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Erica Jong's fear of thinking

By Roger Ebert

What is the matter with Erica Jong? Has she lost her mind? She's raving like a right-wing wingnut about a "second civil war" if Obama loses. Where did she say this? In an interview with an Italian newspaper, possibly because no American newspaper gives a fart in a windstorm what she thinks about the election. So now the Italians been warned.

A story in the New York Observer makes her sound scripted by the Onion. How will this Jong quote play with the paranoids on the right:

"Yesterday, Jane Fonda sent me an email to tell me that she cried all night and can't cure her ailing back for all the stress that has reduced her to a bundle of nerves. My back is also suffering from spasms, so much so that I had to see an acupuncturist and get prescriptions for Valium."

Ohmigod! Spasms! Aimed like an arrow into Sarah Palin's next speech.

But Jong will bravely fight at the barricades, despite her aching back. There are no other writers to do so. She goes on:

"Tom Wolfe and John Updike are men of the right and Philip Roth is at this point a hermit who leads a monastic life in Connecticut, far from everything and everybody."

Dire, although at least the monk is a great novelist, and keeps on writing. But wait, there is hope. The Observer reports:

"Luckily, she said, there are her and Michael Chabon, who, she says, have 'taken the place of Susan Sontag and Norman Mailer respectively.' "

Nobody has taken their places. Nobody is ever gonna. Erica Jong is not even high on the "nobody's gonna" list. If Susan Sontag had read that, she would have hurled. I loved Chabon's New York Review convention coverage and his fiction. Erica Jong is known mostly for Fear of Flying. Now she should write Fear of Thinking.

Maybe the McCainists are correct, and the coasts are overpopulated with elitist feminist flywheels. We here in Illinois elected Senator Obama in such a landslide (70% - 27%) that the GOP saw it coming and had to hire a guy from out of state to run against him. We voted out of conviction, not as a cure for psychosomatic spasms.

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