June 12, 2018

Not just for Justin Trudeau anymore: Fake eyebrows are worn by the fictional President of the United States in that novel "co-written" by Bill Clinton.

I'm reading that brilliant, hilarious Anthony Lane essay in The New Yorker, "Bill Clinton and James Patterson’s Concussive Collaboration/'The President Is Missing' contains most of what you’d expect from this duo: politico-historical ramblings, mixed metaphors, saving the world. But why is there no sex?" As the title suggests, the essay is jam-packed with great observations, but I'm just blogging enough to tell you about the eyebrows:
Jon Duncan is the President of the United States... “a war hero with rugged good looks and a sharp sense of humor,” not to mention a beguiling modesty... Duncan is facing possible impeachment... Another problem: a female assassin is in the offing.... There are also a couple of computer wonks, motives unclear: the first, “a cross between a Calvin Klein model and a Eurotrash punk rocker,” if you can picture such a creature; the second, a frightened fellow who arranges a covert meeting with the President at Nationals Park. Nail-gnawing stuff.

No wonder Duncan dreams of sitting there in the stadium, crisis-free, with a hot dog and a beer. And he knows which beer, too: “At a ball game, there is no finer beverage than an ice-cold Bud,” he says to himself. Not since Daniel Craig practically ruined “Casino Royale” by pimping his watch to Eva Green (“Rolex?” “Omega.” “Beautiful”) has a product been placed with such unblushing zeal.

The reason Duncan can attend the game, alone, is that he’s wearing a Nationals cap, plus thickened eyebrows and spectacles. Aided by this impenetrable disguise, he slips out of the White House and, bereft of a security detail, goes on the lam....
Google books let me get a screen grab and saved me from having to buy the Kindle text to show you this. Click to enlarge:

66 comments:

Sarah from VA said...

I bought myself an eyebrow pencil, thinking that fuller eyebrows are indeed all the rage now. I find that there's a thin line between "oh look I have eyebrows now" and "what the hell is wrong with my face???"

Sarah from VA said...

Eyebrow rules are different for men, though. Go ahead and tape on a pair of caterpillars, men.

Ambrose said...

Is President Duncan a Macbeth allusion?

Comanche Voter said...

I fly fish occasionally. Trudeau's faux eyebrows look sort of like a brownish/black Wooly Bugger. Fairly effective in catching trout.


But when we are talking "fake", Ol Billy Jeff, the alleged co-author of this book is one of the world's best at faking empathy and sincerity. He'll tell the world "I feel your pain".

David Begley said...

When men start wearing make-up, we're finished as a culture. When I heard another lawyer in town had his nails done, my opinion of him went lower and it was low to begin with.

The lawyers in early Omaha who represented the unions and the meatpackers didn't have their nails done; they were one step removed from the packinghouse floor, farm field or the duck blind.

Sydney said...

When I read books like that I think, “Dammit. I could write this crap.” How the hell do you get to be a best selling author with crap like this?

Michael Fitzgerald said...

Rat skin eyebrows for slimy sleazy creep Clinton. we

Robt C said...

A president who is “a war hero with rugged good looks and a sharp sense of humor,” . . . oh gag me. That kind of cliched crap sends a very strong signal as to the worth of the rest of the book. Tossed off for quick--and big--bucks. Just one more way Slick Willie cons the public.

Bob Boyd said...

Fake news, Althouse. It's just a pencil job, not tiny mouse-skin rugs.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Poor little Justin. Fresh off his embarrassment in India, he decides he wants to trump Trump with his MCGA schtick. Trump devastating tweet calling him weak and a backstabber. He literally came unglued.

bwebster said...

Wait, wait, wait. Bill Clinton has co-authored a novel about a fictional POTUS that includes said POTUS disguising himself to be able to sneak out of the White House?

Seriously?

At least one former Secret Service agent (Gary Byrne) claimed in print that Clinton, while President, used to sneak out of the White House for sex. I can't figure out if this novel is Clinton being slyly boastful or completely unaware of himself.

Also, having the POTUS be "a war hero with rugged good looks" reminds me of some of the comments about and around the movie "Air Force One" (1997), where Harrison Ford was seen as a "stand-in" for Bill Clinton. (No, really.)

David Begley said...

Here's a little Omaha legal history. JAC Kennedy was the founder of the law firm I used to work at. JAC was the son of Irish immigrants and his father died when he was young. Poverty. He used to collect broken crackers at a plant to feed the family. He was a captain in the Spanish-American war. He was first in his class at Creighton Law School. (No women students in those days.)

He started his law firm and represented meatpackers. The unions bombed his house at 38th and California streets. He kept a pistol at home to protect his family from union thugs.

JAC didn't wear fake eyebrows and have his nails done.



Ann Althouse said...

"A president who is “a war hero with rugged good looks and a sharp sense of humor,” . . . oh gag me. That kind of cliched crap sends a very strong signal as to the worth of the rest of the book. Tossed off for quick--and big--bucks. Just one more way Slick Willie cons the public."

Yes, much of the New Yorker essay is mocking the writing. I found this particularly funny:

"[E]verything you expect from Patterson is here, unadulterated, right down to the ritual mixing of the metaphors—“She had to bite her tongue and accept her place as second fiddle,” say, or “the sorrowful, deer-in-the-headlights look is long gone. The gloves have come off.” Fauna, for some reason, bring out the very best in the makers of this book. The stealthy assassin, seeking a forest perch from which to shoot, has a Bambi moment: “Along the way, little animals bounce out of her path.” On a more rueful note, “Augie looks at me like a lost puppy, in a foreign place with no partner anymore, nothing to call his own except his smartphone.” So true, and so very sad. It’s not enough to give a dog a phone."

And, for more eyebrows:

"What fascinates me, above all, are the people of Pattersonia, that fabled land where sentences go to die. Its inhabitants carry and express themselves like eager extraterrestrials who have completed all but one module of their human-conversion course: “Volkov’s eyebrows flare a bit.” Or “Augie lets out a noise that sounds like laughter.” But isn’t. And what can you do with a line like “her face once again becomes a poker-face wall,” except revel in its delicious tautology? Time and again, the folks in this very peculiar novel indulge in gestures that would be difficult—and physically unwise—to emulate, even in the safety of your own home. “Carolyn tucks in her lips.” “Casey falls to a crouch, gripping her hair.” One character has “eyes in a focused squint,” a second performs “a sweeping nod,” while a third “shakes his head, hiccups a bitter chuckle.” As opposed to chuckling a bitter hiccup. That would be absurd."

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

The fake eyebrows story was a quick and dirty intelligence test. If you believed the story you weren't intelligent.

tcrosse said...

Too bad there's no sex. Nothing is more fun to read than Bad Sex Writing.

mccullough said...

I read one Patterson novel. It had more brand names than a Nascar race. He also described at least three characters by saying they looked like a famous person.

Bob R said...

In Primary Colors, Joe Kline made fun of Richard Gephardt needing to use makeup on his eyebrows to make them visible on TV. I wonder if that was from Clinton.

EDH said...

Never forget the "eyebrow test" for egregious conduct in the law.

Massachusetts state courts apply the coercion or leveraging test, while many Federal courts still apply the "rascality" test or "eyebrow" test. – Ora Catering v. Northland Ins. (D. Mass. 2014)

Under the “rascality test” the conduct complained of must “attain a level of rascality that would raise an eyebrow of someone inured to the rough and tumble of the world of commerce.”

robother said...

So, Justin Trudeau was wearing a disguise when he went on TV to badmouth Trump? He didn't fool anyone. Maybe he should've donned a Blue Jays hat. He just looked like a lost puppy, a dog without a phone.

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

Trudeau didn't 'bad mouth' Trump. He said what the leader of any country that has been as loyal to the US has been would have said. It was the normal behavior of a normal leader of a normal country that has been insulted.

Quaestor said...

I think I understand the nature and purpose of the Clinton/Patterson collaboration. Clinton wanted a lot of money fast (duh!) and another opportunity to travel the country, meet starry-eyed Demo-groupies, and get a few surreptitious BJs while the infamous bent cigar could still manage a mushy tumescence.

Patterson, on the other hand, had a manuscript that had languished in a filing cabinet since at least 1980 — a barnyard critter far too maladroit to show to anyone with a lick of sense — that he could palm off as the work of feeble horndog far too past his prime to be critiqued by anyone except those who value merit over fame. A marriage made in the malbolge.

Michael K said...

If you believed the story you weren't intelligent.

ARM doesn't believe in photography.

It was invented a long time ago. Time to catch up.

The Cracker Emcee Rampant said...

"The fake eyebrows story was a quick and dirty intelligence test. If you believed the story you weren't intelligent"

Whoa! Keep your eyebrows on...

How delightful to see a prog hypocrite like Trudeau hoisted with this petard. he became Dan Quayle in the blink of an eye.

gilbar said...

CV said: " fly fish occasionally. Trudeau's faux eyebrows look sort of like a brownish/black Wooly Bugger. Fairly effective in catching trout.

correction
VERY effective at catching trout
(from Wiki: It is a popular and widely used pattern for both freshwater and saltwater game fish and is generally listed as one of the top patterns to have in any fly box.}

But; you're right, Justin's eyebrows Do look like them.
I'd recommend that he try Head Cement

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

So Michael K, you are now on record as saying that you believe that Trudeau's eyebrows were 'falling off' in that video. Is this a fair representation of your beliefs?

The Cracker Emcee Rampant said...

"So Michael K, you are now on record as saying that you believe that Trudeau's eyebrows were 'falling off' in that video. Is this a fair representation of your beliefs?"

Irrelevant. You're on the Internet arguing about fake eyebrows. Sucker.

The Cracker Emcee Rampant said...

Next up: ARM insists that there's not a smidge of silicone in Stormy Daniel's body.

richlb said...

So it's basically the movie "Dave".

dda6ga dda6ga said...

Perhaps Bubba has finally gone "a con too far"..

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

Not arguing about 'false eyebrows', the facts are self evident. I am marveling at the credulity of some of my fellow citizens. They will literally believe anything if it helps the Great Pumpkin.

Chris N said...

Jag Masterson had it all. This lantern-jawed ex-Marine now owned half of Healthco. Healthco made inflatable microloans used by the EU to regulate women’s health outcomes in the developing world. He might become a Global Senator soon.

How did this happen? He mused while making a laughter-like sound.

After catching the eyes of a fiercely cerebral and fit blonde at Cannes, a whirlwind romance ensued. What this beautiful Nordic creature saw in him was a mystery, but he sang her his best James Taylor doing Paul McCartney’s Blackbird on the beach under moonlight. Somehow it worked.

Two Harvard rowing champions and all-around good people later, Jag still wanted to make the world a better place: Drax was now a tax-lawyer working with the wayward dolphin fund on the weekends. Sophie was set to become the youngest neuro-psychologist working on a cure for political ignorance.

Gretchen had set-up a charity for refugee awareness.

Maybe it was destiny pushing him onwards toward an omnibus human rights space charter peace accord. Maybe it was fate.

Curious George said...

"Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...
They will literally believe anything if it helps the Great Pumpkin."

He doesn't need any help. Pay attention. And your little pal Justin is going to be taken to the woodshed.

Bob Boyd said...

Fake eyebrow Canadianism will be left on the ash heap of history.

Bricap said...

The "fake" eyebrow story in politics that I remember was when Gephardt colored his eyebrows in the 1988 primary.

Quaestor said...

Trudeau's faux eyebrows look sort of like a brownish/black Wooly Bugger.

Bugger?

Apparently, angling has an unappreciated homoerotic element.

Quaestor said...

And your little pal Justin is going to be taken to the woodshed.

Ontario just concluded its general election. Castro Junior's party was on the receiving end of an epic trouncing. Ontario is the Liberal Party's heartland. If that's going down the drain the only way Justin (Justin!) can stay in power will be to form a coalition with the PQ, which is much like being shackled to a honey badger.

Bob Boyd said...

It wasn't the fake eyebrows slipping off that bothered me. It was when that scrotum toupee fell out the bottom of his pants leg as he walked off the stage that made me wonder, what the hell? Can this guy stick to anything?

Seeing Red said...

That was just so funny last week. Jr desperately wants his long pants and can’t get out of leading strings.

Did you see what Drudge linked to yesterday? Captain Canada.

William said...

I wonder how many female ghost writers have been employed by Patterson and Clinton. That bit about the eyebrows needs a woman's touch. A woman would say different things and make different observations while prepping eyebrows. I'm surprised feminist ghostwriters don't take a stand for equal representation,........Maybe spy thriller isn't Clinton's genre. Maybe he should try a romance novel. I think he has some valuable insights that would lend a fresh touch to a bodice ripper.

Seeing Red said...

Merkel avoided scalping. Can PMZ avoid it?

tcrosse said...

Well, Canada can elect whomever they like, but Justin Trudeau has the look and demeanour of the guy who plays tambourine in an '80s Boy Band.

Michael Fitzgerald said...

So Shiloh, are you saying that video showing Twink Trudeau's eyebrows falling off was fake? Twink Trudeau is a phony, femmy punk, just like your hero Barry Obama. They're two gender neutral pansies who tried to BS Donald Trump, a great man who wipes the floor with faggy America hating shit stains like those 2. But yeah, Comey's a weasel, Obama's a rat, and Twink is a mouse who wears eyebrow toupees. But go ahead and show us how politifact spins it.

The Cracker Emcee Rampant said...

The fake eyebrows are a metaphor for the rejection of the old double standard. It's great to see progs (and the odd LLR) play straight man for a clowning.

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

I would like a show of hands on who genuinely believes Trudeau was wearing 'fake eyebrows'.

We have Michael K with his hand up, for what that's worth. And, Michael Fitzgerald is on board. But it seems like there are some other true believers. Don't be shy. If you genuinely believe Trudeau had fake eyebrows shout it out, wave your freak flag high.

The Cracker Emcee Rampant said...

ARM is so obliging. Gotta love the crazy old coot.

Rabel said...

I agree with ARM. Not exactly Trump meeting Kim, but still a watershed moment.

The Cracker Emcee Rampant said...

ARM is the Witchfinder General of fake eyebrows. He'll have Dr. K on a ducking stool in no time!

Bob Boyd said...

Don't laugh at Trudeau. It could happen to anybody...well, anybody wearing fake eyebrows.

bagoh20 said...

"Trudeau didn't 'bad mouth' Trump. He said what the leader of any country that has been as loyal to the US has been would have said. It was the normal behavior of a normal leader of a normal country that has been insulted."

Unless of course if Trump does exactly that to our "friends" who rip us off in trade deals and then cry foul if we want to level the field. Then, Trump is crazy, unfair, undiplomatic, and dangerous.

tcrosse said...

I would like to see a show of hands of who truly believes Trudeau was wearing that native costume get-up on his trip to India. Anyone ?

Yancey Ward said...

While I am now in doubt about the eyebrows, I don't think you can prove what happened in that video one way or another without Trudeau's help. In that video, there has to be significant shading effect from overhead lighting to produce that odd lining effect of two eyebrow growth lines. This is certainly not impossible, but to prove this, you would literally have to be there in person to demonstrate it.

Bob Boyd said...

Canadians prefer natural moose eyebrows. They actually have a serious problem with poachers killing moose for their eyebrows. It's not uncommon for wardens to find dead moose lying intact except for two ugly red scars where their eyebrows used to be.

Yancey Ward said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Infinite Monkeys said...

Not since Daniel Craig practically ruined “Casino Royale” by pimping his watch to Eva Green (“Rolex?” “Omega.” “Beautiful”) has a product been placed with such unblushing zeal.

Watch K-dramas. Everyone eventually goes to Subway or Papa John's.

Yancey Ward said...

In other words, the pictures of the eyebrow from below are not proof- they just raise doubt.

Michael K said...

Why is ARM making a big fuss about Trudeau's fake eyebrows?

Have you two got the thing going ?

Michael K said...

Is this a fair representation of your beliefs?

Maybe you two need to get a room next time he's in town.

Quaestor said...

How delightful to see a prog hypocrite like Trudeau hoisted with this petard. he became Dan Quayle in the blink of an eye.

Nah... more like John Edwards

Irrational Geezer wrote: I would like a show of hands on who genuinely believes Trudeau was wearing 'fake eyebrows'.

Maybe it was one of those notorious Canadian eye leeches, kinda like a drop bear with more mucus.

Richard Dolan said...

Nice review by Anthony Lane. His writing reminded me a bit of James Lileks.

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

Trump is angry that other countries run trade deficits with us. Canada runs a trade surplus, a small one, but still a surplus. The system is working. Trade in mutually beneficial to both countries.

There are two possibilities:

1. Trump is so fucking stupid that he doesn't understand this.
2. Trump is so fucking petty that he can't deal with the fact that Trudeau is younger, taller and, in contrast to Trump, a well-liked person.

We report, you decide.

Michael K said...

"There are two possibilities:"

The TDS, and the stupidity, are strong in this one.

ARM, you need an intervention.

Michael Fitzgerald said...

Twink has fake eyebrows, and fairy Obama has a fake penis- the wookie wears it when she cornholes Li'l Barry.

narciso said...

Good grief, tree murder everywhere, Patterson was much better when he wrote black market a tidy little financial thriller, in the 80s the female assassin has been done much better in Jennings codename vianelle.

narciso said...

Also voyeuristic consumerism has been a bond feature,since casino royal or Dr. No in the films.

Michael K said...

Some reality on trade from, of all places, the WaPoo.

Chief among them are Canada’s extraordinarily high tariffs on American dairy products, which at last week’s Group of Seven summit in Quebec, Trump correctly identified as a “270% tariff.” As the CBC reminded, “Canada levies a tariff of 270 percent on milk, 245 percent on cheese and 298 percent on butter in an effort to keep U.S. and other foreign dairy imports out.” These tariffs exist almost exclusively for the benefit of the agriculture sector of Quebec, a province with a unique stranglehold on Canadian politics.

Canadians in BC, make "milk and butter runs" to WA state.

These prices are, as the U.S. president might say, terrible deals. Less than an hour’s drive south, comparable products sell for half as much in the United States, which has led to the preposterous spectacle of cheap Canadians crossing the border on milk and cheese runs, propping up the economies of border towns such as Point Roberts, Wash.

Trudeau may not find as much support as he thinks for his policy.

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