (“I play with the bankruptcy”). “America’s top entrepreneur” is a Daumier cartoon – a perverse exaggeration of the TYCOON, a monstrous parody of entitled American wealth masquerading as skilled, hard working entrepreneurship. The worst businessman in history, Trump’s failed condos are examples of overpriced brass and crass and phallic overcompensation. While real moguls were building state of the art palaces in Vegas during boon times, Trump’s outdated dump, the “Taj Mahal” rotted in a NJ ghetto, a depression-den of Hoverounds powered by cigarette fumes, coated in bedbugs and the worst casino buffet. Trump’s only entrepeneurial achievement is outliving his father and inheriting $400 million. Trump’s now cancelled reality show doubled as an ad for his shitty hotels, golf courses, and line of crappy, made-in-China Successories. Then there’s the hair, a revolting pile of wind-blown straw, a sunken apricot soufflé. a bouffant quiff,  a rarely-sighted “double comb-over” of yellow strands, possibly excised from his armpits, chimerically combed into a lattice-like structure. The one architectural triumph of his career.

Pecksniff’s self-serving designs are eventually exposed, and he is confronted with their knowledge of his true character. He is publicly beaten down by Martin, and reduced to poverty by his slimy investments, becoming a “drunken, squalid begging-letter-writing man”.

Cruella DeVille from 101 Dalmatians by Dodie Smith, and Anne Coulter.

So Cruella DeVille slaughters puppies and wears their pelts? She’s also a savvy business woman, identifying the business synergies between her fetishes (hot pepper and fur coats), and dislikes (spotty puppies), and exploiting them for profit. Cruel enough to think up, and put into practice, skinning puppies for fur coats, is she an independent, powerful woman or a murdereress? A perfectly self-actualized human, or a monster? Ask her pet cat, who Cruella considers breeding for lovely little fur mittens. Cruella makes dramatic entrances with exaggerated mannerisms, a cigarette in her bony fingers, gesticulating wildly, bone thin in skin tight dresses, wafting between sexy and hideous.

Ann Coulter huffs and drones in a hacky smoker’s husk, making outrageous claims like “My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the NY Times building”, and that she wishes John Edwards “had been killed in a terrorist assassination plot”. She called 911 widows “attention seekers” and called for rat poison to be put in Justice Stevens’ creme brulee. The skeletal villainess started the right wing woman trend of “get skinny and get mean”, spewing at liberals, immigrants, Jews, gays and probably puppies. She turned her particular breed of hate into a lucrative cottage industry of “books” with titles like “Demonic” “Treason!” and “Godless”. Her rickety ankles teetering on spiky heels and chain-smoking Carlton 2, Coulter seethes with cheap sex and vulgar scorn. If she doesn’t scare you, then no evil will.

Cruella’s abused cat turns against her owner and leads the vengeful dogs into Hell Hall, where they destroy Cruella’s collection of animal skins and fur coats and drive Cruella DeVille from her home forever.

Cthulhu from The Call of Cthulhu, by HP Lovecraft, and Roger Ailes.

A gigantic, lumbering, tentacular-spawned, rubbery-bodied presence in a baroque cosmogony, sleeping in a sunken, “non-Euclidean” city until the time comes for it to swallow the world’s soul. A glimpse of the pulpy, tentacled head mounted on a grotesque and scaly body can kill you. It is represented by its human and non-human worshipers alike, who exist because of the limitations of the human mind. Cthulhu appears so overwhelming, it can literally drive a person insane. Within the Mythos, Cthulhu is invented by our species as a way to explain intentions and actions which may otherwise seem inexplicable. A “thing that cannot be described,” a “sticky spawn of the stars”, with “flabby claws” and an “awful squid-head with writhing feelers”, Cthulhu is telepathic, knowing all that’s occurring in the universe.

Roger Ailes entire body of work is advancing his own agenda at the expense of the President of the United States. Bloated hemophiliac (if he bleeds, he dies), he cannot walk two city blocks. He has arms like cinder blocks, and tiny hands and feet, which conspire to give him that hippo in high heels look. His eyes are pitch black. For forty years, the Pope of Polarization has stood astride the incestuous worlds of media and politics, using his many tentacles of power to make sure the worlds of media and politics stay intertwined. He has used his considerable powers of persuasion for electing terrible presidents, and then turning against them. At 70, Roger Ailes is at the zenith of his power and, having sucked America dry, is coming to swallow the world’s soul.

As Cthulhu  begins his rises to destroy the earth, he is run through by an intrepid Swede. Cthulhu survives and re-congeals, but is unable to wreak further madness, and both he and his island-city sink beneath the waves to await a more auspicious hour.

Count Fosco from The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins, and Antonin Scalia.

Fat, well dressed, Italian bird-fancier, Isidor Ottavio Baldassarre Fosco is a man of eccentricities with a mysterious past. He has a passion for pets and pastry, carries pet mice around in his pockets, waxes idiotic over his cockatoo’s transcendent plumage, and sings Figaro’s Largo al factorum  – accompanying himself on the concertina – with theatrical gesticulation. Charming but deeply menacing, Fosco masterminds the scheme to deprive sweet Laura Fairlie of her wealth and sanity with chilling cruelty.

Blasting “Chicago style” pizza, stumbling out of Italian bistros, flipping off the paparazzi, saying ‘To my critics, I say, “Vaffanculo!’, busting a gut at Colbert’s 2006 roasting at the White House Correspondents Dinner, Antonin Scalia would be a hilarious character if he were not a Supreme Court Justice. Scalia is completely sure of himself even when he’s completely wrong, and is unafraid to buck the tide. Spouting off about “Creation Science” in dissenting opinions, he’s the leading figure in the “Original Intent” school of interpreting the Constitution, with the coraggio to embrace the conceit that we know what the Framers meant about things like the internet and uzis. His “reductio ad absurdo” fallacy  (the government can execute people it KNOWS are innocent, provided they had a fair trial), tests the boundaries of sanity, it’s like he cannot recognize that his simplistic logic takes him to absurd conclusions. He enjoys the finer things in life, food and opera (appearing in a production of Ariadne auf Naxos, Petrova perched on his lap), but he doesn’t mind executing kids, corrupting presidential elections, turning corporations into people and allowing psychopaths to own machine guns. Count Scalia threw his chips in with high cholesterol and The Tea Party.

Hiding from his enemies in Paris, disguised as a “French artisan”, Count Fosco meets a mysterious death, a dagger through the heart, a “T” for “Traditore” carved in his arm, tossed into the Seine. We last see him on a slab in a Paris Morgue, unowned, unknown, exposed to the flippant curiosity of a French mob.

Bill Sikes from Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens, and Sarah Palin.

Black-hearted liar, thief, child abuser, uneducated bludgeoner of a hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold, beater of dogs, resident of Bethnal Green and all-round bastard, Bill Sikes is nonetheless popular with an admiring clan of orphan-acolytes. Sikes cares for no-one and nothing except money and material things and betrayal drives him literally insane with rage – he continues to bludgeon Nancy even after he knows she is dead, leaving her corpse is in such a state that the friend who identifies her body has to be led away in a straitjacket. Bill Sykes and Fagin operate in the illicit businesses of prostitution and theft, their philosophy being that you exist to meet my needs and I do what it takes to get what I want.

Violent, gun-toting opportunist, Sarah Palin is the meanest of the “mean girls,” her ambition and greed driving her to do things the rest of us just wouldn’t do, blurting out anything regardless of it being nice, or true. A divisive, she-devil who splits women between adoring acolytes and women who want to rip her throat open. Stupid to the bone, vengeful, vicious, eerily confident and self-satisfied, she takes the low road 100% of the time. She enjoys clubbing wildlife, shooting wildlife, torturing wildlife and neglecting her rotten husband and her terrible tribe of children. Materially desperate, she actually abandoned her Governors post in order to get richer quicker, stealing $8,000 worth of  Neimans crap along the way. Hers is a abject narcissism taken to the extreme, a Victorian capitalist villain, driven by cruelty and greed while praising herself for her benevolence. A naturally violent nature in a slutty size zero package.

The knowledge that the horrors of what Bill SIkes has done are so profound that they drive him to a ghoulish end: haunted by Nancy’s dead eyes, is a vision of which causes him to hang himself accidentally while trying to escape an angry lynch mob.

L’heureux from Madam Bovary by Gustave Flaubert, and Wall Street Bankers.

I am in the business of making money, I leave the matter of morals to the priests and the philosophers”, the small town dry goods salesman tells Emma Bovary, tempting her with his wares, assuring the country bride that he can meet any of her needs. L’heureux’ scheme is to extend Emma so much credit and allow her to buy so much finery on “time” that she amasses a debt so huge he will be able to lay claim to all Dr. Bovary’s assets. L’heureux is furtive in his under-handedness, realizing that Emma has a deep obsession with fancy things she can’t afford but can’t resist, knowing that he’ll drive her to financial ruin, displaying the depths of depravity to which people can sink in the name of greed. He extends her more and more credit until her house goes into foreclosure. He even has the gall to show up at Emma’s funeral looking sad, pumping Charles for even more cash.

Greed-corrupted lenders had the market work itself into a lather, while home sales and prices skyrocketed, resulting in the subprime mortgage fiasco. Unscrupulous brokers competed for the most home mortgages, dropping their lending standards lower and lower, targeting millions of middle-class borrowers – often with poor credit and no down paymen –  enticing them into crappy, high-cost loans with misleading business practices. Millions of Americans defaulted on loans, and the banks seized their homes. The untended ruthless greed of these money lenders ruined American’s lives and decimated the world economy.

When Emma is unable to pay her debts, the bank posts a public notice of confiscation and auction of property. Emma kills herself, leaving her husband and baby daughter destitute.  L’heureux walks off richer, while Dr Bovary is forced to send his 5 year old daughter to work in a cotton mlll.

The White Witch from The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, and Michele Bachmann.

Her Turkish Delight was so scrumptious it turned Edmund against his own sister and she froze Narnia in an “endless winter” with no Christmas. The White Witch is deceptively ravishing, but she literally turns people to stone. Her minions include wolves, evil Tree Spirits, ghouls, ogres, minotaurs, hags, specters, incubi, evil apes, giant bats, vultures, and creatures that – according to C.S. Lewis – are “so horrible that if I told you, your parents probably wouldn’t let you read this book.”  She slaughters the wise, compassionate and benevolent guardian and savior of Narnia on the Stone Table, her right by the Deep Magic.

Black magic and ice, spray tanned to the bone, Michele Bachmann is an Aryan superwomen who will do or say anything to bring down the President. She looks like butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth, then unleashes her cruel wrath on liberals, gays, on needy children and the poor, on AmericCorps. Lovely from afar, up close Bachmann personifies icy willpower and a steely determination to get her way. If you think she isn’t out to kill you like a witch would, remember that she has said that carbon dioxide is a harmless gas. She calls America an “indispensable nation” fighting against socialism and egregious moral wrongs”, she favors the “normalization” of pre-gay second graders through “desensitization”, and claims that her career moves have been dictated by “God”. She is married to a flaming homophobe and recently made a stomach-churning comparison between the era of slavery and the presidency of Barack Obama.” We’re running out of rich people in this country”, she has said, delighted to put this country into a 100 year ice age, if she only believed in fairytales.

The White Witch meets her demise when the benevolent leader Aslan throws himself on her, the lion crushing her and ending her terrible rule.

Grendel’s Mother from Beowulf (anonymous), and Jan Brewer.

She possesses the “form of a woman”,  a “demon, fiend, wretch, vengeful monster of a woman”. Grendel’s Mom is an inhuman sea hag determined to destroy Beowulf as vengeance for her son’s death, a “monstrous hell-bride” with “hostile, hateful fingers” that become claws and piercing talons.

Garbling about how brown, drug-mule illegal immigrants are beheading people in the desert and defrauding the welfare system, Jan Brewer has ruined Arizona with her “Hand over your hard earned dollars to someone who is more than willing to pick your pocket as soon as you turn your back”  and “You must obey the laws, because they’re the laws, and laws are to be obeyed, because they’re laws and that’s all you need to know”. Her skull sunburnt to a crisp, Jan Brewer opted to deprive her poor constituents of state-funded organ transplants, killing 3 patients on the transplant list, and recently proposed fees for adults who “lead unhealthy lives” (fat tax). While shrill, peroxide wraith bird brain cuts care for the needy in Arizona, her convicted kidnapper/rapist son lives in a tax payer funded hospital. The only US governor to not have earned a bachelor’s degree, she sold the capitol complex to private investors and had the state lease the space back and is now frantically trying to buy the state out of the bad lease. In a letter-in-hand publicity stunt, the scorched, day-of-the-dead, dessicated denturehag swung her boney claw in the face of the President of the United States.

Grendel’s mother drags Beowulf into her lair at the bottom of a pond and they engage in fierce battle, the unnamed swamp hag succumbing to Beowulf’s sword, her blood so venomous that it dissolves the sword used to slay her.


Robert Wringhim From The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner by James Hogg, and Rick Santorum.

“Woe then to the wicked of this land, for they must fall down dead together”! says Robert Wringhim, a young man in a place and time where religion is corrupted and twisted into an instrument of evil. Malicious and self-righteous, Wringhim has been indoctrinated into a radical sect of Calvinism which holds that only certain, select people are predestined to be saved by God. Robert is so satisfied that his own salvation is pre-ordained that he commits a series of bizarre and hideous crimes. Spiteful and malevolent, he is predisposed to jealousy, arrogance, dishonesty and cruelty. Robert Wringhim personifies the astute psychological accuracy of the effect of fanatical, self-righteous bigotry – that he will have a heavenly reward regardless of how his life is lived and everyone else will be damned. All his fanatical beliefs are directed to evil purposes, convinced that it’s his mission to “cut sinners off with the sword”.

Google Rick Santorum and get:, which explains that “Santorum” is a sexual neologism for “the frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex” (a tribute to Santorum’s comparison of homosexuality to bestiality and pedophilia with the instant classic “man on dog”). A fanatical hypocrite, Santorum spouts off about “personal freedom” and “limited government” while supporting anti-sodomy laws, and dragging the federal government into the Terri Schiavo case. He really thinks liberals are out to “cheapen marriage” and “undermine faith”. Of all the Republicans in the world, he is the absolute creepiest and the most proficient at making shit up. A goldmine of schadenfreude, a self-hating gay hypocrite, and the lunatic leader of that sect of Christianity that’s morphed into a fetus-worshiping cult. After his wife miscarried, Santorum famously swathed the dead fetus in a blanket, took it from the hospital, and “spent several hours kissing and cuddling Gabriel [the fetus] with his three siblings.”

Doubting the righteousness of his cause, Wringham descends into despair and madness, losing control over his own identity, hounded by a doppelganger, pursued by suspicious peasants, and tormented by fiends who don’t let him rest. He stumbles penniless and helpless through the countryside, then commits suicide to escape his misery.

A Troll from The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, and Sharron Angle.

Humanoids of great strength and poor intellect, Trolls are evil, stupid, with crude habits, and just intelligent enough to communicate with a known language. They are boorish cretins who turn to stone when exposed to sunlight and enjoy eating meat – mutton, hobbits and dwarves  – and drinking beer. While threatening, Trolls mainly serve as a comic element, creatures to be mocked. They have pedestrian names: Tom, Bert, and Bill Huggins, “made in mockery of” their ancestors, a corrupted form of some other race of Middle-earth.

Sweet, old Christian grannies are rarely imagined in the public as women who talk about picking up guns to shoot fellow Americans, calling the unemployed spoiled and lazy, or spewing vicious, brutish and hypocritical rhetoric. Sharron Angle yammers idiotically about “Second Amendment remedies”, and told a group of Latino students they “look Asian”. She may have ties to Scientology, favors abolishing the US education department because it is “unconstitutional”, and is seen as “the umpire on fraudulent science such as global warming”. Angle is against mothers working, opposes abortion in all cases and is against state pensions for the elderly. She wants to see the abolition of the federal tax code and claimed Dearborn, Michigan was ruled by Sharia Law and is very in favor of guns. When John McCain accurately referred to Angle and her ilk as “Hobbits” recently, Angle dished out a heavy dose of Tolkien as she tore into McCain for this irony:

“As in the fable, it is the hobbits who are the heroes and save the land. This Lord of the TARP actually ought to read to the end of the story and join forces with the Tea Party, not criticize it”.

Oh, no one knows what happens to the Trolls, no one cares.

About kara

We know our letters just fine, and we know our numbers to a certain point, but books were always the realm of four-eyed poindexters with bowler hats and cravats. That’s why it pleases us so that America’s proud illiterates are finally stepping up and pushing back against the crushing tide of education that threatens to swallow us all into its gaping maw of checked facts. Champions of the Ignorantiat will not like it here.
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