It’s a good thing that Vogue’s nauseating profile of Jill Biden — sorry, I mean Dr Jill Biden, EdD — wasn’t published in North Korea. The censors in North Korea long ago cottoned on to smartypants writers who think they can get away with mocking the Dear Leader or government policy by being ironical, sarcastic, or speaking tongue-in-cheek.
Irony is illegal in North Korea because it can so easily be a cover for mockery. As of this writing, Merrick Garland, Dr Biden’s attorney general, has yet to make irony a sign of domestic terrorism or white supremacy, though whether that is an oversight or is simply something he hasn’t gotten round to yet is unclear. I have it on the authority of anonymous sources close to the principals that Gene. Milley, chairwoman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, finds irony intolerable, sarcasm unpardonable and wants anyone guilty of either court-martialed for insubordination and then hunted down by F-15s and nuked.
Jonathan van Meter, the man who is guilty of this nearly 7,000-word emetic, is particularly lucky that the profile did not appear in North Korea. The censors would be all over it. He would probably have been executed by anti-aircraft gun by now. In this country, the FDA should be alerted so that the story can be fitted with some sort of alert warning diabetics of its alarming quantity of stomach-turning sugar.
It didn’t take me long to realize that van Meter was joshing. No one could seriously write a profile Dr Jill Biden, EdD and say things like ‘She is, quite simply, a joy multiplier’, or that she looks ‘every inch a goddess at 69’. There was a sort of double irony at work here because the article, appearing in a fashion magazine, is positively littered with pictures of Dr Jill Biden, EdD. It was a cruel irony, too, because the pictures of Dr Jill Biden, EdD clash against the word ‘goddess’. They rasp in particular against the phrase ‘every inch a goddess’ since, if we’re being candid, there are many inches to account for.
Nor is it just in short bursts that van Meter’s earlobe-licking valentine of Dr Jill Biden, EdD would attract the censors on the look out for practicing sarcasm or irony without a license. Try this:
‘When Marine One — the helicopter that flies the President from the White House to his plane — lands and then roars up to disgorge POTUS and FLOTUS (and the man carrying the football), it feels like a show of muscularity that is particular to the United States — one that is no longer in the hands of someone [Gee, I wonder who?] for whom that seemed to matter too much and for all the wrong reasons. The quasi-march across the tarmac, the crisp salute to the commanders and sergeants in place to greet him—it suits Joe, in his aviators, so tall and thin in his impeccable blue suit.’
Emphasis added for, well, emphasis. So tall. So thin. Just utterly impeccable.
Or how about this? ‘She’ — that would be Dr Jill Biden, EdD —
‘She is a very stylish person who even in jeans and a cashmere sweater over an untucked chambray looks totally pulled together. [Totally!] But for now, at least, she does not want to talk too much about it. It’s that reading-the-room thing: when you ask Dr Biden a question that she does not want to answer, she flashes a winning smile that says very clearly, “Let’s move on”. Even Elizabeth Alexander, her communications director, looks uncomfortable when I bring it up. Dr Biden doesn’t work with a stylist: “It’s all her,” Alexander says. [Then why does Vogue say she was ‘styled by’ Tonne Goodman?] Fine, then I’ll say it: she’s wearing a lot of Brandon Maxwell. She is also wearing a lot of young, emerging, and diverse designers. “I think that’s important: You try to lift up other people,” Dr Biden says. “I like to choose from a diverse group of designers. When I was planning my Inauguration outfits, that’s one of the things I considered.”’
I know, I know, it’s as though someone released an ampule or two of Who Me on the page, though I am pretty sure it doesn’t come as a bind-in card in the print version of Vogue.
The really interesting thing is to compare this cover story of Dr Jill with the cover story that Vogue ran of the last FLOTUS, Melania Trump.
Ha, ha, ha. Just kidding. There was no cover story of Melania in Vogue or, as far as I know, any other major women’s magazine, during her time as first lady. Melania, a former model, is elegant and, to continue to speak plainly, gorgeous. She does not have an advanced degree in education from the University of Delaware, it’s true. She has not written a dissertation on ‘Student Retention at the Community College Level: Meeting Students’ Needs’ as has Dr Jill Biden, EdD. But she is what the Bidens claim to admire. A polyglot immigrant who has made good and has contributed much to American society. Somehow, though, she didn’t pass muster with the arbiters of taste in the realm of American fashion. Clearly, they prefer their mutton dressed as lamb just so long as politics of the sheep are the right — which is to say, the left — politics.
Vogue’s profile of Dr Jill Biden, EdD, would be embarrassing if it were not simply pathetic.
No, that is not correct. It is embarrassing as well as pathetic but also utterly predictable and depressing to boot. Welcome to the world of American sycophancy. It’s working overtime to make a laughing stock of us all.
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