Once upon a time back here, I advertised a new, regular feature here at CC HQ -- the Rachel Marsden watch, devoted to critiquing the punditry of Canadian right-wing banshee Rachel Marsden. (You remember Marsden, right? She's the conservative pundit whose journalistic claims to fame include trying to look sexy by stealing Julia Roberts' body.)
Well, it's been a bit busy lately and, now that I finally got the chance to re-visit Marsden's output over at her web site, I have to admit, I really don't see much value in this exercise anymore for the simple reason that Marsden's writings are so shrill and infantile, dissecting them intellectually would be akin to sandblasting a soup cracker. Seriously, follow along here and tell me if I'm wrong.
Given that my original piece was written on June 4, it seemed only fair to pick up where I left off and check out her column in the National Post on that same date. And, Jesus Christ, what a piece of absolute crap it turned out to be, where one need only read the first paragraph to realize that total rubbish isn't far behind:
I recently moved to Toronto from the tabloid-driven metropolis of Vancouver, where everyone is far more interested in who you’re doing than in what you’re doing. Vancouver is a town full of sandal-wearing, granola-chomping lefties that doesn’t pretend to be anything other than what it is: Slackerville. Business is dead, and networking is virtually non-existent. And I don’t care what the government stats tell you about employment levels. They must be factoring squeegee kid jobs into those numbers. So it’s hardly a shock that many people I know from Vancouver have given up the ooh-aaah of the pretty Left Coast mountains for the booming job opportunities in Toronto.
Note first that Marsden has the same literary writing habit as so many other conservative wanks before her -- everything in her world is one of exactly two colours, and there is no middle ground or qualification whatsoever. Note how, in Vancouver, "everyone is far more interested in who you’re doing than in what you’re doing." Not most people, not many people, oh no, "everyone".
Staying in that vein, we are told that Vancouver is "a town full of sandal-wearing, granola-chomping lefties that doesn’t pretend to be anything other than what it is: Slackerville." It's apparently unthinkable that the city might have a variety of inhabitants with a variety of lifestyles. To Marsden, it's apparently just full of Slackerville hippies. And, naturally, business is "dead." Not slow or struggling or unimpressive or anything subtle or nuanced like that. No, just "dead." Apparently, la Marsden doesn't do subtlety or nuance, it being perhaps unpleasantly, intellectually taxing.
And if you think it gets any better, well, carry on to the second paragraph to read:
If you’re a media personality like myself and you’re living in Vancouver, you may as well be in Siberia. Vancouver media people — navel-gazers who naturally figure they’re the center of the universe — are unaware of their own backwater insignificance in much the same way that fish don’t know they’re wet.
See how that works? Not just some media people, or even perhaps most of them -- nope, it's all of them. Clearly, there's no room in Marsden's universe for anything but 100%, unqualified observations about damned near everything. There's a word to describe this type of writing: lazy. But that's just the warm-up.
Not much further down, Marsden continues to gratuitously insult entire swaths of society, writing:
Toronto has a special breed of lefty that Vancouver lacks in significant numbers: rich intellectual snoots who think they can buy their way into Club Conservative. Yes, I’m talking about you, all you Rosedale and Forest Hill elitist snobs with 20 letters after your name, who bastardize the “conservative” label. It’s time to hop aboard the Marsden Tough Talk Express.
And, oh Lord, can you believe that Marsden is so childish that she actually invents a bad-ass proper name for her writing -- the "Marsden Tough Talk Express"? Of course, there's nothing particularly original about this; loudmouth members of the right-wing wankersphere have a grand tradition of this sort of idiocy.
You have Bill O'Reilly and his "O'Reilly Factor," where one enters "The No-Spin Zone." Oooooooh. There's total dickhead Joe Scarborough who's such a stud, he hangs out in "Scarborough Country." Chris Matthews? Well, don't mess with that muthah, 'cuz he plays "Hardball". And on, and on and tediously on -- self-appointed, kick-ass names for some of the biggest wimps and whiners on the planet, now joined by Marsden and her "Tough Talk Express." Big fucking whoop.
But it's in her last paragraph that Marsden demonstrates just how incredibly childish she is:
So why did I move to Toronto and not to a more conservative town like Calgary? Toronto is where the action is. It’s the biggest possible pot of liberals and faux-cons in this country in which to raise holy hell. Apparently, fighting on behalf of the traditional values on which our society was founded is a really rebellious thing to do nowadays. Contrary to liberal conventional wisdom, it’s conservatives who really love this country — who are defending all the good things that underpin our society — while the lefties hate this country so much that they can’t change it fast enough. Now, you tell me who’s really “scary” here.
So, conservatives love Canada while left-liberals all hate it. This is so perfectly, so beautifully, Ann Coulter that it's a wonder Coulter doesn't sue Marsden for copyright infringement or something. It's been said that Marsden is just a cheap, knock-off Ann Coulter-wannabe, but who would have thought she'd be so sleazy as to just steal Coulter's whole shtick of slamming liberals in their entirety?
In the end, it's not how someone as worthless and pathetic a writer as Marsden got so famous that's such a puzzle. Rather, what's curious is why the Post decided that Marsden's shit was worth a twice-weekly column. Really, what audience is the Post going after with her? Do they really think there's a mass market for crappy, right-wing, childish dreck like Marsden's?
And, finally getting to my point, is there much point in even bothering with it?