Thursday, May 03, 2007

Mitt Romney a Tasteless Clown

He may be a good governor; we live in another state, and couldn't really judge. He might even be a decent president -- only time will tell. But Gov. Romney is clearly no literary critic. So saith the Boston Herald:

"Already under scrutiny for shifting positions on key issues and his Mormon faith, presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has made a bizarre new flip flop - saying on national TV his favorite novel is Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard’s 'Battlefield Earth.'

"The former Massachusetts governor told Fox News his favorite book was the Bible but his favorite novel was the science fiction tome “Battlefield Earth.”

"'Actually, the one by L. Ron Hubbard,' Romney said when asked to name his favorite novel. "I’m not in favor of his religion by any means, but he wrote a book called ‘Battlefield Earth’ that was a very fun science fiction book.' The Mark Twain novel "Huckleberry Finn" tops the book list on Romney’s My Space page. 'Battlefield Earth' isn’t on the list."

The article goes on to note that Romney has a reputation for tailoring (and re-tailoring) his message, in an effort to appeal to every coceivable interest group. Why he would think that it was good politics for a Mormon presidential candidate to make nice-nice with the Scientology people escapes us.

But we at the Egg are less interested in the political angles here than the literary ones. Assuming the Governor wasn't just pandering, we have to believe that he really has come to prefer a Fifties space opera, too damn silly even for most wild-eyed fanboys of the Goddard era, to the novel from which Hemingway wrote that "all modern American literature comes."

Quite a conundrum for voters. It would be one thing if Romney preferred a merely bad book to classic -- you know, if he chose "For Whom the Bell Tolls" over "Farewell, My Lovely," or (for you fanboys out there) "Glory Road" over "The Demolished Man." In cases like that, gustibus really non disputandum est. But he has defected to a catastrophe from a masterpiece. it's like choosing "My Mother the Car" over "The Twilight Zone." And what does that say about the man's judgment?

So unless Gov. Romney tells us that he was lying, I say we can't trust the man. On the other hand, if he announces that he IS lying, I will embrace him like a brother, no matter what the cost to his political future.


Anonymous said...

6 questions Mitt Romney must now answer:

1) Mr. Romney, you said L. Ron Hubbard’s Battlefield Earth was your favorite novel. Then later you clarified by saying it was only your favorite SCIENCE FICTION novel, and that it was written before Scientology was founded. So now that you know it was actually written 29 years AFTER Scientology was founded, is it still your favorite science fiction novel?

2) Most critics outside of Scientology found this novel to be dreadful. Many of them couldn’t even finish it – it was that bad. But you described it as “fun.” Specifically, what part(s) of it were “fun?”

3) If this is your favorite science fiction novel, what other science fiction novels have you read that were, by definition, not as good as Battlefield Earth?

4) When did you read Battlefield Earth?

5) Since Battlefield Earth came out in 1982, you couldn’t have read it before then, what led you to believe that it was written before Scientology was founded?

6) Battlefield Earth is over 1,000 pages. Is it the biggest novel you’ve ever read? How long did it take you to read?

Father said...

Right on target. I didn't realize that Battlefield Earth was so recently published! It''s less a relic of the old days than a throwback -- in political terms, not a paleoconservative but a neocon, I suppose.