Join 3,433 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


President To Author: Your Book Is Unpatriotic
October 30, 2002 8:43 AM   Subscribe

President To Author: Your Book Is Unpatriotic " "The letter began by thanking me for sending the book," Hudson said. 'Also, I'm from Austin, Texas, and the president touched on the fact that I was a fellow Texan, congratulating me on my book. But he was setting me up for the one-two punch. Because he called the book unpatriotic and ridiculous and just plain bad writing. Beyond that, I've been instructed not to talk about the contents of the letter for the time being.'"
posted by owillis (31 comments total)

 
Wait... you mean the president can read?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:48 AM on October 30, 2002


And from the government. The government's percentage is surprisingly high


I'm sure if the government was actually 'tracking' your website it wouldn't show up as *.gov. My guess is they would use a rotating set of IPs, possibly hundreds, that would cache the result for wider dissemination inside the government. A snapshot every five minutes or so (so as to avoid a clear pattern)


Most of the *.gov is probably just coming for people working in the government interested in the material.
posted by delmoi at 8:51 AM on October 30, 2002


I guess now that Oprah isn't doing her book club anymore, Shrub figured someone had to step forward as the next guru of literary taste.
posted by orange swan at 8:58 AM on October 30, 2002


It's got to be a prank.
I just can't picture Bush reading the book and taking the time to write his personal review. Not his m.o sorry
Imagine what kind of stuff he'd be writing to Krugman
posted by matteo at 8:59 AM on October 30, 2002


"Tracking" doesn't necessarily mean surreptitiously monitoring. It could just mean some intern has been asked to check on the site periodically. No doubt Mr. Bush has mentioned his disdain of the book to his staff, and they're all checking out what the fuss is about.

In the meantime, how many new letter submissions do you think Hudson'll be getting after the note is published?
posted by me3dia at 9:00 AM on October 30, 2002


Wow, you can't buy that kind of publicity. I'm going to see if I can get Bush to leave a comment on my blog saying how unpatriotic it is...
posted by PeteBevin at 9:00 AM on October 30, 2002


Wait... you mean the president can read?

Wow, didn't see that one coming.
posted by Ty Webb at 9:01 AM on October 30, 2002


"There's something of a bidding war in the works, but I think we're really close to making a decision. [...] But I will say we want to handle this with as much grace and dignity as possible."

Yes, that's the dignified way to go about it. Receive a personal letter from the president, tell everyone about it, hold a contest giving away copies of the letter and a gas mask, and allude that the president spends his time jogging and starting wars.
posted by SiW at 9:29 AM on October 30, 2002


the president spends his time jogging and starting wars

He watches cartoons too.
posted by owillis at 9:31 AM on October 30, 2002


You can read a short story of Mr. Hudson's, "Notes From a Bunker Along Highway #8," in the most recent issue of McSweeneys. I just read it yesterday and afterwards went to price the book at a local bookstore. Looks like today I may have to go back and scoop up the single copy they had before someone beats me to it.
posted by poseur at 9:39 AM on October 30, 2002


Most of the *.gov is probably just coming for people working in the government interested in the material.

I used to wonder about all the NIPR.mil hits in my referrer log, until one day I noticed one of them was a Google search for some very perverted porn.

This reminds me of the story sometime last year about the guy who went up to Dubya at some event and shook his hand and said "I think you're doing a terrible job," and Bush said "Who cares what you think?", then freaked when he noticed the guy had a tape recorder in his pocket. I wouldn't put this letter beyond him at all.
posted by briank at 9:47 AM on October 30, 2002


"...I've been instructed not to talk about the contents of the letter for the time being."

of course, if he talked about the remainder of the note the 'bidding war' would dry up real quick.
posted by DBAPaul at 10:04 AM on October 30, 2002


From the article: I've been instructed not to talk about the contents of the letter for the time being.

Scary. Inept.

"I think you're doing a terrible job," and Bush said "Who cares what you think?", then freaked when he noticed the guy had a tape recorder in his pocket.

Hilarious story. I'm no Bush fan, but if the story is true, I think his response to a rudely phrased is actually somewhat appropriate.

Unpatriotic

Still, MeFi'ers, here's the real question: how do we change the meme that "criticism of authority is unpatriotic" to "defense of the civic and moral principles on which America is based is patriotic"?
posted by namespan at 10:04 AM on October 30, 2002


I don't know, President Bush would not be my first choice for literary critic. Bad writing--considering the source, that's got to sting...
posted by y2karl at 10:13 AM on October 30, 2002


Criticizing authority for not defending civic and moral principles on which America is not based is unpatriotic. So, stop doing that first.
posted by techgnollogic at 10:21 AM on October 30, 2002


I agree with matteo. From the linked article:
"I was in shock. Very surprised," Hudson said Tuesday. "I didn't think it was real at first. I mean, who would? But once you hold the thing and read it, there's no doubt in your mind. I mean, nobody could fake the authority of that letter."
Despite Hudson's apparent certainty, my inner skeptic is unconvinced.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 10:29 AM on October 30, 2002


Please also know that several high-profile journalists as well as one well-known attorney are aware of the current circumstances, so that should Gabe suddenly be "detained," or disappear, immediate and very public action will follow. [source: author's website]

"... so Mr. Hudson has left me no choice but to assign his book a rating of Very Poor, and to assign the author himself a rating of Enemy Combatant. Thank you for tuning in to Donald Rumsfeld's Book at Bedtime. Next week we'll be reading ..."
posted by DrJohnEvans at 10:57 AM on October 30, 2002


"I think you're doing a terrible job," and Bush said "Who cares what you think?", then freaked when he noticed the guy had a tape recorder in his pocket.

Well, maybe.

No tape recorder, no "freaked". Just Bush's word against a columnist.
posted by ook at 11:17 AM on October 30, 2002


You can see some very good letters here.
posted by Shike at 11:37 AM on October 30, 2002


> the president spends his time jogging and starting wars

He watches cartoons too.

And he likes pretzels.
posted by camworld at 12:25 PM on October 30, 2002


The President also spends about 49% of his time on vacation.

How's that work ethic?
posted by geekhorde at 12:54 PM on October 30, 2002


He watches cartoons too.

What's wrong with cartoons? ;)
posted by Matt_K at 1:25 PM on October 30, 2002


Wait... you mean the president can read?

Don't tell me your still riding this president is dumb stuff, havn't you go the memo?

posted by ZupanGOD at 2:49 PM on October 30, 2002


go=got
posted by ZupanGOD at 2:49 PM on October 30, 2002


Interesting link. Gabe Hudson is also in McSweeney's #8 as well, a story called Cross Dresser: The written testimony of Jefferey Dugan, 418th Squadron Bandit #573. Read about his book here. I think I'll go pick this one up.
posted by elwoodwiles at 2:58 PM on October 30, 2002


Strange. My understanding of the American philosophy was that criticising the President is extremely patriotic. There are many countries where criticizing the head of state would land you in trouble. This author was just trying to emphasise the American Way by telling Dubya what a complete moron he is.
posted by salmacis at 3:27 PM on October 30, 2002


This author was just trying to emphasise the American Way by telling Dubya what a complete moron he is.

Calling him "Dubya" makes me fascinated with what you have to say, and lets me know that you're an intellectual with a serious and valid criticism about our political leaders.

Please, tell me more.
posted by oissubke at 3:57 PM on October 30, 2002


"...never can sailors boast aloud that their ship has passed her without any loss of men, for with each of her heads she snatches one man away and carries him off from the dark-prowed vessel."

That's not a very nice way to talk about Hillary Clinton. Shame on you.
posted by oissubke at 12:42 PM PST on October 24

Calling him "Dubya" makes me fascinated with what you have to say, and lets me know that you're an intellectual with a serious and valid criticism about our political leaders.

Please, tell me more.
posted by oissubke at 3:57 PM PST on October 30

I, for one, eagerly await the definitive study on apparent correlations between political conservatism and childish hypocrisy.

~wink~
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 4:55 PM on October 30, 2002


It's a shame so few of the Saddam-loving liberals will bother reading stuff like this.
posted by oissubke at 8:46 AM PST on October 30

Calling him "Dubya" makes me fascinated with what you have to say, and lets me know that you're an intellectual with a serious and valid criticism about our political leaders.

Please, tell me more.
posted by oissubke at 3:57 PM PST on October 30


Hell, keep it up. Ya got it down to a day now.

Some of these folks'll soon be speaking out of both sides of their mouth simultaneously.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 5:27 PM on October 30, 2002


Really, what's wrong with calling him "Dubya"? It's not as particularly mean spirited as other names for him. No worse than "Bubba", which we heard for 8+ years.
posted by owillis at 6:01 PM on October 30, 2002


Hell, keep it up. Ya got it down to a day now.

I'm striving to post completely contrary statements within an average of five minutes, but the site just loads so slowly at work....
posted by oissubke at 6:37 PM on October 30, 2002


« Older Between Wellstone and Veblen, I got to thinking ab...  |  Eight blogger archetypes?... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments