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Sunday, February 25, 2007

Today's Youthful Indiscretions

This recent Ellen Goodman column bemoans the fact that the youth of today can't get away with anything anymore; any stupidity they allow to be recorded is going to wind up being archived forever on the Net.

In addition to being a dead snooze to those of us who've known of the danger for a decade or more, her column is a bit incoherent -- covering not only youthful indiscretions such as Bush, Clinton, and Obama are said to have had, but the effects of the distressing stupidity of one's nearest and dearest (see the paragraph about Bob Corker and Brian Bilbray).

But her column would've been a lot stronger if she hadn't spent the first half of it rehashing the tale of the Edwards bloggers.

The problem with mainstream accounts of that episode is that they can't actually contain most of the quotes people found so objectionable. Goodman describes the content thusly:

There was McEwan's description of President Bush's "wingnut Christofascist base." There was Marcotte's slam on the Catholic prohibition on birth control as a way to force women to "bear more tithing Catholics."

Yes. Well, while the "more tithing Catholics" remark is a bit much, I suspect that quips about "What if Mary had taken Plan B after the Lord filled her with his hot, white, sticky Holy Spirit?" were the sort of thing that broke the camel's back. And then there's Melissa McEwan, with " habit of referring to myself as Queen Cunt of Fuck Mountain..."[1] (see here). But Goodman would find those quotes difficult to get printed in the newspaper.

The other problem is that Marcotte and McEwan weren't tripped up by a "checkered past", but by a checkered present. Marcotte's hot, white, sticky remark was posted in the dim mists of last June, for example. Oh, to be as young and carefree as I was last June!

I can't figure out why so much ink has been spilled over their firing, but so little over their hiring. Who in the Edwards campaign thought that was a good idea, and what were they thinking with? And are they still doing the thinking for Edwards?

Me, I figure that I'm endangering my future employment even by quoting McEwan, above. I just hope prospective employers remember that this post becomes one of my youthful indiscretions the instant I hit "publish". Or so Ellen Goodman seems to think.

Say, wonder what she's got in her closet?

[1]I'm assuming she's referring to her vocabulary, rather than her social life.