Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Noam Scheiber, Neurotic Jewish Stereotypes, Sex Scandals and Literature (JM)

In a truly weird and interesting, I guess, post on his blog in The New Republic, Noam Scheiber looks for a literary comparison to Eliot Spitzer and finds one in Alexander Portnoy. Portnoy, of Philip Roth's Portnoy's Complaint, is character who is one side attempting to be a "good Jewish boy" according to Scheiber at the same time as rebelling against the oppression of his Jewish mother. This, he says, makes a fascinating psychological model for Spitzer. To this I reply with an astounded, "I guess?" It's a compelling story, the book itself being utterly fantastic, but there's simply no internal evidence it's true. We know nothing of the psychological background of Spitzer, nor does Scheiber actually present us with anything. Of course, we'd have to be his psychiatrist or family member to even come close. My point is that this is weird and interesting, but ultimately a bit silly and maybe just a bit unfair. If successful Jew=Philip Roth character I am just going to go ahead and kill myself now.

Ultimately, this feels like a stupid game Chuck Klosterman might come up with, so if we treat in that spirit...:

Mitt Romney is Jay Gatsby
Rudy Guiliani is Inspector Javert
Hillary Clinton is Anne of Green Gables
George W. Bush is Thing 2
Dick Cheney is Col. Kurtz
Mike Huckabee is Tom Joad
John McCain is Rene Descartes
Jon Lovitz is Tim Matheson

So on and so forth, feel free to join in by e-mail or comments, I may add to the list throughout the day.

3 comments:

Lara said...

Dennis Kucinich is Don Quixote
Barack Obama is Frosty the Snowman
Leonard Nimoy is Leonary Nimoy
Al Gore is Chicken Little
The Guy Who Played the Mayor on Northern Exposure is Hamlet

MQR said...

Ron Paul is Scrooge
Robert McNamara is Dante

Jonathan said...

I love this game, an almost completely unreasonable amount. Lara, you completely and totally win for bringing the Barry Corbin joke. MQR, Robert McNamara is Dante, huh?

A few more:
Danika Patrick is Mark David Chapman
Claire McCaskill is Shylock
Fred Thompson is Deputy Dog