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June 12, 2006

Her pretty face is going to Hell

Posted by Phil on June 12, 2006 9:32 AM

There's been a lot of chatter this past week, but I'm afraid it's going to be the slow and little-remarked slide into mere illegitimacy that marks the remainder of Ann Coulter's career. I'd hoped for a more immediate, brutal, and final smackdown from someone like...well, it's hard to say who could do it best without simultaneously muddying him- or herself. Heck, just writing about her makes me embarrassed that I've wasted the time.

Coulter's ingenius natural defense has been to be so gross and contemptible that no one with any brains or class wants to tangle with her. She's like the bully who mocks the class nerd, queer, or geek girl with such contorted, humiliating abandon that sensible bystanders start to wonder who has actually strayed farther from the social norm--but even the ones with popular clout are so appalled and weirded out that they don't want to intervene and become her next target. It's not worth trying to engage with such a shameless freak: destroying her isn't possible, and, short of that, she will always escalate beyond the reach of anyone else's dignity.

So her standing is upheld by brokers, promoters, and those whose status relies on her bold delineations and condemnations--all of them elevated and enriched by the attention she commands and the phony consensus she enforces with her intimidating and polarizing invective. When it has provoked the predictable outrage, her work is done. Hands are wrung, beards are stroked, but none dare call her irrelevant, for if she is CONTROVERSIAL, then by God she is NEWS!

And then Ann Coulter laughs. Oh, how she laughs! She laughs when she is alone, and she laughs with braying sycophants. She laughs with grinning hosts, and she laughs with worried pundits. She laughs in her limo, and she laughs over steak and champagne. She laughs herself to sleep, and she laughs over her coffee. It is all meaningless, a game, a machine fueled by her offensiveness, and when you are rich and thin and clever and blonde and POPULAR, or at least FAMOUS, there are always jerks and flunkies with whom you can savor the mirthless laugh of the damned.

She will laugh for as long as every one of those conditions applies, and when one or more of them ceases to--after a DUI, or perhaps a shoplifting incident, or merely a slow turning away--then she will stop laughing. So do not chew your knuckles over Ann Coulter. Instead, believe that her own private hell awaits her, if she is not there already. (*)

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