Ever since he replaced Jay Carney as White House press secretary/intelligence-insulting pipsqueak, I’ve watched Josh Earnest so many times I’m starting to feel like a test subject in a masochism study. While it was obvious from the first time his Apple Jacks breath hit the microphone he was a terribly under-spanked child, it took me a while to observe a specific quirk (read: defect) he shares with his predecessor. Read the following scenario and see if you can pick it out:
Clerk: “Hi, welcome to J.C. Penney. What can I do for you?”
Earnest: “Again, I’m looking for a jacket.”
Clerk (after thinking “Hmm, I don’t remember any prior conversation with him.”): “All right. Is it for a man, a woman, or a child?”
Earnest: “Again, it’s going to be for me.”
Clerk (after thinking “I still don’t remember talking with him before” and “well, at least we can rule out ‘woman.’”): “Okay, for you. Are you looking something like a suit jacket or blazer, or is it more casual, like denim or leather perhaps?”
Earnest: “Again, I actually need something like a windbreaker, only warmer.”
Clerk: “Sir, I’ve never helped you before. Why do you keep speaking as if I have?”
Earnest: “Again, I don’t know what you mean.”
Clerk: “I mean you start every sentence with ‘again.’”
Earnest: “Again, again?”
Clerk (frustrated, quickly tapping her watch): “Wow, turns out my shift is ending! Tell you what, sir, I’ll have Mitch come over here to take care of you. He’s great with jackets and under-spanked children.”
You probably guessed the quirk is a tendency to overuse the word “again” (since anyone who couldn’t guess would be busy scratching himself or combing his hair plugs in the White House powder room instead of reading). It’s the same game with these stammering podium-toddlers, especially when what they’re asked about is inconvenient or indefensible. Both Carney and Earnest treat(ed) questions like they were already asked and answered, showing a subtle contempt for the reporter and the news-consuming public in the process. As far as I can tell, the only difference between the two is Carney wasn’t the town again-slut Earnest is, and had a shorter visit with puberty.
Speaking of unrelated topics, did you hear the one about the young chick planning to marry an incarcerated lunatic old enough to be her grandfather’s older brother? I honestly wish it were a joke, but this is actually happening, with 80-year-old convicted killer Charles Manson and a 25-year-old woman calling herself “Star” as the real-life punchlines.
This is just the sort of thing you can expect in a society where The Waterboy grossed more than Best in Show and My Cousin Vinny combined. Nine years ago, according to CNN’s Ted Rowlands, Star (at the time still using her given name, Althea Burton) was a 16-year-old girl living with her parents when she “discovered” Manson. Now, I’m assuming her parents are nice, decent people, but you can’t help but wonder if her mother licked the business side of packaging tape while pregnant. (“What’s the harm? It’s not like the kid will develop some weird attraction to homicidal maniacs!”) What we have now is a grown woman who, apparently at Manson’s behest, shaved her head a couple of years ago and carved an X in her forehead, just like the girls in the quasi-Svengali’s “family” did forty years ago during his trial. Without a doubt, at some point in her past, something caused the tomato in Star’s brainburger to fall out.
I would rehash what Manson & Family did that led to said trial, but my state is already low on water and the shower I’d need would dry it the heck up. Needless to say, Star doesn’t think Manson committed the crimes, and in all fairness, maybe it was some other fuzzy little menace with a dedicated staff of tweaked banshees. Even if you could convince her he did, though, it’s not like that would deter her. Surely all you’d get for your effort is “So what if he did? Wouldn’t you have done the same thing if you were in his shoes?” (I gotta admit, maybe I would have done the same thing if I too were a sludgebag whose mind was a tangled cluster of Slinky’s and paper clips.)
Things are well underway, according to Star. She says that Manson “filed for the first round of paperwork,” and “I’m completely with him, just as he’s completely with me. It’s what I was born for, you know. I don’t know what else to say.”
Star, Snookums, what you were born for is long-term psychiatric care, and “Better up the Prozac dosage, doc” is what else there is to say. Or alternately, a 12-step program and “Hello, my name is Star, and I crave imprisoned elderly psychopaths.” Simply put, you’re in dire need of help, and whomever you get to help you will probably need helpers.
Unfortunately for the lovebirds, and fortunately for all things holy and decent, the only physical contact they’ll ever get to experience is a hug, even as a married couple. Them’s the rules at Corcoran State Prison, home of Manson: no cuddlin’, no cozyin’, no conjugalifyin’, and no kissin’.
Too bad, really, because the guy probably loves the taste of packaging tape.