Monday, July 14, 2008

La Cage Chez Rush

The Times Magazine's attempted suckup to Rush Limbaugh a couple of Sundays ago was of course reprehensible, but not surprisingly so. After all, this is the paper that hired the article's author, Zev Chavets, certified chickenhawk warlover and Zionazi. What is a little surprising is how bad Chafet's writing inadvertently makes Limbaugh sound. You can tell Zev's in awe, and in his rush to communicate Rush's awesomeness Chafets inadvertently spills a good bit of his subject's gooey essence on the reader. I especially liked the description of Limbaugh's Xanadu. It's so hideous it's worth quoting extensively:

He also loves space. There are five homes — all of them his — on the property. The big house is 24,000 square feet. Limbaugh lives there with a cat. He’s been married three times but has no children.

Limbaugh informed me that I was the first journalist ever to enter his home. Mary Matalin, the Republican consultant, calls the place “aspirational,” which is one adjective that fits. The place, largely designed by Limbaugh himself, reflects the things and places he has seen and admired. The massive chandelier in the dining room, for example, is a replica of the one that hung in the lobby of the Plaza Hotel in New York. The gleaming cherry-wood floors are dotted with hand-woven oriental carpets. A life-size oil portrait of El Rushbo, as he often calls himself on the air, hangs on the wall of the main staircase.

Unlike many right-wing talk-show hosts, Limbaugh does not view France with hostility. On the contrary, he is a Francophile. His salon, he told me, is meant to suggest Versailles. His main guest suite, which I did not personally inspect, was designed as an exact replica of the presidential suite of the George V Hotel in Paris.

Limbaugh is especially proud of his two-story library, which is a scaled-down version of the library at the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina. Cherubs dance on the ceiling, leatherbound collections line the bookshelves and the wood-paneled walls were once “an acre of mahogany.”
A fastidious man, Limbaugh has a keen eye for domestic detail. His staff lights fragrant candles throughout the house to greet his arrival from work each day. Limbaugh led me into his private humidor, selected two La Flor Dominicana Double Ligero Chisel stogies for us to smoke and seated me at an onyx-and-marble table in the study. The room opens onto a patio, a putting green and a beach. On the table was a brochure for Limbaugh’s newest airplane, a Gulfstream G550. It cost him, he told me, $54 million.

Pardon my political incorrectness, but this lair of a "a fastidious man [with] a keen eye for domestic detail," doesn't really sound like what a "regular guy" billionaire would buy. No, it sounds like a self-loathing, closet queen 's wet dream. First off there's the emphasis on size; then two you have a whole hot-tub full of housing choices (a different one each work night!) on that compound. And what's all this about the staff lighting "fragrant candles" throughout the house (houses?) to welcome Rush back to the Plaza/Versailles/George V Suite after a hard day of hatemongering. This is perhaps to mask the stench of self-knowledge or rank hypocrisy, a thing also helped out by sucking on the largest stogies Rush can find. And what's with the brochure on the table for his new plane? That's like a bit of stage business you might give an actor in a soap or sitcom if you wanted to absolutely telegraph his identity as Arriviste Asshole. But neither Rush nor Zev seem to find it at all unsubtle.

Zev does all he can to make Rush sound like a genius (instead making himself sound like a dunce), never even suggesting that his subject might have lowered the discourse, and of course never asking hard questions like, "Back in the day when you called yourself Jeff Christie did you get arrested in Pittsburgh for soliciting gay sex?" Or perhaps, "How expensive are those drug fueled boy-schtupping trips to central America?" Or even just, "Don't you feel that as a former draft dodger you shouldn't really speak for the troops or sound the charge on military action?"

It's almost enough to make you want to reach out to Rush and say, "It's okay to be gay. You don't have to be an ass-kicking macho-man for your asshole daddy in order to be a worthwhile human being." His desperate attempts with his three beard wives and macho blather and eliminationist storm-trooper fantasies about a Final Solution for the Democrats, coupled with his drug history remind me of the Randy Newman song Guilty:

You know how it is with me baby
You know I just can’t stand myself
It takes a whole lot of medicine
For me to pretend that I’m somebody else.
Satire Bonus:
Say, what's the difference between Rush Limbaugh and the Hindenburg?
One is a big bag of Nazi gas, the other's a dirigible.


Post a Comment

<< Home