Sunday, January 07, 2007


About nine months ago, I expanded upon an important concept offered by the founder of the Institute by coining the phrase "the point of non-unshitability" to refer to the point at which it becomes impossible to fix a mistake. (The original usage: "People want someone to unshit the bed. You can't unshit the bed. All you can do is make the bed-shitter sleep on the floor. "

At that time it was painfully obvious to the reality-based that Iraq had long since passed that point. But the conservatives were still madly churning away in their attempts to fling the growing pile of poo elsewhere.

The time since has certainly not reduced the feces content of the bed. (Nor, alas, did it result in uptake of my "Point Of Non-Unshitability" terminology. I now suspect it needed a good, sanitized acronym.) But if you are the kind of person who looks for ponies, there is a small one here -- the ranks of the unshitability-deniers have shrunk considerably.

Charles Krauthammer. George Will, Oliver North and David Brooks. The Mustache of Freedom. A number of Republican Senators. Perhaps even Rummy. These Serious Men would likely differ as to the exact moment when we reached the Point of Non-Unshitability. But the important thing is that they seem to have finally come around to acknowledging the fact that, like orifice from which the problem excretes, the problem is behind rather than in front of us. (Admitting that they were wrong and complicit in the disaster is, shall we say, somewhere in the future. But, as they say in the 12-step community, one day at a time.)

So who's left? Bush-Cheney. Victor Davis Hanson. Lieberman. McCain. And that is pretty much it. The dead-enders won't fit in a phone booth, but might squeeze into your average ADA-compliant toilet.

To finish the job, as mentioned above, we need to sanitize the name. Thus I present: PONU.

I think the increasing acknowledgment of the passing of the PONU is a critically important phenomenon, and deserves greater play. So please help me push my PONU-passing meme, and point me to additional former Kool Aid drinkers who now seem to have acknowledged the passing of the PONU.

(Special Bonus Factoid: search "mustache of freedom" in Google, and the first result is moi, but the seventh is Friedman himself.)

(Special double bonus: Friedman snark recycling.)

Update: Brooks lives inside the Times' Green Zone, so I have not read his latest. But it appears that his PONU acceptance remains incomplete at best. At worst, he remains the same fool he has always been.


Blogger RandyH said...

Mr. Bluememe-

I am not so sure about Norm Coleman being past the PONU now. See, he is one of my Senators and when I read of his position on Dec 20, I immediately wrote his office to congratulate him for putting down the Kool-Aid and joining the rest of us. Of course I didn't put it quite that way. The email was very party-neutral, representing the majority opinion of the nation.

Keep in mind, the comments he made to the Star Tribune were made while he was on his tour of Iraq and he was clearly in shock. We tend to speak frankly in situations like these.

So back to my email. I receive an immediate form-reply telling me that he will respond to me in more detail soon. Okay. On Dec 28 I get another form-reply promising a resonse to my comments soon. On Jan 5, I get a detailed form letter explaining his position on the "Clean Money, Clean Elections Act (HR 3099.)" Maybe a clerical error, maybe just an oversight. Or maybe just a way to buy some time.

Anyway, I smell fear. Now that he is back from Iraq, he has no doubt been taken aside and force-fed some Kool-Aid, along with threats to not fund his 2008 campaign that he will surely lose to Al Franken, should our man Al decide to run.

Reminds me of the incident during Katrina when both Geraldo Rivera and Shepard Smith of Fox News both just lost it doing their live reports from New Orleans of the incredible tragedy. We didn't hear much from either of them from the scene after that, Shep got pulled out and within a day or two appears as a guest on David Letterman downplaying it all and running with the BushCo/Fox News line once again.

11:08 AM  
Blogger RandyH said...

A follow up. I just received another email from Norm Coleman. This one is actually about Iraq. It seems he DOES agree that we should not escalate in Iraq, though he does believe that we need to increase the overall size of the military because we are stretched way too thin. Did he read my earlier post? I doubt it, but it makes me wonder...

5:40 PM  
Blogger Eric Soderstrom said...

The sanitized acronym won't work unless you can reasonably substitute a non-offensive word that starts with the same letter as the offensive word. You know, like "Thank gosh it's Friday," or, "Same stuff different day."

Maybe you could get away with "The point of non-unsoilability?"

Or maybe you should switch to a more wholesome metaphor altogether. Something involving cats, or perhaps Marmite.

11:00 PM  

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