I’ve been blogging for a long, long time. And I’ve pretty much seen it all, by this point; angry bloggers, angrier bloggers, apoplectic bloggers, incontinently-angry bloggers and everything in between…
…but as much as I’ve seen, been and done, there are still few things that wrap a smile around my mug like really impeccable parody.
Parody is among the most difficult tools in the writer’s toolbox; the bad parodists merely ape their targets with facile caricature; the mediocre ones get the surface cadence, patterns, accents, but miss the deeper rhythms and driving gestalts.
The truly great parodists – Benchley, Swinburne, Calverley, “Saint Paul” Ward – “get” the very essence of that which they’re parodying.
And it’s a dying art. Hardly anyone practices it well these days; it’s emblematic that Weird Al Yankovic may be the banner parodist of our time.
Or so I thought, until a little bird twigged me to the blog Mercury Rising – the deepest, most knowing, down-deep-in-the-pit-of-the-gut parody of a “feminist” blogger, awash in group cant and overheated groupthink and smug pseudo-intellectual entitlement masquerading as critique…
…and, wonder of wonders, is a local blog!
The question isn’t “is this brilliant parody”; reading this bit here – one of a Wildean smorgasbord of bon mots twisted by such deftly rendered spoofs of “rage as if unto incontinence”, words nearly failed me.
One example among the parade of genius:
“This is exactly the sort of thing right-wingers love to do. See, for example, Mitch Berg and his buddies at “Protest Warrior”. So it’s no surprise that they’re trying the same old agent proschlockateur silliness.”
…”Phoenix Woman” executes the logical equivalent of a triple negative that actually makes perfect contextual sense; “she” is writing, putatively, about alleged conservatives supposedly planning (loudly and in public!) to carry out a violent false-flag at the union demonstrations in Madison; “she” invokes “Protest Warrior”, a group from the 2004 era that lampooned liberal protest memes – signs, chants and the like – with all the vein-bulging belligererence of Stephen Colbert…
…and yet “she”, Phoenix, knows that – and what’s more, “she” knows you know that, and “she” also knows you know they know that…
…and yet “she” carries it off so well that the question isn’t “is it great parody?”, but rather “what conservative writer has the parodic chops to carry it off?”
Joe “Learned Foot” Tucci? I asked – it’s not him.
Ryan “Dirty Mushroom” Rhodes? He’s too busy.
Lileks? No – even James isn’t good enough to subdue the tics in his own utterly-developed style enough to so totally not only inhabit a character, but twist it back on itself so brilliantly.
Mr. D? Gary Miller? Kouba? Ringer? Bogus? Mall Diva or Tiger Lily (or both)? I thought about each of them – and unless each has been sandbagging us all for all these years, I don’t think any of ’em has it in them. Close, but…no.
Before you ask – It’ s not me. Sheesh – I wish. I have a piece of the waterfront that I cover pretty well, but as parody goes, I bow at the feet of whatever master is behind this.
So the only question is – what conservative blogger is behind this savage, ingenious parody?
The literary world awaits.