December 31, 2018

"'It isn’t safe for you at the house anymore, at least not on your own, and this concerns me. I need you to live long enough to see Donald Trump impeached.'"

"We’d fought bitterly after the election, and I knew it would be just my luck: my father would die, and the very next day the President would go down, denying me a well-deserved opportunity to gloat."

From the new David Sedaris story in The New Yorker, "Father Time/I can’t predict what’s waiting for us, lurking on the other side of our late middle age, but I know it can’t be good."

86 comments:

Gahrie said...

We’d fought bitterly after the election, and I knew it would be just my luck: my father would die, and the very next day the President would go down, denying me a well-deserved opportunity to gloat.

That's a pretty disgusting, but pretty representative, example of Leftwing TDS.

rehajm said...

and the very next day the President would go down

Go down? Will it be a disappointment to the torch and pitchfork crowd if/when he's impeached and stays in office? It seems it will only lessen the meaning of 'impeachment'.

Bay Area Guy said...

To the left, it's all Trump, all the time.....

FIDO said...

I remember when news was used to inform the public about civic issues that were important, not for Toney Liberals would vent their ire at all the problems they were having in their lives: dating, marriage, arguments with one's parents.

I think that as a method of therapy, this is not particularly effective and beclowns the writer with the same stroke.

gilbar said...

denying me a well-deserved opportunity to gloat.

think of it? His Asshat father is SUCH an asshat, that he's probably going to deny His Own Son opportunity to gloat!

MY dad is 89years old, and fading; of the many Many MANY things that i'll miss: the opportunity to gloat isn't one

Wilbur said...

My visceral response is FU and F your daddy.

Humperdink said...

The Commie-Pinko lefties insist on using the the word impeached but fail to include the word convicted in their obsession to rid the country of the Evil Orange Man.

Mike Sylwester said...

Both of my elderly parents died of natural causes in mid-2016.

Both were quite liberal. If they had lived through November 8, 2016, then Donald Trump's election victory would have killed both of them.

mccullough said...

I like the line about how his father had children but he has none. About sums it up.

Dave Begley said...

How sick is that?

I have always disliked that whiny Sedaris. Not funny. Creepy.

I hope Sedaris lives six more years as he sees Trump not only win re-election but go from victory to victory.

Tank said...

Very similar to his writing about gay marriage. He wrote that he didn't really care about gay marriage, but just wanted to stick it to the fundamentalists and make them suffer.

Dave Begley said...

Face it. Laslo is way funnier than Sedaris.

Tank said...

Sedaris is an interesting writer, but on politics, well, he's a typical way lefty.

Humperdink said...

I started to read the article but could not stomach it any more. I am hoping for two things:

1) Dad regains some of his mental capacity.

2) Dad changes his will surreptitiously to bestow his remaining wealth on Trump's legal defense.

Mike Sylwester said...

Carter Page still is walking around as a free man, but I am sure that Robert "The FBI Whitewasher" Mueller will arrest him soon.

Page was on Donald Trump's campaign staff, and he traveled to Moscow during mid-2016 and met with some Russians there. Page was a key person in the collusion plot. From Trump Tower to the Kremlin, Page was carrying money and instructions about which states to target with Facebook ads. From the Kremlin to Trump Tower, Page was carrying photographs of Russian prostitutes urinating on hotel beds.

Now Mueller has obtained the "selfies" that the Russian prostitutes made while urinating on the hotel beds.

Mueller will reveal everything very soon. Page will be indicted, and Trump will be impeached.

FIDO said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
FIDO said...

My father died. And while we had a distant relationship, if I could have him back for a week, it would not be so I could gloat at him over any of his shortcomings.

I said 'beclown' before. I used the wrong word. As I reflect on Sedaris, he comes across as an awful, petty, miserable human being who, with his father near death, can think of no better use of his time than to sneer at his father in as public a manner as possible.

Althouse has been quite wroth at people who drag their own children into the public sphere against their wishes. I missed where she was critiquing Sedaris for this same lack of class.

Sedaris is not someone I would care to be friends with.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

I'm rather disappointed to learn that Sedaris is actually just another left-conventional nitwit. I had gotten the impression from his books that he could be a free-thinking individual.

JAORE said...

Wow. Just wow. My Dad died suddenly, many years ago. How awful it must be to have those feelings towards your father. What a horrible person it must be to air them in public.

Marcus said...

David Sedaris has never hidden the fact that he is a mean, vindictive person with mental health issues. Read his story about stuffing whole rolls of toilet paper down his family's toilet so that his father (the one in this story who has done the most evil thing ever in supporting Trump) had to labor (with young David watching) and take the whole toilet off to unclog the pipe. David denied he was responsible at the time, but he did it several more times and his father had had enough and forced David's hand into the vile excrement-covered drain pipe to unclog the mess David had created. The mean widdle kid never did it again.

His father never gloated over that but David never learned his lesson.

THEOLDMAN

exhelodrvr1 said...

Liberals are assholes. Exhibit 1 bazillion

MikeR said...

No Trump Derangement Syndrome tag?

rhhardin said...

Trump's at least in his rent-controlled apartment.

Amadeus 48 said...

David Sideris is very funny in his pettiness, bitchiness, and vindictiveness. His self revelation as a little shit has turned into a carrer. He serves as a perfect model of what not to be, and he is brilliant at it. I always enjoy his stuff because he is a perfectly awful human being.

Note to self: figure out in which Circle Of Hell Dante would have placed him.

Amadeus 48 said...

Carrer. Career. Whatever.

Cacimbo Cacimbo said...

Another example of how much more caring Democrats are. Yet we are supposed to believe that vindictive people like this want government run healthcare out of concern for their fellow humans - please. How long before deplorables are forced to take that special pill.

Kevin said...

Dying before your son can gloat?

Deplorable.

traditionalguy said...

Money is not the real problem of old age. Having good health is all there is. With it you have it all. Without it you have nothing.

Fernandistein said...

Today's snarky not-so-young anti-hero looks like Trump.

Molly said...

(eaglebeak)

Stopped reading Sedaris a number of years ago; stopped reading The New Yorker in 1998.

I could feel the sophistication draining out of my body.

chuck said...

I read that and my first thought is "Asshole". Moving on...

Shouting Thomas said...

Life is very good. I'm not living thru a crisis of whiteness. At age 69, I'm having a great time playing music and raising grandkids.

I seldom talk to anybody about identity politics. Other than on the web, I seldom talk politics at all, since there's always something better and more interesting to talk about.

My dad passed away in 1999. We seldom talked about politics. We had more important things to talk about.

I start a new organist/pianist/choir director job at a new church next Sunday and I'll also be accompanying a very good choral group. All the participants in both groups are too busy with music to talk politics. They are mostly white, affluent and happy.

I have full time access to a beautiful Baldwin grand piano and a custom pipe organ. Chopin and Bach! Greatest white guys ever!

Happy New Year!

President-Mom-Jeans said...

Leftists are horrible people. I use the term people in the very loosest sense.

Maybe Sedaris will die before his father. Then he won't have to worry about the lost opportunity to gloat.

Shouting Thomas said...

Here's a funny story about the one instance in which this anti-Trump furor has impacted me.

I encountered a woman at my favorite breakfast cafe who is a furious Trump hater. Later, I encountered her online, where she displays that fury in full glory.

When she discovered that I am a Trump supporter, she went wild denouncing me. Time passed and she observed me looking at pics of my grandkids on my iPad when I sat at the cafe. Slowly, she's fallen in love, not with me, but with my grandkids. Who wouldn't? 3 year old twins and a 5 year old.

She's tried to backpedal and befriend me. I can see how much she regrets alienating me because she realizes now that my grandkids will never be part of her life. And they are so brilliantly alive.

Shouting Thomas said...

Excuse my verbosity, but a final note.

If it's true that old white men are hated and useless, you couldn't prove it by me.

I auditioned at 4 churches for their organist/choir director position. All four of them offered me their position.

Tina Trent said...

Don't let your children grow up to be children.

Mid-Life Lawyer said...

I'm watching an Anne Lamott interview on C-Span2 right now. Of course, there is a presumption by the interviewer that everyone is traumatized by the political and social environment that Trump has created but Anne writes in her newest book, apparently, about how you prevent people from making you hate them. For the good people, like Sedaris and Lamott, their extreme feelings come from the badness of other people, not their own tunnel-vision and immaturity. It's such a disappointment when incredibly talented and entertaining people like these two turn out to be so shallow in their insights on politics etc.

mezzrow said...

@Shouting Thomas

You, and these folks in this tale, are very lucky people. So am I.

My Dad died at 56. When he was 17, my Grandfather was shot and killed in his own home (through a window) and died in my father's arms. He was a lawman in rural Georgia. My Grandmother gathered up the four kids as soon as the school year was over, and moved to a large city to get away from that place. My father got to work and support that family instead of accepting the basketball scholarship he was offered.

Then, he got to go fight WW2. He was sitting on a Philippine beach when he learned that he wouldn't have to invade Japan (after Hiroshima/Nagasaki and the surrender), and would live long enough to get married and start a family of his own.

I bet money that David Sedaris thinks those two bombs were a war crime. David Sedaris can kiss my fat ass. If he did, I would gloat.

Fernandistein said...

I could feel the sophistication draining out of my body.

Don't forget to flush!

M Jordan said...

I didn’t read the piece but my initial reaction is that Sedaris is show8ng the “I” character to be obvious scum, a sort of anti-hero. It would appear Sedaris is mocking himself and his own pettiness. Am I right?

Original Mike said...

Reminds me of Chuck.

narciso said...

Interesting if Truman hadn't dropped the bomb, and downfall would have occurred there wasnt a vice president seated till 48, so the backlash would have led to James Byrne as president.

johnhenry100 said...

Humperdinck,

My thoughts exactly. What are these asshats (as shats?) going to do when the House impeaches President Trump then can't scrounge up the 67 Senate votes to actually remove President Trump from office.

The entertainment value alone will be terrific.

I said yesterday that the Mueller investigation, by showing President Trump to be the cleanest president EVER! Will be helpful to his reelection in 2020

Ditto impeachment.

John Henry

AJ Lynch said...

If Sedaris is a comedian, I bet his humor has gone way downhill since Trump's election since Sedaris has a really bad case of TDS.

FIDO said...

Meh.

There are two views of the Mueller thing

1) He has bupkis.

2) He found something and is now waiting YET AGAIN for 2020 to drop whatever bomb he has.

If it wasn't for the narrow minded, tunnel vision of the Left today, they would be much more effective people.

They aren't and they aren't. Sedaris shows exactly how empathic and wholesome the Left in general appears.

johnhenry100 said...

Happy new year, Shouting Thomas.

I always enjoy your posts.

For many reasons but probably, mostly, because they make sense.

And a double plus Amen on grandchildren! I have 4 (15, 10, 3, 9months) and they are the cutest things in the world.

John Henry

Phil 3:14 said...

The Trump line seemed to be a throwaway line, a bit forced.

I felt sad reading this piece. I felt sad that Sedalia has to write a piece when he should just be a son.

PS If you like dark humor regarding aging parents and caregiving, I highly recommend “The Savages”.

gilbar said...

the nurses satirically call him: 'the famous son' (on account of because his dad loves him and talks about him all the time). Sedaris is SO STUPID, that he thinks that they're serious.

JZ said...

I read some of the Sedaris/New Yorker piece. I gather that it's not all about Trump but Althouse excerpted the Trump part and so I'll react to that: Stop bitching about Trump. What would we all have said if it had been nothing but bitch about Obama for eight years?

johnhenry100 said...

Mezzrow,

I'll bet your father's thoughts echoed William Manchester's (as he sat on Okinawa)

"Than God for the atom bomb."

I'm happy your father made it through.

John Henry

johnhenry100 said...

For more on Manchester's phrase, see William Manchester's "Goodbye Darkness" and Paul Fussell's Thank God for the Atom Bomb. Fussell had similar thoughts as he sat in Germany having fought across Europe and sure he would be one of the 500,000 expected us casualties in the invasion of Japan.

Both books are excellent.

Both are available via the portal.

Both are probably much more edifying than anything Sedaris might write.

John Henry

Ann Althouse said...

Sedaris's humor, including what I quoted, is self-deprecating. If you think he thinks he's presenting himself as a fine person, you're misreading.

Greg Hlatky said...


I bet money that David Sedaris thinks those two bombs were a war crime.

All good progressives think this. Because we're the most racist country ever, we cruelly dropped the bombs on a gentle, pacific people who were begging to surrender.

Actually, had Operation Downfall gone ahead with its grisly results (on both sides) and it was later revealed that we had a weapon that could have ended the war and didn't use it, there would have been politicians hanging from lampposts.

Fernandistein said...

Speaking of dumb stories, "Netflix says more than 45 million accounts have watched 'Bird Box.'".

Plot: If you see one of the things, you die. And after five years of avoiding deadly glances, when they go outside she's still loosely and crudely tying strips of cloth over the kids' eyes rather than making something more substantial and secure, like a hood.

tim in vermont said...

I think that the reason that there is so much disquiet and fear on the left is that they know they are working to topple an elected president, they know it’s wrong, and so they have to shed the guilt by projecting it onto the other side.

Shakespeare had a lot of good stuff in his historical plays about how fraught deposing a rightful sovereign is. Of course don’t look for Shakespeare in the Park to run Richard II. That would required introspection and intellectual honesty of which they are not capable.

Fernandistein said...

Concision:

"We tend to scoff at the beliefs of the ancients. But we can't scoff at them personally, to their faces, and this is what annoys me." -- Jack Handey

tim in vermont said...

If they do run it, look for them to turn it on it’s head.

Rusty said...


"PS If you like dark humor regarding aging parents and caregiving, I highly recommend “The Savages”."
My kids told me that my cardboard home under the freeway will be a box that a japanese refigerator came in because those have wood reinforcement.
I have such thoughtful children.

Spiros Pappas said...

One hundred years from now, will we talk about Trump's effect on families the way we talk about the Civil War? Maybe David Sedaris is like Henry Clay? Clay's grandsons fought on both sides of the Civil War. "A House Divided." "Brother Against Brother." So many ways historical parallels...

FIDO said...

Feh.

The Self Deprecating is a dodge. I use it myself.

There is a difference between 'self deprecating' and 'being a horrible miserable human being'.

He is the later and I don't think he was trying to be funny.

Perhaps it is a cry for help from a son who can't handle the death of his father.

I am not his demographic and thus, need not offer him any excuses.

Shouting Thomas said...

I've never read Sedaris.

Althouse's references to him have convinced me that this was a wise decision.

daskol said...

It's a sad piece: he knows there will be nobody to take care of him, or even to take pride in him soon, and he likens himself to a barnacle on his husband.

Ann Althouse said...

"If Sedaris is a comedian, I bet his humor has gone way downhill since Trump's election since Sedaris has a really bad case of TDS."

No, he doesn't. He hardly ever writes about politics.

Ann Althouse said...

There's a chapter in his newest book, "Calypso," about the Trump elections. It ends:

--------------------------------

On Inauguration Day I am in Seattle. Late in the afternoon my old friend Lyn sends me a photo of an anti-Trump sticker someone found in Japan. It’s cleverly designed: three peaks that on second glance turn out to be Trump sandwiched between two Klansmen. I want to write back and say Ha, but instead, as a joke, I respond, "Dear Lyn, I’m sorry you’re so opposed to change, or too small-minded to move past your narrow assumptions. In the future I’d appreciate your keeping things like this to yourself. —David "A minute later I send a follow-up email that says Just kidding. And it bounces back, as do the next three emails I send. She’s blocked me! I realize. After thirty-eight years of friendship! I go to bed that night and lie awake, worried that she’s telling everyone I’m a Trump supporter. The news will spread, and by morning I’ll be ruined. “But it was just a joke,” I say to myself in the dark room. “A horrible, horrible joke.”

Sedaris, David. Calypso (Kindle Locations 2055-2063). Little, Brown and Company. Kindle Edition.

Gahrie said...

She’s blocked me! I realize. After thirty-eight years of friendship! I go to bed that night and lie awake, worried that she’s telling everyone I’m a Trump supporter.

I would have been lying awake wondering how I could have been friends with someone who would end a 38 year old friendship over a joke, and how fucked up do you have to be to end a 38 year old friendship over a joke?

daskol said...

I think that's the point he's making, like gloating over his father: our politics bring out the pettiness in us.

FullMoon said...

That joke at 10:47 is pretty good.
I tease a liberal friend who actually worked fro Hillarys campaign , in California. As if Hillary needed any help to win Ca.
I sent a nice Christmas card decorated with buzzwords, collusion, Stormy, Russia, etc.

She has not responded. Guess I finally went to far.
Still have fond memories of when she was ranting about Limbaugh being a racist and I told her he was married to a black woman and they had several children together.
She had to research it tu find out I was kidding.

Jay Elink said...

Amadeus 48 said...
David Sideris [sic] is very funny in his pettiness, bitchiness, and vindictiveness. His self revelation as a little shit has turned into a carrer [sic]. He serves as a perfect model of what not to be, and he is brilliant at it. I always enjoy his stuff because he is a perfectly awful human being.

Note to self: figure out in which Circle Of Hell Dante would have placed him.

***********

Yet Miss Ann adores him. I think there's "a lesson there for all of us" in her choice of adoration.

As for Sedaris "hardly ever" doing politics:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/books/2018/04/20/author-david-sedaris-has-no-regrets-over-joke-smothering-trump-his-crib/537617002/

https://www.theparisreview.org/blog/2017/06/05/number-reasons-ive-depressed-lately/


https://www.newstatesman.com/culture/qa/2017/08/david-sedaris-qa-oh-work-i-d-do-if-i-weren-t-so-full-hate-trump

https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-us-canada-37453531/david-sedaris-trump-s-bart-simpson-tricks

"Hardly ever"? But hey, it's kinda like the fake news claiming that an Antifa riot was "mostly peaceful".

bahb said...

My thoughts exactly. What are these asshats (as shats?) going to do when the House impeaches President Trump then can't scrounge up the 67 Senate votes to actually remove President Trump from office.

I wonder sometimes if they actually know that it works that way? Or if they think that it will magically make Hillary president?

Bill Peschel said...

The good thing about being a comedian is that you can say the most awful things and if anyone objects you can say "I was kidding."

Sedaris has also admitted fabricating large swaths of his narrative, which got him into trouble for awhile. On reflection, though, that's not really that bad. Comic writers should have large amounts of leeway if they want to be funny. Twain certainly took advantage of that.

Anyway, I did read the piece. Only two spots where Trump erupted. No surprise. I read a time travel novel by John Birmingham (an Aussie) and his characters jump into Seattle in which Trump declared himself a dictator.

Then there's the Holmes and Watson knockoff in which the author -- a white woman from Cambridge, Mass. -- turned them into black lesbians in an alt-world DC. Holmes works for the FBI but is fabulous rich and Watson's a war veteran from the war in central Texas/Missouri/Oklahoma. Trump didn't start the war; his progressive successor who tried to confiscate their guns did, but it's still his fault somehow.

And then there's the P.G. Wodehouse zombie novel by Ben Schott that has the nationalist Roderick Spode in it, getting humiliated by a combination of the British government and Jeeves.

This is what passes for expression these days. And I use that word in the same way the vet has to express my dog's anal glands.

johnhenry100 said...

Bahb,

I saw Howard Dean the other day talking about impeaching and removing not just President Trump but then impeaching and removing now-president Pence.

"we would welcome President Pelosi" he said.

Yeah, impeach AND remove President Trump (on what grounds?) then impeach and remove President pence (on what grounds) in 22 months?

And assume that Pence on becoming Prez doesn't appoint a new vp who will succeed when he is removed so Pelosi can move in?

That is some fine, prime grade batshittery there, Howard. Approaching, though not quite reaching, Squeamish levels.

John Henry

Hey Skipper said...

I have read, and listened to, a fair amount of David Sedaris.

IMHO, he is incredibly gifted. He has an almost unerring ability to tell a story with a twist at the end.

Why he corrupted this otherwise outstanding article with irrelevant, and thoughtless, references to National Review and Trump, is a real mystery.

Sam L. said...

I never "got" Sedaris. I don't miss him, unless I have an opportunity to do so.

FullMoon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gk1 said...

I have enjoyed David's books and even saw him speak when he was in town. He is a predictable lefty on politics so I just tune that part out. But I am seeing sad signs of bitterness seeping in. I'm not sure if its because its tough being a gay man aging out or just unresolved anger at his dad for not accepting his gayness. Sad!

Jeff Brokaw said...

What a tool. Goodness gracious. To even think that is bad enough, but to submit it to your editor, and then actually publish that garbage?!

The rot runs deep over there. Tune out the crazies.

Phidippus said...

Good Lord, what a creep. Your father is dying, wonder-boy. Maybe time to take time out to think about someone other than yourself. Nah.

What is lurking on the other side of any age will not be good for you, you sorry sack.

People pay money to listen to this spoiled man-child bloviate? 80 cities? Really?

Things like this make me wonder whether the population of this country, taken as a whole, lacks the "civic virtue" necessary to sustain what is left of our Republic.

Jim at said...

Once again, leftists are the most miserable people on the planet.
And as shown here, they deserve it.

rcocean said...

People aren't getting the David Sederis humor.

Phidippus said...

FIDO @7:27 AM: Kudos to you for employing the excellent word "wroth", and most appropriately.

You have probably noticeably raised its frequency ranking for this year. Well done sir.

daskol said...

No indeed. The deprecation of Sedaris is not nearly as effective, or funny, as his self-deprecation.

Phidippus said...

Shouting Thomas @8:13 AM:

I share your inability to be ashamed of being a humble beneficiary of Western Civilization. Maybe it's a white thing.

Many pretend to forget, or perhaps never learned, that slavery was ended in the West not because it became uneconomical (although it probably would be today), or because of a heroic slave revolt, but because it was seen to be inconsistent with Christian moral values. So the (white) people of the time decided to just not do that anymore. (This simplifies the story a bit; there was a war involved. Between white people.)

Music elevates us and, to a degree, liberates us for a time from the sorrows of life. Fortunate is the man who is on such intimate terms with the masters as a performer.

dbp said...

There is a kind of odd difference between public and private people. I am sure we all know people IRL who have vastly different politics, but they are interesting and fun to be around. I think that is more common than not. Yet famous people, if they become political, are just a huge turn-off. I can't stand watching a minute of late-night "comedy" shows.

But people like, David Sedaris and Ann Althouse are kind of famous and they talk about politics sometimes, but they are like the people we know IRL. Still fun to be around--even if only through the Ethernet.

Mid-Life Lawyer said...

Ann Althouse said...

"Sedaris's humor, including what I quoted, is self-deprecating. If you think he thinks he's presenting himself as a fine person, you're misreading."


He is presenting himself as a person who is allowing the horrible monster Donald Trump to turn him into a bad person. His self-deprecation is allowing us to see how silly he is to let that horrible person, Donald Trump (or George Bush or Ronald Reagan or Mitch McConnell...) to turn him into this mean little bitch. Ha ha ha.


Drago said...

Original Mike: "Reminds me of Chuck."

Now now. Lets not be unfair to Sedaris.

I mean, sure, Sedaris is a completely worthless human being who derives pleasure from the suffering of his own family members, but he's still no LLR Chuck.

So he's got that going for him. Which is nice.

Unknown said...

> If you think he thinks he's presenting himself as a fine person, you're misreading.

humblebragger

He knows the pecking order

Althouse, reading Sedaris so you don't have to