April 28, 2019

The NYT mini-crossword today is all about the similarity between "Biden" and "bidet."

Is this in bad taste?
Now, that I'm staring at it, the words — all of them, taken together — seem to suggest a dossier-worthy tale about Joe Biden.

If you're wondering whether "Julia" was clued as "Fictional character in a much-mocked Obama slide-show," it wasn't. The clue was "Louis-Dreyfus of 'Veep.'"

Extra points for commenters who compose a story gliding through all 10 of those words in a lucid, tasty combination.

ADDED: My link on "Fictional character..." doesn't go to the slide-show itself but to an Atlantic article from 2012, "Obama's 'Life of Julia' Was Made to Be Mocked/It has easy-to-manipulate Web graphics, an oversimplified narrative, and hits a political hot spot: Barack Obama's new campaign tool The Life of Julia was apparently built specifically to be co-opted by right wing meme-makers." That article links (repeatedly) to the actual slide show with the URL barackobama.com/life-of-julia. But if you click on it, you get this:

The deadness of the "Life of Julia" link is something I commented on long ago, in October 2013, with "Is the old Obama campaign slideshow 'Life of Julia' anywhere to be found on the web?"
I have something I'd like to say about it, but I can't find it anywhere on the web. It's not at the link everyone linked to when everyone was talking about it, which was at the Obama campaign website. The campaign is over, so I guess there's no obligation to continue to host it, but this was an important historical document, and it shouldn't fall down the memory hole.

"The Life of Julia" has come to be cited — somewhat humorously — for the proposition that the government has lured women away from men, into a dependent relationship with the government, and this has had various ill effects. But I want to take a new look at why the graphic used a female character. Using a female screened out the reality that males rely on government programs too.
Surely, "The Life of Julia" is important enough to have its own Wikipedia page. This is the sort of thing Wikipedia is great at. But no. In fact, there's only one page in Wikipedia with both "Life of Julia" and "Obama" and "The Life of Julia"....

Campbell Brown??! Remember her?
In May 2012, Brown published a New York Times op-ed in which she criticized President Obama for sounding “paternalistic” when he speaks of women. Noting his repeated practice of describing women as “smarter than men,” she commented: “It’s all so tired, the kind of fake praise showered upon those one views as easy to impress.” Brown added that the women of her acquaintance “who are struggling in this economy couldn’t be further from the fictional character of Julia, presented in Mr. Obama’s Web ad, ‘The Life of Julia,’ a silly and embarrassing caricature based on the assumption that women look to government at every meaningful phase of their lives for help.” Brown outlined the lives of relatives of hers who have rescued from business failure by “Friends and family, not government.”
Hmm. That almost makes it look as though her conspicuous disparagement of "The Life of Julia" ruined her career! She was once important enough to have been impersonated by Kristen Wiig and Tracey Ullman. Couldn't find the KW one (it's not in this otherwise fantastic collection). Bit here's the TU:

IN THE COMMENTS: Mary Beth links to "Life of Julia" by putting the Obama URL into the Wayback Machine. I should have thought of that.


rhhardin said...

It's all female genitalia themed, except for "lucid."

rhhardin said...

Julia, explaining why she hung around with her ex husband: he's a great fuck.

Wilbur said...

Julia, I must deny you the tasty acids from the bidet. Even if it reminds you of Biden you must face your LGBT-ness with lucidity.

mockturtle said...

Now, that I'm staring at it, the words — all of them, taken together — seem to suggest a dossier-worthy tale about Joe Biden.

Lucid doesn't belong.

Wince said...

Yeesh. Reads like a kinky Variety headline of yore.


The truly incredible part is the "lucid Biden".

Mr. Forward said...

There once was a man named Joe Biden
Who never a cross word confided
He was lucid and clear
Whispered right in your ear
But never once got excited.

exhelodrvr1 said...

While on the bidet, Biden fantasized that his hands would glide over the tasty Julia. But in his more lucid moments he could not deny that if he were ever so lucky, he would have to face the jabs and acids thrown by the LGBT crowd.

Virgil Hilts said...

flossing with glide on the bidet, Biden, finally lucid, could not deny Julia's jab that the not tasty acids tormenting him were triggered by the lgbt event

Henry said...

The word that jumps out to me is "acid"

Picture yourself in a boat on a river
With tangerine trees and marmalade skies.
Somebody calls you, you answer quite slowly,
A girl with kaleidoscope eyes.

Cellophane flowers of yellow and green
Towering over your head.
Look for the girl with the sun in her eyes
And she's gone.

Lucid in the Glide with Biden
Lucid in the Glide with Biden
Lucid in the Glide with Biden

Ann Althouse said...

"It's all female genitalia themed, except for "lucid.""

Lu Cid, the sister of El Cid.

El Cid, the NYT crossword's favorite Spanish hero.

Ann Althouse said...


Thank you for the prompt on "Glide." I kept thinking it had to do with lube but was too distracted by the famous dental floss to get to it.

Ann Althouse said...

LOL, Henry!

West Texas Intermediate Crude said...

Julia was Winston Smith's lover in 1984.
"Do it to Julia," was what Winston said when he was being tortured.

tcrosse said...

A tasty Jane Fonda played Lillian Hellman in Julia (1977). LGBT had not yet been coined, and no bidets were involved. By 1977 Biden had been in the Senate 5 years.

Fernandinande said...

"I mean, you can't deny you got the first mainstream Acids-American who is lucid and tasty and clean and an LGBT-looking guy," Biden said. "I mean, that's a storybook, man."

I get a crease in my pants when I see the name "Biden", but it's not a nice crease.

Mary Beth said...

Life of Julia

Johnathan Birks said...

Campbell Brown, Sharyl Atkisson, Lara Logan... Why is the MSM so hostile to women?

stlcdr said...

Why doesn’t ‘life of julia’ have a Wiki page? Isn’t that a particularly defining and unique political advertising mechanism?

Gahrie said...

Julia was too much of a Becky, so she had to be memory holed.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

half of what I say is meaningless
But I say it just to reach you.

the faceless, knocked up, government-dependent female, felt betrayed
by the Obama/Biden administration who created her pitiful life. She
was so creeped out by Biden, she could almost feel his hands glide over her
torso, and his hot, bad breath on her neck as he sniffed her hair.To deny
him any chance of a lucid thought, she flushed his tasty acids down the bidet.
Taking one last jab, she had red hats printed up with "LGBT"--

Let Go of Biden Today


gilbar said...

Our Professor said.... Lu Cid, the sister of El Cid.

I'm certainly glad that i had Just put my coffee down before i read that !

cf said...

"Deny Biden", wow, kinda fun to see the well-sharpened blades of NYT aim at a democrat.

i am a bit drunk from this excellent post this morning, it is its own signature mix of Althouse: sleuthing through for the best of the morning's "first draft of history" + comedy + creativity challenge for all of our talented commenters + discovery of possible Obama-polishing shenanigans by our 21stC archivers of history.

ahhh! hahah. salud.

Known Unknown said...

Wikipedia told me Campbell Brown is a school-choice activist.


I'm surprised Alma Dale hasn't been unpersoned at Facebook yet.

rehajm said...

Campell Brown is good friends with that Bain guy with the book. That's enough to other her...

Dave said...


In the 2013 post, my comment did the same. I also downloaded the slide show and sent to you.

Aggie said...

Just seems like they could have found a spot for "Idiot"

dbp said...

A freshly lucid Biden prepared to glide into the ballroom. He was musing on how much the jab of tasty acids from his LGBT dealer, Julia had hurt like hell. He couldn't deny that the pain was worth it and left him feeling like a new man, even better than after he felt after using the new bidet Dr. Wife had insisted he install.

Dagwood said...

Because they're both douchey?

MayBee said...

Henry that is going to be stuck in my head for days now.

Ann Althouse said...

"In the 2013 post, my comment did the same. I also downloaded the slide show and sent to you."

Thanks. I must have seen that at the time.

I do know about archive.org and often use it to restore dead links in my own archive. It's my only real backup plan for this blog. If some day Google kills Blogger and takes this blog down, it will still be in archive.org, and that means a lot to me.