Tuesday, March 06, 2007

A Blessing for Ann (The Viper) Coulter

By Paul

Is there a more hateful person in politics than right-wing maniac and character assassin Ann Coulter? Well, yes. Rush ("Where's my Vicodin?") Limbaugh. But other than him?

By now, you've heard that Ms. Coulter drew laughs and applause from fellow bigots by calling
Democratic Presidential candidate John Edwards a "faggot." We here at Naked Authors do not believe in name-calling. So we will not respond in kind to that vituperative, venomous, bottom-feeding, mud-slinging, anorexic pitbull of a media whore and insult slut with a curiously prominent Adam's apple.

And because I am of mild temperament and placid thoughts I leave Ann with this holy and heartfelt Yiddish blessing:
Migulgl zol er vern in a henglayhter, by tog zol er hengen, un bay nakht zol er brenen.

Which can be translated loosely as:

"She should be transformed into a chandelier, to hang by day and to burn by night."


And I mean this as a compliment.

When Taxi our Neurotic Cat hacks up a hairball or Nikki our Retarded Rescue Dog barfs (as she did yesterday after eating a live bee), I always think of actor Ed Begley, Jr. Not for his role on "St. Elsewhere." Or as Frances Conroy's boyfriend on "Six Feet Under." Not even for his outstanding performance in David Mamet's play, "Romance," a wacky legal satire we saw downtown last year. (Ed played a lawyer who hated his client. Now, there's something I can relate to.)

I'm not talking about Ed's fine acting. He's a gadfly hereabouts, a Studio City neighbor and well-known environmentalist. You may have seen him on television riding a bicycle to run a generator that, in turn, powers his toaster. Okay, he's a little obsessed. Anyway, he's developed "Begley's Best, non-toxic, biodegradable household and carpet cleaner that's terrific at removing cat and dog crud.

Nikki and Taxi are constantly fouling the beige carpeting that the developer idiotically put in the spec house we bought just after a minor porn star who was living here defaulted on her purchase contract...but that's another story. The porn star is gone; the carpeting is still here; the animals barf, and "Begley's Best" erases the stains. Simple as that. All profits go to charity, so do your part and buy some.


The lovely Renee and I had a row the other night on the way home from the Ahmanson Theater in downtown L.A.

Inasmuch as we had just seen a stunning production of Edward Albee's "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf," what better time to go at it?

Martha: Look sweetheart, I can drink you under any goddamn table. So don't worry about me.

George: Martha, I gave you the prize years ago. There isn't any abomination award that you...

Martha: I swear, if you existed, I'd divorce you.
We both loved the play, so that wasn't the issue. Kathleen Turner was withering as sharp-tongued Martha and Bill Irwin slyly effective as the beat-upon husband who’s not quite the milquetoast he seems. Rather, I caught hell for giving Renee grief over the book she just bought and was reading during intermission. It's “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne, and it's currently the number one best-selling non-fiction book in our great country. (But then MacDonald's is the best-selling hamburger, if you get my drift).

According to the book's Foreword, there is a "Great Secret" that has been passed down for hundreds of years. It is a secret known by only a few, including Plato, Shakespeare, Newton, Hugo, Beethoven, Lincoln, Emerson, and Einstein. (Perhaps Jim Born, too, but Ms. Byrne doesn't say.)

So, what is this "Great Secret?" I can spare you skimming through this volume that is even slimmer than Nicole Richie on meth. In essence, the message seems to be that if you think good thoughts, you'll get rich and famous. Boosted by Oprah Winfrey, the book has 3.75 million copies in print.

Now, a closer look. There are neat chapter headings such as, "Embrace Your Magnificence." There is an epigraph supposedly taken from "The Emerald Tablet, circa 3000 B.C." I don't know where the tablet was discovered or who has it today, and its message is so incredibly profound I cannot understand it.

As above, so below.
As within, so without

Great portions of the book were not written by Ms. Byrne, at all. Most chapters consist of endless blathering from a host of "experts" ready to teach these Newtownian-Lincolnesque-Einsteinian Secrets.

In sum, "The Secret" is not really a book at all. It's warmed over, second hand, boring, cliche-ridden truisms of so-called inspirational speakers and other charlatans, all stirred into a feel-good pastiche of flabby thoughts. (Note to Jim Born. "Pastiche" is a Hungarian word meaning tiny mustache).

Here's one example. Marie Diamond, described as a "feng shui consultant," writes: "The Secret means that we are creators of our Universe, and that every wish we want to create will manifest in our lives."

Each chapter ends with "Secret Summaries," in the event you may have forgotten something you read five minutes earlier. Examples:

You get to fill the blackboard of your life with whatever you want.

The only thing you need to do is feel good now. (I think it's possible Anna Nicole Smith adhered to this instruction with large doses of methadone).

You are like a human transmission tower, transmitting a frequency with your thoughts. (Does the F.C.C. know about this?)

Okay, you get my point. The number-one bestselling non-fiction book in America is a steaming pile of mierda. Yet, my wife, a powerful, intelligent, independent woman, a trial lawyer and tennis champion, felt compelled to buy it, when for the same money, she could have bought a bag of vodka balls from Kron Chocolatier. (Renee is also the model for Victoria Lord in my SOLOMON vs. LORD books, so she can also crack wise and counter-punch with the best of the banterers).

Now, I'm really going to get into trouble, and not just with Renee. I must ask Patty, Cornelia, and Jacqueline. Why do WOMEN buy into these self-help frauds? I'm betting Jim Born and Jim Grippando wouldn't be caught dead thumbing through "The Secret," though Born might shoplift a copy, just to check out the store's security measures.


I know what you're thinking.

Paul is praising President Bush? Has he lost his mind? His cojones? His meds?

No. I think the Bush Administration should receive credit for moving swiftly and decisively to fix the shameful situation at Walter Reed Army Hospital. Sure, the Bushies should have done all this before the Washington Post brought the horrid conditions to light. But there's a blot on Congress, too. Both Republicans and Democrats share guilt with the Bush Administration. (The Post's incredible coverage can be found here).

At the very least, let's upgrade the quality of post-trauma care both at military and V.A. hospitals. Consider this hypothet. Let's say that First Daughter Jenna Bush, who seems to have the social conscience of a pitcher of martinis, was at a Buenos Aires nightclub drinking "Flaming Assholes." I'm not being a wiseguy here. A Flaming Asshole is a combination of blackberry brandy, tequila and 151-proof rum that is set ablaze. If you don't believe me, ask Jim Born. And let's say, unfortunately, Jenna's hair catches fire and she is seriously burned. I just want Iraq veterans like Jesus Martinez
to get the same quality health care the Bush babe could expect.


Fresh off his "Florida Fiction" gold medal for ESCAPE CLAUSE, Special Agent Born will be signing FIELD OF FIRE at the Mystery Bookstore in Westwood tonight at 7. For those of you who think this is Jim's first award for fiction, I'm told he's been winning accolades for exceptionally creative writing in his arrest reports for years.

One more thing, Jimbo. Yesterday, on "The Lipstick Chronicles, Michele Martinez wondered why she kept coming to Naked Authors and not finding "nudie pix" of you and me. (To which Jim Grippando might ask, "What am I, chopped liver?") I don't have an answer to Michele's question. But I suggest the Three Amigos consider it. And if Michelle or any of the Lipstickers can answer the question I posed above about women and self-help books, I'm willing to listen.

To e-mail this posting, click on the envelope below.



  1. I think that's the longest post I've ever read.

    Speaking of the longest post, I second the vote for naked pics of Jim Born.

  2. Hey, Paul - so glad I don't have to be the one to have gone after Coulter, it might have been ugly! And, as for The Secret - sorry, I think it's another example of "The Emperor's New Clothes," all wrapped up Da Vinci-code-like to appeal to anyone who has never heard of Wayne Dyer or Deepak Chopra, or even Florence Scovel Schinn (I know I've spelled her name incorrectly). I just wish I had been the one to think, "Why, there haven't been any "Think and Grow Rich" books out there for about, oh, a month, so why don't I pull something together, and bring out a DVD too, and make a millionaire of myself. Not that I am not a believer in, well, belief, or visualization, but when an Australian starts going off into the ozone, you know the world is in real trouble. And it's not just women, the guy in front of me was reading The Secret on the flight to NY last week - and the flight attendant couldn't help but say to him, as she added fake cream to his cold coffee, "That is the best book I've ever read." Oh, my.

    Now to Walter Reed - of course the Bush administration had to move fast. Any slower and there would have been hell to pay. You can't have a surge at one end and a swamp at the other - well, you can, but it's a really bad thing when people get to know about it.

    And finally, I already use Ed Begley's products - there's a pre-wash spray that's the best at getting horse-drool out of my t-shirts. If you don't ride horses, you wouldn't know that they have a charming habit of wanting to rub their drooly mouths on your clothes as soon as you've done riding them. Really charming, I must say.

    And thanks, Paul - great post as usual.

    I hope you all have a great time tonight at The Mystery Bookstore - sorry, I can't come, wish I could, it would be worth the 2-hour drive. And Jim - don't let him heckle you. Take a few friends from work, just in case.

  3. Quick disclaimer on the Australian comment - Marianne, we depend on your fellow countryfolk to have their feet well and truly on terra firma. And the author of The Secret is clearly of that ilk - she thought, did something about it, and grew rich. I just wish I was the one who'd had that particular thought.

  4. Why do people let Ann Coulter bother them? Who cares what she says? She's a cartoon, just like Sean Hannity and Al Franken.

    When you let these people's words and actions - done solely to generate reactions - get to you, you are wasting serious emotional and spiritual energy.

    Who cares???

    Now, Jim Born... something needs to be done about that guy.

  5. I never read self-help books because—frankly—there's no help for me. And just to show you how out of the loop I am, I've never heard of "The Secret."

    I saw "Who's Afraid..." too. Great performances but I couldn't get Liz and Richard out of my head.

    I'm bringing my camera to Born's signing tonight. Stay tuned for NakedPictures.

    Nikki...Taxi...too cute.

  6. Ditto on Coultier....wait a minute...does that make me one of Rush's Ditto heads...hmmmmm

    Looks like Jena is up to more than just Flaming Assholes. HarperCollins announces today that it's publishing Bush's Ana's Story: A Journey of Hope this fall. It will be illustrated with photographs by Mia Baxter, a former classmate of Bush's at the University of Texas. Perhaps she got the inspiration to write this by reading The Secret and understanding that metaphysical "Emerald Tablet."

    "The number-one best-selling nonfiction book in America is a steaming pile of mierda." So I guess you guys know the formula now.....write a steaming pile of crap....... get Oprah to say it's a must read, and there you have it. Of course, just being mierda doesn't assure one of being a best seller now does it.....
    And as someone pointed out about James Patterson last week, it's all in the marketing------- Guess Patterson must know that Emerald Tablet's secret to, eh?
    Having intelligence, independance, and power can't compensate for insecurity.......Insecurity or self loathing is why people read these self help books. Unfortunately, Self Help books usually are like the oxymoron of Easy Listening Music, which I find so difficult to listen to.


  7. Great fun, Paul. Thanks.

    Tom, T.O.

  8. David's right; it's a long post, but incisive and entertaining throughout. I wish I could say that about more blogs.

  9. As above, so below.
    As within, so without.

    This struck me as another way of saying:

    Beuaty is skin deep;
    But ugly goes down to the bone.


    I don't know. I thought "Tuesdays With Morrie" had all the secrets of life. you mean there's more "secrets" out there? All the best secrets I found in the "Kama Sutra."? "Everything I Needed to Know I learned in Kindergarten"? ["Everything I Needed To Know I Learned At Pelican Bay"? Now there's a bestseller in the making.]

  10. And yet... the "philosophy" of THE SECRET sure seems like the MO Grippando attributed to James Patterson, the other day....

  11. Cornelia, you got one of my points.....I like your double-entendre of M.O., and MO [like MoJo].
    And Jacqueline, your second post is hitting the nail on the head [and reminding me of the main reason I read this blog:your contributions].Naked Authors,et al, be honest, you'd all love to be racking in the $$$$ from 3.75 million copies in print....


  12. Wow, Paul, this was a looooong post. Hopefully blogger won't swallow my comment whole and runaway with it this time. I wrote a nice long rant for James' Friday post, telling you all how wonderful you were as storytellers, and when I went to publish it, blogger ate it. I was seriously piffed.

    Anyway, Ann Coulter is busy being a bigger bigot, noise, brash name-caller, psycho, wannabe Bill O'Reilly because in some businesses women have to go the extra mile to keep up with their male 'equals'. It really just makes her look like a loud-mouthed twit. Apologies to all of those well-mannered, intelligent, accomplished women out there reading this. Ms Coulter is just trying to say 'my balls are bigger than yours' to everyone - makes that suspiciously large adams apple something to worry about, don't it?

    Anyway. Don't worry, Our J. I've never heard of 'The Secret' - so if an Aussie was stupid enough to write it, let alone read it, then they're the one with issues. :-D

    Cheers to all!
    PS: Been reading the Malice Domestic "The Sunken Sailor' round robin written novel. Hilarious and seriously silly fun. Not to mention that some of you crime writer types are just as sick and twisted as the rest of us! :-D