Unfair Potshot

06.06.14

Smoke ‘Em If You Got A Good Story About ‘Em

Maureen Dowd, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, just sparked up a news doobie.

The column looked so tempting, like the David Brooks pieces I enjoy so much.

Sitting in my apartment in New York, I read the first few sentences in Maureen Dowd’s latest offering and then, when nothing happened, let my eyes scan over a few more. After all, if I was going to make fun of Maureen’s accidental overdose on a pot candy bar in Colorado—and already, I’m laughing—I should at least read what she wrote about it.

What could go wrong with a byte or two?

Everything, as it turned out.

Not at first. For a minute, I felt nothing. I figured I’d just make myself an omelet and return to the more mundane dangers of looking at the Internet first thing in the morning—avoiding Rihanna’s nipples, Game of Thrones spoilers, and Beiber’s racist rants.

But I kept reading. And then, like Maureen, I felt “a scary shudder go through my body and brain.” I barely made it to my couch, where I lay curled up in a hallucinatory state for the next eight minutes. I hungered for context or an explanation, but they came too late. I couldn’t parse her words quickly enough. I was rootless and paranoid, hoping only that when I finally finished I wouldn’t come to the conclusion she was forcing me to draw:

Maureen Dowd, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary, just sparked up a news doobie.

Finally, a column I can get behind. Not because I’m a stoner; I’m not. Like Maureen, I’m not even a “regular marijuana smoker.” (I’m surprised Fox hasn’t made that a Breaking News Alert: New York Times Star Columnist Declares “I’m An Irregular Choom-Chugger!”)

No, I can get behind stories like hers because, well, I confess I have my own personal addiction: unnecessarily participatory journalism. I love first-person narratives about the last thing people would consider doing. Reading the entire Encyclopedia Brittanica! Walking the Appalachian Trail! Reading the Encyclopedia Brittanica while walking the Appalachian Trail!

I’m guilty. I recently wrote an entire book about how Thomas Jefferson wanted each generation to rewrite the American Constitution. And I did it by rewriting the American Constitution. (And even more recently, I wrote a column mentioning the book just to see what a shameless plug felt like! And you know what? Not bad!)

When so few people are doing true research these days, you can’t take more a direct hit of the truthpipe than Maureen just did, even if she insists she did so accidentally. (Something about that particular assertion smells fishy. Good thing she ingested tetrahydrocannabinol and not sodium pentathol, am I right? Research!) But if true, if Maureen’s story holds after the fog of words is lifted, well, then, George Plimpton would be proud.

So I say, don’t bogart the dramatic conceit, Dowd. I say we pass this particular narrative device around. I’d like to read what my other favorite columnists and journalists feel liberated to write after they overdose on their drug of choice.

Paul Krugman, New York Times

and once again, what Republicans seem either unwilling—or as all the data and evidence would suggest, totally incapable—of understanding, is that no matter how much they deny it, no matter how they misinterpret the facts, this is some seriously good shit.

Peggy Noonan, Wall Street Journal

I can get behind columns like Maureen’s because I confess I have my own personal addiction: unnecessarily participatory journalism.

…because if there’s one thing working for Ronald Reagan taught me, it’s that Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan. Because at the end of the day, Abraham Lincoln. …Wait, what was I talking about again?

Larry King, formerly of the USA Today

…now Annette Funicello, there was a gal who knew how to roll up a tight one…she made Joni Mitchell look like Lola Falana!…

Ben Smith, Buzzfeed

13 GIFs That Prove I’m Higher Than Rio’s Christ the Redeemer Statue

28 Pics That Indicate I’m Higher Than That Flying Bouncy House

19 Tumblrs That Have Curated The Many Things I’m Higher Than

6 Videos That Say I’ve Got The Munchies

Yet when she finally comes down, I suspect Maureen will hog her candy bar all for herself, lest she gain some new competition on this particular subject. Who’s being paranoid now, Dowd?