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Reflections of a working writer and reader



Not Eating with the Bushes

The poet, Sharon Olds, wrote to the First Lady of the Bush Administration, declining an invitation to dine:

I could not face the idea of breaking bread with you. . . I thought of the clean linens at your table, the shining knives and the flames of the candles, and I could not stomach it.

A couple of years earlier the cartoonist, Jules Feiffer regretted he could not join them for breakfast at The White House:

. . . it seems necessary on the occasion of a celebration of reading to press the point that words, at their finest, don’t set out to confuse or obscure. Their aim is to clarify.
But clarity is not what we’re getting from your husband’s White House. It seems that clarity would deny him a war.
. . . as for your breakfast, may I convey my regrets and best wishes to you and your guests.

5 Responses to “Not Eating with the Bushes”

  1. Chris says:

    How utterly boorish.

    Manners take a backseat to preening self-important narcissism.

    I’m sure all the right people chuckled and nodded their heads in appreciation when they read her tripe.

    Ms. Olds may perhaps be a talented writer, having never heard of her I cannot say for certain. But I am sure that her grasp on the niceties of common courtesy has become unhinged.

    jb says: Boorish is a good word, Chris. Did we see you on the television the other night, performing circus tricks for Mrs Palin?

  2. Dick says:

    Fine words. Good to see that not all are so easily wooed by proximity to power.

    Sad, however, to see the ‘mouth-honour’ of mere courtesy being placed above the need for honesty.

    jb says: Thanks, Dick. And I also think manners should take a back seat when dealing with the architects of Guantanamo.

  3. Staysure says:

    What a boost for one’s ego to be able to say “I turned down an invitation to a presidential meal”.

    Bush also doesn’t strike me as a parcicularly nice fellow one would enjoy a meal with. I would be extremely surprised if many people havn’t turned down such invitations.

    jb says: Please form an orderly queue. 🙂

  4. Ann says:

    In my area, the Bushes are considered to be bad for the digestion.

    jb says: Thanks, Ann. I wish that’s all they were bad for.

  5. Free says:

    Always interesting to see what others think. I like Ann’s response best: “In my area, the Bushes are considered to be bad for the digestion.”