great zings throughout history

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William F. Buckley's famous rebuttal to John Lindsay during a '65 mayoral race sort of fits: "I am satisfied to sit back and contemplate my own former eloquence."

clemenza, Sunday, 29 April 2012 13:59 (1 year ago) Permalink

I often laugh at well crafted (or just outrageously funny) putdowns independent of whether I agree with them or not. (Re Nabokov.)

― clemenza, Sunday, April 29, 2012 1:30 PM (47 minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

cf v much hitchens

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Sunday, 29 April 2012 14:19 (1 year ago) Permalink

Bide my shiny metal, ass -- Bender

these pretzels are makeing me horney (Hungry4Ass), Sunday, 29 April 2012 14:27 (1 year ago) Permalink

in bender's ass, we abide

jesus christ (strongo hulkington's ghost dad), Sunday, 29 April 2012 14:28 (1 year ago) Permalink

mart & hitch

The year was 1981. We were in a tiny Italian restaurant in west London, where we would soon be joined by our future first wives. Two elegant young men in waisted suits were unignorably and interminably fussing with the staff about rearranging the tables, to accommodate the large party they expected. It was an intensely class-conscious era (because the class system was dying); Christopher and I were candidly lower-middle bohemian, and the two young men were raffishly minor-gentry (they had the air of those who await, with epic stoicism, the deaths of elderly relatives). At length, one of them approached our table, and sank smoothly to his haunches, seeming to pout out through the fine strands of his fringe. The crouch, the fringe, the pout: these had clearly enjoyed many successes in the matter of bending others to his will. After a flirtatious pause he said, “You’re going to hate us for this.”

And Christopher said, “We hate you already.”

(REAL NAME) (m coleman), Sunday, 29 April 2012 14:32 (1 year ago) Permalink

Nabokov's widely spread disdain can be amusing but I don't see put-downs from him in the fabulous way cited from Parker and others upthread -- the kind of compressed wit that shows you a little of the quality that human consciousness has added to the universe

(though I do remember VN saying something about Bellow that amused me, whatever it was.)

the pinefox, Sunday, 29 April 2012 14:33 (1 year ago) Permalink

I can precisely imagine Hitchens saying that, but I don't feel any sympathy or solidarity with him saying it - cos it's him and the way he would say it

the pinefox, Sunday, 29 April 2012 14:34 (1 year ago) Permalink

whereas if it were Morrissey I would dig it.

the pinefox, Sunday, 29 April 2012 14:34 (1 year ago) Permalink

I don't see put-downs from him in the fabulous way cited from Parker and others upthread -- the kind of compressed wit that shows you a little of the quality that human consciousness has added to the universe

Agree that brevity is the trickiest part--most one-liners come off as smarmy, or clumsily sarcastic, or obvious, and aren't funny at all. That's why I gravitate to things like Kael's "Circles and Squares," which is more like careful dismantling than zinging. But if you can get it right--Capote's line on Kerouac is the greatest example for me--perfection.

clemenza, Sunday, 29 April 2012 14:59 (1 year ago) Permalink

I like Capote's line but have never been totally sure what it means

the pinefox, Sunday, 29 April 2012 15:02 (1 year ago) Permalink

See, I get Capote's thing, but I think he's totally wrong, and in fact it reflects more on him than on Kerouac, and therefore the zing kind of falls flat to me. The idea that 'it just isn't art' smacks of snobbery and narrow-mindedness, not things that I really want from my artists.

emil.y, Sunday, 29 April 2012 15:04 (1 year ago) Permalink

"hey how about instead you eat my ass you clueless cum bubble"

- churchill

J0rdan S., Sunday, 29 April 2012 15:05 (1 year ago) Permalink

not certain why 'typing' wouldn't be 'art' - though I guess the line is tending that way, somehow

I'm sure Kerouac is art, but I'm not always sure it's very good art

the pinefox, Sunday, 29 April 2012 15:07 (1 year ago) Permalink

Well, that's fair enough - I've only read On the Road and one other that I can't remember the name of now, so I'd not make a very good defence for Kerouac. It's more the principle of the attack I dislike - that there somehow has to be a distancing between creator and work, that there must be some objective artistic principle adhered to, and worst of all to me, I feel there is an implication that phenomenological accounts are artistically void.

emil.y, Sunday, 29 April 2012 15:13 (1 year ago) Permalink

Kerouac influenced me when I read On the Road in university, but it was the kind of influence that was short-lived--doubt I could get through very much of the novel today. Conceding that there's some snobbery at work there--the Beats were new, Capote had been around for a few years--the meaning of his line seems as clear as could be to me: this guy's just banging it out, and he badly needs an editor. I probably first came across the line when I was discovering Kerouac, and I even found it funny then.

clemenza, Sunday, 29 April 2012 15:15 (1 year ago) Permalink

DEBUTANTE: I've made a bet with a friend that I can get you to say three words to me.

CALVIN COOLIDGE: Fuck you, cunt.

pplains, Sunday, 29 April 2012 15:26 (1 year ago) Permalink

--- that there somehow has to be a distancing between creator and work, that there must be some objective artistic principle adhered to, and worst of all to me, I feel there is an implication that phenomenological accounts are artistically void.

I don't think I can see these things in Capote's line.
If anything the 'banging it out' sounds more like what he was saying. But then, I am not quite sure what he was saying.

I once wanted to reuse this line, in a different context, namely re the late alcoholic BRENDAN BEHAN -- cos he didn't write the work, just dictated it and someone else typed it. I think I was going to say that in print until PJ MILLER told me not to cos it was not nice to alcoholics.

the pinefox, Sunday, 29 April 2012 15:30 (1 year ago) Permalink

Gore Vee-dal: "Every time a friend succeeds, I die a little."

― Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, April 29, 2012 9:49 AM (1 hour ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

i love the large auns pictures! (Phil D.), Sunday, 29 April 2012 15:41 (1 year ago) Permalink

"hey how about instead you eat my ass you clueless cum bubble"

- churchill

― J0rdan S., Sunday, April 29, 2012 11:05 AM

needs context - the reply to his wife asking him to pass the salt

am0n, Sunday, 29 April 2012 15:48 (1 year ago) Permalink

auto-zing:

Bob Monkhouse: "When I said I was going to become a comedian, they all laughed. Well, they're not laughing now."

estela, Sunday, 29 April 2012 15:50 (1 year ago) Permalink

lot of amazing zing scholarship itt... not

lag∞n, Sunday, 29 April 2012 15:50 (1 year ago) Permalink

That one hurts.

clemenza, Sunday, 29 April 2012 15:57 (1 year ago) Permalink

PWN

lag∞n, Sunday, 29 April 2012 16:02 (1 year ago) Permalink

One last (promise) thought on the Capote line: it's funnier when you hear it in his voice.

clemenza, Sunday, 29 April 2012 16:07 (1 year ago) Permalink

having made it to page 2 of On the Road, I'm with him.

World Congress of Itch (Dr Morbius), Sunday, 29 April 2012 16:25 (1 year ago) Permalink

From a letter from Groucho Marx to S. J. Perelman: "From the moment I picked up your book until I put it down, I was convulsed with laughter. Some day I intend reading it."

flopson, Sunday, 29 April 2012 16:33 (1 year ago) Permalink

literary zings are usually a lil too on the nose almost as if some lonely person fuming w/professional jealousy puzzled over them in a room until they got it just right

lag∞n, Sunday, 29 April 2012 16:50 (1 year ago) Permalink

paraphrasing wilde ^

diafiyhm (darraghmac), Sunday, 29 April 2012 16:59 (1 year ago) Permalink

i have nothing to declare but my klout score

lag∞n, Sunday, 29 April 2012 17:02 (1 year ago) Permalink

in one of the late marx bros. movie there's a bit where chico is taking a photo and says to groucho 'just look at me and pretend to laugh'

'i've been doing that for thirty years'

thomp, Sunday, 29 April 2012 17:07 (1 year ago) Permalink

which i presume was scripted but i like to believe it wasn't, you know.

-

re: capote: the immediate context is kerouac's claim/lie that he wrote he wrote OTR in one three-day binge, i believe

thomp, Sunday, 29 April 2012 17:08 (1 year ago) Permalink

of whom was it that gore vidal said: "a writer's writer, in much the same way a butler is sometimes called a gentleman's gentleman"? still laughing at that one tbh

thomp, Sunday, 29 April 2012 17:09 (1 year ago) Permalink

Yeah Capote was basically saying, possibly inaccurately, that Kerouac just shat it out without putting much thought or craft into it.

Homosexual Satan Wasp (Matt DC), Sunday, 29 April 2012 17:14 (1 year ago) Permalink

sigh

thomp, Sunday, 29 April 2012 17:19 (1 year ago) Permalink

Gore Vidal's essays consist of three dozen zings strung together.

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 29 April 2012 17:21 (1 year ago) Permalink

xp - i think it would be more accurately analysed down to "I distrust the veracity of Kerouac's claim that he wrote it in three days and, anyway, if so, this would not impact its literary value, and certainly would not impress its value upon me, as Kerouac seems to think it would"

by this point the fun of it is sort of dead, though

thomp, Sunday, 29 April 2012 17:22 (1 year ago) Permalink

Well, that's pretty much what I was saying. And I disagree that working in that way is necessarily detrimental to good art - hence my defence of phenomenological writing. Obviously, not all art created in such a way will be good, but to suggest that it is simply not writing is fallacious.

xposts

emil.y, Sunday, 29 April 2012 17:23 (1 year ago) Permalink

literary zings are usually a lil too on the nose almost as if some lonely person fuming w/professional jealousy puzzled over them in a room until they got it just right

this is confusing way of thinking to me

cosi fan whitford (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Sunday, 29 April 2012 17:33 (1 year ago) Permalink

great zing lawyers throughout history

dayo, Sunday, 29 April 2012 17:37 (1 year ago) Permalink

worth posting, for those who haven't seen: http://billanddavescocktailhour.com/the-churchill-wit/

s.clover, Sunday, 29 April 2012 18:00 (1 year ago) Permalink

I like Gore Vidal's famous one from just after Norman Mailer had decked him - "as usual, words fail him".

Homosexual Satan Wasp (Matt DC), Sunday, 29 April 2012 18:08 (1 year ago) Permalink

i will never understand 'too on the nose' as a criticism

'this thing is as it should be, only, too much so'

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Sunday, 29 April 2012 18:24 (1 year ago) Permalink

maybe because thats not what it means

lag∞n, Sunday, 29 April 2012 18:26 (1 year ago) Permalink

i do believe its possible that you will some day understand it tho

lag∞n, Sunday, 29 April 2012 18:26 (1 year ago) Permalink

"If all the girls who attended the Yale prom were laid end to end, I wouldn't be a bit surprised."

i've seen this quote with "vassar" instead of "the yale prom" elsewhere

madame boo berry (donna rouge), Sunday, 29 April 2012 18:49 (1 year ago) Permalink

lagoon's criticism is basically "oh yeah mr. witty person, with yr stinkin' wit, there, and your BOOKS? well I bet you have ~no social life~ lol"

cosi fan whitford (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Sunday, 29 April 2012 19:47 (1 year ago) Permalink

worth posting, for those who haven't seen: http://billanddavescocktailhour.com/the-churchill-wit/

― s.clover, Sunday, April 29, 2012 2:00 PM (1 hour ago) Bookmark

lol

these pretzels are makeing me horney (Hungry4Ass), Sunday, 29 April 2012 19:50 (1 year ago) Permalink

lagoon's criticism is basically "oh yeah mr. witty person, with yr stinkin' wit, there, and your BOOKS? well I bet you have ~no social life~ lol"

― cosi fan whitford (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Sunday, April 29, 2012 3:47 PM (6 minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

this is a v poor reading!

lag∞n, Sunday, 29 April 2012 19:54 (1 year ago) Permalink

it's a v. poor reading... LOUSY BOOKS

Doctor Casino, Sunday, 29 April 2012 19:59 (1 year ago) Permalink

yeah i thought he was just saying that 'zings' are more a product of real time communication (IRL conversation, internet etc) than written correspondence or literature

some dude, Sunday, 29 April 2012 20:02 (1 year ago) Permalink


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