Peggy Noonan Defeats Friendly Helpful Golem, With Gin
As always, evidence is unnecessary when you've got vibes.
Lord was it hot. Summer had settled on the Big Apple and deep into Peggy Noonan’s bones. Everything sweated in her Manhattan pied-à-terre : her furniture, her cocktail shaker, her ice bucket. She stuck to her leather sofa as if sealed there with some sort of super-industrial-strength epoxy.
This would not do. How could she type her column if her arms were stuck to her couch so that she resembled Freddy Lounds at the moment of his denouement in Red Dragon ? Without the tabloid journalist’s gauche career and hooker girlfriend, of course.
“No problem!” a voice boomed through the halls, echoing off the parquet floors and ancient radiators of her pre-war co-op. She opened her eyes and beheld a sand-colored giant, perhaps ten feet tall with a rounded lump of a head that almost grazed her ceiling. Stubby arms, blank holes for eyes and a tiny slit for a mouth. Weird runes carved into his chest, a rough surface that looked like rocks at the bottom of a stream eroded by millennia of water flowing over it.
“Hi Peggy!” the giant boomed. “I’m the Golem of Prague, and I’m here to help you write this week’s column! Those runes on my chest are Hebrew letters! They spell ‘Shalom,’ which is how the Jews say ‘hello!’ It’s like ‘aloha,’ but ethnic!
“You’re probably wondering, 'how did I, Peggy Noonan, beloved sister of the Order of the Benzoate Depravity, summon the Golem of Prague? Is there an app on my iPhone I don’t know about? Is he possibly just a fever dream brought on by this infernal heat and my not having eaten anything but American cheese and cocktail onions since 1994? And how can he type my column for me when his hands are just two giant lumps of unformed clay?'
“So your answers are, dunno, not to my knowledge, probably, and easy: With my golem magic! And best of all, the heat doesn’t affect me! Okay, maybe I’ll get a little dry and start to crumble and you’ll have to sweep me off the parquet later! Sorry about that! It really is hot in here, even for me, and like I said, I’m a golem made of inorganic dust!”
She understood the part about the heat, at least. It had been on her mind. Because America! It was boiling over, both literally and metaphorically! And what was she but a seer of signs, a scribe of the noblest intent? And also of no little importance, under deadline?
San Francisco’s progressive District Attorney Chesa Boudin was recalled this week in a 60-40 landslide. Los Angeles saw a surge of support for a moderate mayoral candidate, Rick Caruso, who campaigned on crime, homelessness and social disorder. None of this necessarily marks a sea change; the people of both cities have long been happy to be liberal Democrats. What they won’t accept is being ruled by progressives.
“Peggy? Bubeleh? If I may?” The Golem of Prague had seated himself on the floor in front of her trusty Underwood and was mashing keys with the shapeless hunks he had in place of fingers. “So it seems like you start off wanting to say that these two results mean a sea change, but then you say that maybe they aren’t? Which makes me wonder why you’re writing this in the first place? No? Okay! I am but your servant! It is my golemic nature!”
[O]n the issues of crime and public disorder, Republicans have demonstrated the greater wisdom.
“Do you want to offer some examples? No? Gotcha! We’re not doing evidence to back up our thesis here! Why do research when you have vibes?
“Still, might I humbly, golemly suggest you read your own paper? Because some of your colleagues are writing, today , that crime, even murder, in rural America is also way, way up! Like, the first person they talk to is a prosecutor in central Arkansas! And Arkansas is not exactly chock full of progressives! They keep electing Tom Cotton, for God’s sake, and he’s basically Francisco Franco if Franco had had an Adam’s apple the size of Little Rock!”
The progressive can’t understand why. He tells reporters the voters are “in a bad mood” because of inflation and housing costs.
“Listen, Peggy.” Was it her imagination, or were drifts of sand piling up around the golem like the Jersey Shore after a hurricane? “I know as the Golem of Prague I am but a humble protector of my people, but since I’ve got this typist thing as a side gig, I really do feel I need to point out that while Chesa Boudin was recalled, progressive prosecutors were elected in quite a few jurisdictions on Tuesday! And in California, no less! A progressive came in first in the DA race in both Contra Costa County and Alameda County, both of which are both close to and much larger than San Francisco! Heck, a progressive reformer won the DA primary in Oakland , which you may know is San Francisco's immediate neighbor! It’s true! I can show you a map!
"So might I suggest a revision of this thesis? Because it seems as if what happened with Boudin in San Francisco and that rich mall developer in Los Angeles might have had some hyperlocal motivations specific to those two particular races, while not being indicative of any wider phenomenon!"
So I do think America is on a campaign to remove them, one by one. And this is good.
“Didn’t hear one fucking word I said, huh? That’s okay! I am but your humble golem servant!”
The court should release the Dobbs decision--stop letting madmen think they can stop or affect it through violence. As for the clerks, yes, it’s generally, perhaps unjustly, assumed a clerk leaked it and hard to doubt it was a clerk for a liberal justice, with the motive of alarming, agitating and urging opponents to rise up.
“Oh, it’s not hard to doubt!” Yes, she was sure of it: The golem was now just a head poking up out of a sand dune in her parlor. “Not hard to doubt at all! There are plenty of reasons to think the leak came from a conservative justice’s chambers! You can read them here ! And here ! And also here ! Heck, there’s reason to think a conservative’s chambers have been leaking to your very paper! I know we’ve established you think research is a waste of time when you’ve got vibes, but come on! I’m simply a mythical creature invented to assuage the generations of trauma of a long-persecuted people, and even I understand the argument!”
A strong wind arose then, blowing the golem’s head into nothing, his blank eyes staring in horror as they dissolved in front of her. She was left with a pile of sand before her eyes and a scream of frustration and Yiddish curses ringing in her ears. It was a funny language, Yiddish. What was that Yiddish saying Bill Kristol had repeated to her? May you grow like an onion with your head in the ground. Yes, that was a good one.