Seriously. I am.
Which is to say that I stand with Msgr. Charles Pierce, S. J. (for Journalist, by gum): Peggy Noonan is off her meds, big time.
I come not to steal CP’s traffic, but to drive it, so I won’t quote the truly unforgettable paragraph from which this post’s title is drawn. But Moses, Miriam and Aaron, does Our Poor Peggy need your prayers in her time of need. How else to ‘splain blunt idiocy like this:
Right now every idiot in town feels free to tell the church to get hopping, and they do it in a new way, with a baldness that occasionally borders on the insulting.
Life is too short to fisk every feral pundit’s foaming at the mouth, but, dear Ms. Noonan, allow me to give you some of that “new way” of instructing the Holy See in the matter of its misdeeds, courtesy of one Edward Gibbon, publishing this thought in that numinous year of 1776:
The influence of two sister prostitutes, Marozia and Theodora, was founded on their wealth and beauty, their political and amorous intrigues: the most strenuous of their lovers were rewarded with the Roman mitre, and their reign may have suggested to the darker ages the fable of a female pope. The bastard son, the grandson, and the great-grandson of Marozia, a rare genealogy, were seated in the chair of St. Peter, and it was at the age of nineteen years that the second of these became the head of the Latin church
….the nations of pilgrims could bear testimony to the charges that were urged against him in a Roman synod, and in the presence of Otho the Great. As John XII. had renounced the dress and decencies of his profession, the soldier may not perhaps be dishonored by the wine which he drank, the blood that he spilt, the flames that he kindled, or the licentious pursuits of gaming and hunting. His open simony might be the consequence of distress; and his blasphemous invocation of Jupiter and Venus, if it be true, could not possibly be serious. But we read, with some surprise, that the worthy grandson of Marozia lived in public adultery with the matrons of Rome; that the Lateran palace was turned into a school for prostitution, and that his rapes of virgins and widows had deterred the female pilgrims from visiting the tomb of St. Peter, lest, in the devout act, they should be violated by his successor. The Protestants have dwelt with malicious pleasure on these characters of Antichrist; but to a philosophic eye, the vices of the clergy are far less dangerous than their virtues.
(The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vol. 5, Ch. XLIX)
I should only hope that those who note today the various sins to which the 21st century church is heir could rise above mere bordering on the insulting. Let them rather ascend to the glorious mercilessness of our man Gibbon.
Image: Unknown artist, Anne Boleyn, late 16th century.
I’ve seen some things that say that the story of Pope Joan was actually a satire based on Marioza’s uterine power behind the throne of St. Peter, FWIW.
SpartacusAnne Boleyn’s head!
And here I thought noonan would never top this:
Villago Delenda Est
Were we to give the Noonan bint the demise she has earned, that of a tumbrel ride to the Place de la Concorde with a play by play by Madame Lefarge, her head, while rolling around in the wicker basket, would no doubt continue to try to kiss the coffin of the sainted shitty grade Z movie star.
There are 5 dollar prostitutes with more moral clarity and backbone than Noonan.
Don’t make me get my Actes and Monuments out and quote some full-bore John Foxe on her ass.
No one told the Catholic Church how to get hopping as well as to go fuck itself like 16th-century English Protestants.
Let us savior.
1) The Church has rarely hesitated to instruct our country, which is a country with Catholics in it but not a Catholic country, how to conduct its business.
2) The head of the Catholic Church isn’t just a religious figure, he is also a head of state, and one that conducts diplomacy around the World.
3) Yet, it’s Noonan’s position that non-Catholic Americans aren’t entitled to express any opinion regarding who that Church chooses as its leader?
Villago Delenda Est
Projection. It’s what these pathetic twits do.
Pierce’s entire week of blog posts on the Popeapalooza have been masterful. And I read his post on this and, though I should know better after the magic dolphins, was astonished to see the garbage she spewed in her column, if that’s what you can call what Peggy vomited up after taking a shot of Jameson’s every time someone said “papa” all this week.
Noonan needs to get the hell out of her desk-drawer liquor cabinet more often. “Every idiot in town” has been enthusiastically kicking the Church leadership for years over its various and serious misdeeds, and hoping a new pope can even begin to, say, clean up the Vatican’s finances isn’t so much criticism as being probably the most charitable assessment of the situation one can make and still be even remotely realistic. Then again, realism never was Noonan’s strong suit.
@dedc79: That paragraph alone proves without a doubt that Nooners is Anne Boleyn’s head.
Nooners was mentioned on Pierce’s blog but I immediately thought of the hillbilly of the north, oh well.
@dedc79: Not as good as this one:
I am Peggy’s cerebral cortex.
I am Peggy’s liver.
Help me. Help meeeeeeee ….
Jim, Foolish Literalist
Flipping through the channels last night I caught the Harry Potter with Dolores Umbridge, and it reminded me what a perfect copy of Nooners that character was: Toxic nastiness and political stupidity underneath all the pink bows and purple prose. But I don’t recall any indication in the book that Dolores Umbridge was either a drunk or an aging ex-party girl.
c u n d gulag
Last weeks column about her being in a hotel room at an airport in Pittsburgh, PA, was an all time classic.
Among othe thing, she was bitching about there being, not only no bell-boy, but NO ONE to carry her luggage to her room for her!!!
I was waiting for the diatribe against the hotel’s too may of us have had to stay at, having no cute stable-boys, no elevator boys who’d thank her for her nickel tip, and no Western Union runners to take her latest word-turds to be telegraphed.
One miple-trartini with oxtra-elives too far!!!
Villago Delenda Est
Savor, you stupid bitch.
It encompasses your doom!
Well, speaking as someone who lived in the DC area for thirteen years, the fact that you’re basing your opinions on strictly a survey of NW Washington with zero attempt to survey NE or SE, is a pretty magnificent illustration of why your assessment in that article turned out to be worth exactly dick.
The only person who reads Peggy Noonan with relish, because it makes him feel terrifically smart, is Bill Kristol.
@MikeJ: I’ve been savoring for a bit over 4 years now
@jeffreyw: Least. Delicious. Post. Ever.
Grumpy Code Monkey
Where would you like your Internets delivered?
I’m sure by ‘tony NW DC’ she meant ‘georgetown’. Cause I’ll bet there weren’t a whole lotta Romney signs up in tony DuPont circle.
I think Noonan may be confusing Anne’s demise with the execution of Mary Queen of Scots as recounted by Robert Wynkfelde who was an eyewitness. He describes her lips moving for half an hour after the deed.
Maybe Anne’s execution was just as gruesome. Maybe Nooners doesn’t do her research and has mis-remembered.
@BGinCHI: If Foster Brooks were still around, he might read them with relish too, as a source of good material for his act.
@Chris: That’s a fair point. Her friends might not even realize that DC has three other quadrants. At the same time, I think Obama destroyed Romney throughout most of NW as well.
@BGinCHI: Oh, do. Moah Foxe.
Shorter Peggington: “Shut up, you heathen peashantsh . . .”
Maybe that’s what that idiot chickie was doing when she placed that backwards “B” on her forehead a few years ago… she was just channeling her inner Anne Boleyn’s head.
The ravens still park themselves on the chopping block where Boleyn was executed. As far as I remember, her head is buried with her.
The laws that allowed Henry VIII to execute her are still on the books in the UK.
If I were Kate, I’d lobby to get them removed.
I can’t improve on Pierce’s 1st commenter’s remark:
LMAO! Too true!
@Tom Levenson: I’ll give you a preview: heavy on the Antichrist.
No one writes a polemic like that guy.
I also enjoyed Pierce’s pope-alooza columns this week. And he called out all the hypocrisy and vicious nonsense in the Noonen Anne Boleyn’s Head column.
I would not give a fig who the next pope is, except while the pope commands no army, he and his cardinals do influence enough voters in the US to make a difference. And for that reason alone, reason to pay attention.
The fake smarmy hypocritical and superficial show piety of US corporate news hacks is insufferable, though, and enough to keep me from watching much of the pope show on the news TV. Maybe some of them have thought for more than a second in their lives about religion in anything but the most shallow and conventional way, but must be damn few, or they swallow it for the sake of corporate hackery.
Edit: sad to see that Noonan never read the Book of Erasmus in the Bible. I think he was before Boleyn’s time when he made his prophecy. Or maybe not.
OK OT but shares a url, they were so careful specifying appropriate footwear, but forgot to think about looking like guys flogging things at county fairs Image via The Msgr.
Sad to see what a steady diet of gin and Quaaludes will do to a person’s higher cognitive functioning.
CHILDREN! Be Warned.
When the RCC stops trying to insert its theology into the public policies of my 75% non-catholic country, I’ll withhold criticism of their ecclesiastical leaders.
@Grumpy Code Monkey:
+1 So brief; so perfect.
Objection: assumes facts not in evidence!
IIRC, it’s a common phenomenon with decapitations, so it may well have been reported at Boleyn’s execution as well. They did a lot of experiments with severed heads in France while the guillotine was the execution method of choice, if you have the stomach to look them up.
Interesting, though, that Noonan chose the story of the Protestant Anne Boleyn over that of the Roman Catholic Mary Stuart. A bit of (probably unconscious) prejudice?
Also, too, if anyone is actually interested in Anne Boleyn’s trial and execution, Alison Weir (one of the foremost popular historians of the Tudor period) has a recent book called The Lady in the Tower that examines that specific part of Boleyn’s life in great detail and has a lot of interesting things to say about the politics and religious currents of the time. She also debunks a lot of the myths surrounding Boleyn, both pro and anti.
@Mnemosyne: subtle hint that prots might as well be scary mooslims (unless they are the right kind of reactionary prots, you know, credits to their religion)?
Yes, I kept waiting for her to make some point that was germane to the religious issues of the time she was invoking. But it was just free association, I guess.
O/T but as there’s no CPAC thread I’d like to propose the BJ community send Betty next year. No, I don’t hate her but I do love me some entertainment and if said entertainment were tales of spilt Republican entrails, I think we owe this to ourselves and our Great Nation.
ABL and JC at the DNC was golden; Betty at CPAC would be platinum.
Oh, probably. But as the haven for middle-class-to-rich white folk, NW is the only part of the city that would actually have had a meaningful contingent of Romney voters (as Chopper points out, especially in Georgetown). In NE and SE, these people basically don’t exist.
No slander intended to the many good and liberal residents of NW DC, which I was one of up until last summer.
Mary Stuart was supposed to have said, Sweet Jesus.
It is a tale and not to be taken seriously. There were always executions stories.
@nancydarling: Anne’s death was quick, clean, and rather uneventful as it was accomplished by an experienced swordsman from France. Unlike Thomas Cromwell or the Duchess of Salisbury, where both heads came off with multiple blows to the shoulders and head, Anne got hers from a lovely sword instead of an axe.
@BGinCHI: I was posting from an Android tablet that I just resynced Firefox on and browsed to BJ, noticed I hadn’t posted with that setup yet and I needed to set my credenzas on it. I make amends now.
Anne Boleyn is real? I thought Rick Wakeman dreamed her after eating some bad curry.
It must be amazing to collect a check for prattling under the influence of quaaludes and cheap bathtub gin. It’s like the fallen Oracle of Delphi for the modern age.
@Mnemosyne: Another good one from Weir is the Six Wives of Henry the Eighth. Lots of great info on all the queens and a good starting point to jump into more detailed books.
Couldn’t you have faxed them instead?
@ruemara: I don’t know about that. The Oracle had access to way better drugs, from what I’ve heard.
heh heh. That makes one of you.
That was because the executioner’s first stroke actually missed and hit her on the side of the head instead of severing her neck. It took several more blows for him to finish the job.
The whole thing is pretty well documented because the eyewitnesses had to send reports back to Queen Elizabeth.
It could have been worse — Margaret Pole refused to lay her head on the block and they held her down to execute her.
@jeffreyw: Christ on a cracker!
You magnificent bastard.
Have you read Wolf Hall yet? I have it (and Bring Down the Bodies) but I haven’t sat down to read it yet. It sounds like she’s essentially broken it into three parts: Thomas More’s trial and execution, Anne Boleyn’s trial and execution, and the trilogy will end with Cromwell’s own trial and execution.
Higgs Boson's Mate
Shame on all of you who are accusing Noonan of drinking too many Martinis, bathtub gin, etc. It’s clear that she’s moved to drinking ether.
@Mnemosyne: Yep, that’s the structure.
Bring Up the Bodies is better than Wolf Hall, I think, though I’m expecting the trilogy to be one whole master work.
Such beautiful prose.
You talked me into finishing Wolf Hall after I had tried starting it three times. I’m very grateful — I loved it. Bring Up the Bodies is awaiting my attention when I get liberated from Tolstoyevsky, some time in June.
@gogol’s wife: War & Peace & Crime & Punishment, oh my!
I read that and I thought, “Wait, aren’t they describing he average TV appearance by Michelle Malkin?”
And Tom: what the hell is that first image about? Those are three ladies I do not want to mess with.
@gogol’s wife: Funny, had the same experience with Wolf Hall. The third time’s the charm apparently.
Sarah, Proud and Tall
I’m a little afraid of it because it feels like it will be really immersive. I need to have it during a long plane flight or during a vacation without much else to do, because I get cranky if I’m deep in a book like that and suddenly someone wants to go to dinner or something.
As one who grew up in the Catholic Church of the 20th century, why do you limit your inquiries to the church of the 21st century? What, you thought it got exponentially worse on 01 01 2001?
Try being 10 years old and getting a beating from Sister Kathleen every day… The red-headed bitch…. For 2 yrs… You know, they shipped her ass off to Columbia (the country)? My parents put me in North Kirkwood Jr High…. and they didn’t even know why. All they knew was something was not right.
Years later, 20 yrs??? my mother apologized to me. She said, “I knew something was wrong, I just didn’t know what.” And I could never tell her.
Don’t believe everything you read.
These stories were all over the place.
I don’t believe it at all. It is highly dramatic.
Back then, just as now, people had agendas.
It’s fact that the executioner screwed up, had to strike several times, and then had to saw through the final few tendons before he could hold her head up — there are too many eyewitness reports both pro- and anti-Mary that say the exact same thing.
Whether she said, “Sweet Jesus” when the guy missed could be up for question, but I sure as hell would be saying something like that or even worse if the guy who was supposed to behead me missed the mark the first time.
ETA: Here’s a pro-Mary account that details the same sequence of events. Many considered her a Catholic martyr and there was a lot of propaganda that went out about her, but the details are the same as the anti-Mary eyewitness account above.
One stroke over the line, Sweet Jesus?
So just the who-the-heck put Noonan’s knickers in a twist? All the reportage I’ve heard in the past 24 hours has been over the top gushing. CNN has been practically bubbling and giggly, even before the new pope announcement.
Agreed. I did a lot of research into Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, Elizabeth I and Mary as an undergrad (a fascination with the Tudors that continues to this day) and the eye witness accounts of Mary’s botched execution are amazingly consistent regardless of which side the person came down on.
@Lee Rudolph: if you’re same Lee Rudolph who wrote “Driving into Winter,” chapeau, sir. Been years since I read it and it still gives me the fantods. I’d love to find a copy of it somewhere.
@quannlace: Someone, somewhere is saying something bad, she just knows it. It’s the same as the way Douthat is inconsolable just knowing that someone, somewhere is enjoying an [email protected]
@Mnemosyne: I got about halfway through Wolf Hall a while back before I simply couldn’t hold it in my hands. I recently got both books on Kindle, but in a way, I have to steel myself for it. The problem I have with the trilogy is that she makes Cromwell sympathetic…and the whole time, I know how this story ends.
“our man Gibbon”
You just made my fucking day.
@Trollhattan: I completely, totally, 100% endorse this idea.
@Mnemosyne: Wolf Hall was marvelous.
Agree with you on Alison Weir. One I remember quite vividly is her Innocent Traitor, about Lady Jane Grey (aka “the nine days’ queen”). It’s historical fiction rather than straight history but Weir’s training as an historian tells me I can trust her research. She’s a very good writer.
@Chyron HR: My father actually owns that album. He also owns a Kenny G album, but that was a gift so I don’t hold it against him.
dance around in your bones
Gin and Quaaludes! I remember Quaaludes….a lovely drug. 714! Disco biscuits! Love everybody! Love the one you’re with!
Ok, I’ll shut up now.
Gibbon was, lest we forget, a Catholic in a country which did not approve of Catholics one bit. But he was at least honest.
@Anoniminous: Karen Ann Quinlan.
@SiubhanDuinne: I was deeply underwhelmed by her fiction. I don’t know what it is, but her character voices were grating and awkward.
@hoppipolla: If you mean The Drive Into Winter, yup, it’s me (and I thank you!). On the other hand, I am not the Lee Rudolph who wrote “The Sultan of Atlantic City” and “Blackjack Consensus or How to Take the B.S. Out of Basic Strategy”. You win some, you lose some.
Nixonland made me buy a Kindle — it was so gigantic, even in paperback, that it made my carpal tunnels flare up. I have both of the Mantel books on my Kindle just waiting to be read.
Just as a small point of correction: Volume 1 of Gibbon’s Decline and Fall was published in 1776 but the last three volumes (from which this quote was taken) wasn’t published until 1788. Gibbon’s knowledge of church history would put Our Lady of the Dolphins to shame and undoubtedly surpasses that of Charlie Pierce and (probably) even Garry Wills, only because Wills has 200 more years of literature to consume than Gibbon and he has not confined his studies to the distant past.
@Chris: @dedc79: “tony NW Quadrant’ has to mean “west of Rock Creek Park”; in my part of NW DC (Shaw) there were only Obama signs and bumper stickers.
Argghhhh. I hate to be a Debbie Downer on Alison Weir when everybody else seems to like her stuff so much, but as a longtime member of the Richard III Society I have to say I don’t trust either her research or her judgment. She struck me as one who uses the research to back up her prejudices.
For me the best novel about Anne Boleyn is an old one, Norah Lofts’ The Concubine.
Earlier a thread sung praises of fabulist St. Rachel. Now we heap scorn at Sister Peg.
Would that Rachel ever pens words that moved a nation like the Pegster, Dauphin of Dolphin and Patroness Prophet of the Purposeful Papacies and Porpoises.
@ReMarksDC: Thanks for the crex.
Will update when I’m not blind tired and falling into bed.