Amanda , I am about to swear off writing or thinking about the first breasts for all time, feeling dirty for having been led into yet another conversation about powerful women and fashion cops this week. But before I go dark on the subject of the cleavage of the rich and famous, I wanted to offer a thought on what you were saying about Glenn Beck’s weird rant about Michelle Obama’s dress. (A dress, by the way, that strikes me as not that much more scandalous than, say Nancy Reagan’s off-the-shoulder.) What Beck betrays, with his middle-school hyperventilation about seeing Michelle’s "breasts all smushed-up" and the repeated references to how she looked like "a Greek statute," is just that he's a classic bully. Has Beck never seen an evening gown before? Doubtful. Or has he never seen a first lady in an evening gown before? Also doubtful. Or has he just never seen this first lady in an evening gown, so he opted to make her sound trashy and small just because she’s a woman? As Amanda reminds us, if that's your objective, it doesn't matter what she wore or who was wearing it. You can just imagine Glenn Beck’s slavering encounter with first lady Dolley Madison (with thanks to reader Michelle Pryor). "Oh, Dolley, Dolley, you look like a (*wheeze*) (*gasp*) Greek statue! I’ve never seen anything like this before !"
TODAY IN SLATE
The Ebola Story
How our minds build narratives out of disaster.
The Budget Disaster That Completely Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola
PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer
The Shooting Tragedies That Forged Canada’s Gun Politics
A Highly Unscientific Ranking of Crazy-Old German Beers
Welcome to 13th Grade!
Some high schools are offering a fifth year. That’s a great idea.
The Actual World
“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.