Friday, July 30, 2004

What would happen if George Will were snowbound in a mountain cabin for six months with nothing to divert him but the collected E! broadcasts of Joan and Melissa Rivers?

Well, after he emerged, he would still begin paragraphs this way:

While watching the convention this week I have been reading the early 20th century novels of Indiana's Booth Tarkington, the once wildly popular chronicler of American mores and social arrangements as our great rise began. I had a hunch I'd find things pertinent to our times.

But against his better judgment he would find himself writing passages like this:

Hillary Clinton was in comparison cold, robotic and too heavily botoxed. At a certain point Botox can become a problem for those in public life. Mrs. Clinton now has to pop her eyes out to show excitement. Worry lines are honorable, and in Mr. Clinton's wife they are understandable. She should keep them....

Ron Reagan is too coached in media.... By the end he seemed to me like Ron Popeil of the late night pocket-fisherman infomercials: And by the way, no fetal tissue is used in this process! He seemed a nicer person years ago when he was dancing in his underpants on Saturday Night Live. He is that unusual person who seems less authentic when not in a tutu....

Still haughty, orotund, and gaseous, in other words, but with a distinct touch of Meow.

And he'd probably begin hanging out with a rather less erudite crowd, people who don't realize that in many nations people speak languages other than English:

Teresa Heinz Kerry's speech was an odd and interesting mix.... She is such a distinctive personality, so unusual as a presidential candidate's wife, that when she began to thank the delegates in five languages a friend asked me with some alarm if she was speaking in tongues.

In other words, if George Will were snowbound and forced to do nothing for six months but watch Joan and Melissa Rivers, he'd turn into Peggy Noonan.

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