Saturday, May 20, 2006

Help! Mom! There are Liars in my library! 

Thanks to Faolin for checking this book out from the local library for us!:

Of all the anti-intellectual, anti-reality and asinine rubbish produced by the far right, "Help! Mom! There are Liberals under my bed!" has scratched its way to the bottom of the dung heap.

Not because the content of the book--oversimplified vilification of Ted Kennedy, Hillary Clinton & co., especially for taxes (apparently the authoress hasn't checked out how much the government is actually spending under Republican "leadership")--can even compare to the dross of Rush, the detritus of Hannity, the flotsam of Coulter or the jetsam of O'Reilly. It is a puerile non-plot involving two good little boys who make lemonade (when life deals them lemons) only to be thwarted by taxes, civil liberty fanatics, and Hillary. It includes the fantastic implication that conservatives somehow earn their wealth but liberals can't work (it also includes the overt hypocrisy of showing Hollywood as "Haughtywood" on one page and then showing Reagan's portrait hanging in the boy's home in another--as if Reagan somehow made his money outside the Hollywood system?). Altogether, a very nice effort for a simple-minded pre-teen, which I assume the author must be.

The best, however, is left for last. The last page of the book tells us about the Author(ess) and the Illustrator. For the latter, it says:

A military veteran [non-combat] and former art director for the Associated Press, he is a past winner of the prestigious Reuben Award from the National Cartoonists Society.

Note particularly "the prestigious Reuben Award", meaning the one and only Rueben Award (not "an" award--one of many awarded by the NCS at the same time the Rueben is awarded). This is a very prestigious award, won by the likes of Trudeau, Groening and Watterson. Upon finding out the Illustrator won this award, I felt like maybe I'd misjudged the book just a little. Until I figured it must be a lie. Which it is:

Click here for past Reuben Award winners

The Illustrator, Jim Hummel, did win (2002) an award from the National Cartoonists Society, but as Wikipedia notes:

He received the National Cartoonists Society Advertising and Illustration Award for 2002. He was also nominated for their Newspaper Illustration Award three times.

Yes, he won an award for advertising, but certainly not THE Reuben. All of which reminds me of the chapter in Al Franken's "Lies and the Lying Liars who Tell Them" when Bill O'Reilly argues "Inside Edition" won one (or two!) Peabody awards (it actually won one Polk Award, and this was more than a year after Bill left "Inside Edition").

Lying is so endemic to the far, far right, so habitual, that even in a satire, they cannot avoid lying in the few sentences at the end of the book that are supposedly factual. Whatever you do, don't buy this book. Check it out from the library, as I did, and get your laugh. Then move on to more important literature; that is, anything else in written form.


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